Hell’s Kitchen Left Me Cold

I’ll admit it. I am a fan of most things Ramsey. But too many strange things happened in Hell’s Kitchen this year and it’s left me feeling cold.

If you dig cooking competitions on TV, you should watch Bravo’s Top Chef, where cooking skills are a necessity and it’s not about finding the best entertainer. The contestants’ cooking skills are tested under tough circumstances, and if they don’t know their food…well, their time on the show is short and they’re told to pack their knives and go home. The contestants are often thrown together to work in teams, and the trick is to be a team player and to capture the spotlight. Never underestimate the ego of a chef.

There are three other similar shows: The Next Iron Chef, The Next Food Network Star, and Hell’s Kitchen. Michael Symon was chosen from eight contestants to be the next Iron Chef and the challenges were brutal. It’s not a regular show on the FoodTV Network for good reason: only few hold the title of Iron Chef. The competition is fierce and the reward is culinary immortality. Okay, so that’s a little extreme, but you get my point. I was hoping Chef Symon would win for his mad skills, but I also think he’s kinda hot. And well, hot does count for something.

In the Next Food Network Star, not only are culinary skills challenged, but also teaching skills and stage presence. You must have that certain *something* that finds its way through the camera lens and out to the viewer. And the reward is your own show on the Food Network. You don’t get a restaurant, but you do rub shoulders with some of the best in the game.

And then there’s Hell’s Kitchen. And at the center of it all is the enigmatic Gordon Ramsey. There’s no doubt the man knows his way around the kitchen, but it’s difficult for anyone else to be in there with him. There’s only room for Ramsey’s ego. As difficult as it is to be around him, I’d work in his kitchen any day. He can yell at me for hours and in the end I’d walk away with culinary skills and restaurant knowledge to rival the best. So on the show you fill a kitchen with a bunch of colorful, over-eager wannabe restaurateurs battling against each other to be the senior chef at one of Ramsey’s new restaurants. And then, if that’s not enough, you toss in one giant cup of Ramsey and stir. The winner of each challenge is not always clear, and often, it simply comes down to the whim of Ramsey. Frustrating…but it is his show and his restaurant.

This seasons’ competitors were not fun to watch. Highly annoying is more like it. Their culinary skills were weak and they didn’t play well with others. I was waiting for a hero to emerge, but alas, there was none. If he wants us to watch next season, he’s gonna have to pick better contestants or the show will continue to lose credibility.

Comments

One Response to “Hell’s Kitchen Left Me Cold”

  1. Valerie (Kyriosity) on July 12th, 2008

    I finished the last HK episode at about 2 o’clock this morning. I confess…Kitchen Nightmares was the show I recently blogged about where it was like seeing all my sins on the screen. HK was more of the same. So the series were fascinating in light of that, but I wanted to smack the lot of them in light of that, too! I was also utterly fed up with the fact that amid the hundred bleeps per minute for ugly language there wasn’t any bleeping for the hundred OMG!s that made up the balance of the contestants’ vocabulary.

    But I still really, really want to try that scallop dish. And they can feed me all of the steaks that were sent back as being too undercooked. I like ’em still mooing at me. ;-)




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