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  1. ITV Report

Gordon Ramsay: Cocaine is everywhere in the restaurant trade

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Gordon Ramsay has revealed cocaine is "everywhere" in the restaurant world. The chef opened up about the scale of the problem and the harm he had seen it cause in a new ITV documentary.

He said he had witnessed it wreck colleague's careers and he tragically lost his close friend and chef protégé to a cocaine overdose in 2003.

I saw cocaine quite early on in my career.

I’ve been served it. I’ve been given it. I’ve had my hand shaken and left with little wraps of foil in it.

I’ve been asked to dust cocaine on top of soufflés, to put it on as icing sugar…

Coke’s everywhere. It’s spiralling out of control.

– Gordon Ramsay
Blocks of cocaine seized by UK authorities. Credit: PA

Britain is the biggest user of cocaine in Europe - and its use has gone up by 400% in the past 20 years.

What Ramsay has seen with his own eyes inspired him to investigate the criminal business behind the trade.

He embarks on an international journey that takes him from bitterly poor farmers in South America to drugs cartels, smugglers, dealers and users.

The chef also finds his own restaurants are not immune after swabbing the staff and customer toilets with concerning results.

“I didn’t know it was in this big," he says. "It’s a wake-up call. Right now I’m obviously concerned about the staff. 750 staff in London. That’s my responsibility."

  • The first half of the two-part documentary Gordon Ramsay on Cocaine will be broadcast on 19 October at 9pm on ITV.