The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Gordon Ramsay (“Hell’s Kitchen”)

Given the number of restaurants in his empire (as it were), Gordon Ramsay would be a very busy man even if he didn’t have a TV series. As it happens, however, he actually has four of them: “Hell’s Kitchen,” “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Masterchef,” and, most recently, “Hotel Hell.” With less than a 10-minute window available for a chat after his appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour last month, Chef Ramsay and I didn’t have a chance to get terribly in-depth about any topic for Bullz-Eye, but I was able to get a little bit of insight into how he transitioned from the soccer field to the kitchen, how he handles himself behind the camera, and how long his “Hell’s Kitchen” winners tend to stick around his restaurants.

Bullz-Eye: The first thing I must tell you is that I have a seven-year-old daughter who says she’s pretty sure that she can cook scallops better than some of your contestants on this go-round of “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Gordon Ramsay: So has my daughter. [Laughs.] I have three daughters – 10, 11, and 13 – and Megan, the oldest, said, “Daddy, I can cook scallops better than any of your sous-chefs on ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’” So it gets a little bit embarrassing. But, you know, it’s not the one portion, it’s cooking for an entire restaurant that gets them, because it’s down to the timing. No one can prepare you better for that service than experience. You can’t just walk into it. You’ve got to be prepped big-time. So I suppose the big frustration at home, with everyone saying, “I can do better than that,” is because they’re looking at one portion. Yet the most important thing is cooking the scallops perfectly across the entire night.

BE: To start at the very beginning, I understand you were actually on your way to a career in football – by which I mean soccer, of course – at one point.

GR: Yeah, wow, a long time ago now. Yeah, you’re right, but, I mean, what do you do? Do you sit there and get bitter and think ‘it could’ve been’ or ‘it may have been’ or ‘what happens if,’ or do you get on with it? So I picked myself up. Mom and Dad were going through a real shitty divorce at the time, so it was sort of getting out of one big negativity spot and following your second dream. I think everybody deserves a second chance in life, and nobody’s perfect, so with head down…

Read the rest of this entry »

  

You can follow us on Twitter and Facebook for content updates. Also, sign up for our email list for weekly updates and check us out on Google+ as well.

The Light from the TV Shows: Live from the Summer 2012 TCA Press Tour

Yep, that’s right: much as I’ve done every summer since 2007, I’m coming to you straight from the Television Critics Association press tour. Unlike previous years, however, I’ve got my daughter with me this time around, since her birthday fell smack dab in the middle of the trip. As you can imagine, this is keeping me pretty busy, but I wanted to bring you at least a little bit of the TCA experience while I’m out there…and, rest assured, next week’s column will provide much of the same, since I’ll still be here then.

At this point, we’ve had panels for PBS, Fox, NBC, NBC’s subsidiary networks (Oxygen, E!, etc.), and a few locations on the web (Yahoo!, YouTube). I’m not in a position to go into great detail about everything I’ve seen and heard – I’ve got a little girls birthday to celebrate, after all – but you can find some key moments via my Twitter feed. I’ve had a few enjoyable close encounters here and there, talking to Sir Kenneth Branagh (PBS’s “Wallander”), William Forsythe and Zeljko Ivanek (Fox’s “Mob Doctor”), and Billy Burke and Giancarlo Esposito (NBC’s “Revolution”), and I’m looking forward to chatting with Lily Tomlin on ABC’s day and Kyle MacLachlan when CBS’s panels roll around. For the time being, however, I’ve pulled together some of the highlights from Fox’s panels. Hope you enjoy!


Nigel Lythgoe on why there’s never been a proper “So You Think You Can Dance” best-of DVD: “We’ve looked at doing it. It’s the music clearance is just really difficult, as well you know, in this country. There are no blanket agreements like there are in Europe. You can’t just use anything that’s been out there. If you want to use an Eagles track, you have to ask the publisher, the writer, every single Eagle. It just, at the end of the day, doesn’t make money because you’re laying so much money out on that early stage.”


Mindy Kaling on headlining her own show, “The Mindy Project”: “It’s awesome. Even more (than I imagined it would be). I mean, like, every day I wake up and I’m, like, ‘Oh, I’m the star of my own show that has my name in it and I get to write it and hire people, actors that I’ve loved for such a long time.’ It’s amazing. I’m going to turn into a monster. Like, I can’t handle it.”


Zach Gilford on his lack of job security on “The Mob Doctor”: “I think on a show like this, if someone wants to get back at (Jordana Spiro’s character), they could take out one of us. So you’ve got to not be an asshole on set and say the lines just right, because we’re all expendable.”

Read the rest of this entry »

  

How to cook a steak

Every guy should know how to cook a steak, and Gordon Ramsay of “Hell’s Kitchen” shows you how to fry a steak in a pan in this short video.

Hat tip: Ezra Klein

  

Related Posts