Hell's Kitchen, it's a reality cooking competition show about some 16 chefs, 8 women, 8 men. Men's team vs. women's team and whichever team loses has to vote someone off. It's been awhile but I remember a bit of the format. Contestants will have some special cooking challenge, one time it was identifying foods while tasting them blindfolded, another time it was creating a dish using ingredients that had the same letter of the side of a face of a die that each teammate had to roll once. The reward usually involves some vacation or something. Then comes night service or kitchen service when the restaurant opens up and people start coming in to get their food which is when most of the drama starts to happen. You know, this isn't supposed to have any organization, I'm just gonna list random events that I remember happening that bother me.
The people who decide who gets to be on the show are the producers or something who determine through videos sent in by people who gets to participate. I bet they pick the mean ones on purpose or just people in general who will create the most drama and drive Gordon crazy. Yes, yes, yes.
Something that always bothered me about Hell's Kitchen was the common trend where the men's team does successfully in the first five weeks, winning the special cooking challenges and doing relatively well during the cooking service. The women just fail really hard but then after the initial five weeks the women just keep winning, winning , winning, and winning. It's ridiculous, I mean, I'm rooting for the men because I'm a man and god, just everytime I want them to win so badly but they never do. I get that adrenaline rush feeling super good the first five weeks like somehow I was winning but then they just get absolutely obliterated the rest of the show. It's disheartening and you know, after a couple of seasons the whole cycle seemed too obvious.
Some of these chefs must have watched some Hell's Kitchen, can't they anticipate the pattern and plan for it ahead of time? I bet it has to do with some psychological factors where the women are more competitive and incompatible but slowly they just begin to accept each other whereas with the men they get super complacent after riding the good ride in the beginning. After the men are knocked off their high horse they're so pumped with masculinity and testosterone they can't get their heads together and pick up the slack.
What can I say about Gordon. One time a chef was all sweaty, just sweating and a tad insecure about his place, comparing himself to others, putting down others when they made a mistake but then undergoing a nervous breakdown whenever he made a mistake. The dude was just sweating like crazy, man, and Gordon, Gordon just went up to him, got a towel, wiped off the sweat from the cutting board, and told him to use his head. Simple, done deal.
That same man after there was nothing to do and dinner service had gone to a calm steady decided to wash some dishes. Okay, so first off I guess he's just kissing up or maybe he's feeling a little out of place in a kitchen like this. Under normal circumstances in his usual workplace he wouldn't do the same thing I feel. Gordon goes up to him, doesn't like what he's seeing, shouts at him to go in the back where the dish washing is done if he wants to wash dishes. Harsh, so harsh of Gordon, I mean, the man was just trying to make himself useful but you know maybe that was unacceptable. I don't really have any experience.
Oh, I should mention that during the first week each chef makes their signature dish, putting a bit of their personality into their dish to show to Gordon, to give him a feel of who he's working with. This one guy was cooking some pretty basic spaghetti with marinara sauce and the pasta was overcooked which you could tell by how the strands were sticking together all in one ball. Maybe it's hard to make pasta. It could've been nervousness, unfamiliarity with the cooking equipment, I don't know but isn't pasta not that hard to make? He seemed like he was going for a specific type of pasta, maybe not just a spaghetti so that may have contributed to the botched result. That guy didn't win.
Another guy on Hell's Kitchen, always blamed this other dude for his mistakes during the cooking service and Gordon Ramsay always bought into it and kept on scolding the wrong person. How. How. Eventually the guy who kept on getting blamed moved over to the women's team and the same guy who always blamed others when he was put in the hot seat, well, he didn't have any excuses anymore. Felt good, man, felt good. I mean, Gordon, c'mon.
There was a special cooking challenge one time. This was towards the end of the season so you had something like 3 something people on each team. The special challenge involved making sushi and teammates had to switch out. There was a dispute, and you know, arguments are difficult, how do you resolve them? This woman and man were arguing over whether or not you soak the nori in water when you want to make sushi. The woman said you don't soak nori, but the man disagreed based on his experience of watching people make sushi billions of times. It was the man's turn and there were only seconds before the sushi had to be finished and you know what, he soaked the nori. It was a difficult choice, I know.
The only Hell's Kitchen season I ever watched to the final episode was the episode where the finalists were a guy with glasses and a woman with tied up hair. There's a really dramatic ceremony where there's a double front door and each finalist holds onto a handle. One of the handles is locked and the other is unlocked. There's a countdown, pretty good, dramatic. You know who won? Not the men. That concludes my thoughts about Hell's Kitchen.
Moving onto Kitchen Nightmares, it's a show where Gordon Ramsay goes around to dying restaurants and attempts to reinvigorate them with a new menu, new infrastructure and equipment. I remember watching almost every episode as soon as it came out on the online streaming service hulu. At some point though, the restaurant owners got more blander and blander, the same emotions of anger and denial, the format, everything.
I went back to hulu awhile back, went to Kitchen Nightmares and I noticed season 1 was available to watch for free. I also had to watch twice the commercials since the last time I watched episode 1. The restaurants was Peter's and all of a sudden everything had come back to me. I remember the guy, the richness, the terrible food, everything, the makeover, the chefs, that other restaurant, Sebastian's.
Watching Kitchen Nightmares there are problems I see all the time. First of all, some restaurant owners when they call for Gordon's help sometimes think it's not the food that's terrible that's causing low income. Instead, they blame it on the deteriorating decorations and wallpaper and general infrastructure, but when Gordon Ramsay does the typical menu sampling, surprise, the food is terrible. I mean, it's never the decorations, it's the food. It's always the food.
Then you have the chefs/restaurant owners that get all uppity and defensive about how their cooking isn't bad. You're the one who asked for help and I don't understand why you would start to get defensive and difficult for Gordon to help out when the restaurant owners were the ones who asked for help in the first place. I mean, you just show them reality and no revelation occurs, just more reasoning to convince themselves to interpret the information that fits their original narrative that they're a good chef. I mean, obviously it could be natural, you know, sometimes change requires a change that is impactful and intense.
Another strange thing is the menu overhauls. I think it's a good idea that Gordon removes the menu, gives it a new splash and generally stays within the restaurant's theme but whenever Gordon does that it always feels like it's more Gordon's restaurant than it is the actual restaurant's restaurant. Nice, great.
The one time I've ever seen Gordon actually like the food he tastes when he samples menu items was the episode where he went to the Black Pearl restaurant in NYC. He tasted the clam chowder and said it was good.