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If You Can’t Take the Heat, Stay In the Kitchen!

Posted by gratrueities on February 4, 2009

A new season of Hell’s Kithchen has begun!  If you’ve seen this show in the past, you know it is basically an hour of of Gordon Ramsay loudly berating the chef contestants vying for the prize of “their own” kitchen in  Mr. Ramsay’s ever-growing restaurant empire – this season the winner will be named Head Chef at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City.

Like other shows of this ilk – The Bachelor, American Idol, Top Chef, Project Runway, Top Design – contestants are dealt a variety of challenges and face weekly elimination until someone eventually emerges victorious.  Being somewhat of a reality TV junkie (I WAS able to name all the aforementioned off the top of my head!), I’ve been waiting to see what this season has to offer.  Though they are  billed as the “most talented group ever,” the participants seem to be the the usual mix of background and skills, while representing almost every demographic imaginable.

As usual, the season kicked off the competition by splitting the contestants into teams of male vs. female.   Also, as usual, it the first episode devolves into a disastrous first service. Chef Ramsay screams, insults fly and  contestants crumble.  Eventually,  patrons begin leaving and Hell’s Kitchen is dramatically shut down for the night!  

However, this season’s opening episode offered a twist at the end of the failed first service. Both teams performed so terribly in the kitchen that Chef Ramsay could not pick the worst of the worst! He was forced to “do something never done in the history of Hell’s Kitchen.”  The winning team was to be chosen solely on the basis of the dinner service!

Two of the chef contestants had been assigned to wait tables rather than cook – which the male contestant seemed to find very demoralizing. Ironically, he then struggled throughout the evening (perhaps this experience at least gave him greater appreciation of the challenge of waiting tables). He simply could not handle the pressure of the dining room! 

For judging, patrons were asked to rate their servers – the female contestant received an 80% approval rating while the male’s performance was judged below average by 90% of the diners. Thus the men’s team lost based on his (inadequate) performance as a waiter!  

Lesson learned:  Talent is important in the front of the house, as well as in the back. If Gordon Ramsay recognizes service as critical to the success of a dining experience and so should the rest of us!

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2 Responses to “If You Can’t Take the Heat, Stay In the Kitchen!”

  1. SFDiner said

    Good post–personally my favorite is Top Chef. On that show they have a episode called “Restaurant Wars” where the front of the house service is always a deciding factor.
    Definitely, service is an integral part of any dining experience. It’s smart of Gordon Ramsey to get these chef’s to focus on it.
    BTW, you don’t touch on this much but I think Ramsey is too mean to the contestants. In general.

  2. gratrueities said

    He is terrible. The worst is when he calls someone a “cow” – or “stupid cow.” So disrespectful.

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