As a rule I really do NOT like or watch reality TV. But I am completely addicted to anything with Gordon Ramsey helping failing restaurants and their disillusioned owner/chefs out. I especially like the American version, because they really don’t get the Pommy Gordon, at all and they always refuse to accept that they need the help…even though they’ve put themselves forward for it. I mean, I’m aware that all the participants think they’ll get a free makeover – but surely they realise that no-one gets something for nothing? The show is called ‘Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares’ for a reason, after all. And yet, I get the overwhelming sense that these people all expect Gords will come on the show, look around, and pronounce them the best restaurant he’s ever seen….even though they have no profits, no customers and woks full of tension going on in the background. I love it. I know Gordon Ramsey is not everyone’s cup of tea, and I agree that the swearing thing is a well developed trademark, but I don’t hold it against him. No indeed, I think he is actually a sensitive and intuitive soul, and a big old softie. He just doesn’t suffer fools. Tactfully.
In the show I watched last week (the UK version) he’d just spelt it out for the poor soul destroyed owner/chef, that he was there to stay, if the guy could take what he said on board. The guy nodded miserably, and Gordon proceeded to tell him that first up, he needed to change the pretentious name of the place, and the guy went to stone. The place was falling down around his ears, his wife and kids were upstairs relying on him, he was 100,000 pounds in debt – and he dug his heels in about changing the restaurant’s name to Maggie’s – and he couldn’t even think of something else he’d prefer. Hellooooo?
Tonight’s show (the US version, yeah!) he changed the guy’s menu from 20 different pizza, sandwich, burger, entree options to a simple menu with woodfired pizza, roast chicken and steak. The staff loved it, the customers loved it, it looked great, there was much smiling…except for the pouty face of the mid 30’s owner. He looked like an overgrown toddler with a full nappy and broken toys. He changed back to the old menu mid-serviceand destroyed the fabulous ambience of the entire night and then blamed the staff, Gordon and his own personal God, I’m sure. Fabulous stuff!
I, who cringe, inwardly, outwardly and sidewardly at the slightest hint of confrontation in actual, real life, love you Gordon Ramsey. You’d love my kitchen, no really, you would.