Firstly; why? Why the idea of a boxing match and why Gordon Ramsay?
I have great support here in Hong Kong. But even I need something for people to get excited about, for people to buy into the vision of. Now there are two charities that are really dear to my heart: Little Sister of the Poor, and Heffer. The last time I raised two mill for Heffer with Alvin Leung when we did our weight challenge. Now I hope to go the same for Little Sister; it’s only fair.
Quite noble endeavours. But why Gordon Ramsay?
I have a huge amount of respect for Gordon. I’ve not met him or anything, but I really like the guy. He is a brilliant entrepreneur, he’s a great showman. But he hasn’t responded in eight days, so he’s probably wondering who is this guy? Who is Harlan Goldstein?
Oh, so he hasn’t yet taken you up on the offer. Are you worried that he won’t? Or will it be relief that accompanies the silence?
Hey you know I don’t care; I really don’t mind if he replies. The money is still going to charity, but I am not an overly rich guy, so this is a way I see of really rallying support. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously you know? It’s a lot of fun what we are doing here, and we are trying to use our platform to raise awareness about need in our city.
In the eventuation of Gordon accepting, do you think you can handle him?
Well Gordon is fit man. He does biathlons, he does Ironmans. I am actually scared of the guy. He is crazy fit. He’s Scottish and he’s wild and he’s crazy. I am really gonna have to push. But then, I’m from New York; I’m American, and I am crazy too.
So this is quite the personal challenge for yourself?
Absolutely! You know, I like working out and I’m active, but that’s going to be a whole new level for me.
Can we expect a showdown pre-Christmas?
No way. I need twelve weeks to condition. Twelve weeks of preparation. And so does he. This isn’t going to kicking and bare first fighting, this is going to be white collar, banker’s boxing. French boxing. That requires skill and technique, which comes from training.
Will the potential fight be held in Hong Kong?
I have a lot of support in Hong Kong, but to be honest if it generates the kind of buzz I think it can, I don’t think there is a venue here that will fit everybody. I’ve got some buddies in Vegas, so that could be the ticket.
So what’s with the Jamie Oliver element?
Jamie’s just a cute addition. I think he’s great, I really love watching his show, and I thought hey, why not?
Do you think Jamie would be interested in coming to Hong Kong to officiate a melee, given he didn’t make it down for his own restaurant opening here?
I’ve got no idea why he didn’t come down, but that’s totally up to him. I think he should come down because I asked him. You know, come out here baby, I would do it for you!
And why the British chef focus?
Because I feel like British cuisine was overlooked for a long time, just like American food. When people think British food, they think boring, stodgy food; American food of course conjures ideas of grease and deep fried meat. We’ve all totally changed that, and no one more so than Gordon and Jamie. American and British cuisine was sort of forgotten, but is now something people go out to dinner to have, and we feel camaraderie in reshaping the face of these styles.
If in the outcome of your triumph, you have said you want a bowl of pasta cooked by Jamie. If, in the near implausible case you are defeated, what are you willing to do?
Hey I’m a great sport, and I will do pretty much anything! Tell me where to go and what to do, and I’ll do it.
Would you work a day in Gordon’s kitchen?
Oh that’d be wild! He would be yelling at me and all kinds of crazy stuff. But yeah of course, if that what he wants me to do, I will do it. For me, this is a bit of fun. Let’s shoot some cheer back into the air! Hong Kong has had a tough couple of months; I mean it took 45 minutes to go from Causeway Bay to Central for crying out loud! You couldn’t move. Let’s get excited; let’s enjoy Christmas; let’s have some fun.