The Truth About Gordon Ramsay’s Terrifying Near-Death Experience

“Creamy, slightly gamey, little bit salty” are some of the ways that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay – who’s had a stunning transformation – has described puffin (via Eater). More specifically, the meat of the tiny, black and white arctic birds, which represent a rare culinary delicacy and traditional dish in the Westman Islands. But just because he’s “intrigued” by the ingredient doesn’t necessarily mean he’s willing to die for it.

And yet, back in 2016, Ramsay faced a near death experience while hunting for the birds while filming an episode of his show, “The F Word,” which featured the famously foul mouthed chef (pun absolutely intended) traveling to exotic locales to sample and prepare obscure dishes and rare ingredients. For this particular episode, Ramsay — who’s had his far share of criticism — followed an Icelandic hunter to cliffs high above the Atlantic to take part in the first day of puffin hunting.

After five hours of struggling with a large net to catch a total of three birds (he let the last one go free), Ramsay proceeded to eat the heart of one raw. His hunting buddy goaded him on saying, “Don’t be a chicken, it’s a puffin.” And Ramsay gamely did so, though it didn’t appear to be an experience he enjoyed much (via YouTube).

Gordon Ramsay survived this accident while bird hunting

What couldn’t be seen in the episode of “The F Word” in question, however, was that more than simply being nervous about the cliffs (which he did express a few times in the episode to the glib dismissal of his hunting partner) Gordon Ramsay did actually fall off the scenic cliffs and into the icy water below.

Per The Telegraph, Ramsay fell roughly 200 feet into icy waters after losing his footing, a fall which could have killed him if he hadn’t been lucky enough to avoid rocks, nor if his film crew hadn’t been nearby to offer a rope and help get him warmed up again. “I remember thinking, “Oh f***. My boots and my waterproofs were dragging me down … I was panicking and my lungs were filling with water. When I got to the top after getting my boots off I was dazed and my head was totally numb,” Ramsay shared. 

To make matters worse, this wasn’t the only injury suffered by Ramsay while filming this episode. The first bird caught, his hunting companion said, must be set free as a gesture of peace. When Ramsay went to give the bird a kiss, the bird bit him on the nose leaving a cut which, according to Showbiz Cheatsheet, required a few stitches. Clearly the puffins got their revenge.

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