In defense of Gordon Ramsey
I've read how people don't like Gordon and how he's arrogant and egotistical but I think some of that comes from jealousy. He even listed in a story on this website as one of the most obnoxious chefs of 2011.
He yells alot. Yes he does no doubt about it. But I wonder if people hear whats he saying. When I manage a Wendys we had a District Manager that no one liked because she yelled all the time. They were actually scared of her. Then one day I actually listened to what she was saying not how she was saying it and it was all to make me and my employees better. She yelled because her family yelled when they spoke. Sometimes its not how you say it its what you say. My employees actually looked forward to her visits and my place was one of her favorites because we started to treat her like a regular person and listened.
He says you alot. Think about someone who has a big ego. Its usually I or me. I watched the most recent Kitchen Nightmares and nothing was about him. It was about making the restaurant better. The most negative he has ever been with a restauranteur was the Black Pearl who deserved everything they got and more.
He takes joy in someones success. He actually bounces around when someone does good, especially when they were having troubles before.
I know when he curses at chefs on Hells Kitchen but once again is doing it because they deserve it and should be doing better or is it for TV?
I'm not saying he's a perfect guy but I think he deserves more credit then he gets.
I always used to think that Ramsey shouted a lot because it was his onscreen persona. He's on television and you have to have a USP to be a success so being angry, shouty chef was his thing.
Then I worked in a kitchen for a bit. Nothing special, just a village pub where I was doing some pot washing and waitressing. There were two male chefs, one was the big guy who was in charge and the other was a bit lower down, a much younger lad. They were both great guys...outside of service that is. During work time, they could be so horrible. Yeah they shouted, yeah they told people off, yeah you would get in deep trouble if you messed it up. Sometimes I really hated working with them. But outside of service, they were so nice it was funny. They could be yelling at you all evening and then afterwards you might sit and have a drink with them like nothing happened.
Bottom line, I think some chefs get angry in the kitchen as a way of dealing with the pressure and time constraints of service. They get angry and loud because it's the only way they know how to keep everyone in else "in line". It doesn't mean they're not lovely people outside of work.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting Chef Ramsey and I have to say that I was surprisingly impressed by just how charming, disarming and gracious he was. Not what I expected at all.
I had always suspected that the crazy man persona was just that, a character make for TV, and I am now even more convinced of this. "Nice" just doesn't make good TV and I think he is a very shrewd businessman who feeds his public what they want.
jealousy? Surely you can do better than that. A lot of people don't like his persona. I don't get the rabid fan base that so often posts on chow in outrage over any criticism of him.
My understanding is that is the way he is in his OWN kitchens as well. I recall an interview with his former TV Maître d', Jean-Phillipe, and said yes, that's the way he is. I forget why, but for whatever reason, he commands respect of his staff, and they're usually with him for a LONG time. In fact, Jean-Phillipe is still with him as his Restaurant Director at Petrus in London (he's worked for Gordon since 1995).
While his method might not work for everyone, it does for GR. I'm OK with that. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to work for him. Or watch his shows. Does it gets schticky on Hell's Kitchen? Yeah, which is why I've stopped watching it. But it obviously works.
I agree - my husband works in a kitchen (just a local place) and is well used to high-pressure anger. He says it's pretty standard in a kitchen. Ramsay's method works for him, and exaggerating it works for his media empire. So be it. He DOES actually give information in his yelling, trying to improve whomever he is yelling at. I couldn't deal with it (I'd break out in tears every time) but I know better than to put myself in this situation.