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jhlurie

Hell's Kitchen, U.S. Season 1

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You have to admit, the name, attitude and look of that guy Dewberry is better than anything Hollywood could dream up.

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You have to admit, the name, attitude and look of that guy Dewberry is better than anything Hollywood could dream up.

Truly Trish- you can't make that s&%t up! I will of course be watching, guiltless as it IS only TV. AND 24 season is over...

As an ex restaurant employee (server, bartender, manager-sometimes all at once) I did work for a certain kind-of famous chef who was just about as abrasive as ol' GR. Now, I ain't one to gossip, so no names.

Let's just say I prefer not to be treated like a prisoner of war while trying to earn a living... :wacko:

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it does seem like some gulleteers need to have their naive-meters checked. let's see: you sign up to do a show on fox(!); it's called hell's kitchen(!); and it's starring Gordon Ramsay(!). these were not innocent victims. they are poor deluded slobs who will do anything to get on tv. in fact, unless i'm mistaken, in the introductory interviews, a couple of the contestants alluded to Ramsay's reputation (a simple google would give them everything they needed to know).

furthermore, they were not chosen because of their culinary acumen (obviously), but because they fit a series of "character roles" the producers had in mind when they started. this is totally contrived "reality" television--i.e., the lowest and basest examples of human behavior placed under a microscope and exaggerated.

but honestly, where in the world did they come up with dewberry?

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" Overdosed on drugs and went nuts and was found dead"

I think it would be a very good idea to know what the hell you're talking about in this case--before blaming GR for that--or even suggesting that the event you're referring to had anything to do with his management style or behavior.

Suggesting that "he drove him to drugs" is ignorant. And borderline defamatory.

Bottom line on GR--and I'll say it again--is that when he left Aubergine--almost EVERY SINGLE employee--if not EVERY ONE also quit and went with him to what was then his own very risky start-up operation. Most of the people you see in Boiling Point (#1) who Gordon is speaking to so rudely are either still with him--or chefs in his other outlets.

What--to outsiders--and nitwit reality show contestents--might seem brutal--is often seen as normal--even comfortably familiar--to insiders. I'd score GR as a more loyal, straighforward--and "better" leader/mentor than Ducasse (for instance) any day of the week. (See Delouvrier and Psaltis examples)And on the brutality scale--fairly low on the spectrum compared to far nastier practitioners who have half his talent or loyalty or interest in seeing their underlings move upwards.


abourdain

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By the way: only in LA.  If he's all that, why doesn't he do it for real in, I don't know, maybe in Anacostia in Washington, DC or stay on the West coast and do the real deal in Compton, where he actually stands a chance of someone he "shoves" kicking the living shit out of him.  Now, I would pay to see that.

Uh..He's doing it in New York later this year.


abourdain

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..Bottom line on GR--and I'll say it again--is that when he left Aubergine--almost EVERY SINGLE employee--if not EVERY ONE also quit and went with him to what was then his own very risky start-up operation...What--to outsiders--and nitwit reality show contestents--might seem brutal--is often seen as normal--even comfortably familiar--to insiders.

:cool::cool::cool:

High-five's Chef B. Well said

- CSR


"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

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I was hoping Bourdain would chime in on the "abuse" in kitchens aspect.

My assumption when I saw this show advertised was that it would cause a sh!t storm of outrage at how GR treats his cooks.

I also assumed the group most vocal against all his bulldog pistol whipping would be comprised of folks that wouldnt last a day in a kitchen striving for perfection.

A kitchen is such a different beast from any type of work enviorns on the planet.


Edited by chuckyoufarley (log)

"You can take my foie gras when you can pry it from my cold dead hands"

Shaun Sedgwick

baxter@pinpointnow.net

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I guess I'm one of the few people here who laughed during the whole show.. as one person pointed out.. it is Fox.. do we expect anything but pure sensationalism? Call me a cynic, but I don’t believe that a single one of those folks are really want-to-be chefs… I’m sure they are all actors- probably paid to push all of GR’s buttons..

I still want to see GR and Tony Bourdain in a friendly boxing match.. Fox's Celebrity Chef boxing.. two real working class chefs... not any of these nancy-boy, I'm a chef because I look good on TV types...


"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

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I still want to see GR and Tony Bourdain in a friendly boxing match..  Fox's Celebrity Chef boxing.. two real working class chefs... not any of these nancy-boy, I'm a chef because I look good on TV types...

Place my vote for GR and Alton Brown please!

Now there's a blood bath the Contender or even the Ultimate Fighting Championship couldn't touch!


Edited by chuckyoufarley (log)

"You can take my foie gras when you can pry it from my cold dead hands"

Shaun Sedgwick

baxter@pinpointnow.net

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I still want to see GR and Tony Bourdain in a friendly boxing match..  Fox's Celebrity Chef boxing.. two real working class chefs... not any of these nancy-boy, I'm a chef because I look good on TV types...

Place my vote for GR and Alton Brown please!

Now there's a blood bath even the Contender or even the Ultimate Fighting Championship couldn't touch!

You could blindfold GR and he would still win that fight.. now if it were a spelling contest?


Edited by Mnehrling (log)

"Instead of orange juice, I'm going to use the juice from the inside of the orange."- The Brilliant Sandra Lee

http://www.matthewnehrlingmba.com

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I still want to see GR and Tony Bourdain in a friendly boxing match..  Fox's Celebrity Chef boxing.. two real working class chefs... not any of these nancy-boy, I'm a chef because I look good on TV types...

Place my vote for GR and Alton Brown please!

Now there's a blood bath the Contender or even the Ultimate Fighting Championship couldn't touch!

I think this would be a bloodbath, AB would last about 10 seconds.. GR is an ex rubgy player after all.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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A kitchen is such a different beast from any type of work enviorns anywhere.

Not totally true. I have worked with old school construction superintendents who yell at similar volumes, with as many expletives, and with as much "intimidation" as shown on HK. Some worse. One of these guys is also one of the most respected superintendents I've known (respected by his underlings, peers and superiors). He is very knowledgeable, has developed many a superintendent or foreman from apprentice, and has a brigade of workers who follow him from job to job. He also has one of the biggest hearts I've seen on a job site, in that he truly cares about people.

Yes most younger superintendents are not as menacing nowadays, for whatever reason (changing style, legal?). But I have yet to spend one day on a construction site and not see at least one dressing-down incident, regardless of the off-site nature of the superintendent. It can be a response to a safety issue or quality or simple feet dragging, but hey sometimes it is the only way to get a message across. What someone else said earlier is totally true: you do your job, you won't get yelled at.

No it's not the norm for every workplace, but it is out there.

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I think this would be a bloodbath, AB would last about 10 seconds..  GR is an ex rubgy player after all.

Actually, GR was a football (soccer) player. He was actually in the youth system for (Glasgow) Rangers FC, but was injured and his career path took a turn...

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You don't have to be a famous chef to be a jackass. I worked (briefly) with a chef who liked to throw raw potatoes at his staff. (he also tossed a knife or two, never hitting anybody). He verbally abused his staff as well. The walls in the staffroom looked like swiss cheese because a couple of kitchen staff members took their anger out on the wall, rather than their chef. It happens.

Ramsay may be the extreme - but yes, it's TV. I missed a good portion of the show, but what I saw I enjoyed. I don't know if I enjoyed it as much as his Kitchen Nightmares, but I have to see it a couple more times to decide.

If he was a kind, nurturing chap would people watch and would FOX want it? Probably not. That's not the type of show they're trying to put out there.

I'll try watching it again and take it for what's it is - entertainment.

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By the way: only in LA.  If he's all that, why doesn't he do it for real in, I don't know, maybe in Anacostia in Washington, DC or stay on the West coast and do the real deal in Compton, where he actually stands a chance of someone he "shoves" kicking the living shit out of him.  Now, I would pay to see that.

Uh..He's doing it in New York later this year.

Fantastic! But, what part of New York? Can we say, Crips, Bloods or MS-13? And how much do I have to pay!? Let all who want to, enjoy; but I think I had enough after one hour of this. I guess I just don't have the temperment for that kind of behavior. It's genetic. GR should have met my mom, Mabel. Lawdy. :biggrin:

Look forward to seeing your show debut on the 25th of July.

-- Peace, Love and Hairgrease..............................


Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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Professional chefs have enough problems getting food out to the dining room. How could what happened have been a surprise? I was morbidly curious and couldn't take my eyes off. When it was over, I mourned my wasted hour. GIVE ME A REAL PRIMETIME BROADCAST NETWORK SHOW ABOUT FOOD!!!

If you look back on the prerelease material from FOX they clearly did not want a food show. You do have to ask how much of the show is edited out. I can’t see any chef worth his knife roll berate people without telling them how to correct the dish.

Even with the cheese factor there is only so many ways to present the “reality” format. Someone already mentioned that the PBS show is more realistic and I would agree that it does show what can go on in a kitchen. Both the good and the bad.


Living hard will take its toll...

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I thought it was maybe kind of telling that when they gave the contestants 45 minutes early on to prepare a "signature dish", the two that made me kind of chuckle -- the turkey tacos and the chicken parmesan -- were both done by the home cooks and Gordon actually liked both of them (well, he criticized the plating of the turkey tacos but said the flavor was pretty good).

It seems he was harsher on the “professionals than the amateurs. I guess this is like a drill sergeant taking the gung ho types down a peg or so. Feed the needy and crush the ego!


Living hard will take its toll...

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I only caught the last 40 minutes of the show, so I guess I missed out on the introduction to the contestants, etc.

At no time did I actually think "Hell's Kitchen" was an actual restaurant, or that the people waiting 2 hours for their dinners were paying customers. I just took the show for what it is--an hour of cheap entertainment with little educational value  (based on the first show), peppered with Ramsey's infamous tirades. The show was fun, and I enjoyed it. I don't think every show on TV needs to be informative, "real", or PC. Sometimes, I just want to see someone being lambasted as an "overgrown muffin".  :laugh:

Large restaurants often have an invitation only night or whole day where everyone eats for free. It is to test the staff and kitchen before the actual opening. I was assuming that is why those poor people were waiting so long for their food. Hopefully their drinks were free too!

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i'm sorry, but he's only being compared to Cowell because he's british and insults people without remorse.

He grew up in England, but actually he's Scottish. But yeah, FOX will milk the "British but rude" thing as far as they can.

At no time did I actually think "Hell's Kitchen" was an actual restaurant, or that the people waiting 2 hours for their dinners were paying customers.

That's key. No doubt there were viewers watching who were outraged on the customer's behalf. But the more cynical of us know that those people were drafted--probably dragged off a studio tour or something, made to sign waivers, were given explanations that they'd wait most of the night and might not even get food, etc. Okay, maybe we should still be outraged, but honestly, this was just a restaurant full of people hoping to get on TV.

You have to admit, the name, attitude and look of that guy Dewberry is better than anything Hollywood could dream up.

I kept calling him "Mayberry" in my head. :laugh:


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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i'm sorry, but he's only being compared to Cowell because he's british and insults people without remorse.

He grew up in England, but actually he's Scottish. But yeah, FOX will milk the "British but rude" thing as far as they can.

In the opening credits they mentioned something about him being raised on the streets of Glasgow...I'm sorry, but anybody raised on the streets of Glasgow has a very very thick burr that NEVER goes away. (Family members and friends that have been in Canada for 30-40 years still have it) It seems to me that FOX is trying to portray him as this street wise thug from the inner city.:laugh: He's a very good chef and he's a perfectionist. I can understand the abuse when you are watching somone butcher something that you created. I would be the same.

I did enjoy the first episode, and I had a great laugh. I'm looking forward to the next one.

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In the opening credits they mentioned something about him being raised on the streets of Glasgow...I'm sorry, but anybody raised on the streets of Glasgow has a very very thick burr that NEVER goes away. 

I did enjoy the first episode, and I had a great laugh.  I'm looking forward to the next one.

While his parents are Glasgow natives and GR loves Rangers football, Stratford-upon-Avon (where GR grew up) is hardly a Glaswegian suburb. It's in the middle of England (not so far from Birmingham and Coventry)!!! No brogue there.

So are two brigades going to keep serving six tables each until both sides are attrited enough to merge into one? :hmmm:

- CSR


Edited by C_Ruark (log)

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

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i think the funniest thing about the show is that he is really like that. I know alot and i mean alot of people who have worked for him in england. This is exactly how he is and much much worse. He screams, bullys, and even hits his employees. He sais things like that to guests. Im not saying the show isn't somewhat fake or made to be more dramatic. I think they are just playing of his history of abusiveness.

Thank you, chop, well said and done.

I saw Ramsey yesterday on 'Charlie Rose' and he really told it like it is.

He's not doing anything to anybody that truly wasn't done to him when he was an apprentice at Robuchon (sp) or anywhere else he trained and he believes (rightfully,imo) that that kind of training turned him into a right old CU.., I mean, a Michelin starred chef.

He told a great story about Robuchon throwing a plate of scallops and it's accompaniments at him and putting him in charge of staff meal the next day for a considerable time.

Said he made the best staff meals ever, the staff loved him for how he made their food as good as he could, because he cared.

He said now that when he gets a NFG he gives them "the trimmings" and if that person turns out something decent, he feels like he's looking at some talent.

He was pretty good at handing out compliments to the people who deserved them, genuinely impressed him who surprisedly WEREN'T any of the cook/chefs in the cast.

The worst thing to do is tell someone like him "I'm an executive chef".

Fucking better cook your ass off then, champ!!!

It's all a bit Survivorish to me too but, I LOVE this guy, as Bourdain said, I think, "he's a chefs chef", and I could watch all of the shows in a row.

My wife and I laughed our asses off, she wants me to try to get on the next season!!!

I've worked for some CRAZY people in my life, could be a laugh.

I kind of miss the screamers, it all has gotten a bit PC now.

In French run kitchens, I've seen people get decked, thrown down, fistfights ( i was in one), and of course, a lot of full bore yelling :laugh:

Forgive me if someone else posted about the Charlie Rose show, I haven't read the whole thread.

Have to add this: Sorry to say, I watched 'Cooking Under Fire' the other night and was truly offended by it.

I used to depend on PBS for decent cooking shows like 'Great Chefs of...', indeed, that's what got me to consider cooking for a living in the first place, and now, you have three great guys, one of the best food writers on the planet, two more then talented chefs, handing out saute pans and "86ing" these cooks??? For using too much salt or something?

Talk about Survivor!

This is what would make it much more amusing or entertaining to me, would get it on Fox, where it too belongs, and really elevate it to the truly great trashy TV genre that is all of the "hallmark" reality TV shows like 'Big Brother' and the like.

When they're "86ing" the offending cook, light the saute pan up like a gong, Motley Crue style, with a decent cognac, used for deglazing some wonderful lobster dish, something like that, and bang the cook over the head with it!


2317/5000

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I thought the R. Lee Ermey-style dress down at the beginning of the show with the spitting out of everyone's food was a BIT too over the top, but as for the rest of the show, its Ramsay being Ramsay, although clearly some of his performance was at that, a performance for the cameras. There's no way he could expect that night being anything other than a total disaster, though -- the people they picked are woefully inequipped to work in a restaurant kitchen of Michelin-class caliber, let alone a Denny's. But lets face it, It wouldn't be much fun to watch and make as good artery-busting Gordon-on-fire audiovisual vignettes if they picked an entire staff of line cooks from decent NY and LA restaurants.

I would have liked to have seen the folks undergo more realistic training prior to the "opening", like that guy did in the UK version of "Faking It" but then again this is American television.


Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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I thought the R. Lee Ermey-style dress down at the beginning of the show with the spitting out of everyone's food was a BIT too over the top... But lets face it, It wouldn't be much fun to watch and make as good artery-busting Gordon-on-fire audiovisual vignettes if they picked an entire staff of line cooks from decent NY and LA restaurants.

He said now that when he gets a NFG he gives them "the trimmings" and if that person turns out something decent, he feels like he's looking at some talent.

JP,

You thought the opening intro/dress-down has over the top? Is there a better way to expose the cast and demonstrate GR's expectations/level of standards?

Hmm... looking back, it would have been much more fun to give each "a plate of trimmings" and let them have a go.

[Question for all: what devilish little surprises would you throw on the trimmings plate? I'm thinking something like a live salmon, still flopping on the counter. That would set a nice "you've got to be prepared to cook anything" tone.]

As for the structure of the show, the cast is getting off pretty light with two complete kitchens being assigned six tables each. That's not asking a lot (yet). Hopefully, they

increase the tables in some fashion as the kitchens succeed in sending more covers.

I just don't see the winner being able to survive as a newbie in the kitchen... non-cooking owner/manager maybe. But definitely not there when the line's getting slammed and the pass-through looks like the Beltway at rush-hour.

- CSR


Edited by C_Ruark (log)

"There's something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic." - Bourdain; interviewed on dcist.com

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For what it's worth...

AT the time they were making the show last fall everybody involved - all the execs from top to bottom, the consultant British producers, ramsay himself - made it clear to me this wasn't going to be a food thing. Like so much out there this kind of thing is never likely to satisfy the majority of people who post on egullet, though it is fun to watch Paula hyperventilate about the damage being done to the 'culinary arts' like it's the fall of the western empire.

It's reality tv. A bunch of people signed up for it. Nobody died.

Though somebody in there did make me a rather impressive pannacotta.


Jay

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