It's not every day you get to teach Gordon Ramsay how to ride a horse.
That's what happened this past weekend when Ramsay and his food world celebrity pals Gino D'Acampo and Fred Sirieix, stopped at Cedar Ranch, operated by Rafter S Cattle Co. about 20 miles north of Kingman in northwestern Arizona.
On Saturday the trio and a camera crew met up with local ranchers where they spent the day riding horses, learning to rope and feasting on Arizona-raised beef.
Ramsay and his team were in town to film an episode for the TV series "Gordon, Gino and Fred's Road Trip," the Bee first reported on Sept. 10. The episode will air in October in the United Kingdom, but not until next year in the U.S.
"The best part for us, when we first heard about this, we were so thrilled but my husband said 'Who's Gordon Ramsay?'" said Lori Sturgill, who owns Rafter S Cattle Co. with her husband Emmitt Sturgill.
Lori, who was already familiar with Ramsay from watching his cooking shows, said it didn't take long to catch Emmitt up and her husband had a wonderful time, as did the neighboring ranchers they invited to help them.
On the filming day, Ramsay, D'Acampo and Sirieix rolled up in an Earth Rover, followed by the TV crew in custom vans, Lori said. The Sturgills then helped get the TV stars fitted with cowboy hats, chaps and boots before taking them to the horses.
D'Acampo had some prior experience, but Ramsay and Sirieix had never ridden before, Lori said. Once comfortable on their horses, she and the other ranchers took them out to do a cattle drive.
"It was really fun -- the one gentleman, Fred, was absolutely thrilled," Lori said. "He went on to say he and his dad watched John Wayne movies growing up, so it was almost an emotional experience. He had always wanted to try this."
Next to the calf shed there's a mechanical bull, which all three of them insisted on riding, Lori added.
After a successful cattle drive, she and Emmitt took Ramsay, D'Acampo and Sirieix to the arena to rope dummies, teaching them how to build a loop, swing a rope and then rope the faux cattle. Lori described watching their attempts as "priceless."
No Ramsay show is complete without food though.
Becky Gross, a rancher who lives with her husband Mike Gross in nearby Golden Valley, said she spent the day before pitting grass-fed beef to help. The pitting process involves seasoning and wrapping between 60 to 90 pounds of beef in foil, then placing the beef in a hole in the ground with wood before starting a fire and covering the hole. It's like an oven in the ground, she said.
Becky also cooked 10 pounds of beans with ham hocks and neck bones, yeast rolls and three different types of cookies.
"I thought it was just great, hey, I get to feed these three major chefs," Becky said. "You don't get to do that often. Three major chefs eating your food, that you cooked, it is just exciting."
Marge Hamilton, who works for Rafter S Cattle Co. and organized the menu, prepared oven-roasted Angus beef so Ramsay's team could try Arizona beef cooked with different methods.
On Saturday, for lunch at the barn, it was a full spread including rattlesnake -- which Lori had killed and cooked the evening before -- and fried bull testicles, also known as Rocky Mountain oysters, that Becky cooked that day.
PREMIUM CONTENT: His grandma brought people together with soul food. Now he's keeping the tradition alive
Lori said she was proud to be able to show off Arizona beef in an Arizona ranch. She and her husband have been around livestock and ranching their whole lives, she said. She thinks their beef was a hit for their guests.
"To me, it was a really important time to show the world what comes out of Arizona," Lori said. "A lot of people in the Midwest, they got beautiful, grassy country, and they raise nice cattle. Sometimes people dismiss Arizona. But we have got premium quality cattle, as well as the incredible flavor."
After lunch, it was on to the next activity, and it may involve motorcycles.
Ramsay's team seemed to start another segment with bikers and left the ranch with a biker crew, Becky said.
Before they left, the Sturgills gifted Ramsay, D'Acampo and Sirieix with custom-made spurs as a parting souvenir.
"When Chef Ramsay and Gino and Fred walked up, I have to say, they were really down-to-earth guys, and made it so fun and relaxing," Lori said. "Almost forgot they were celebrities ... After it was all over, that's when I had to pinch myself. I rode a horse with Gordon Ramsay and taught him how to rope."