I have a new favorite foodie show: Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares on BBC America. The premise of the show is simple. Gordon Ramsay - a chef as famous for his short temper and vocabulary that would make a longshoreman blush as his culinary prowess - takes on the challenge of turning around a different floundering restaurant every week. Gordon sweeps in, examines the restaurant from top to bottom, critiques the food, frightens the employees, picks on the owners, revamps the menus, and of course proves that all the abuse-flavored advice was worth it when by the end of the week the restaurant seems to be on the mend. A month later, Gordon returns unannounced to check up on the restaurant's progress.
I loved this show. You can hate Gordon all you want - and believe me, there are no end of reasons to dislike his cocky personality and inexcusable rudeness - but you have to admire his passion not only for good food, but his deep understanding of all the delicate balances that need to be struck in the kitchen in order to marry the art and the science of building a dish, a meal, a menu, an atmosphere, and how every piece contributes to a satisfying restaurant experience. It's a wonderful peek into the inner workings of a dysfunctional scenario, and how much or little effort it takes to right all the wrongs to make a kitchen - and by extention, a restaurant - shine. New episodes Tuesday 9pm, on BBC America.Posted by rebecca on December 18, 2004 | TrackBack