HOME > Chowhound > Food Media & News >


Gordon Ramsey/Hell's Kitchen

I know. I know. We're not supposed to bash TV hosts or whatever, but...

I watched Hell's Kitchen for the very first time last night, and I have to say, it wouldn't be "Hell's Kitchen" if they kicked Ramsey out of it! WHY do talented people all too often think their talent entitles them to treat others like dirt? Talent is not a license to abuse.

Of the three Ramsey shows on various cable channels, I like "Gordon Ramsey's F Word" best. Ever seen it? Hard to come by. On that show, he interacts with people, is respectful of others, and shows an interesting sense of humor. On he other two shows, which includes HK, he storms like a lunatic tyrant, and I have no patience with that kind of childish self indulgence and lack of discipline.

Anybody else feel this way?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. "Raymond Blanc has hit out at “macho” chefs, warning that kitchen bullies could soon be sent to jail under new employment laws...."


    1. What surprises me is that Ramsay actually lays hands on the cheftestants--he shoves them around physically and throws things (hot things!) at them. I don't think OSHA would approve.

      1. There are quite a few threads already in existence discussing these very points you bring up. Everyone knows that he only acts up in HK for ratings and it's all a big show, and that his real personality comes through more in the UK version of Kitchen Nightmares or on the F-word. His US-based Kitchen Nightmares was exactly the same way. It's just a ratings ploy and smacks of direction and manipulation by ratings-hungry studio executives and directors.

        We only watch it for the entertainment factor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rockandroller1

          The first time I caught a UK Kitchen Nightmares, the difference was so striking I wasn't sure it was the same guy. Calmly explaining his concepts, taking the crews on fun little get aways to get them to bond as a team, and seeming like he genuinely cared...all behaviors rarely exhibited by the US HK Ramsay. And the US Kitchen Nightmares managed to find the most pig-headed and obtuse restaurateurs imaginable. It's still somewhat entertaining, but not nearly as heart-warming as some of the UK eps.

        2. I really enjoy the F Word, and do occasionally watch Hell's Kitchen. Love the parts about him raising the pigs, and naming them after the "What Not to Wear" hosts!

          1 Reply
          1. re: MMRuth

            I love Ramsay a lot, but ONLY after seeing his UK shows. Yes, he's a total tyrant on HK, but everyone posting here is right, it is all contrived by the studios and the producers for ratings. Especially for us here in the USA, who seem to be eating these shows up. In "The F Word" we can clearly see just how much he not only loves cooking, but also getting the best out of his brigade on any single day, but also how laid back and humorous he can be as he "challenges" someone in one dish a show. I just love the F word b/c I believe it shows the real Gordon Ramsay.

          2. i cant watch his show - he is too annoying.

            yes, i realize he may not be like that in real life, and his persona is an act to boost rating, but THAT is the very fact that annoys me: his shows are too melodramatic.

            1. I want to see the episode when someone finally snaps after all his abuse, and dumps some hot soup over his head. My teenage daughters love his show, and I am afraid that they are going to grow up thinking it's OK to bully and abuse people because you're the boss (or worse, that they have to accept bullying and abuse because they're NOT the boss). I understand it's an act, but it's not an act I want to see emulated.

              3 Replies
              1. re: KevinB

                Perhaps someone has snapped.
                The linked article says he's loosing his real life main assistant who gets to start his own restaurant with major backing.


                1. re: KevinB

                  All an act or not, the fact that he does it has to say something about Gordon Ramsey. Well, unless there is someone behind the camera holding a gun on him and saying, "Okay, now be abusive or I'll shoot you." And if I owned a restaurant in trouble, after watching his show on "rescuing" restaurants, there's no way I would hire him. I can't figure out what he's thinking. Or if he's thinking.

                  1. re: Caroline1

                    There is something to be said about giving someone the truth. If the chef and/or the staff/owner isn't cutting it, someone needs to come in and give them the cold hard truth, which is, what the show is supposed to be about.

                    Now, having said that, I see Ramsey doing more of that in his BBC show than he does in the American show. He is definitely a caricature of himself in the Fox mode. I also don't think he actually is solving problems very well, he seem to project what he thinks is successful restaurant FORMULAS on these restaurants without paying heed to what the owner's vision is of their restaurant.

                2. From his British shows, he seems fine to me -- perhaps not the easiest person to get along with, but his comments seem in line and fair. But Fox's Hell's Kitchen is really a joke. When I saw his Fox shows, I was hesitant to go to his restaurant in NY as I thought, "Can somebody who has debased himself to be on TV like this be any good?" This was before I learned of his reputation and saw his BBC shows. But even though I know who he is now, I can't help but feel like it's a bit cheezy eating at his restaurant. I don't think it will stop me, though, as it's on my list. But I think it would have been amped a few spots ahead if it wasn't for Hell's Kitchen.

                  1. From The Onion's TV Highlights for Hell's Kitchen

                    "Chef Gordon Ramsay holds a contestant's head over a pot of boiling water after she ruins a radish rosette."

                    That pretty much sums it up. I really like his Brit show and in ways I liked the U.S. version of KN, but this is just too freaking bizarre. I really liked on his Brit show how he explained and cooked some new, simple dishes and was even diplomatic at times. This show is just exploitation.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Pete Oldtown

                      But does he have to go along with it?

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        I'm sure that the money he gets from FOX is huge, or he wouldnt bother. Plus, for Americans who dont get BBCA on their cable systems, the Fox shows have given him profile in America that he wouldnt have otherwise. I'm betting that if you asked the AVERAGE American to name three chefs, they would name Chef Boyardee, GR, and would be completely stuck for a third. (Note that I specified average Americans, and not Chowhounds.)

                        1. re: Fydeaux

                          No, I'd bet that AVERAGE Americans would say Emeril Lagasse, Rachael Ray, and Sandra Lee. One out of three ain't bad. ;-)

                    2. According to the Nielsen ratings for the week of May 19-25, Hell's Kitchen was number 13 out of the top 20 shows. It had 11.44 million viewers