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Hell's Kitchen this season - I'm out

southernitalian Apr 1, 2008 07:08 PM

Who are these people and why are they putting up with this crap? This is a Gordon Ramsey egofest and I don't care to watch. His vomiting tonight set the tone for my uneasiness and the rest was downhill. There's enough misery in the world, I don't need this swaggering, foul-mouthed bully to add to it. Not watching anymore. Thanks. Out.

  1. LindaWhit Apr 1, 2008 07:19 PM

    While I was looking forward to seeing what might be offered, this seems to be the same old, same old, including previews of next week's episode where they go digging in the garbage from tonight's non-service to see what they've wasted. Nothing's changed, except the menu, and it seems like the contestants were pulled from the bottom of the barrel. Highly disappointing.

    1. l
      Lizard Apr 2, 2008 01:09 AM


      In defence of the swaggering bully. An interesting piece that in no way contradicts your decision to bow out of watching the American show.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Lizard
        kelarry Apr 2, 2008 01:41 AM

        Lighten up! It's hilarious! It's no different from the previous seasons, & if you are uncomfortable you certainly shouldn't watch. I agree the contestants seem picked from a shopping mall food court, but THEY signed up for this & are adults. Kitchen nightmares shows Ramsey as an inspiring motivator helping failing restaurants to consider new ways to appeal to the people. It is much different from Hells Kitchen, & shows his charisma despite his iron fist. A classic example of tough love. Taken with the same grain of salt as any other reality show, I find Hells Kitchen entertaining. Maybe a reason for the overdose of mediocre food in America is because no one is yelling in the kitchen.

        1. re: kelarry
          Lizard Apr 2, 2008 01:54 AM

          Huh? Why are you telling me to lighten up? I have no position and am just offering a link to an article.

          1. re: Lizard
            kelarry Apr 2, 2008 02:00 AM

            Not you! I was responding to the original poster!

          2. re: kelarry
            Firegoat Apr 2, 2008 04:41 AM

            I admit to finding it entertaining too. It's my one (public) guilty pleasure. A friend of mine works with Bobby on the show. He's actually a very good and respected chef in "the real world."

            1. re: Firegoat
              LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 07:02 AM

              Then why would he act like an idiotic doofus on the show? For the "drama"? He didn't help out his team, literally walking away from them and left them to fend for themselves.

              1. re: LindaWhit
                Firegoat Apr 2, 2008 05:50 PM

                Well keep in mind the editing. The show is for entertainment... its more fun to show people looking like blithering idiots in the beginning and "growing" later in the show.

                1. re: Firegoat
                  LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 05:58 PM

                  Yes, I completely understand the premise of the show. And Bobby could have been voted off (in fact, he probably should have been canned by Chef Ramsay.)

                  However, I repeat my question - WHY would you want to act like a complete doofus on *national television* and not help your team? Why would you want to present yourself as incompetent and not a team player to potential employers? Sorry - just doesn't make sense to me.

                  1. re: LindaWhit
                    ChinoWayne Apr 2, 2008 06:25 PM

                    "WHY would you want to act like a complete doofus on *national television* and not help your team?"

                    I started asking myself that the first time I saw the Jerry Springer Show.

                    I think some people just cannot resist the allure of appearing on national TV, somehow in their twisted minds they think that by appearing on TV, in any context, that they have "arrived" and are now one of the cool ones. They just can't resist the thrill, sort of like an auto-erotic episode, masterbating themselves with a plastic bag over their heads.

                    1. re: ChinoWayne
                      LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 08:04 PM

                      LOL! One helluva analogy, ChinoWayne, but I got it. :-) It still boggles the mind, however.

          3. re: Lizard
            MeAndroo Apr 2, 2008 08:22 AM

            Interesting article, and I don't know how someone could NOT notice the difference between the US and UK versions of Kitchen Nightmares if they've ever sat down and watched them. I had more or less chalked it up to most of the UK versions being older and Ramsey just getting a bit annoyed with the American restauranteurs...who were all VERY deserving of his ire, btw. But the folks on HK seem hand-picked to fail in a way that you're not sure how much of it is them and how much is the situation.

          4. bigmackdaddy Apr 2, 2008 06:51 AM

            I'm all for the foul mouthing, etc,. It's the disguise part I thought he jumped the bouillabaisse.

            1. j
              jackbauer Apr 2, 2008 06:54 AM

              It certainly offers a nice contrast back-to-back nights between Hell's Kitchen and Top Chef...

              1. s
                shallots Apr 2, 2008 07:14 AM

                Last night I watched Last Restaurant standing, because I've started to care about the people. (Sadly, Last Restaurant isn't much about the food.) Then I turned to Fox for their early news at my remote intercepted the end of Hell's Kitchen. And I caught the preview.
                And then and there I decided I hadn't missed a thing. That, to quote a British friend, "I didn't need the aggra."

                1. jfood Apr 2, 2008 07:24 AM

                  This will be the antithesis of Top Chef this year. When they introduced the contestants you could see the little white balloon on jfood's mouth and the bleep coming from the couch. Where did they find these people?

                  And at each of the "signature dish" presentations, jfood could only think, please don't eatthat, but alas GR decided to give it a whirl. And eating the raw stuff deserved the reaction, interesting TV.

                  But in the end the show was a complete disaster, other than embarassing entertainment. It almost appeared that Fox wanted to use a little of the "Moment of Truth" demographics on HK.

                  So Idol was bad and HK was worse. Oh well, tonight is TC and Le Coq vieux.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jfood
                    maisonbistro Apr 2, 2008 09:10 AM

                    Jfood, check out MaisonBistro's post in the other HK thread here. Why did they decide to take this show down that road. I mean, the past seasons had questionable characters, but still with some ability to cook or some kind of TV appeal. But this cast of characters doesn't inspire any rah rahing.

                    And AI - OMG, glad that's over with. A plot to keep Kristy in the show????

                  2. dave_c Apr 2, 2008 09:43 AM

                    The show is playing up the fact one of these cheftestants will become an the executive chef in his LA restaurant. Did the previous winners become executive chefs as promised? It just seems very risky for Ramsay to select on of those knuckleheads.

                    The producer's probably select based upon personality and conflict vs cooking ability.

                    It would be great if the narrator would be more Madden-like explaining what the chefs are making and how the different chefs contribute to get the dish out. Also, the telestrator and the clicker would add to the campiness of the show.

                    "Gordo takes the rubbery chicken. Fakes toward the ground but throws upfield. BOOM! Hit's the broiler [circle chicken splat on handle] and [draws dashed lines] bounces of to the floor here [circle chicken on floor]...[use clicker to reverse motion and proceed with slow motion replay]"

                    "Jason is making risotto at this station while Mr Dad is holding scallops in his hand here. Bobby is juking and reversing direction here. The team has blown the play and the captain is running the other way. It's utter chaos, Pat."

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: dave_c
                      LindaWhit Apr 2, 2008 09:55 AM

                      "Also, the telestrator and the clicker would add to the campiness of the show. "
                      Ok, now THAT would make this show worth watching, dave! LOL

                      1. re: dave_c
                        chileheadmike Apr 2, 2008 10:01 AM

                        Excellent post, really funny.

                        Only problem is I don't want to see any of those clowns cook my 8 legged turkey.

                      2. jfood Apr 2, 2008 10:31 AM

                        OK let's have a littel fun. Let's assume (hey jfood is an economist by training) that the producers are really smart (again a good leap of faith) and are making social commentary on the various people-doms of life. As the father (definitely not stay at home) who makes dinner most nights here is... "jfood's outrage."

                        Drum roll please.......

                        How dare the producers take the seriousness out of men who, through choice or no fault of their own, have decided to stay at home and each day prepare a wonderful meal for the family. The total and complete dufus that they chose, first of all, should not be a reject from the "Hair Club of Ameica." What's with the toupee that he places Grecian Formula into, choose one or the other, not both please. Yo, producers that's not fair, the guy representing this social class is a total loser from half a city block away, c'mon you could have done better blindfolded in the produce section of A&P at 1130 any day of the week. Then his signature dish would make most kids go to the freezer and grab some toaster pizza and try hard to burn the roof of their mouths so they wouldn't taste Dad's "Signature Dish." Well at least the other guy's made GR throw up. Then the producer showed the stay at home dad several times just standing there with rows of scallops on his palm, acting more like deer in the headlights, with the every now and then cameo of the previously ruined scallops. Then to add insult to injury the dufus-dad throws himself under the bus. Question - How many scallops did you throw away, 25? Answer - No, 30. Come on, every real guy that grew up on the playground would have answered Nah, not that many. And then the poor dad-at-home gets the ax. This is an affront to those wonderful men who stay home, take care of the children and cook for their meal-tickets. If this were a Mommy at home this would be an NOW-outrage.

                        BTW - all the above is in jest. :-)))

                        And jfood could probably do a dufus-rage commentary for each of them. Hmmm, maybe if he decides to watch another show he might, but chances are something else will be better entertainment.

                        1. l
                          LStaff Apr 2, 2008 11:02 AM

                          I am really liking how this show is developing...now it's more of a spoof on all these serious cooking contest shows while making fun of themeselves at the same time - its a charicature of its original season. I don't know if this is the producers intent, but I think its highly entertaining. The more Ramsey yells and the less talented the cooks are, the better imo. Before I felt a little uneasy watching somewhat talented people who would otherwise be ok cooking outside of the TV show contest stress get belittled for almost no reason. Now I feel more comfortable laughing my butt off at things like the guy with the coke bottle glasses standing there like a deer frozen in your headlights with scollops in his hand waiting to fire them up. The more over the top Ramsey gets, the funnier. I thought they were going to jump the shark when Ramsey put on his disquise (how could you not tell it was him - they didn't cover up his trademark chin scars), but they went so over the top during the initial tasting that it didn't matter, it just seemed as they kept jumping the shark every minute to try to top themeselves. I can't believe that anyone would take this as a serious show.

                          But I also enjoy the contrast to see the human side of chef Ramsey on BBCA's version of Kitchen Nightmares. The one with the Irish restaurant with the drunk cook was an insightful slice of humanity.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: LStaff
                            Docsknotinn Apr 3, 2008 06:06 AM

                            I agree. I find it hilarious. How could you not laugh with bouncing basketball chicken and Mr.Mom with a bad doo standing around molesting scallops and not knowing which way to turn?
                            Mean while back at the ranch my understanding is that Gordo is supposed to be very good to work for and his staff on average stays with him a very long time.

                            1. re: Docsknotinn
                              ChinoWayne Apr 3, 2008 09:51 AM

                              You need to view the BBC version of Kitchen Nightmares, it shows you the real Gordon, and how good he does take care of people who work for him. Just saw an episode about a restaurant in Paris, where the owner (spoiled woman leaching off her father) tanked the place before Gordon got there, and tanked it after he left, but Gordon took the young cook who had been brought on when Gordon was turning around the joint, under his wing and brought her to London and gave her a job in his restaurant. Gordon really does give back to people who are honestly trying to make a go of it.

                              1. re: ChinoWayne
                                MMRuth Apr 3, 2008 09:52 AM

                                I agree - that show is much, much better.

                                1. re: MMRuth
                                  Docsknotinn Apr 3, 2008 11:23 AM

                                  Agree. I saw the Paris episode and I enjoy that show very much. I still enjoy Hells Kitchen but in an entirly different way. I do wish that they would do a season with people who can actually cook.

                                2. re: ChinoWayne
                                  Scrapironchef Apr 4, 2008 12:34 PM

                                  The BBC show, while much better than the one over here or HK, seems to be moving towards the American formula. Each new owner seems to be more combative and clueless than the last. The drama and editing seem to be ramping up to match the US level of unwatchability.

                                  I did like the way he treated the cook in the Paris episode, but I think we all saw the outcome for the resto coming all the way down the Champs Elysee. I think that the show would be more enjoyable if they chose restos that actually wanted to succeed, not hobby/ego shops.

                            2. p
                              Pincus Apr 4, 2008 12:07 PM

                              HK American is the Coliseum of cook shows. Some people like that approach to entertainment, I don't.

                              1. meatn3 Apr 6, 2008 11:02 PM

                                The scariest part was GR in disguise - he looked like he was auditioning for a B movie ax murderer part!

                                It would be interesting to learn how the participants are picked. It does seem to be based on creating a mix waiting to implode rather than an assortment of experienced professionals.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: meatn3
                                  Firegoat Apr 7, 2008 03:27 AM

                                  According to some contestants, for many of them it involves a series of interviews, one of which is a cooking talent demonstration.

                                  All of the contestants on this season are either trained cooks or working/have worked in the industry -- despite the spin that is put on them by the show.

                                  For example, even Dominic, the "stay at home Dad" graduated top in his class from the Florida Culinary Institute in 1996 and worked in the banquet kitchens at PGA National Spas and Resorts in Palm Beach County before he took time off to take care of his kids. He currently owns/operates a catering company.

                                  The editing makes them seem much more inept than they are. Although... I can't get over that white chocolate, raw scallop dish.....

                                  1. re: Firegoat
                                    RBCal Apr 7, 2008 08:29 AM

                                    The white chocolate scallop dish isn't that much different from the Salmon with wasabi and white chocolate which was the winner on Top Chef last week.

                                    IMHO, Ramsey only likes standard boring fare. Anything which doesn't conform to his boring palate he doesn't like.

                                    1. re: RBCal
                                      Docsknotinn Apr 7, 2008 09:12 AM

                                      ????? The dish on Hells Kitchen was a disgusting chopped up mess of raw venison, raw scallop, white chocolate, caviar and capers. That was beyond sick looking.
                                      The white chocolate, wasabi and celery root on Top Chef looked amazingly good for as odd as it sounded.

                                      1. re: Docsknotinn
                                        RBCal Apr 7, 2008 10:23 AM

                                        "looked" doesn't = taste

                                        Ramsey's main interest is self promotion not food. Hell's Kitchen is closer to Survivor and Ramsey's food probably tastes closer to the cooked rats on Survivor than to the dishes on Top Chef.

                                        1. re: RBCal
                                          Firegoat Apr 7, 2008 10:44 AM

                                          And you're basing your evaluation of his palate on what? Have you eaten at his restaurants? Bought and tried recipes from his cookbooks? Just curious if you've had that experience, or you're just judging him based on the fantasy editing of Fox tv.

                                          Btw, on both the post show interview with dominic, as well as a talk with a friend who works with Bobby who is a contestant on the show, indeed.... Ramsey did vomit that dish. It wasn't a trick of editing.

                                          1. re: RBCal
                                            LindaWhit Apr 7, 2008 11:26 AM

                                            Ramsey's main interest is self promotion not food.
                                            ??? Someone who's had 5 restaurants (I believe that's the right number of restaurants) earn one or more Michelin stars (including his new restaurant in NYC) is most definitely focused on the food.


                                  2. r
                                    RBCal Apr 7, 2008 05:38 PM

                                    Yes, watching Ramsey vomit definitely furthers the quest for good cuisine. He's a real maverick. Do you think that next season the contestants will convert both his verbal vomit and actual vomit into a culianary treat?

                                    Yum! Yum!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: RBCal
                                      Scrapironchef Apr 7, 2008 06:29 PM

                                      Vomit Wellington? Seems he has to do a wellington at least once a season. Did we really need a technicolor yawn to get that the food was bad?

                                    2. s0memale Apr 8, 2008 06:29 PM

                                      Such a shame, such a great reward for chefs who don't deserve it. Top Chef is so much better, too bad they dont get to cook in one of Ramsays resturants as a prize...

                                      1. c
                                        chrissytine Apr 8, 2008 10:38 PM

                                        It's hard to believe they even tried to choose qualified contestants. I almost feel the show is making fun of people with subtle disabilities. I'm not a super PC person but it does seem mean spirited. The first few seasons I was all for the yelling/abuse because the contestants were such boneheads. I wanted to yell at them myself (line cook training flashbacks!) But this season, some of them- especailly the men -seem borderline special needs.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: chrissytine
                                          rachaeln Apr 8, 2008 11:01 PM

                                          I cant even imagine a real, talented chef wanting to try out for this show. I have long suspected the contestants they choose really are the best of who's offering themselves up.

                                          I do know one of the waiters though, and he tells us that diners who offer to speak on camera are given free drinks...and a few lines to say...

                                          1. re: rachaeln
                                            Pincus Apr 9, 2008 11:47 AM

                                            Makes me wonder if the diners who ordered pizza in many seasons ago did it spontaneously, or whether some producer wandered over and said, "Psst! Hungry? Want some free pizza?"

                                        2. n
                                          ns1 Apr 16, 2008 02:08 PM

                                          Anybody know how to get on?

                                          I'd like to watch GR in action. Not so much the food.

                                          1. p
                                            phan1 Apr 18, 2008 11:30 AM

                                            I just don't get the contestants that they bring in. We are talking about someone who's going to be head chef of a huge upscale restaurant, and he brings in these losers? I'm sure any random number of us here could out-cook the contestants in there. But I guess this is supposed to be a rags to riches type of story...

                                            1. g
                                              grilledcheese Apr 18, 2008 02:21 PM

                                              The appeal of the show is pure Hitchcockian voyeurism. Getting to watch people be abused. It is obvious that the producers have chosen a cross section of dum-dums and nit-wits to compete. Not one of them, from what I can see, has the skills required to be an executive chef at a Burger King, let alone a GR resto (the supposed prize). The weakness of the show, of course, is that all those helpless ducks are all a bit too big and lined up a bit too closely to the howitzer of Ramsay's mouth. Still, it's a laugh.

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