Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

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Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Berry on 2007-09-20, 09:44

from the LATimes:

Gordon Ramsay's show focuses on the drama, not on the food.
By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 19, 2007
On "Kitchen Nightmares," his second series for Fox -- based, like "Hell's Kitchen," on a British original -- celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay takes ailing restaurants and, in a week's time turns them into potentially viable operations. It is loud and manipulative and ugly to behold, but it isn't dull.

Somewhere between a mediator and a drill sergeant, Ramsay comes with his impatient tough love to tear down and to rebuild. He is something to reckon with -- not just successful and famous but physically imposing and given to profanity. (I like to imagine he is saying something like "unicorn" or "rainbow" when the bleeps sound.)

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Despite notoriously being a man with a temper, the full Ramsay is far more rounded than the figure he cuts for the American market, where his sharp edges, short fuse and tactlessness are sold as the main course. Appearing alongside other celebrities on British talk shows or hosting his own "The F-Word" (seen here on BBC America), in which he functions as a kind of extreme Martha Stewart, he can be quite sweet and even humble in his compulsively competitive way.

As was "Hell's Kitchen," however, the local version of "Kitchen Nightmares" has been Fox-ified to a fare-thee-well. When it comes to reality television, the American palate is apparently so jaded, its sensibilities so worn, that we need our matter not only predigested but slathered with ketchup and shoved straight down our throats. Whereas the British "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares" is fundamentally a food show -- it has interesting things to show you about how a restaurant runs and a kitchen works, the wonders of local markets and what you can make from them if you're Gordon Ramsay or willing to follow his instructions -- the Fox edition emphasizes mishap, argument and emotional breakdown almost to the exclusion of cuisine.

"It will be intense," we're told at the start of every show. "It will be emotional. And it will be shocking." And yet, although the filth we encounter backstage at these places is obviously filthy, the rotten food tangibly rotten, the broken equipment inarguably broken and the hapless staff evidently inept (as professionals and sometimes as people), the clattering way in which this is all presented -- the audiovisual mess of special effects, sound effects, rapid edits, zooms and swoops and stabs and stings that has somehow come to stand for "reality" -- makes the enterprise seem suspect. (The British series looks like cinéma vérité by comparison.) Even Ramsay appears to be playing a character, albeit one based on himself.

It also plays to our preference for unequivocal victories and unambiguously happy endings. Feel-good moments are created: Ramsay installs a new kitchen in one restaurant, remodels the dining room in another. He brings in a French maitre d' to instruct a befuddled owner in how to be a host and personally takes him into a boxing ring to teach him how to be "a man." He unites families, creates new "traditions."

Just as Ramsay would say that the final responsibility for the state of the kitchen lies not with the cooks but the owners, so the aesthetic excesses of the American "Kitchen Nightmares" -- noisy and dissonant in a way he'd never allow his food to be -- must be laid at his feet. (Size 15, I happen to know.) But perhaps he's just doing what he tells his failing restaurateurs: identify the market and serve it what it likes.





I watched this last night....and it was just as the article states. There was this baby-man who thought he was the boss of his family run restaurant. He would wander into the kitchen and pick up plates of food prepared for customers and eat it....leaving the chefs to have to re-do plates and leave the waiters and customers frustrated. He also seemed to have a bill collector constantly coming to the restaurant and they held screaming matches outside. It was high drama and not as interesting to me as seeing how hard working people can be helped with a few simple suggestions (this family needed long term therapy and to get out of the restaurant business!
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Re: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Covina Guy on 2007-09-20, 13:38

I watched the show also, and I agree with your description of the
brother. I think the show has some potential but it needs to tone down
the conflict among the people and spend more time with the food and the
running of the kitchen for me to have a long term interest in the show.
However, since the show won its time period in the 18-49 year old
demographic, I doubt there will be any real changes in the editing of
the show.

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Re: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Berry on 2007-09-20, 13:53

Judge Throws Out 'Kitchen Nightmares' Lawsuit

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August 20, 2007

RamsayNormally, the world of Gordon Ramsey revolves around food. He's a Michelin-starred chef and owner of several restaurants, and, of course, the voluble center of the Hell's Kitchen, which just completed its third season, and the restaurant makeover show, Kitchen Nightmares, which will make its American debut next month.

However, this summer, the law seemed to be nipping at food's heels as a major topic in his life. His former mentor was threatening a libel case, his brother was arrested on drug charges in Indonesia, and one of the participants in his Kitchen Nightmares program filed a lawsuit alleging fraud in the production of the program.

On one front, at least, his legal coast has recently become slightly clearer. On August 9, the judge considering the Kitchen Nightmares fraud lawsuit threw out the case.

The plaintiff, Martin Hyde, had alleged that Ramsay and his production crew had faked portions of the restaurant makeover, and that this had ultimately forced Hyde to quit.

The judge threw out the case, and ordered Ramsay and the plaintiff to enter into arbitration. This will allow the new series to move forward with its premiere. It's not necessarily the end of the road, though, for Hyde's lawyer Carl Person, has said that he expects the case will eventually make its way back to court.

This is not the first time that Ramsay has been accused of faking things for extra drama on the Kitchen Nightmares program. In the summer of 2006, he won a libel in the notoriously plaintiff-friendly British courts against the London Evening Standard. The paper had reported the claims of one of the owners featured in the UK Kitchen Nightmare show. The owner, Sue Ray, also claimed that Ramsay had faked conditions in her restaurant.

As mentioned, it's not necessarily the end of the road for this new fraud case, but for now, Ramsay and Fox are able to move forward with the program.
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Re: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Berry on 2007-10-18, 02:44

I like Gordon Ramsey...but I hate this show. The people are unlikable, the confrontations irritating...


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Re: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Covina Guy on 2007-10-18, 15:18

I hate this show. The people are unlikable, the confrontations irritating...



so, of course, FOX just yesterday renewed it for season 2 :D

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Re: Gordon Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares

Post  Berry on 2007-10-18, 19:13

They live to annoy me. Must be bad karma....maybe I killed a fox in a previous life?? scratch
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