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hells kitchen

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
so i dont really have time to watch tv at night, but ive been catching some hells kitchen episodes on you tube lately. so far ive only watched the first season, it kindof irritates me, i can se the "survivor" quality in it, lots of drama and quick cuts. but i have to admit, it does kindof hit home and it intrigues me. i was just wondering what you all thought of shows like this.
post #2 of 24
A month or two ago there was some discussion about this topic, I think the thread was titled something like 'An open letter to Gordon Ramsay' It was a fairly active topic for a few days.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #3 of 24
It's amazing the cult of celebrity chef's that's taken over TV lately. It seems like I can't escape them. I found it interesting that even Rocco Dispirito made an appearance on The Biggest Loser. It would have been great to see Gordon Ramsey on the show, kicking some ***.
post #4 of 24

Biggest Loser was my favorite show and i cannot wait until masterchef but i think you all should check out losing it with jillian. it provides a very unique look at overweight families and jillian brilliantly shows them just enough tough love to help them reach a happy ending

 let me know what you think

jillian is a very powerful trainer/lifecoach

 

keep up the good work!

 

jesse

post #5 of 24

After hearing the guys at work going on about the last season of HK I decided to watch it this season and I'm not sure what to think. Alot of the contestants I would not hire if I interviewed them just based on how they present themselves, and well some would have been fired asap if they made it through the interview process and actually worked in the kitchen with me.  Apparently the winner has the top job at  Ramsay's new place at the Savoy and to be honest... I don't see any of the current contestants to be head chef material.  Maybe alot of it is acting to please the non-culinarly working public and the drama to keep people coming back but I'm giving it one more episode before I say forget it and do something else on Tuesday evenings. 

 

That just said I do enjoy Kitchen Nightmares.  Ramsay goes into these places and does his best to turn them around and that side of him I like to see.  He's helping these people see where they went wrong and showing them that there is hope and helping them to get started on the road back. 

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post #6 of 24

I just did a search on Hell's Kitchen here on cheftalk  at least ten different relevant entries on the first two pages. I've said everything I am going to about it on those......lol, it certainly sparks an opinion

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"In those days spirits were brave, the stakes were high, men were real men, women were real women, and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were real small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. "
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post #7 of 24

What's scary about Kitchen Nightmares is that he has no trouble finding restaurants whose owners & chefs haven't a clue.

 

Whatever happened to food handler certificates and health inspectors?

 

What really gets me is that these guys are in trouble. They invite him in to help. And then they fight with him, and insist that he doesn't understand the business.

 

I often wonder, when that happens, what keeps him from asking, "and just how many Michelin stars do you have?"

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #8 of 24

KYH that scares me too.. but there has to be some ineptness everwhere in order for some of the things he has exposed to go unseen. 

 

As for struggling places they are everywhere.  They go into it thinking it'll be a cakewalk and find out that they are in way over their heads.  Or.. they have a good place and it goes downhill to the point the sherrif comes and the place is permanently closed. 

 

 

I had one of those places around the corner from me.  It was started by a chef and his mom who are locals and their menu was home cooking and they at first did it very well. And when I say at first I mean in the opening months of this place.  This place was located right around the corner from my house and it is in a district that's undergoing some revival so the potential to succeed with the place was there.  After they felt they were established in the area things went downhill.   I had lunch there a few times and ordered different menu items that once were good  failed to live up to what I had had before.  For me the end was when we went as a family and were greeted by a doozy waittress who couldn't remember what I had just said to her.   I ordered a homemade buger with no egg as I am allergic.  I was snipply told that the chef could not do that, to which I replied.. all he has to do is add a little cream of wheat to the mix and add a tablespoon of ketchup so I would like my burger done that way please.  (cream of wheat was on their breakfast menu) I also asked for gravy on my fries.  I was served a burger that contained eggs and I knew that just by looking at it and I had gravy and no fries.  I sent it back, and asked for a blt and salad.  I was served a blt on burned toast (and burned was a theme as my family had burned food as well) and a sad looking stale salad.  I sent back the salad and asked for soup instead.. which also tasted burned!!   They tried to charge us for the food I sent back and I said no way... it was your error not mine and I am only paying for what we were able to eat.  We left no tip and we told them up front that we would never be back and we will tell everyone we know about how poorly we were treated when served food we could not consume.  Any other decent place would have bent over backwards and comped our meals and given our next one free.. not these freaks.  Not even three months later the place was up for lease and there is a sherrif's order on the door for all to see.  I should have smelled failure the last time we went in but my family wanted to try someplace closeby and well that was a huge mistake with this place.  

 

It was our first disappointment with local eateries .. I suspect many others had the same experience as we did.

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post #9 of 24

I've also heard from neighbours who have been to that place they were given the same reply I was when they asked for mods on their meal.   They've also been treated to burned soup, gravy and spaghetti sauce by the same place. 

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post #10 of 24

Of course there are struggling places everywhere, Leeniek. And folks who get in over their heads. That's why the failure rate on restuarants is exceeded only by that of new magazines.

 

But there are things that should be self-evident. I mean, if you've got mold growing on a hotel pan of something in the walk-in it shouldn't be a surprise that something is wrong. I bet the same "chef" who lets that happen would be the first one to toss a similar science experiment in his home fridge.

 

And there is no excuse for lack of cleanliness. None! I don't mean the stuff where Ramsey pulls floor equipment away from the walls; while it's unconscionable to me for things to go that far, I can understand why it happens. When you've left the weeds and are lost in the jungle, out of sight is easily out of mind.

 

But the places where everything is coated with grease, and spills aren't cleaned, and the floor is awash with trash? 

 

I'll never forget the one episode where the chef (another one with a big ego and a small talent, btw) said that cleaning was the staff's responsibility, not his. Say huh? You've got to work in that pig sty; doesn't it bother you? And aren't you concerned that you're serving food to people that comes out of that sewer.

 

Granted, not everyone running a restaurant has been trained in things like food storage. But when juices from defrosting chicken breasts are dripping into a case of lettuce that was stored under it----well, this ain't rocket science, ya know.

 

No sense belaboring it. I just wonder how many people watch that show, conclude that there's no safe place, and stop dining out?

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #11 of 24

After reading these posts I might have to check out Kitchen Nightmares.  I've watched Hell's Kitchen and am actually more surprised that people want to eat there than the lack of skills by the contestants.  I guess there is no limit to what people will do to get on television.  

post #12 of 24

KYH I completely agree with you... lack of cleanliness is unacceptable.  If you have time to lean on the low boy and chat, you have time to get yourself some cleaning supplies and clean the lowboy inside and out.  We pull our equipment out from the walls weekly and do a good cleaning behind them and every day when we sweep and mop, we sweep under the lowboys and grills.  The weekly cleaning on Mondays is for us to catch what we didn;t see fall behind and for the most part it's container lids and utensils we find back there. 

 

I remember one episode of KN where Ramsay went into the walk in and took everything out of it and laid it in the diningroom for the staff to trash.  I think it was the one that was a Mexican eatery run by someone who had a successful catering business before and the "chef" was microwaving the entrees to order.  I think they had stuff that was frozen for a year or longer and they were thawing it and serving it to customers.    EWWW

 

MissSlinky.. welcome to ChefTalk!  I wonder why people want to eat at HK too but maybe it's something that they just want to say they have done?

 

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post #13 of 24

I often wonder if the folks who go to HK ever before visited a restaurant.

 

I mean, when the announcer says something like, "it's an hour and a half into dinner service and people are beginning to wonder when they'll be served...."

 

Beginning to wonder? I'd have been long out of there.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #14 of 24

Yea ! and they are also called Chefs.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #15 of 24

I know.. some of them I wouldn't even trust to boil water let alone prepare a meal! 

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post #16 of 24

I have a hard time fathoming the interest in this show. The contestants really aren't competent, the coaching/teaching is a farce, Ramsey behaves like a "donkey" as he  is so fond of saying.

 

It seems to be the same as watching a race for the crashes or a circus for the accidents.

post #17 of 24

It's hollywood folks     .....come on entertainment has reached the culinary world in a whole new dimension.

Remember the Galloping Gourmet? What the heck was that? A drunk guy shmoozing house wifes.

 

I do have a certain amount of respect for Gordon Ramsey because I truly think he means well ......even with all the drama

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post #18 of 24

I think KN and HK serve to humanize the culinary arts, perhaps to the point of degradation. If you want to sell the idea of being a good home cook to people, then you need to make a goal that is attainable. Around here, people here are generally afraid of sushi, dislike seafood, see bulk and economy as major selling points, believe that rare meat is dangerous, eat family meals (if they have them) out of boxes, and can't tell a petite syrah from a pinot noir. As a generally competent home cook, the question I get asked most often is, "did you make that from scratch?" rather than, "Is this your own recipe?" For the most part, the average local is so lacking in confidence that cooking anything without a recipe is intimidating. How do you convince these people that they can cook, too? Show them restaurants and cooks that prepare worse food than they would serve to their own family.

 

Oh, who got kicked out of the 2nd episode of HK last night? A storm knocked out the satellite on me during the last two minutes.

post #19 of 24

Salvatore was sent home, Philosophos. The red team actually lost, but even based on past (lack of) performance, Salvatore had a particularly bad service. So Ramsey sent the two red team nominiees back in line.

 

This is, of course, a familiar scenario, which happens at least once in every season. All part of the scripting.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #20 of 24

KHY,

 

Who in their right mind would subject themselves to being called a donkey ? I was listening to him from the kitchen and when I heard him yell it.... well...... and then she says,  "Yes, Chef ?"  what ?.....all I can say is, "Glad it wasn't not me".

 

 

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

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Wine and Cheese
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Served Up
(165 photos)
Wine and Cheese
(62 photos)
 
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post #21 of 24

'hell's kitchen' is an awful show... it is difficult to watch, and at times annoying.

post #22 of 24

Who in their right mind would subject themselves to being called a donkey ?

 

You're asking me, Petals? I haven't a clue. But, then again, I can't begin to understand the folks who go on that show to begin with. I mean is your need for attention so strong that you're willing to embarrass yourself, over and over again, in front of millions of people?

 

If the competitors actually had any ability, and if the announced prize was really awarded, I could see it. But no. What we have, by and large, are a group of people who 1. can't cook, 2. have no idea how a restaurant kitchen is run, and, 3. are seemingly unable to improve over time---but all of whom think they are qualified to become head chefs in a high-end restaurant.

 

The real problem is that folks like us----that is, real professionals, and serious foodies, people, in other words, who can actually cook and have some idea of how a kitchen operates---are too small a demographic for a real competition of that nature to work on TV.

 

But just imagine: You start with a group of real cooks, and put them in a realistic situation where they have to strut their stuff. The winner gets to work with Ramsey in one of his restaurants. I gurantee that half-way through the season none of them would be sending out raw chicken!

 

You and me, no doubt, would find such a show fascinating. But, being objective, it would be pretty boring for most of the TV audience.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #23 of 24

I've worked with Christina, winner of 2008 (or was it 2007?) HK and Andy Husbands, chef who sliced open his hand and lasted til about the middle show of 2009 season.

 

 

Christina is from St. Louis, she worked salad station while waiting out the 6 months for the show to run prior to going to LA for her year long stint of rotating stations.  She made Gordon's risotto and pear tartine with caramel sauce for the Food and Wine Show I directed.   Christina was (is) young....she is very organized, great personality, super photogenic.....she just graduated from the CIA and essentially had NO serious experience.  

 

Andy Husbands has written one of the few cookbooks I reference for specific recipes, he's creative, he is very talented.  Andy has owned several restaurants in Boston and is a whizz on stage. 

He rocked the Food and Wine Show.   Working with unknown entities on HK, with Gordon expiditing...no tickets to review....having teammates that are potentially prepping your mise...oh man....there are hours of footage cut down for the parts that are shown as HK.....we get the horrible gems of the week that don't show but a bit of what's going on.

I assume Andy took the gig as an adventure, he's daring.....he would have fared better on Top Chef.

cooking with all your senses.....
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cooking with all your senses.....
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post #24 of 24

This show is so formulaic it's becoming unwatchable. I'll probably check out Master Chefs though.

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