Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay
Features // Blog

Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by


Apr 12, 2022
8 minutes to read

If you’ve not yet discovered new BBC1 show Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars, you’re really missing out. A bit like The Apprentice (but for foodies) it sees 12 food entrepreneurs fight for a life-changing investment of £150,000 of Gordon’s own money for their food business, with Gordon putting the contenders through a series of challenges.

Taking part is Italian native Vincenzo Gentile, co-founder of modern smoked salmon company Smokin’ Brothers – maker of some seriously special smoked fish. Here Vincenzo tells us how it felt to stand head-to-head with Gordon Ramsay, the difficulties of shooting the show during the pandemic and how his company differs from the many other smoked salmon makers in Britain.

Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay

+ Tell us about the process of going on the show?

One day I received an e-mail from studio Ramsay explaining the new TV show concept and I thought to myself, why not? Let’s give it a shot! So I sent my application, and after over a year of casting I was chosen to be part of the 12 contenders fighting for the cash price Gordon Ramsay will give to the winner of the TV show. It was filmed during the second part of the pandemic, so we had very strict rules to follow. We couldn’t do anything without an agent from the BBC following us on set. We were forced to stay in the accommodation, unless we were going for a run, when not filming. We were in a bubble.

Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay

+ What was the experience like?

We were pushed to our limits physically and mentally and we had to prove what we could do in high pressured situations. There will be plenty of fun challenges to watch I can assure that! Having the opportunity to spend time and be challenged by the most successful chef on the planet was incredible. I experienced for the first time how the entertainment business works and sharing time with 11 entrepreneurs was an added bonus.

Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay

+ How was it going up against Gordon Ramsay?

Gordon is a very experienced man, he knows he needs to entertain and he is a very strong character. He puts everyone under pressure at all times. He also has wonderful praise when deserved. I saw two sides of the man, a very challenging one but also a very kind one. I was definitely challenged to my limits. It will be very entertaining to watch.

Image for blog - Meet the smoked salmon maker taking on Gordon Ramsay

+ The UK has a long tradition of smoking salmon, what makes your company unique?

I set the company up with two friends from Italy - Alessandro and Lacopo – and the essence of Smokin’ Brothers depicts our journey in the UK. We draw from our experience with Nordic traditions and have learned so much since living in London. We also wished to reflect our Italian philosophy of doing more with less: using exceptional raw ingredients and championing the salmon itself.

mokin’ Brothers is also about new legacies. Most UK smoked salmon companies are family businesses, and Smokin’ Brothers want to create a contemporary vision of a family business. Founded by three friends, that support each other through the good and the bad, live together, and work together away from their home country.

Our sustainability commitment also makes Smokin’ Brothers unique. When we started Smokin’ Brothers, we felt it was our responsibility to make sure we were aware of the impact our company had on the environment. We source our salmon from the last family-owned farm in Scotland, which has a work ethic that is focused on the ecosystem around it, and the health of their salmon.

Last, but not least, we are the first smoked salmon brand in the world to use 100% plastic free packaging. Not only this but our boxes are also fully recyclable, while our wraps, pouches and trays are 100% home compostable.

About Smokin' Brothers:

Originally from Italy, three friends Vincenzo, Alessandro and Lacopo, developed Smokin’ Brothers to transform the way we eat smoked salmon, sharing a passion for good food and a commitment to sustainable living. Crafted in the heart of the Cotswold’s, their smoked salmon is smoked following traditional Norwegian smokehouse designs, before being sliced using their signature sashimi slice.

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