Kitchen Nightmares Premieres Tonight!
It may be Talk Like a Priate Day, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s Loudmouth Opinionated Chef Day. That’s because tonight is the premiere of the American edition of Kitchen Nightmares, the television show in which British celebrity chef (and Hell’s Kitchen host) Gordon Ramsay has a week to help an ailing restaurant turn itself around.
I’m a fan of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, the British series on which the American version is based. I suspect that the American version will have the swear words bleeped out, and I wonder if Ramsay will act like he does in the British series — more like the passionate guy who cares about his craft and helping a restaurant rather than the caricature of a chef-as-cussing-dictator that you see on Hell’s Kitchen. If this L.A. Times article is any indication, I think he’ll end up more like the latter:
Despite notoriously being a man with a temper, the full Ramsay is far more rounded than the figure he cuts for the American market, where his sharp edges, short fuse and tactlessness are sold as the main course. Appearing alongside other celebrities on British talk shows or hosting his own “The F-Word” (seen here on BBC America), in which he functions as a kind of extreme Martha Stewart, he can be quite sweet and even humble in his compulsively competitive way.
As was “Hell’s Kitchen,” however, the local version of “Kitchen Nightmares” has been Fox-ified to a fare-thee-well. When it comes to reality television, the American palate is apparently so jaded, its sensibilities so worn, that we need our matter not only predigested but slathered with ketchup and shoved straight down our throats. Whereas the British “Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares” is fundamentally a food show — it has interesting things to show you about how a restaurant runs and a kitchen works, the wonders of local markets and what you can make from them if you’re Gordon Ramsay or willing to follow his instructions — the Fox edition emphasizes mishap, argument and emotional breakdown almost to the exclusion of cuisine.
Ah, well. I’ll still be tuning in to FOX tonight at 9:00 p.m. to see the fireworks.
Anthony Bourdain’s Overrated Menu
Speaking of loudmouth opinionated chefs, you might want to check out Anthony Bourdain’s Overrated Menu from Radar magazine’s Hype Report. In it, he points out overrated items that you’ll find on the menu of many “fine dining” restaurants.
Scenes from an Episode of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares (the British Edition)
In case you haven’t seen the show, here’s most of the episode in which Ramsay tries to turn “Oliver’s” around. This one’s got family drama, the usual cussing and a medical emergency to boot! (One segment of the show is missing.)