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Chef Gordon Ramsay taping a segment for ET Canada at the Ruby WatchCo in Toronto.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Gordon Ramsay - potty-mouthed TV host, multiple Michelin-starred and cookbook author (his latest is Gordon Ramsay's World Kitchen) - is in Toronto this week for the Chef's Challenge benefit for Mount Sinai Hospital with Jamie Kennedy, Massimo Capra, Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan and David Rocco. He took time out from his preparations to answer your questions.

I'm a horrible cook but trying to learn. What's the best way to learn what spices go with what and how much to add?

- Amy Suzie

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For me the secret is starting with the basics. Say with spaghetti, shallots, anchovy and chili. Work up from there.

We struggle to find elegant, tasty potato recipes for beef, lamb and fish. What do you recommend?

- Mike Kiely

Mashed potatoes. The secret of mash is to finish it with horseradish. Celery root and potato mashed is great too. Mustard mash is also a nice combination.

How do you make a proper pot of tea?

- Wallace Brown

The secret of making a good tea is knowing when to take the bags out. Max of two minutes or it stews.

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What are some tips for the home cook to expand and refine our palates?

- Kyle Buckhout

Taste, from time to time, various vegetables and spices blindfolded. It's a great way to expand the palate.

In all your restaurants, you like to focus on foods that are unique to a country or a region. [You've recently bought a stake in Montreal eatery Rôtisserie Laurier BBQ,]what dishes do you think reflect the flavour of Montreal? Also, will there be squirrel on the menu? Lamprey eel?

- Rose Simpson

We're keeping the menu classic to the restaurant. Definitely no squirrel!

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