Being of the non-television-owning persuasion, over the summer I indulged freely in tubeville while vacationing with family and friends in the U.S.
The "splurge", as it were, turned out to be more of a trickle but an addicted trickle it was. Exactly one show caught my undivided attention, prompting me to park on the edge of my mother's bed each Monday night at 8 p.m. sharp for a full two hours of undisturbed viewing. The show was Hell's Kitchen.
For those not in the know, the unscripted (Fox avoids the term "reality" on this one) series was a cook-off between wanna-be chefs vying to please acerbic, world class Scottish/British chef/restaurateur Gordon Ramsay. Originally of documentary fame for his Boiling Point films, Ramsay jumped the pond to the U.S. via Fox Television last year. In this particular series, one lucky culinary wiz was awarded a top tier restaurant on the Vegas Strip. (feechs. Vegas)
I LOVED Hell's Kitchen. I lived for the uncomfortable moments during which Ramsay butchered the on-trial cadets, I delighted over the in-fighting and pettiness, laughed aloud over mistakes even I caught - "You mean you've been basting the Beef Wellington with egg whites all night!! Is that what they taught you in culinary school? To baste with whites?? You f**cking wanker!!" (loosely quoted from one of Ramsay's crucifixions).
The intricacies regarding food preparation were fascinating and despite amazement over the candidates' restraint in replying only "Yes Chef!" to his cut downs, I actually found myself aligning with Ramsay irregardless of his.....well bastard demeanor, really.
My brother Josh, himself a chef, can't watch the show. He says Ramsay is too harsh. Watch this for a sample.