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Celebrity chef Ramsay gives NASCAR taste of the 'F' word

DOVER, Del. (AP) — Danica Patrick wanted more than some cooking tips when she chewed the fat with Gordon Ramsay. "I mean, if I don't hear an F-bomb," she said, with a laugh. Ramsay, the expletive-spewing celebrity chef, held his tongue when he filmed scenes with Patrick and other NASCAR crew members for his TV show "The F Word ."

Ramsay and his team brought their own fresh ingredients to Dover International Speedway before they fueled up on breakfast he cooked for a race team. There was no way Ramsay would test his proper palate on some of the usual track fare.

"Overcooked stewed hot dogs, you can smell 10 miles away. Grey burgers, you can smell 20 miles away," he said. His eggs, well, they smelled delicious. Ramsay whipped up a crab omelet, hash with Old Bay seasoning ("nice and crispy") and fruit smoothies (with fresh vanilla) for the crew at Stewart-Haas Racing. Tire changer Eric Maycroft, who had a bit part in "Talladega Nights," served as the sous chef for the segment. They chopped, blended and stirred for about 30 minutes for the bit that will air Wednesday night on Fox.

"When you get the omelet ready, tip it two or three times," Ramsay said to Maycroft. "A little flip and that lifts the bottom." Voila! Sure beats breakfast on the go. "We stopped at Dunkin' Donuts this morning," Maycroft said. "We're always on the go, so we don't have an opportunity like that to have a great, prepared omelet with crab in it. We're usually eating on the go so it's not always the healthiest, but we try to do the best we can with it."

Ramsay, who mingled with driver Austin Dillon at a reception Saturday night, was impressed with the local ingredients. "We got the most amazing crab in Delaware," he said. But it was a stop on the way from the airport that truly sucked in Ramsay.

"I went to a place called Wawa," he said. "I officially became a local yesterday. Wawa. Jesus." Ramsay (a "petrol head" with a collection of sports cars) got a full taste of NASCAR. He changed lugnuts on a faux pit stop, talked racing with Patrick and gave the G-rated command for drivers to start their engines.

Patrick lived in Milton Keynes in England as a teenager early in her racing career, not far from where Ramsay grew up. Patrick and Ramsay bemoaned England isn't known for breakfast. Patrick, a fitness freak, ate a race day breakfast that included butternut squash, ground bison and half an avocado.

Other favorites? Patrick professed a fondness for filet. "You have expensive tastes," Ramsay said. "When you have a taste of the good life, you can't go back," she said. Maybe Patrick and Ramsay could hit the road for a reality series when her career is over.

"What are you doing for Thanksgiving ? Can I take you on holiday with me?" he said. Patrick never did hear that F-bomb. The 50-year-old Ramsay was relaxed and joked with Patrick and the SHR crew. If his temper was set to explode, it never showed in his morning at the track. He'll save his beratings for the poor chefs that try to win him over in the kitchen.

"When it goes, it's got to be natural," he said. "I don't just curse for the sake of (it). When I'm under pressure I do. I think that's anyone. Sport. Drivers. Chefs. At that level, let's be honest, when I cook at that level, it is intense. When I'm flipping an omelet, I'm going to be your best friend."

Ramsay's breakfast took the checkered flag for food with the crew. Ramsay left plenty for them eat — with one caveat. "If you don't win," Ramsay said, "you can't blame the breakfast."

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