PDA

View Full Version : The Gordon Ramsay Thread


ringworm
11-04-2008, 12:07 AM
I love Gordon Ramsay. I don't think there is any personality in any medium that is consistently as enthralling to watch as he is. I've now watched the entire run of Kitchen Nightmares UK, four seasons of Hell's Kitchen US, and am caught up on the first season of Kitchen Nightmares US. I have yet to have a single, solitary moment of him doing anything on screen that I haven't been completely entertained.

Having just finished watching the last episode of Hell's Kitchen Season 4 like 10 minutes ago, I think that the US Hell's Kitchen might be my favorite of his shows, oddly enough. There is something fascinating to me about the brigade de cuisine system. Every season I picked my favorite at around episode 3 or 4, and except for the third season my favorite person won.

It's somewhat disappointing to read about what has happened to the winners of previous seasons not exactly becoming amazing cooking superstars, though.

Anyway, I love Gordon Ramsay.

Stiv
11-04-2008, 12:20 AM
Seasons 2 and 3 of Hell's Kitchen were really great, but the US Kitchen Nightmares is trash, and Ramsay knows it (and I believe has even gone on the record as saying so). This season it's gotten to the point where he's not even really pretending to care - he's clearly doing it because he loves money and hates bad food, not out of actually wanting to help people. My favorite was an episode last week where he got a table of priests to bless his food before he ate it, and then threw their meal in the trash when he found out they'd ordered the same (vile) thing that he had.

ringworm
11-04-2008, 12:22 AM
Yeah the US Kitchen Nightmares is fucking garbage. I think that's why I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Hell's Kitchen. I just sort of assumed that FOX would fuck that up too.

The main problem I have with the US Kitchen Nightmares is that it focuses almost exclusively on the douchebags who suck at running restaurants and not on how Ramsay is going to fix those restaurants, like the UK version did. Dropping Ramsay's voiceover was a terrible decision too.

Merus
11-04-2008, 12:50 AM
Watching US Kitchen Nightmares, I thought, wow, this looks like every other American reality TV show ever. They focused on "the human story" when the whole point is that you have an angry, swearing man put next to an incompetent restauranteur, and you have fireworks. We don't want the human story, the human story is "you can't run a restaurant but think you can. stop being such an idiot".

Although I did like the episode where they revamp an Indian restaurant in Times Square with a floor manager who's having one of the waitresses play with his hair then has the gall to say that he was doing nothing wrong as Ramsay was kicking him out the door.

Lumber Baron
11-04-2008, 01:01 AM
Dropping Ramsay's voiceover was a terrible decision too.
I never thought Ramsay's voiceover was all that great. He's much better live in front of the camera giving his thoughts off the cuff. It's better than the Fox narrator, but an actual good narrator might have been better.

I did get around to seeing the Channel 4 version, and it is much better. I thought it was interesting how the chef's are overwhelmingly the one's who get mad in the American show, while it's the managers and owners who take umbrage in the UK version.

Tomm Guycot
11-04-2008, 01:18 AM
Watching US Kitchen Nightmares, I thought, wow, this looks like every other American reality TV show ever. They focused on "the human story" when the whole point is that you have an angry, swearing man put next to an incompetent restauranteur, and you have fireworks. We don't want the human story, the human story is "you can't run a restaurant but think you can. stop being such an idiot".

pst! actually we do want the human story. It's why the BBC version is better.

Tavir
11-04-2008, 01:27 AM
Given Fox's relatively poor track record with reality shows (American Idol notwithstanding) and how silly the show looks on commercials, I was surprised to find that Hell's Kitchen is a pretty well produced and quality show. It's my desire to one day eat at one of Ramsay's restaurants.

Lumber Baron
11-04-2008, 02:01 AM
pst! actually we do want the human story. It's why the Channel 4 version is better.
They do have TV channels besides the BBC in England you know.

Phantoon
11-04-2008, 02:21 AM
They do have TV channels besides the BBC in England you know.

Allegedly.

Dizzy
11-04-2008, 06:20 AM
I was surprised to find that Hell's Kitchen is a pretty well produced and quality show.

Everything on Fox is overproduced. All their editors and sound editors must be doing eight balls of cocaine with the way they handle each show's content.

Gordon Ramsay is my hero... until he is caught with a little boy or girl in the back of a van or supports some right wing endeavors. Till then, his merciless, galvanic personality will always have me entertained. I thought cooking shows would be boring until he came along. I love how--in casual conversation--he lets his mouth run off with a chain of profanity, and the person next to him just stands there, blank-faced, wondering WTF is going on. He's like, and I'm making a light comparison here, a British Klaus Kinski (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaus_Kinski).

So far I've seen:

Boiling Point
Hell's Kitchen S1, S2, S3
US Kitchen Nightmares
UK Kitchen Nightmares
Small blips of The F Word

I like the US Kitchen Nightmares better than the UK one because while the latter is more like a good, informative documentary the US version is a damn circus with Ramsay cursing up a storm and butting heads with a bunch of idiots. I am waiting until Ramsay meets his match or runs into a situation that leaves him clueless (though usually he'll walk away and leave the people he's trying to help to wallow in their own shit). It doesn't seem like a lot of episodes are being produced for the US version so, eh.

ajr82
11-04-2008, 07:55 AM
I like the US Kitchen Nightmares better than the UK one because while the latter is more like a good, informative documentary the US version is a damn circus with Ramsay cursing up a storm and butting heads with a bunch of idiots. I am waiting until Ramsay meets his match or runs into a situation that leaves him clueless (though usually he'll walk away and leave the people he's trying to help to wallow in their own shit). It doesn't seem like a lot of episodes are being produced for the US version so, eh.

I do like the ridiculous circus aspect of the US one (The image of Ramsay standing in the middle of a parking lot with his hands over his head yelling "Billy!" at some Long Island white trash restaurant owner walking away from him never fails to make me laugh), but every single episode is exactly the same thing. The timing and the problems are identical from episode to episode.

Sprite
11-04-2008, 07:58 AM
He doesn't take his shirt off as much as he used to. I wonder why that is.

Dizzy
11-04-2008, 08:01 AM
He's always been a right fatty. Well, he's not as pudgy as he was in Boiling Point but now he looks less fat.

Phantoon
11-04-2008, 08:09 AM
He's an ex-footballer and does the London Marathon in a decent time every year. He must get through some serious food to still be fat.

Dizzy
11-04-2008, 08:42 AM
I didn't know he had a size 15 (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/adam_duerson/08/15/ramsay.qa/index.html) shoe. Fucking clown feet.

*gushes*

shivam
11-04-2008, 09:06 AM
Kitchen Nightmares UK is where it's at, personally.

My mom got to eat at his restaurant in paris a week after he opened it, so he was actually the chef in charge and on location for once. She said it was phenomenal.

Paul le Fou
11-04-2008, 10:03 AM
Gordon Ramsay vs. Anthony Bourdain

FIGHT

shivam
11-04-2008, 10:07 AM
Bourdain is a more entertaining writer and tv guy, but Ramsay can COOK.

Sven
11-04-2008, 10:43 AM
Yeah, Ramsay's obviously the better chef - and, of course, Tony will readily admit to that since he knows he's basically a line cook who happens to have a very exceptional talent for expressing himself.

Ramsay's new UK show premiered this week (I think it replaces F Word, since a lot of the magazine segments seem to have carried over in some form or another) - Cookalong Live, where he cooks a three-course meal in real time on live TV every week until Christmas, with the additional caveat that each one costs less than $25 for four people. First episode was pretty good - he did a Salmon en croute that is very similar to something my mom cooks, actually.

But... yeah, the US Kitchen Nightmares is pretty awful, since they're going after the Extreme Home Makeover sob story viewers and not the people who love the business / marketing side of things that makes the UK version such a hit. The best quote I've ever read is that the UK show makes clear how tough the restaurant business is by simply saying "okay, if you work your ass off and cut all the fat and eliminate your mistakes, you MIGHT break even." Whereas the American show throws around major renovations like candy and glosses over what happens after the fact (although they did do a "revisited" episode at the start of the season, which was good.)

lotusreaver
11-04-2008, 04:56 PM
If you haven't seen it yet, there are clips on YouTube from Ramsay's 'Fast Food,' which features him being nice and instructing you on how to cook delicious food from the studio kitchen in his home.

Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_B3QNu_Ks

EDIT: Oh wow. I didn't realize how similar this is to Cookalong Live.

Dizzy
11-04-2008, 05:02 PM
I see my future reading list being occupied with:

Humble Pie (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Humble-Pie-Gordon-Ramsay/dp/0007229674)
The Devil in the Kitchen: Sex, Pain, Madness and the Making of a Great Chef (http://www.amazon.com/Devil-Kitchen-Madness-Making-Great/dp/1596913614)

Unless someone reasonably differs.

ringworm
11-04-2008, 05:03 PM
Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_B3QNu_Ks
As much as I love angry, yelling Ramsay, I love his change-of-pace energetic, friendly bits more. I loved that he burnt the toast in that clip.

Sven
11-04-2008, 05:14 PM
If you haven't seen it yet, there are clips on YouTube from Ramsay's 'Fast Food,' which features him being nice and instructing you on how to cook delicious food from the studio kitchen in his home.

Example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU_B3QNu_Ks

EDIT: Oh wow. I didn't realize how similar this is to Cookalong Live.

I *think* that clip originally came with one of his cookbooks - I have it burned to DVD somewhere, even if I think he's completely insane for cooking the eggs that way (high heat = DEATH).

The F-Word was largely these type of segments, and there was a great Christmas Dinner special in a similar manner to this one. It's where the (Ingredient) (Action) DONE! catchphrase came from.

Dizzy
11-07-2008, 01:58 PM
Little boy Ramsey cussing up a storm (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxWMhtPAmEs).

Rice Cooka
11-07-2008, 03:00 PM
Yeah, Ramsay's obviously the better chef - and, of course, Tony will readily admit to that since he knows he's basically a line cook who happens to have a very exceptional talent for expressing himself.


Pretty much. Bourdain is an ok cook who can write like a motherfucker. Kitchen Confidential is one of the finest books I have ever read and I've gotten at least 5 people hooked on the Tony kick by lending them that book. And that's not even mentioning No Reservations, possibly the best thing on TV right now.

Gordon Ramsay is awesome but, I'll take Anthony Bourdain any day of the week. I love that man. Ummm... in a manly non gay sort of way.

Phantoon
11-07-2008, 04:36 PM
Heston Blumethal is good fun to watch. He's equal parts chef and mad scientist. He's obsessed with doing the perfect version of each dish and resorts to serious SCIENCE! to do it. He'll use anything he needs to fulfil his mad goals. NB you won't be able to repeat his stuff at home. An example:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jXrI1abeEg4

This man invented egg and bacon ice cream, and as such is clearly a genius.

Dizzy
11-09-2008, 02:45 PM
My favorite was an episode last week where he got a table of priests to bless his food before he ate it, and then threw their meal in the trash when he found out they'd ordered the same (vile) thing that he had.

I just saw this and thought it was funny.

I don't know what outrageous Ramsay moment ranks high, but I know from reading some bits from his mentor's (Marco Pierre White) autobiography what his outrageous moment was: some kitchen worker was feeling sick with a nasty sore throat, coughing and feeling woozy before White's restaurant was opening and White didn't want to fuss over it and take the man to the hospital, like you know, a normal human being. So he had one of his chefs medicate the man with some alcoholic beverage that calms him down and then forces him to work for the rest the day.

By night time or so, this man is shitfaced and he hits the floor unconscious. Again, not wanting to take the man to a doctor, they drag his twitching body outside the kitchen and leave him in the alley. A snowstorm suddenly rages outside, and after a hard shift everyone in the kitchen, including White, suddenly realize they left the man out there in the storm!

They drag him back inside the guy is suffering from an even more violent cold and the on set of hypothermia. I know Ramsay can abusive, but not like that. Hell, White has made Ramsay cry several times with his "bollocking," but watching interviews he seems calm, even serene.

Sven
11-14-2008, 03:23 PM
Found the third Cookalong Live pisode (the second seems to have vanished into the internet ether without hope of rescue), and aside from the "YES WE CAN!" joke at the start, I liked it a lot more than the first one.

Of course, not having the second one means my run of Recipe challenges is officially broken. :(

Next time (weekend of the 22nd) is apparently SEVENTIES NIGHT. Awesome.

ringworm
05-19-2009, 02:35 PM
Push it! (http://www.gordonramsayswearsatyou.com/)

Dizzy
11-28-2009, 04:56 PM
Even though Cracked is loathsome, they cooked up a good funny on Ramsay (http://www.cracked.com/funny-2941-gordon-ramsay/).

I wonder if the video surveillance thing is true.

wahoninja
11-28-2009, 09:03 PM
I love the BBC Kitchen Nightmares, and I love the American show, too. I love the American show because after working 11 years in a restaurant, I recognize every single type of person on the show. I think Gordon's brilliant in both.

Of course, my ideal is the American show presented with the BBC version's more documentary style, but the show's good where it counts, yer ask me.

NevznachaY
01-14-2010, 07:06 AM
Bought the Fast Food book for my Mom for Christmas. Read a bit; it seems awesome.

jeditanuki
01-14-2010, 08:15 AM
My wife and I are pretty big fans and in addition to watching his shows, we ate at his Michelin-starred restaurant for our anniversary. The food and the service were top-notch (as one might expect).

Also, he had a live prime-time special recently and I tried the steak diane recipe that he demonstrated on the show. It turned out pretty good!

Sven
01-14-2010, 08:17 AM
I mentioned it in the general thread - forgetting we had this - but for the love of god, find a way to watch the most recent series of The F Word.

Dizzy
03-12-2010, 08:30 PM
**Thanks mods! =)**

So, the latest episode of Kitchen Nightmares (U.S).

I think Ramsay found his worst restaurant with Casa Roma. I have to agree.

Issues:

Ugly, dirty interior.
A chintzy bar that was more dominant than the restaurant.
Bathrooms that were more like rickety outhouses.
Spoiled, rancid meat. Gross, unappealing food.
Filthy kitchen swarming with flies.
An extremely limited menu with spelling errors. The staff does not know how to spell 'dining' or 'Sicilian.'
Small staff. Two cooks tops with everyone else attending the bar.
Weak management disassociated from the staff. The owner doesn't have the audacity to shape things up, and she let's her blimp of a son hover around the kitchen, sipping on cranberry vodka drinks while waiting for anyone who needs his help.
A fat-headed chef utterly delusional about his ability to cook food or even work. Totally dismissed Ramsay's expertise: "3 Michelin stars, that's like what, 3 tires?" Took extra long cigarette breaks during the cooking of meals (along with a Red Bull, what does he need that for considering he's a lazy ass?) and kept threatening anyone who questioned him with fear that he might kick their ass. A horrible human being who probably suffers from advanced schizophrenia.

I don't why Ramsay bothered. Maybe he saw it as a challenge but it was more like an incomprehensible act of altruism. Most restaurants he reforms go from mediocre to great but this restaurant went from shit bucket to something resembling mediocrity. It wasn't even a restaurant, it was more of a bar. I highly doubt this place has survived--I believe this was the first showing of the episode but they filmed it in S2.

Thankfully he forced the owner to fire that godawful chef and hopefully every place he goes to cook for watches that episode first before they consider hiring him. The chef even tried to apologize after messing up yet again, because he knew Ramsay was going to have him pack his bags. What a lunatic.

Sven
03-12-2010, 08:33 PM
I saw it... and I dunno, the completely delusional pizza guy from the first season still wins out for me. His restaurant wasn't as bad, but he was about thirty times crazier.

This week's - I think, at the very least it aired in Canada this week - was a bit weirder, as the chef obviously wasn't going to change his ways once the cameras left, but the show still put a happy little bow on the entire episode.

Which is yet another reason why the US show is so horrible. The hands-down best part of the original is when they go back and see what the restaurants are doing months later, and half the time they're honest that the chefs just weren't capable. The saccharine inoffensiveness of the Fox version is pretty fucking insulting at the end of the day.

Torgo
03-13-2010, 02:13 AM
Casa Roma
I'm not sure what kind of schedule the show runs on, but I saw that episode a couple months ago. It's the only episode of the show I've seen, but yeah, that chef. Wow. Forget everything else, him getting canned was the sweetest kind of justice.

Torgo
03-16-2010, 01:14 AM
So I've started watching the UK Kitchen Nightmares. It's good! I like it a lot. Or rather, I would, if people on youtube knew how to upload a whole fucking episode. This is the second time in a row now I'm trying to watch an episode and I can't find a part in the middle, or that one part is inexpliciably blocked.

I realize I only have so much room to complain about watching copyrighted material for free, but it's kind of pissing me off. Is there any reliable place to go for full episodes?

Dizzy
03-16-2010, 04:56 AM
Not that I know of.

After watching the U.S Kitchen Nightmares episode on the Dillon's restaurant, I think that one was a bit worse than the Casa Roma. The whole place was crawling with insects, and stocked with spoiled food. I don't know how Ramsay managed to not vomit after finding out the lettuce he ate in one of the meals came from a bag that was more or less a fly colony. All that place really needed was a cleaning that toxic waste sites usually get and the firing of one lazy but harmless general manager. Unlike the Casa Roma which was not only filthy but staffed by a small crew dominated by a delusional, arrogant psychotic.

I find it hard to believe the camera crew (or anyone) would allow that one customer to eat a slice of rotten tomato. Didn't anyone notice the connection?

Merus
03-16-2010, 07:18 AM
The hands-down best part of the original is when they go back and see what the restaurants are doing months later, and half the time they're honest that the chefs just weren't capable.

I know I've seen a few from the UK one where they've come back and the owners went and made the same mistakes and went right back into the same trap they were in to start off with, and a memorable one where he goes back to find the place shut down. (Apparently the owner never really gave a shit, and when Ramsay turned up and told her that she needed to actually work hard to have a successful restaurant, she ignored him; and then she ran out of money. If you're going to have a restaurant where you don't need to do any work, you open a café.)

Dizzy
03-16-2010, 12:23 PM
You know who's cooler than Ramsay? His mentor Marco Pierre White. I was watching an old TV show where White was younger, and damn that guy treats cooking as if it were abstract expressionism. Food, man. Food. He's also the only man on the planet capable of making Ramsay cry.

Here's a few I caught (you can see young Ramsay without his pillowy brows in some of them):

Marco Cooks For Raymond Blanc (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-D8Wzqs-xc)
Marco Cooks for Albert Roux (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfbbY30vyL0)
Marco Cooks for Nico Ladenis (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv9DXQ7BReI)

Sven
03-16-2010, 01:28 PM
I assume you didn't see The Chopping Block during its brief tenure on NBC. It was pretty decent - sort of an American take on My Restaurant Rules with Marco as the sole judge.

And, again, you need to watch Boiling Point, which has a lot of Marco playing talking head and antagonistic mentor to Ramsay.

Dizzy
03-16-2010, 01:35 PM
I've seen Boiling Point and nearly everything Ramsay has done thus far on TV.

Matchstick
03-16-2010, 03:10 PM
There's a bunch of good stuff about Marco in Bill Buford's Heat.

lotusreaver
03-16-2010, 06:48 PM
No Ramsay thread is complete without a link to Young Gordon (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EteHpj94B7E).

lotusreaver
03-20-2010, 10:58 AM
Did anyone watch the most recent episode of US Kitchen Nightmares? Is this the first time in the US show's history that he hasn't spent (FOX's) money to remodel a restaurant?

Dizzy
03-20-2010, 05:38 PM
The Anna Vincenzo's? I saw the Mama Rita one and that didn't need to be remodeled at all considering it looked like a Spanish villa before Ramsay arrived and demolished the place with the force of his scream. Kidding. That episode was less Kitchen Nightmares and more Kitchen Tweaking, or Weeping since there was a ton of crying and not much remodeling and firing of staff.

I thought it was foolish of Ramsay to keep the head chef more or less in charge when he brought one of his own proteges to make the restaurant's transition from Chipotle to an actual Mexican restaurant possible. She was clearly incompetent and too used to simply warming up food at hyper speed so she could spend more of her time socializing. Dear god, though, why didn't anybody have the common sense to see that serving food that is TWO MONTHS OLD (even a YEAR OLD) wasn't a good idea? Maybe this is a cultural bias of mine, but I was afraid that the head chef was going to be deported/dejected to working at a cat food factory if she didn't hang on to her position, but thankfully that wasn't the case and she simply needed to be put in a position that better fit her skills (thoughtless, mechanical food production apparently).

I wonder why Ramsay is so strict about food needing to be served freshly cooked considering since there was a controversy about how one of his restaurants served frozen meals (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1171004/Theyre-freshly-prepared-Ramsay-defends-use-boil-bag-ready-meals-restaurants.html), and he waved it away saying "This is freshly prepared!" and how when he was working in kitchens as a young lad he served freshly prepared food all the time, so what's the fuss?

Brickroad
03-21-2010, 01:21 AM
Got my hands on Series One of Kitchen Nightmares. Good times!

Sven
03-22-2010, 11:40 AM
I wonder why Ramsay is so strict about food needing to be served freshly cooked considering since there was a controversy about how one of his restaurants served frozen meals, and he waved it away saying "This is freshly prepared!" and how when he was working in kitchens as a young lad he served freshly prepared food all the time, so what's the fuss?

From reading that, the deal was that they weren't frozen - just prepared off-site. Big difference. Basically, the same thing if you have anything prepped sous vide at a restaurant, albeit with transportation tossed in. But any chef who has, say, sous vide scallops on their menu will bag them early in prep and then cook them to order.

If it comes out that they weren't done same-day, then that's a completely different story and pretty much unforgiveable.

One of thing things in RKN has always been for chefs who can't handle a true a la carte menu - recall the guy running the pub at the end of season five - to do a dish that can be prepped in bulk, then kept warm and served individually. This is that, taken to a more industrial level.

Dizzy
03-26-2010, 04:42 PM
I saw it... and I dunno, the completely delusional pizza guy from the first season still wins out for me. His restaurant wasn't as bad, but he was about thirty times crazier.

You were right. That guy was possibly the most loony chef I've seen on USKN.

"No sir, our menu, that concept that baffles you? That's what we're famous for." Whaaaaa....?

And then when he said that his pizza--pizza that is composed of frozen ingredients that are not even made by him--will soon hit the market, you know that guy's brain was kidnapped by aliens and is being experimented on as we speak. Rupert Pupkin times 10. Thank goodness that place closed down shortly after that episode. Now all that needed to happen was for his family to send him to a psychiatrist. The signature FOX uplift at the end was a total sham because the psychotic chef was throwing a hissy fit and needed to find some way to get Ramsay and his painfully logical restaurant management out of his face so he could go back to Narnia with his frozen food crap.