Chef Ramsey is one of those public figures that seems to inspire the amateur psychologist in us all. Bully, failed jock bitter at how that turned out and angry at the world, passionate perfectionist, dedicated father and husband, electra complex with MPW subbing for Daddy, and on and on. You'll never get the measure of a man from from controlled, edited and, yes, scripted television. Its a mug's game to try.
As for the potty mouth thing, well, I have one too. Not proud, not ashamed, its the vernacular. Most people don't find this upsetting or offensive because they understand that I might as well be saying "Boy Howdy" or "Great Ceasar's Ghost" (actually, I've got to make a point of using that more) for all the weight behind those words.
As for H's Kitchen vs. Top Chef:
TC certainly seems to have an air of respectability about it, mainly due to the caliber of the contestants. That said I find a few things really grating about the show. Firstly the shear amount of product placement is mind boggling. Its the TV (or film) equivalent of rim garnishing with parsley (curly). Crash, cheap, ugly and pandering.
The tone of the program also seems so...middle management. Its very cold and aloof. Some call it respectful. I guess so, but only in the way that getting fired from a job by a nameless HR official who you've just met is.
Finally, the stunt challenge thing. H's Kitchen will have amateurs trying to do something basic like breaking down chickens (badly). Top Chef features accomplished cooks using product from vending machines. As an intellectual exercise, fine. But really its like watching an olympic track team have to run in clown shoes. In the dark.
At any rate I'll retreat to the "this sort of conversation is healthy and helps to raise issues to the public that blah, blah, blah" type of post-script. If Ramsey is to have a lasting negative impact on the food world I fear it might be this: the Fried Egg garnish. I mean, in a couple of years are quail eggs going to be the new foam?