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Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests


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There is a reason why Gordon's entire staff has walked out on him once already.

When was this? When Ramsay left Aubergine and A-Z restaurants, its my understanding that most, if not all of his staff went with him to Royal Hospital Road. The same is true I believe of Marcus Wareing's staff at L'Oranger when he walked out followed him to Petrus. The impression I have got from reading about Ramsay is that his people are incredibly loyal to him.

First I heard of his staff walking out on him as well! I think if I got a job at Ramsys, I'd work my arse off. Look how many of them are being given their own restaurants to run. Love him or loathe him he has a very loyal workforce.

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I worked with GM's chefs, I know the reason why they tolerate deplorable conditions.........Gordons name. On a resume its gold. Do they like their jobs, no way. Its tough to understand why Dempsey didnt leave but ill take my best stab at it...........

Its too difficult in London to match the quality of product, equipment, staff and service if most of what you know is GM. To solicit investors and start anew is very difficult. For an artist like Dempsey, its a tough spot to be in. When and where does he begin a restaurant while putting in 70 to 80 hours a week? If he looks for a new job, where does he go? No place in London can match GM for an artist as hungry as Dempsey. I have worked with Dempsey and seen how Gordon treats him, very brainwashy management at best and sad to see. Dempsey was a tool. A very talented man. A disappointing outcome and a hard lesson to watch.

Right now im going to play some rage against the machine if you dont mind.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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oh, puleeze...that's the oldest excuse in the book. No one MAKES anyone take drugs..this guy could have bought a heavy bag, watched game shows..there are lots of ways to handle stress besides using drugs.

puleeze yourself, kim. everyone knows that cooking is the only stressful job in the world, and the only place where you have to deal ruthless deplorable people.

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1) sounds like PR and damage control to me. I'll believe it when I see him fire a rock-solid sous the Saturday evening after the grill cook burned his hand and with a full book of reservations on tap, just because the sous tested positive. Yeah, right. And he'll call up a temp agency to find someone to fill in.

2) I want to see one of you people who are clucking about the evils of drugs and the weaknesses of those doing drugs in the kitchen without having experienced it try and live the life for even just a few months. I'll put it this way... I knew people who worked back of the house and didn't do drugs. We called them alcoholics. There are a lot of reasons, but trust me -- it takes more than just "firm moral fiber" to stay clean working in a kitchen.

3) For perspective... I've worked construction (including insulation and roofing in the dead of summer), I've worked in high-tech startup management, I've worked all sorts of high stress jobs. The most stressful days I had working outside of a kitchen (like when we couldn't meet payroll at a company I was president of) were a f*cking walk in the park compared to many average-bad days in a kitchen. Seriously.

4) If they didn't let cooks and chefs do drugs they'd have to pay them.

fanatic...

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1) sounds like PR and damage control to me. I'll believe it when I see him fire a rock-solid sous the Saturday evening after the grill cook burned his hand and with a full book of reservations on tap, just because the sous tested positive. Yeah, right. And he'll call up a temp agency to find someone to fill in.

2) I want to see one of you people who are clucking about the evils of drugs and the weaknesses of those doing drugs in the kitchen without having experienced it try and live the life for even just a few months. I'll put it this way... I knew people who worked back of the house and didn't do drugs. We called them alcoholics. There are a lot of reasons, but trust me -- it takes more than just "firm moral fiber" to stay clean working in a kitchen.

3) For perspective... I've worked construction (including insulation and roofing in the dead of summer), I've worked in high-tech startup management, I've worked all sorts of high stress jobs. The most stressful days I had working outside of a kitchen (like when we couldn't meet payroll at a company I was president of) were a f*cking walk in the park compared to many average-bad days in a kitchen. Seriously.

4) If they didn't let cooks and chefs do drugs they'd have to pay them.

Next to Bourdain's publishing gem, I give this post of the year status. Awesome work.

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2) I want to see one of you people who are clucking about the evils of drugs and the weaknesses of those doing drugs in the kitchen without having experienced it try and live the life for even just a few months. I'll put it this way... I knew people who worked back of the house and didn't do drugs. We called them alcoholics. There are a lot of reasons, but trust me -- it takes more than just "firm moral fiber" to stay clean working in a kitchen.

First of all, there's no clucking, Secondly, I lived it, loved it, done it...and could probably tell tales to knock your socks off and then some. I'm not judging the moral fiber, I'm not claiming they are weak, deplorable people..I'm saying that there are other ways to reduce or work off stress, and that Ramsay should not be blamed for Dempsey's drug use. Drugs and alcohol might be the most prevelant methods of stress reduction used in some kitchens, but they are not the only methods.

And I know a number of former users who straightened up, grew up, and are doing their best creative work ever.

edited to add that I'll give you a ll the benefit of the doubt for claiming the award for highest stress job, but only because its a food site. My husband needs to make a 300 k payroll every two weeks, that's a lot of affected families if business tanks...I think its presumtuous to claim that all other stresses pale compared to those found in the kitchen.

Edited by Kim WB (log)
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4) If they didn't let cooks and chefs do drugs they'd have to pay them.

This is a classic line.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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It depends on which drugs, doesn't it? Having worked with an astonishing array of pisstanks and potheads (never in a kitchen) over the years, I'll take the potheads every time. But I don't think people using big jolts of coke or chemicals would be a lot of fun in any environment.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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edited to add that I'll give you a ll the benefit of the doubt for claiming the award for highest stress job, but only because its a food site. My husband needs to make a 300 k payroll every two weeks, that's a lot of affected families if business tanks...I think its presumtuous to claim that all other stresses pale compared to those found in the  kitchen.

it seems that those who work in kitchens and claim it's more stressful than say, flying fighter jets, may not have worked in many other industries. so you have to give them some slack when they make those generalizations. those who have done both, however, may have a different perspective.

Edited by tommy (log)
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Take it for what it is. An attempt at media-damage control. Initial tests upon hiring won't work. It has to be ongoing and random to cover your ass once you start.

After 23 years of hiring and firing, all I can say is that if you or your hired management can't tell who is doing what in the parking lot during their break, you have piss-poor knowledge of your employees and control of your business.

Crack-heads are easy to weed-out. The life-term junkies doing shots to just feel normal are the hardest to find--and in my experience usually very good employees.

I strive to treat my crew better than I've ever been. I refuse to be responsible for their lifestyles or blamed for it.

PJ

"Epater les bourgeois."

--Lester Bangs via Bruce Sterling

(Dori Bangs)

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In my religiously opinionated drug stance..........

Understand it, solve it, never allow it in the kitchen. There is no good reason why it should be tolerated. If someone is stressed, get them counseling or something.

Parameters need to be set and work standards begin with positive management techniques. If the management doesnt posess the mental capacity to approach every situation with optimism and a clear line of communication to steer employees toward a more productive path then the management needs to be replaced.

A major difference between most mediocre restauants and top tier restaurants is chefs at the higher end establishments are drug free. Placing more energy on forward thinking and creativity vs drugs and alcohol is a win win situation for everybody.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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1) sounds like PR and damage control to me. I'll believe it when I see him fire a rock-solid sous the Saturday evening after the grill cook burned his hand and with a full book of reservations on tap, just because the sous tested positive. Yeah, right. And he'll call up a temp agency to find someone to fill in.

2) I want to see one of you people who are clucking about the evils of drugs and the weaknesses of those doing drugs in the kitchen without having experienced it try and live the life for even just a few months. I'll put it this way... I knew people who worked back of the house and didn't do drugs. We called them alcoholics. There are a lot of reasons, but trust me -- it takes more than just "firm moral fiber" to stay clean working in a kitchen.

3) For perspective... I've worked construction (including insulation and roofing in the dead of summer), I've worked in high-tech startup management, I've worked all sorts of high stress jobs. The most stressful days I had working outside of a kitchen (like when we couldn't meet payroll at a company I was president of) were a f*cking walk in the park compared to many average-bad days in a kitchen. Seriously.

4) If they didn't let cooks and chefs do drugs they'd have to pay them.

You can't blame Ramsey for trying.

I'm sure he did his share of drinking and drugging when he was a soccer player

and maybe when he was first starting cooking, Maybe.

But after awhile any smart person would have to ask themselves if it was making them a better cook, a better chef. And the answer would have to be no.

Inventolux was asking people to post from experience. When I was an apprentice and first started working in a kitchen, a very high stress kitchen, my whole world turned upside down. And I was coming from being in the music business!

As someone posted earlier, when I was at work, all my friends were out having a good time, enjoying their leisure time. When I got off, by the time I got home, everyone was going home and I would be sitting around drinking a scotch, trying to wind down, it's 3am in the morning.

So I decided to "start" my evening @ 1am and hit the bars and stuff and drink, and drink and before I know it , it's 5 am and I'm drunk and now I can go to sleep but I can't sleep later then 11 so all of a sudden I'm ragged out, more prone to get angry, lose my shit, etc.

I wasn't hip to how much I needed to drink water and this kitchen was so hot we would be drenched like we had been swimming, So one weekend I started feeling really sick and got horrible stomach cramps and ended up in an emergency room severely dehydrated. 3 bags of IV fluid needed to get my stuff back on track. A month later I ended up in the same emergency room with kidney stones.

I'm sure the drinking didn't help that situation.

I had already had my fun with drugs and to be perfectly honest, I never have been able to fathom being coked up or tweaked out in a hotter then hell kitchen.Plus, the head chef was a cokehead and he was such a nut forget about it. His brother was also a chef and had been in and out of rehab (and fell off the wagon) at least twice while I was there.

That was 10 years ago and I don't think it would be such a bad thing if things changed just a little bit. I look at these guys doing shit and getting drunk every night and think, where are they going to be in a couple of years?

You can't taste when you're screwed up. You can't.

And some of you people here romanticise the Bourdain thing too much.

Remember the Keith Richards thing. How many people tried to keep up with him and either ruined their own careers or ended up six feet under. Bourdain must feel incredibly lucky to have come out on top.

I don't know how Ramsey will make this work. You have a point about the sous on a Saturday night.

Maybe if chefs look a little harder for their work force they'll find people who just want to cook, who NEED to cook. Most of the guys I worked with in NYC, who happened to be part of that Latin workforce Bourdain wrote about in K.C.,

were hardworking, shithot, pretty much CLEAN cooks who didn't need much except an afterwork cerveza to turn them on, and I miss that.

I wrote yesterday about the guy who toked up on the line and it was still bothering me today and I spoke to my chef ( who, btw, is a pretty clean guy himself, at least on the job) about it today. He kind of laughed and said he was going to keep his eye on him but, he couldn't fire his best cook.

2317/5000

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Lead by example. Have the stamina, fortitude, desire and positive outlook to make it work without any subtance abuse. I take it to the extreme, want a job in my kitchen? No smoking during work hours.

Now if someone needs help, ill pay for the patch for the first month or so, if the person is worth it, after that, oh well, guess im going to force that chef to live longer and retain a more accurate palatte.

Life is hard. Live longer.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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I don't think it is as simple as stress being the cause here.

I fully agree that stress is a large part of it (as is, as noted above, the odd hours you tend to work and the inability to relax naturally before its too late to be part of "normal" society). But I think there is a kind of person who is attracted to cooking professionally, and that kind of person also tends to be likely to have an unhealthy attraction to things like drugs.

Cooking professionally has its rewards. That is why people do it -- they get something out of it. There is the rush of a line working in sync under pressure, there is the sensual appreciation of the food, there is the satisfaction of giving people something they enjoy at a sensual level and the sensual enjoyment of that both making and eating food yourself and perhaps most of all there is that total and utter intensity of experience. People who cook professionally (as a serious generalization) are often people who try to live life very fully.

There are, of course, other things that also bring these same rewards or rewards that are similar or appeal to a similar mindset. Drugs are just one of these.

So combine a bunch of personalities looking for this kind of experience with a high degree of stress and an odd, "off the grid" lifestyle and then throw in easy access to drugs and alcohol and you tend to get a lot of people using drugs and/or alcohol.

fanatic...

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The naive are congregating around some intellectual stance against drugs in the kitchen, and I for one would like to slice a piece of my mind off for your utter disgust. Please fill us with your disposable wisdoms and then step back from yourself and realize that you haven't a clue what you're talking about. Like when I ramble endlessly about pine, not knowing whether it really adds to the food, you anti drug SS are potentially way off base. Yeah, if you're shooting heroin in the lockeroom before a shift I agree, it's time for rehab and a sabbatical in the professional institution of your counselors choosing. But, if you like to go out back behind the dumpster between seatings to see what you're garde manger's got that so much better than yours before you go back in to knock another 230 covers out then goddamn, that makes you family in my book. I find it highly hypocritical for cooks/waiters/chefs to look down their noses at people who have figured out the right combination to the frustration lock.

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At the end of the day, if you're doing your job professionally and are overall a positive contribution to the business then I don't care if you're smoking crack, worshipping satan or dressing up in sheep costumes and getting paid for sex -- as long as its on your time and its not interfering with your job performance then it's all good and it's your business.

fanatic...

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One cannot taste properly under the influence of anything except natural adrenalin.

"Everything in the universe that lives eats, everything that eats, tastes, why foresake the most delicate piece of life itself" - Jean Anthelme Brillat -Savarin

Edited by inventolux (log)

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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I'm not going to argue that your opinion isn't valid -- but I'm missing both the science and the logic.

Just 'cause adrenalin is "natural" doesn't mean it doesn't affect you.

Should women not be allowed to cook in restaurants during their period?

How about those with Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder during grey and rainy periods?

Should you be fired if you go for a long run right before work and have the resulting endorphins in your blood while cooking?

Edited by malachi (log)

fanatic...

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