Friday, July 24, 2009

TV: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares USA

Where's your passion for the f*cking food?
Where's your f*cking passion for the f*cking food?"

Have watched this over the last week on some satellite channels, given that the bold Gordon's business and personal difficulties were widely reported on in the media recently.
Based on a few shows, some thoughts come to mind...

The formulaic scenarios seems to be pretty consistent:-

  • Gordon shows up at a US restaurant.

  • Gordon meets the owner, who is up to his/her oxters in debt and can't take it anymore (cue weeping).

  • Gordon samples the food and hates it.

  • Gordon meets the chef and hates him, often squaring up to him, like a pre-fight weigh-in.

  • Chef goes on camera and calls Gordon every name under the sun, while insisting that he has "been doing this job for 15 years and never had any god-damn complaints".

  • Gordon inspects the kitchen and finds cockroaches, rat droppings, traces of ebola virus and swine flu etc. You'd have thought, if they knew he was coming, basic decency would suggest that they have a bit of a cleanup beforehand.

  • Gordon insists that service is shut down immediately.

  • Gordon confronts chef again and the kitchen area gets a good cleanup in next to no time.

  • Gordon confronts chef once again and asks where his passion for food has gone; Chef has a hissy-fit and leaves. The shy sous-chef gets promoted.

  • Gordon shows the newly-promoted chef some simple dishes.

  • Gordon simplifies the menu. If it's any kind of ethnic restaurant, he can normally reduce it to one succinct paragraph...

  • Gordon's team redecorates the restaurant, including the exterior signage, in next to no time.

  • Owner(s) and staff show up and collapse in tears, overcome by the beauty of the facelift the place has gotten.

  • Original chef returns, admits to alcohol and anger management problems, and agrees that he had lost his passion for food and needs to regain it.

  • Sous-chef sighs and goes back to being shy and submissive.

  • Gordon takes the waiting staff, usually led by a sassy, feisty waitress, out on the street with samples from the new simplified menu.

  • Grand re-opening night. Strangely, where they used to have 3 customers, it is now a full house.

  • Chef keeps mislaying tickets in the kitchen. Chaos ensues. Customers complain to camera. Feisty head waitress screams at chef. Chef curses out the feisty head waitress, Gordon, the manager & the owner. Chef goes outside for cigarette. Sous-chef takes over cooking duties again. Gordon squares up to chef and demands to know where his passion for food has gone.

  • Meek sous-chef wonders what the f*ck is going on...

  • Chef weeps, as we learn that his wife has left him, his dog has died, and his cocaine addiction has spiralled out of control, so he hasn't had passion for food for quite some time, but eventually composes himself and returns to kitchen. Sous-chef sighs and goes back to chopping celery.

  • Chef pulls his shit together, finds his passion for food again and the night ends up as a fantastic success. Everybody, including the local mayor, is happy.

  • Gordon checks the evening's takings with the owner. Owner weeps with joy.

  • Chef does tearful 'to-camera' piece, admitting that if it wasn't for 'chef Ramsey', he'd probably be living in a faeces-encrusted cardboard box, drinking his own urine and self-harming with a rusty razor...

  • Gordon says his goodbyes, reminding the whole staff of the need to keep up the good work.

  • Gordon revisits the place 3 months later and announces that "sadly, since my last visit, the bank has repossessed it". Oh Well, at least it wasn't the health inspectors who shut it down.

  • Viewers are left wondering whatever happened to the genial sous-chef and the feisty waitress.

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