Women2Day - Lifestyle: Gordon Ramsay's trophy wife

Tana Ramsay

We talk to Tana Ramsay - wife of Gordon - about what she thinks makes a good mum, trying times as a parent and the kind of father her celebrity chef husband is at home.

"It's a bit early for Champagne. It's only allowed on holiday isn't it?"

These are the first words from the extremely soft-spoken 35-year-old, Tana Ramsay, after being offered a celebratory glass of Champagne on winning Tesco's Celebrity Mum of the Year award.

"I am very excited and honoured", she adds. "I love being a mum so to get an award for that seems just too good to be true."

Beating newsreader Natasha Kaplinsky, Emmerdale actress Linda Lusardi and EastEnders Patsy Palmer to the title, Tana was chosen not only for her commitment to her own children but desire to reach out to others through her charity work.

As an ambassador for Women's Aid, a national charity working to end domestic violence, and The Meningitis Trust, as well as a fundraiser for Scottish Spina Bifida - and a full-time mum - Ramsay is no ordinary woman.

In 2007 she raised £900,000 for Women's Aid by hosting a gala dinner and is aiming raise more money in April.

"I am running the London Marathon this year for Meningitis and Scottish Spina Bifida. I had meningitis when I was 18 and it terrified the life out of my parents.

"I was incredibly lucky and as a mum it terrifies me hugely. Seeing those children and their families, and how they cope in such a positive way gives you strength."

Petite and blond, Tana was 21 when she married one of Britain's most influential chefs, Gordon Ramsay.

Fourteen years of marriage has certainly brought her many high, and a few low, moments.

She has met the Queen, socialised with the likes of Gordon Brown and the Beckhams, but has also had to deal with the public repercussions of her husband Gordon's alleged affair with author Sarah Symonds.

At the glitzy award ceremony in the Waldorf Hilton, she seems visibly upset when a journalist mentions the affair.

It's been nearly two years since News of the World reported Ramsay's indiscretions and Tana has managed to maintain a dignified silence throughout. But the subject is clearly still a painful one.

Affairs aside, there's no doubt that being married to Gordon Ramsay can not be easy.

The foul-mouthed chef has openly admitted to never changing his children's nappies.

"There is more input from him now I think," she says frankly. "It's funny as they get older, it's more important for them to spend more time with Gordon, more time with me and more time with us together.

"When they were little babies, they were very close in age and I had a rigid routine for them. But now he says we've got to relax the routine a bit and change it. And I can see when he is away, or I am away, they miss us more."

Tana takes pride in her old-fashioned marriage, where all things domestic are her sole responsibility.

"I like to follow my mum's lead in how she was as a mum and as a parent and so it is quite traditional. It's very difficult these day as you can't be as traditional as you would like it to be," she says.

And in her household there are certain rules even Gordon is forced to follow.

Fiery Gordon Ramsay may be free to utter expletives on-camera in order to increase his TV show ratings but at home a different set of rules apply.

"Oh yes. Oh yes," she says assertively. "It's not a stressful environment at home so it's a case of giving them a good example."

So, who calls the shots in the family kitchen? Being married to a man who has established a multi-million pound culinary business empire must surely mean Gordon's in charge of the family menu.

Yet Tana says she decides what the family eats. Her kids are encouraged to eat veggies despite husband Gordon's dislike towards vegetarian food.

These days, Tana has established herself as a successful cook in her own right, having written three cookbooks - about easy-to-cook wholesome family meals. But she's well aware that the publishers approached her because of the Ramsay brand.

"I would be stupid if I thought that Gordon wasn't the reason I'd been asked to do it. But I can either dwell on that, and worry what people are going to say, or I can get on with it."

Gordon and Tana are proud parents to 11-year-old Megan, 10-year-old twins Jack and Holly, and Matilda, 8.

Motherhood was not easy for Tana. She went through the IVF process to conceive three of her children, and a rare blood disorder meant that, once pregnant, she spent most of the nine months covered in bruises and had to inject herself twice a day to prevent blood clotting.

Gordon's demanding routine, as a chef and TV presenter, meant Tana had to deal with most of these issues on her own. According to reports from her closest friends, Tana rarely complains and keeps a very positive attitude.

"I think it's a learning curve. It's a journey. It changes from when they are tiny babies to grown-ups as the demands are different.

"I don't think you ever stop learning as a parent," she adds with a smile.

"You have to have the patience of a saint. And remember that as they get older, to listen to them. School problems which you might think are not a big deal are massive to them. Remembering what it was like for you at that age which as you gets older is quite hard to remember."

Tana admits that she also finds technology and parenting a challenge.

"I think things like computers and phones make it quite difficult being a parent these days because where do you draw the line?"

"For example the children come from work and say, 'I need to borrow your laptop to do my homework'. I am thinking, 'Why do we need computers, why can't we do research in the library'.

"You can't say to them, 'Don't use a computer' or 'You are not having a mobile phone'. You need that level of communication these days."

Despite being part of high-profile family which is constantly in the public eye, Tana says she tries to keep the kids lives "grounded" and "real".

Every Christmas the kids are encouraged to clear out their old Christmas presents and donate them to charity.

"My two eldest did the 'Walk for Life' last summer. If I can help the children keep fit and learn the importance of the discipline of being able to help in this way and doing things instead of just talking about then that's the least we can do."

She is now looking forward to the London marathon which she will be running with Gordon in a month's time. Tana says she enjoys the time they spend preparing together.

"We train together, it's a great discipline, although its hard on a Sunday morning when it's cold and rainy but you've got to force yourself to do it'," she says.

But while Tana might give off the impression of the doting mother and supportive wife, she definitely has an competitive streak.

If you ask her about the couples' marathon race times she starts to nod vigorously.

"Oh let's not talk about it... I am yet to beat him; we don't have to talk about that. I say every year I am going to beat him and last year I was only 10 minutes behind him and had I known that I would have run faster but I did not have the energy at the time".

Maybe 2010 will be Tana's year. Buoyed up by her latest achievement, this might be boost she needs to beat Gordon to the finish line once and for all.