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Gordon Ramsay demands drugs tests


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Basically you kitchen outlaws are just a bunch of redknecks. Shouting and screaming at people because of the "pressure", sneering at human weakness, macho posturing, despising people's employment rights, contemptous of the idea of helping and supporting those in trouble. Like a lot of the so called American freedom lovers you're reactionary to the core, defending loudmouthed boorish behaviour as heroic and misunderstanding bullying as strength.

Malachi and Spenser you wouldn't last five minutes in the UK in any job which required you to manage with any degree of skill and in any field where labour relations had become codified and agreed. Stop giving it all the posturing mouth and start thinking about the issues outside of your own egos for five minutes. There's a lot of literature out there on leadership amd management. i suggest you avail yourselves of some of it.

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Thought so. So booze and drugs add a certain piquancy to kitchen life, no?

No, but rigidity and a blind adherence to tradition will certainly kill creativity. Drugs don't make you creative they just make you think you are.

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..... Like a lot of the so called American freedom lovers you're reactionary to the core, defending loudmouthed boorish behaviour as heroic and misunderstanding bullying as strength.

Malachi and Spenser you wouldn't last five minutes in the UK in any job which required you to manage with any degree of skill and in any field where labour relations had become codified and agreed.  Stop giving it all the posturing mouth and start thinking about the issues outside of your own egos for five minutes. There's a lot of literature out there on leadership amd management. i suggest you avail yourselves of some of it.

No wonder we threw off the British yoke so long ago. Some things never change. Do you still have a redcoat in your closet, Tony?

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Certainly agree that drugs (and booze) are no spur to creativity, or effort, for that matter. I heard enough bullshit about the mind enhancing qualities of pot, acid, etc. back in the Seventies to last a couple of lifetimes--and did not observe any flowering of genius in art, music, literature. In, fact, people like Ken Kesey seemed to stop doing their best work (or much of anything) once they hopped on the bandwagon, or bus, as the case may be.

But kitchens, like most places people work, function around personalities. And some of the most engaging and creative personalities, in my experience, do enjoy a drink or a joint or both. You just have to get the quantities, proportions and occasions right.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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Anyone worked in a Mormon kitchen or some other place where booze and drugs never, ever intrude? What's it like?

Yes. In my family's restaurant kitchens. After living the lives they'd lived - oh let's see, war, poverty, hunger, imprisonment, torture, etc. - we didn't need the quaint boredom of drugs and alcohol.

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Basically you kitchen outlaws are just a bunch of redknecks. Shouting and screaming at people because of the "pressure", sneering at human weakness, macho posturing, despising people's employment rights, contemptous of the idea of helping and supporting those in trouble. Like a lot of the so called American freedom lovers you're reactionary to the core, defending loudmouthed boorish behaviour as heroic and misunderstanding bullying as strength.

That's the first passionate post you've contributed in quite a while there Finch-o--I will congratulate myself for stirring you to arms. But hey, I'll let Tony Bourdain mis-spell my name but you haven't earned the right. It's SPENCER dude.

It looks like you read my posts, focused in on the dirty words and thus formed your lynch party. Who's shouting and screaming?

The first edict of American kitchen management is human frailty is fodder for the masses. We never claimed to be pious and diplomatic--though I'd say 75 percent of American kitchen display some semblance of hushed predjudice, management worried that the MAN will eventually drag verbal offenders into legal entanglements.

If you think cooking professionally is supposed to be some Redcoats lining up, raising their muskets in unison and enjoying a pefunctory nut pat at the end of the war I direct you to the kitchen of the man who inspired this thread in the first place--Gordon Ramsay. The only difference between him and an American badass is he's constantly having to fight the PR war when he says something idiotic.

I enjoy being a Minuteman...

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I'm certainly no expert on drugs, but don't people keep insisting that war, poverty, imprisonment, torture, etc., are all the reasons that the US has such a huge drug problem among its inner city underclass? And according to Bourdain et al, the kitchens of America are staffed largely by people escaping the horrors of poverty etc back home.

Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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fresco, I'm certainly no expert on drugs either, but you think inner city USA suffers from the above the way the rest of the world does? Mmmhmm ... And my family was the people escaping the horrors - as were our Mexican staff. We just didn't have a lot of time and money to blow - so to speak.

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Loufood,

If I can believe everything that I hear and read about drugs emanating from your country, opiates have become the opiate of the masses.

Edited by fresco (log)
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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fresco, my country? Which? The US? Oh please don't just saddle me with one. China, the US, France - they're all mine, I'm all theirs. And please don't get me wrong. I don't have anything against drugs or alcohol per se. I just find the frat boy binges amusing - and annoying. I mean, speaking of opiates, my grandparents smoked opium. Puh-leeze.

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Malachi and Spenser you wouldn't last five minutes in the UK in any job which required you to manage with any degree of skill and in any field where labour relations had become codified and agreed.  Stop giving it all the posturing mouth and start thinking about the issues outside of your own egos for five minutes. There's a lot of literature out there on leadership amd management. i suggest you avail yourselves of some of it.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but you might wish to read either my bio or (if that's too much work) my signature.

Just because I once cooked and still believe that there is a system that works in the chaos of the kitchen, and just because I am opposed to regulating people's personal lives doesn't mean I've never "managed with any degree of skill." In fact, as most business managers are probably aware, progressing from entrepreneur to VC tends to require a certain degree of management success and skill. As for leadership and management literature that is available to me -- thanks, but as someone who used to write that drivel (see bio section on NY Times columnist) most of it is, at best, pedantic theorizing and/or macho chest-beating of a more intellectual (but no less shallow) nature.

fanatic...

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"Rednecks" Finch?

That sounds like "hate speech" to me! In fact that deeply offends my heritage as a"son of the soil". A written warning will be placed in your file. A second instance of this kind of insensitivity will require complusory sensitivity training . Third strike and you're out. Please write a written apology to Spenser--oh wait, no, not now, It's time for your "break".

The kind of corporate and union kitchens you describe often exclude from the get-go anyone who's even smoked weed in the last six months. So who-really is more "inclusive"? What sector of the industry-truly--on a ground level, really is most welcoming of personal foibles, socio-economic differences, racial, religious, national and sexual "diversity"? The freewheeling independent is far more accepting of those who otherwise would slip beneath the radar. I draw your attention to the recent "Ed" the lunch truck guy show, where Ed is coached, terrified, peer prssured and mentored by that poster boy for "Oppression" Gordon Ramsay (among others). Notice the difference in ED at the end. Proud of himself, Notice also the proprietary pride of the chefs when Ed brings home the Gold. That's real--and a good analogy for the relationship between chef and abused commis.

Successful chefs do NOT rule through fear or intimidation. Whatever it looks like to outsiders. You can't--and shouldn't. A chef with a whole crew who hate themselves and feel like utterly beaten down, exploited tools of a chef who doesn't apprecate or look after them doesn't last. Chefs rule through example and through leadership--in the classic senses of those words. Take away the meritocracy aspects of Our Thing where it's all about raising up and empowering individuals to be the best they can be-- and you are left with..well..a Hilton where a lazy, shiftless, mediocre employee, by simply sticking to minimum standards and manipulating the guide book and labor rules, can survive year after year, outlasting successive regimes of chefs. We've all seen it.

Find a truly good corperate or union kitchen. I'm waiting....

abourdain

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Loufood,

You can pick your own country. My two sets of grandparents landed on the frozen Canadian prairie from various inhospitable parts of Europe and the US, but I have always thought it as inadvisable to attach virtue to humble beginnings as to do so for aristocratic descent.

Edited by fresco (log)
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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I have, by the way, studied "management theory" and "supervisory development" at CIA. And might point out that Kitchen Confidential is now (incredibly, I agree) required reading at Cornell (in hotel/restaurant management, I believe) and many other culinary and management and business schools.. And I am frequently invited (though I have yet to accept) gigs addressing the business community on "Team Building" and "Crisis Management". The Harvard Business Review recently did a long, rather wistful article on my views on same. But MOST IMPORTANTLY, I have managed people for over 20 years--and I'd guess you'd have a very hard time finding someone who worked for me who will say I was "unfair" or needlessly cruel, or dismissive of their needs. So I guess that makes me real smart on this subject...

I am not anti--union. Clearly they are needed--in industry in particular. And I don't want to sound like a fucking Tory. I'm an old school lefty near- Trotskyite from waay back. But NOT in the kitchen. I have seen what the Big Daddy Will Take Care of Everything lefties of my generation have wrought (I can't smoke a fucking cigaretette in a saloon for one). A near complete abrogation of our human responsibility to ourselves and to others. A codification of acceptable human interaction which is, in my opinion, anti-human. A chef in an old school kitchen deals with individuals. A union chef deals with "The Workers" according to strict, generic guidelines. Seniority--rather than merit rules the day.

Is there anyone more completely out of touch with the real world of WORK , more patronizing, more willing to doom us all to mediocrity than a "Human Resources Director?" or a shop steward or a restaurant union official ?You can take "Maslov's Hierarchy of Needs" and your MMPI's and your drug testing right the fuck out of my kitchen. Now clean out your locker. You're sacked.

abourdain

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I'm certainly no expert on drugs, but don't people keep insisting that war, poverty, imprisonment, torture, etc., are all the reasons that the US has such a huge drug problem among  its inner city underclass? And according to Bourdain et al, the kitchens of America are staffed largely by people escaping the horrors of poverty etc back home.

Not staffed by people trying to escape horrors of poverty necessarily. People cook professionally for a million different reasons...some of which are only discovered after hauling whale heavy garbage loads to the curb year after year like in my case. Some people find an element of romance, camraderie others are there because they're too fucking ignorant to sport a suit and tie and join the docket waiving intelligencia who only allocate Friday and Saturday nights for a good "pisser". There are some pocketbook queens who think that one day they'll be a better patissier than Jacques Torres and ruthless mercenary types who skip from job to job when the video cameras are installed. Drugs and alcohol, while prevalent in the industry, are not ruining our kitchens by any stretch. They're an accepted evil, as normal as morning coffee. The fact that yes, there are a disproportionate number of partiers in the industry, I think, belies a lifestyle choice, not a demographical statistic based on some governmental report.

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"The fact that yes, there are a disproportionate number of partiers in the industry, I think, belies a lifestyle choice, not a demographical statistic based on some governmental report. "

How can this be? As soon as I finish posting I am going to insist on, demand, a government report--and some pretty bloody stringent regulations while I'm at it. You guys have had it your own way for too long, and we, the taxpayers, are not happy.

Edited by fresco (log)
Arthur Johnson, aka "fresco"
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"The fact that yes, there are a disproportionate number of partiers in the industry, I think, belies a lifestyle choice, not a demographical statistic based on some governmental report. "

How can this be? As soon as I finish posting I am going to insist on, demand, a government report--and some pretty bloody stringent regulations while I'm at it. You guys have had it your own way for too long, and we, the taxpayers, are not happy.

Cut down on the ritalin and it may have the same effect.

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Liberals don't start - or participate in - revolutions.

To get back to Ramsay and Dempsey. Except for Bourdain there probably isn't anyone reading this more experienced than I am when it comes to drugs. The kind you get on the street. That was a long time ago, but I know the scene.

From that, I'll hazard that it wasn't drugs that led to this sad affair. Somebody that gets that crazy has got some deep down pain or frustration. Maybe a bad drug took him over the edge. Could have been bad acid, coke, or crack. Maybe PCP. Maybe hard liquor. But, it was pain that did it.

Maybe Mr. Ramsay should look into himself before he tries looking into someone else's life.

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