Hell’s kitchen

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Season 4 of Hell’s kitchen has started. I enjoyed the previous seasons a lot, and I am always looking forward to hear some screaming from Gordon Ramsay.

Obviously, the show is based on the rudeness of the famous chef. “You f… donkey!”, “You useless pig”, “Get the f… outta here!”. All this poetry is always said with tons of confidence, high volume, and a look that kind of show that the guy is not joking.

Personally, I love it. Not that I’m a big fan of bullying, but because some of those candidates are so useless and arrogant, that they deserve a little kick in the butt. I mean, for those who are watching the show, what do you think of the 4 stars general? The guy is such an arrogant jerk that he should just get kicked out.

I was reading recently a book from a guy who had served in a French restaurant 20-30 years ago. That was the time of the old guard of French chefs: Bocuse, Blanc and consorts. He was explaining how all of them were bullying their sous chefs and other folks in the kitchen. It was no fun times, but it was the cost of perfection. Or at least their idea of it.

Times have changed. And today, this would probably be perceived poorly. I was actually witnessing a kitchen functioning at SPQR in San Francisco, and it was so quiet, smooth, polite, precise, that I was surprised. I actually thought of Ramsay and had a laugh. So of course SPQR is no 3 michelin stars restaurant, but still, I was very impressed. The kitchen at French Laundry were not very noisy either…

I actually have a hard time to believe Ramsay’s behavior in his shows (because those are shows after all!) could be reasonably imported into most restaurants. It definitely was in the past, but find it hard to believe that it would be the case today. He’d get sued in a minute.

Talking about that, I’m pretty certain that all candidates of Hell’s kitchen sign a contract before hand to guarantee they are not going to sue him and accept to be victim of his bullying. Ramsay can then let it go, and come up with quotes such as “she has a good attention to details, unfortunately, for her make up and not her cooking!”…

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