Chef Gordon Ramsay of Hell's Kitchen "has always been like a loaded pistol with a hair-trigger temper who would surely be fired for that," says an Oregon chef.
While Chef Gordon Ramsay may be beloved in his native England, where this popular Fox Network cooking competition show goes by the same name “Hell’s Kitchen,” chefs in real-life American restaurants say the foul-mouthed Ramsay “would be fired,” for disrespecting fellow kitchen staff as he’s done during all 10 seasons of this highly rated reality show TV program. Chef Liz Fitzhugh, who retired this year after teaching at the award-winning Oregon Coast Culinary Institute (OCCI) at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay, Oregon, told Huliq - during an Aug. 6 interview - that she views Ramsay as “a violent man who enjoys creating incidents in restaurant kitchens. I don’t enjoy his theatrical bitchiness, and I will tell you this nobody like this with a vested interest in chaos with fellow chefs would last in any real restaurant,” says Chef Fitzhugh who also owned several top eateries in Oregon’s Rogue River resort area. Also, when Chef Fitzhugh taught or lectured at various culinary schools, she said "young people are very sensitive and need kindness and respect over someone just yelling at them; as is the style of Chef Ramsay. The goal is to teach them to cook, and not upset them," she adds.
Also, Chef Fitzhugh says "the title of Ramsay's show about hell is not lost on me or viewers; but it gets a bit old this Englishman yelling at young people who are trying to do good with their cooking. I'm not sure if this is simply a reality show, or abuse on TV?"
In turn, Ramsay continues with season 10 of “Hell’s Kitchen” on the Fox Network Aug. 6 with a special two-hour episode airing 8/7c; while recent news from Fox stating it has renewed Hell’s Kitchen “for an additional two seasons.”
Hell’s Kitchen is a reality TV cooking competition – based on a series of the same name now being broadcast in England – while both the U.K. and American versions of “Hell’s Kitchen” are host by British celebrity chief Gordon Ramsay who was nominated for “Favorite TV Chief” during the 2011 People’s Choice Awards.
Actor John Corbett on what it’s like to portray a chief
Last year’s hit film “The Burning Plain” - starring Charlize Theron as a restaurant owner and John Corbett has her chef - was filmed at the real-life “Tidal Raves” restaurant in Depoe Bay, Oregon, where owner and head Chef Jon Hamlin leads a “very friendly” staff.
In fact, the producers of “The Burning Plain” said the restaurant’s “friendly atmosphere” and its pleasant owner and head chef Jon Hamlin is why they decided to spend millions to film part of the movie at Hamlin’s Tidal Raves.
Thus, Jon Hamlin said he learned a few things about Hollywood movie making during the filming of “The Burning Plain” at his coastal restaurant Tidal Raves. First, he was delighted that its star, Charlize Theron, really liked his cheesecake. Second, he discovered how serious movie making can be. And, third, he’s “sure glad” to have taken the plunge and turned his restaurant into a film set; even while that meant dozens of strangers would be hanging out in his kitchen.
In turn, Chef Hamlin said, “there was a scene that required John Corbett – who played the chef for “Willy’s (the fictional name for Tidal Raves) – to chop some vegetables. John grabbed me and told the director to use me because ‘I will cut my hand off if I do it.’ Well, I did the scene and you see my hands chopping those vegetables in the movie.”
Hamlin, who’s a trained chef, also noted that “John Corbett is a real nice guy. He’s just like you’ve seen him in the movies and on that TV show Northern Exposure.”
Also, when Corbett was joking in the “Tidal Raves” kitchen about why kind of chef he should be; Hell’s Kitchen Chef Gordon Ramsay’s name and persona was mentioned, and Corbett quipped: “Let’s not. I want to be liked.”
At the same time, Chef Hamlin said that the real secret to any restaurant’s success is not only good food, and a good location but “great people working together with respect for each other.”
For instance, the photo that accompanies this story features Chef Hamlin and actor John Corbett hanging out and having run with other staff at the Tidal Waves restaurant kitchen; where, respect and kindness seems to work far better than say Chef Ramsay yelling at staff.
Thus, for a reality TV show such as “Hell’s Kitchen,” you don’t have to go beneath the surface to see why respect and kindness still reigns at real-life and successful restaurants such as Oregon’s “Tidal Raves” over the fiction of allowing anyone in authority to verbally abuse underlings; as is the method for Chef Ramsay, say fans.
Hell’s Kitchen season 10 continues on Fox
The 10th season of “Hell’s Kitchen” began back in June and continues through September in its regular Monday night 8/7c time slot on the Fox network; while it’s best to check your local listing for times in your area.
Fans of Hell’s Kitchen say the format of the current U.S. version is similar, but only Chef Gordon Ramsay is “let’s say a bit toned down for the Fox show,” adds Chef Liz Fitzhugh who watched the show when visiting England recently.
In turn, Chef Fitzhugh explains how both the Fox “Hell’s Kitchen” and the United Kingdom version is still about “Ramsay throwing his weight around to eliminate chefs from a pool of 12 or more contestants. He then goes into this high-speed work ethic that nobody in their right mind would attempt in a real restaurant kitchen simply because it’s not safe,” adds Chef Fitzhugh while trying to discipline her voice as to not speak too badly about a fellow chef.
As for the part of the “Hell’s Kitchen” program where these aspiring chefs cook their signature dish for Ramsay to judge, Chef Fitzhugh also calls that “bogus,” since, she quips, “Ramsay’s taste is known and if any of the contestants have any common sense they will watch previous shows to learn what Ramsay likes.”
August 6 episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” is classic Ramsay
During tonight’s two-hour special of “Hell’s Kitchen,” this Aug. 6 episode of the show again has Chef Ramsay divide the visiting chefs into two teams, Read and Blue; while the real test is watching these cooks being “abused,” says Chef Fitzhugh who doesn’t think Ramsay has “the balance” to be a good culinary instructor for young people.
At the same time, Fitzhugh says she “laughed whenever Ramsay attempts to cook those difficult dishes such as risotto or Beef Wellington because he simply yells instructions, and that just turns people off who want to learn.”
In turn, the chefs who have already been eliminated are: Tavon Hubbard, Chris Carrero, Briana Swanson, Don Savage, Danielle Rimmer, Guy Vaknin, Roshni Gurnani, Patrick Cassata, Royce Wagner, Tiffany Johnson, Kimmie Willis and Brian Merel. Those chefs still in the running are: Barbie Marshall, Christina Wilson, Clemenza Caserta, Dana Cohen, Justin Antiorio and Robyn Almodovar.
Moreover, the show’s success – say a host of TV analysts who’ve reviewed the show over the past nine seasons – say “Hell’s Kitchen” seems to “cook with fire” when it uses numerous camera angles and dozens of cameras to “allow for tight editing and capturing every action.”
Also, enjoyed by TV critics is the “confessional booth” that gives viewers a break from Chef Ramsay’s rants. In turn, Ramsay has been called a “gross” TV personality whose production team casts relatively unknown chiefs who are easy prey for the over-bearing nature of Chef Ramsay when he has a full head of steam.
Ramsay's personality is so unusual that many watch him rant, rave and throw things. I consider him the "enfant terrible" of reality television. He has a fiery temper. He practices ritual humiliation, verbal abuse and even occasionally physical abuse,” writes critic Arthur Perkins in his review of “Chef Wars: Hell’s Kitchen” back in 2011.
What other real-life chefs think about Hell’s Kitchen
As with previous seasons of “Hell’s Kitchen,” this current 10th season features 18 new competitors who’ve been cooked, steamed and sautéed by the sharp-tongued Chef Ramsay. The prize, of course, is to spend even more time with Chef Ramsay when one of these guest chefs wins the grand prize that is a head chief position at the “Gordon Ramsay Steak” restaurant in the Paris Hotel, in Las Vegas.
As this Aug. 6 episode details – as the competition progresses - the cooking teams will be reduced until only two chefs are left to compete for the ultimate prize and fulfill their dreams of working in the culinary industry as the winner of Hell's Kitchen sometime in late September.
At the same time, the current season 10 of this Fox network reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” asks that “the chefs leave the pleasantries at the door as the pressure to impress Chef Ramsay reaches the boiling point" for what's marketed by the show's producers as this Aug. 6 episode of this top TV cooking show.
Image source of Chef Jon Hamlin (left) and “The Burning Plain” co-star John Corbett (*who plays a “friendly chef” in the film) during a break in filming at Hamlin’s “Tidal Raves” restaurant in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Photo courtesy Jon Hamlin and Tidal Raves
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