Monday, August 14, 2006
Let's Go: Hell
I'm full of scotch and hate.
Have you seen Hell's Kitchen?
The premise is: a bunch of aspiring chefs send celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay a videotape explaining why they should be on the show and he (and/or the marketing committee) selects 12 individuals that look like they would make good "reality" television. They get put through weekly trials and one will eventually win their own restaurant. This year it's in Las Vegas.
Cooking skills are apparently optional.
Now, I can handle my Wusthof about as well as any Saturday afternoon cooking enthusiast - but I'll do things that will piss purists off. If you watch me chop, my finger will be in the danger area on top of the blade. You want something pureed together? I find that a hammer and a solid cutting board will work nicely in lieu of a mortar and pestle. No, really. I don't recommend it for everyone, but it gets the job done and everything tastes good. However, I know it wouldn't fly in a restaurant kitchen.
So, in theory, I can't necessarily cast aspersions on the folks that got picked this year. That, plus I didn't even apply.
Mr. Scoop has made it very clear that auditioning for reality shows will only result in ridicule from him. He has a deep scar on his hand that he calls Dat Phan. That was a Last Comic Standing related injury.
Everytime LCS comes here, it's the dead of damn winter. People hang out in front of the building where auditions happen in the wee hours of the morning with a dream, a sleeping bag and those warming pouches you put in ski gloves. I have a job I'm supposed to be at in the morning and, for the moment, my dignity.
Mr. Scoop and I are both reasonably agreed that Last Comic Standing won't help the majority of dingbats that are standing out there shivering in the cold. Comedy competitions in general are subjective things that are nice in the moment - and, if you don't have an agent or manager, it literally is the moment.
I drunkenly threw around the idea of sending in a video of myself to Mr. Ramsay for next season. I'm already 99.9% sure I wouldn't get on. For example, although I know how to make a gastrique, I'm not inclined to create drama in the house. I'll be the one sitting quietly in the corner drinking.
I can make funny, seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, including a whole host of dick jokes, while under pressure. I can't bone out a whole chicken or filet a fish. These are shortcomings I overcome with frequent application of the grocery store staff in these parts. They pay these people minimum wage for a damn reason.
Also, Mr. Ramsay is a screamer.
I'm not so good with that.
I'm not good at being yelled at. When I was 14, I tried to join the high school marching band, because I wanted to be in rifle core. After years of amateurly tossing a baton in the air, I was more talented than the average 14 year old at spinning a pole of steel in entertaining positions. Still, the band teacher was a psycho who screamed at us daily. I was so uncoordinated that I could barely handle being told to move "right oblique" - and when I couldn't even manage that I got screamed at.
I quit before I brained the guy. I figured it was best for everyone.
I don't do being yelled at.
So, Mr. Ramsay's method of kitchen control - yelling and frightening the fuck out of his employees, probably would make me mentally retreat to age 14 and look for a field hockey team to join in lieu of band camp.
Here's the thing: If you manage to win my respect - I will follow you to the ends of the earth. You don't even have to yell at me. If I want to please you and I screw up, the worst thing you can tell me is that I've "disappointed" you. Mentally, I'll turn into an 11 year old trying to please my parents. You won't even have to raise your voice.
But tonight I watched all these...dingbats...with seemingly no management skills, or the ability to taste a dish before it goes out to the floor, work on a show that is supposedly about kitchen skills and palate. And one of those dingbats now has a restaurant in Las Vegas at Chef Ramsay's whim.
So now, much like Mr. Scoop, I have a scar of my own. I've named it Heather.
Technorati Tag: Hell's Kitchen , Gordon Ramsay , Last Comic Standing , Fox TV , NBC , Reality TV , Cooking , Comedy , Humor