Welcome to part two of the Ramsay Roundtable. I'm joined by my good friends, I'll call them that, they can debate it's truth later, Sean Keeley from Nunes Magician, and Brian Harrison from Orange 44. Yesterday, we touched on MasterChef and the overall appeal of Gordon Ramsay. You can read that fun right here. Today, we hit the longest running Ramsay show, Hell's Kitchen. As a fun bonus, Sean and I discuss the BBC America program Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape. Thanks to them for being good sports. Their answers to absolutely stunning questions after the jump.
Why is there one person every season, normally a woman, who is loud, not that great, and everyone wants to leave, but they aren't that bad? This year it's Elise (I think that's her name). She seems horrible and I wish the red team would lose so she would go home. The worst by far was Tennille a few seasons ago, who yelled everything.
Sean Keeley: Because the producers have a formula. And they will stick to that formula as long as it works. Have you noticed how they keep finding ways to keep Carrie around? She's awful and probably should have gone weeks ago. But she and Elise have a huge conflict, she slept (we assume) with one of the guys and she gets huge reactions out of her teammates. She's great for the show. So they're not going to let her go, even if it's so obvious she doesn't deserve to be there.
Brian Harrison: Because the producers aren't stupid and they always cast one person to shake some stuff up. She's annoying to no end, and doesn't do anything when the team is punished for losing challenges, but she does well during services so she stays around. I wish she would go, but I understand why she's still there. And yeah, Tennille was awful.
Bearcats Blog: I might have phrased this question a little naively. Elise kicked ass on last night's show, and she seems decent. Carrie is the one who annoys me. Her and her eye rolling. Carrie wasn't the worst though, King Krupa was much worse, and probably just as annoying. I didn't think of King Krupa until Monday night. I missed out on a season of making myself laugh.
Is being a customer at HK worth it? The food is probably incredible, but if you are there in the early episodes, who knows how long it takes? Do Scott and my future wife Andi cook all the food when the chefs get kicked out?
SK: Well let's be clear about one thing...all of those "customers" are actors or people who know going in that they are on the TV show Hell's Kitchen, like gameshow contestants. All their whining about late food or bad dishes is probably asked for by the producers behind the scenes. I don't feel bad for them at all.
BH: Future wife eh? It's a total coin flip. Or should I say a dice roll. Because not only are you risking even going knowing that contestants are cooking your stuff, but then it is even more chance as to if you are at a red or a blue table and how those teams are on any given knight. So if you had a big lunch and are willing to wait I'm sure it's great. If you aren't, well your dinner plans are probably pretty shot.
BB: Sean kind of ruined the question with his actual knowledge of how things work. I heard people saw a listing on Craigslist a long time ago, but didn't remember. Obviously. I think being a guest there would suck. I hate waiting, and I would really hate waiting that long. If I was sitting close, I would love to hear a Ramsay blowup. And yes, Andi is my future wife. Call me, Chef Andi.
How bad ass is Chef Scott?
SK: God bless Monteray because I wouldn't get in that dude's face over anything. I fear him more than I fear Ramsay.
BH: Amazingly. He's earned the right to be in his position and if some unproven cook talked back to me on a line I'd give him the what for in the same way. No punk kid fresh off the block is going to try and talk back to me like that. Similarly, if I'm the new guy I know my roll and pay my dues, like anyone should.
BB: Watch this, and find out the answer is incredibly.
If you ended up on Hell's Kitchen somehow, how many packs of cigarettes would you either smoke, or inhale, a day? At least 4 right?
SK: Isn't that weird, by the way? That chefs, and people who want to be top chefs, power-smoke all day? Doesn't that kill your palette? That said, I'd smoke five packs a day...and I don't even smoke.
BH: It seems everyone I know in food service smokes like a chimney. Is that the only way you get a break or something? I guess I'd be slamming those cigarettes even though I despise cigarette smoke. But when you're there I guess it's just what happens.
BB: I don't smoke either, yet I think I would be on a carton by the time the show was over. I think the pressure has to be so high, that smoking is the only way to come down. I don't know how people chain smoke, but every chef on the show does. It's incredible.
Was Nona last season the worst winner ever? She was kinda bleh all season, and skated by to the finals somehow. And I didn't like her.
SK: I didn't actually watch most of that last season so you might be right. That said, she's one of only two Hell's Kitchen winners to actually become head chefs. Usually the grand prize is just in name only and you end up being a sous chef at the restaurant.
BB: I asked the question, and I think she is. The list of reasons people don't take the grand prize is kind of crazy. There are people who weren't good enough, who couldn't get visas, who couldn't move, who took other jobs, and so on. They spend all season talking about a dream job that no one takes. Kinda weird.
Brian didn't answer this question. That's because the girlfriend he mentioned in yesterday's post IS Nona. Bet none of you knew that.
How come no one can cook a scallop?
SK: I am always surprised with just how challenged most of these chefs are. If I were going on a nationally-televised TV show that has the obvious intent of harping on every mistake I make...I would be a friggin' king at making scallops, Beef Wellington and fish. What's wrong with these people?
BH: I love how I had that in my answer earlier without even seeing this question. No idea. I've never eaten a scallop in my life but I'm completely confident I could cook one after seeing them absolutely ruin dozens of them. Pan's gotta be really hot, cook them, make sure they have some color and don't feel like rubber, serve. Doesn't seem that complicated and these people are supposedly experienced cooks. Ah well. Moral of the story is appreciate good sea food when you get it I guess.
BB: I've talked with a chef friend of mine about this, and it pisses him off. He went on a long diatribe about how easy it was and how big of dumbasses the contestants were. If I were on the show, I wouldn't put up a scallop that wasn't brown. It might be burnt, but it would never be raw.
What's your go to Ramsay phrase? Piss off? Fuck off? Pig? Cow? Donkey? Shut it down? Get out?
SK: I'm very partial to the way he describes everything. Every piece of food served on his shows is "the most a-MA-zing..." or "App-so-loot-lee STUNNING!" But you can't go wrong with a good "SHUT IT DOWN!" either.
BH: I love when he's screaming at players about food being raw. Or should I say RAAAAAAW! But Shut it down is always good, and I love when he's condescendingly calling the ladies "madam".
BB: I think mine is get out. Although, I love it when he calls people fat cows. If he called me a fat cow because I fucked up a rizzotto, I would stand there stunned and probably laugh. Then he would tell me to GET OUT! I love that people make compilations about things like that.
Who do you think is going to win?
SK: Seems like it's between Blue Team savior Natalie and Blue Team mainstay Will. They seem to be the most consistent.
BH: I think Will is probably my favorite right now to win. He's never really made any mistakes during a service and always seems to get little TV time because he's doing things right. But I wouldn't count out Paul either, despite having a disaster recently at the fish station.
BB: Will was starting be my favorite before the love fest started. I like Paul, mainly because he looks like Bubba Ray Dudley. Natalie was on the chopping block tonight, and doesn't seem like she can handle the pressure. I think Elise is going to be in the final 4 at least. Maybe good looking blonde with the frizzy hair.
Bonus material: Gordon Ramsay's Great Escape
Does India really have the most amazing anything when it comes to ingredients?
SK: What you need to understand is that EVERY COUNTRY IN THE WORLD HAS THE MOST A-MAAAA-ZING INGREDIENTS AT ALL TIMES!
In the last episode, Gordon tied in the cooking tv challenge, because the judges had no favorite in the final dish. How much bullshit is that? They made 3 dishes! One of them must have been a little better or a little worse than the other. It seemed like a cop out.
SK: Yeah what was cool about that show was that it was so unlike any other Gordon Ramsay show out there. No contests, only a little bit of yelling. It was refreshing. For them to throw in the contest and then cop-out...meh. Don't bother.
BB: I really think that contest served no other purpose than to annoy me. I think Gordon won and they just wouldn't let the dude lose.
What do you think makes this show stand apart from the others?
SK: It's probably the most realistic representation of Gordon as an actual human being. He's just a normal dude who is a really good chef, a bit of a hot head but also a pretty decent guy.
BB: Sean is right. Gordon had a lot going on in his life when he filmed the shows, and you could tell he cherished the release. It was incredibly interesting watching him learn other cultures, and try to do what they taught him, but better.
Gordon ate a lot of weird things, like duck embryo, tarantula, bull penis, worms, and whatever the fuck that disgusting bird nest thing was. How many of those things would you eat?
SK: I feel like I'd try anything once just because if someone is eating it somewhere and still alive, it must be at least edible. That said, none of those things sound very tempting. When in India, I guess...
BB: You guess wrong. The only way I'm eating duck embryo is if it's the last thing on Earth. It's gross to even look at. I still don't know what the bird's nest was. They went in a bat cave to get it, and it had feathers in it. Bleh.
The most important burning question is, how did Gordon manage to ask the woman if her husband ever picked her clitoral leaf with a straight face? By the way, clitoral leaf? Really?
SK: He's a chef. He's Gordon Ramsay. Who's gonna tell him he can't say clitoral leaf. YOU? I don't think so...
And with that, we are done. A huge, huge, huge, HUGE thanks to Brian and Sean for taking part in this roundtable. I told them that I had a lot of questions, and I think they might have been surprised by just how many there were. I thought about making this one post, but I don't think I would have made it through that one with out a nap and some dinner. It's so great when people that you like and respect have like interests, and are want to talk about them for long periods of time. I knew Sean liked MasterChef, mainly because of this epic post. It was an honor and a privledge. Thanks to them, and thanks to you for reading.