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Ok, Who's Watching Hell's Kitchen?

  • s

Very entertaining so far, kitchen fires, an ambulence about to arrive, girls in bikinis getting drunk in jacuzzis, rummaging through dumpsters full of rotting improperly cooked food. I forgot how much more fun this is than Top Chef was.

Laurie

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  1. I am so glad you posted this, I almost forgot. This should be fun.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tracy L.

      Never heard of it - do tell more.

      1. re: Darren

        It's a reality show where contestants are vying for their own restaurant. Whether they leave or remain to compete further is up to Chef and egomaniac Gordon Ramsey. He basically torments them. Last summer I started off disliking the show but as the herd was thinned I really enjoyed it.

    2. I have to dissent. What I don't like about Hell's Kitchen is that it boxes Ramsay into repeating the same behavior every week. I also find it annoying to cast unqualified people and then have them screamed at for screwing up.

      I'm so enjoying this season of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC-A, where Ramsay doesn't have to be such a cartoon figure. It's as solid a depiction of running a restaurant, the kitchen and the business, as I've seen.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Dave Feldman

        I very much agree. I thought Ramsay was much more compelling and likeable in Nightmares.

        1. re: Dave Feldman

          Is that a new season of Kitchen Nightmeres? I didn't know there was a new one! I loved that show last year (or whever it was that I last watched it).

          1. re: ryan

            Yes, new season. The first two shows were absolutely wonderful. It airs at 9:00 P.M. (repeated at 1:00 a.m.) on Wednesday nights.

          2. re: Dave Feldman

            Totally agree, it's typical Fox to go for a cartoony presentation. In the end this show is really about selling ad space for the 24-35 y/o market. You'd be amazed how much clever editing can change your take on what happened. I bet we're seeing .1% of what actually happens. The cooks are probably not that bad, and Ramsay is certainly a better chef than the screaming maniac they show.

          3. Hello, it's one of my favorite junk/reality tv shows,largely because it exposes how demanding the work is in the kitchen,and how many of us and the contestants underestimate it. Those of us who've done some of the work enjoy insiders' chuckles.

            If the contestants this season truly have the backgrounds they tout, it also shows how poorly trained some "pros" are. The 'fishmonger' who said he knew his way around knives and couldn't produce a single properly trimmed and sized sirloin strip; the deli manager, personal chef, and caterer seem clueless in meal planning and prep. Almost every one of the twelve finalists failed to make a palatable "signature dish" in the required 30 min., even though they had to know from last year's show it would be their initiation. They appear to be cast for entertainment,personality, and appearance, with a few ringers mixed in, like the sous chef who seriously burned herself and was the obvious strongest member of the women.

            Last season's two finalists were two of the most experienced and trained, and it's hard to conceive that Ramsay will put a novice in charge of a multi-million investment, so I expect a similar ending. It's the treacherous twists and turns along the way that provide the entertainment. enjoy the ride

            16 Replies
            1. re: moto

              Based on last night's two episodes, I'm already betting on Heather. She certainly seems the most professional.

              Now, if she can only keep from burning off her other hand LOL.

              Laurie

              1. re: sivyaleah

                Ditto on Heather taking it all. And the tall doofus who got some of his signature dish into his baseball cap is my pic for most irritating - although sweaty Tom is a very close second. He did, however, do well in the meat cutting.

                1. re: Linda W.

                  I didn't watch all of it last night - mostly the second hour, and Heather seems to be the only one who has a clue. I'm a home cook and have never worked in a restaurant, but I don't understand why it is so difficult for them to get dishes out to the diners (or at least to Ramsey to then dump on them). I assume that prep work is done ahead of time, and I gathered that they had some time the day before to become familiar with the dishes etc. I'd be interested in reading comments from people who have cooked in restaurants as to why it has been so difficult for the contestants to achieve this.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Not a pro either but it seems one of the big problems is getting out all the apps and all the entrees out at the same time when they have different cooking times.

                    1. re: Homer J

                      Though, even as a home cook one has to do that ... and the items didn't look as if any one of them should take an hour took - which seemed to be about the average time to get a dish out. Not discounting the difficulty of their task - just curious.

                      1. re: MMRuth

                        You give your family/guest more than 1 option for appetizer and entree? You are a much better host than myself.

                        1. re: Homer J

                          No that's true - I don't - but they have 4-5 cooks cooking, which I don't, though I may have five courses that I have to juggle to get everything done at the prescribed time. Again - really just looking for information - not trying to diss anyone.

                          1. re: MMRuth

                            I certainly don't think you are dissing anyone and I'm not trying to be argumentative but in my opinion what I think causes the hold-ups is the fact that if a table orders 1 fish, 1 squab and 1 meat that all these entrees have different cooking times and to try and time all these to come out simultaneously is very difficult. It take a lot of communication and skill and most of the participants do not have enough of either.

                            1. re: Homer J

                              this is why the order/fire system works in restos. Didn't hear that being called when i watched last night....and i'm sure thats how he operates his line. just something to throw a twist into the whole works.
                              l

                              1. re: dkd

                                How exactly does the order/fire system work - does it differentiate between when the order comes in and someone yelling out "fire up the squab" etc., knowing how long it will take for each dish at the table to cook so that they all come out at the same time? Thanks,

                                1. re: MMRuth

                                  ordering xxxx-order is cooked till almost final prep/temp/etc...

                                  fire table xxx-dish is completed/warmed/plated/garnished/sauced/etc and passed.

                                  It's all about timing, especially when multiple courses are being served.

                              2. re: Homer J

                                I think you've hit the nail on the head in terms of the lack of communication - at least I only have to communicate with myself!

                          2. re: MMRuth

                            Well, the thing is that everytime they do the dinner elimination challenge, they're clearly doing it on the restaurant equivalent of a friday or saturday night, which makes it difficult.

                            I think the best analogy between cooking at home or for a small gathering and a restaurant is that memory game with the flashing lights and you have to repeat the pattern the device spits out... cooking at home is like repeating patterns with four buttons and squences of three, while in a very busy kitchen it's like repeating sequences of ten with six different buttons, and the next sequence is starting before you even finish pressing the first one.

                            One of the biggest chokepoints of kitchen efficiency is the number of burners and saute pans you have (ten burners aren't going to be of much use when you have 10 hot appetizers of four kinds and 20 mains all demanding your attention), how much mise on place you actually have in front of you (just because you prepped enough stuff for a hundred customers in one night doesn't mean they can fit it all right in front of you and you'll eventually need to go to the large walk-in fridge to grab stuff... now imagine doing that when the chef is still continuing to call out order after order and your stuff is cooking on the burner or in the oven), and the cooperation between stations (just because your fries are ready and already cooling down and getting soggy doesn't mean that well-done steak is done and the plate is ready to go), and when you have the chef being the expediter as well and (Ramsay in particular) sees that your limp, cold fries are sitting there like you threw them at the plate, then things are going to slow down.

                            1. re: Curtis

                              Oh, and assuming that the network wants more entertainment value, let's say they're seating everyone at the same time and people are ordering simultaneously... when the printing machine or the chef calls out orders without end, it can frazzle even the best of them.

                          3. re: Homer J

                            Hello, yes, once the basic competency issues are resolved, like the appetizer cook's inability to produce a single servable risotto in 90 min (every contestant should have known they should master this dish in advance, knowing the menu preferences from last season), and assigning the beef wellington to the salad chef who didn't cook an initiation dish, the biggest hurdle is "choreography".

                            Even when a bunch of dancers are competent, the only way they can crowd a floor without collision is following the same music with compatible movement. In Hell's K they're each off in their dyschorea to different rhythms, until a strong competent personality emerges to coordinate, which Heather did even as her hand bathed in ice water. The competitive structure also works against accepting a team leader, especially among the men. This is another reason why only a few contestants are really qualified and experienced--Fox wants to entertain with blunders and disasters, and you noticed there were obese men (one of whom had a hypertensive or diabetic crisis) but the women all got into swimsuits. enjoy

                    2. re: moto

                      If you watched the credits, it said the prize was being provided by Red Rock Casino and Resort, I'm not sure Ramsey will have anything to do with the restaurant.

                    3. I missed it, I had to watch the national rock, paper, scissors finals.

                      1. Ok, my beef with it is, come on.....out of all the signature dishes, he only compliments one? They really couldn't all be that bad. Same as last season....he doesn't seem "real" to me. Will I watch it? OF COURSE! I'm a sucker for reality tv, especially when food is involved....but they need to mix it up. You knew he would close the restaurant down the first 2 nights....it's a given like last season.

                        1. One more note - just checked the website - has anyone noticed that out of the 12 contestants, 6 of them are from TX, 5 are from NY/NJ, and the last (Gabe, who got booted last night) is from Chicago? Did they only hold auditions in NYC and Texas?

                          1. I do admit to watching it, but I do really hate reality shows.

                            I love how these freaktards always say "I am so bad. . .I can't be beat. . .just let Gordon try to mess with me!"

                            And then they wilt.

                            If I had the misfortune of being on that show, I would just listen and try my best.

                            But that does not make for good TV.

                            1. Finally saw both episodes. I'm green, here, didn't see it last time around. (Well, I saw part of one episode and honestly thought it was a joke...) Anyway, getting past Ramsey's tantrums (though when Heather burned herself I noticed he was much gentler, and it seemed genuine) the seeming incompetence of the contestants, etc, etc, is he seriously opening his restaurant to real customers??? Are they really chanting "we want food we want food" and waiting up to three hours before walking out? Is it all staged and/or are the customers told what to expect?

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: mw

                                hello, everything I've seen indicates that the customers do know what's in store, they're certainly dressed and made up like it, and there's lots of wine flowing. Can't believe anyone's ever paid for their partial (last season's later episodes actually had successful full meals) or completed meals. The "customers" who do get eats generally enjoy it, it's pricey stuff that met Ramsay's standards. Fox probably comps reservations and meals like tix to screenings and shows, and there's plenty of people who love the chance to be seen and heard on "reality" tv. enjoy

                                1. re: moto

                                  The "restaurant" is actually on a sound stage. So it's not like you could just walk in and order a meal. There have a few times when it was obvious that it's people hoping to break into show business. Like the guy who came up to Ramsay and asked a question. He was luckier than the girl last season who was told to get plastic surgery or something.

                                  I think Ramsay works off the bootcamp theory. Treat them harsh to get them into shape but know when to pull back and give encouragement. I also think he's told to ham it up for the show. An amusing guilty pleasure for 2 summers now.

                                  1. re: LisaLou

                                    He's definitely hamming it up for Hell's Kitchen. I watched Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC-America last night, and he's MUCH different. Oh yeah - the F-bomb is thrown around a few times, but nowhere near the number of times it is on HK. And he's truly concerned on KN in helping to make the restaurant a success. He seemed sorely disappointed when he went back a month later that the restaurant he had tried to help was closed two weeks after he had left by the large beer distributor/manufacturer investor.

                                    Either way - I still enjoy both shows. :-)

                              2. HK is definitely entertaining, but I think Top Chef was a great cooking reality show. I'll admit, I watched all of HK1, I was late to catching on with Top Chef, but when I caught up it was well worth it. HK2 is pretty good so far (the actual HK stage is down the block from me in this corner warehouse building). They building doesn't have HK up on the outside, but it did. Anyone in LA interested in driving by...it's located at Willowby (sp?) and La Brea.

                                But back to the show. I like the cute brunette...the one who's in love with Ramsey. But I think Heather will probably win out. It's very FOXy, but definitely entertaining and pretty enjoyable.

                                Speaking of kitchen reality shows, was anyone else a fan of The Restaurant? I've always wanted to own one, so it was really interesting watching every week. I still watch repeats every so often (I think they air on CNBC).