Monday, June 12, 2006

Tonight on Fox!

Tonight, don't miss the premier of season 2 of Chef Gordon Ramsey's reality series, Hell's Kitchen. Last year, in England, I caught a few episodes of the BBC version and instantly fell in love. In the Los Angeles show, he brings 12 or so experienced and wanna-be chefs in to run his LA tie-in restaurant -- Hell's Kitchen -- and work with his professional staff. After several weeks of working the line, eliminations, embarrassment and Ramsey's trademark screaming, most wash-out.

Ramsey is brilliant. He screams, he yells, and he expects perfection, something many these chefs -- even the experienced ones -- have never encountered. I'm sure he plays up the antics a bit, but when he blows up, he usually has good reason. (Famously, in one of his BBC shows, one contestant accidentally gave Ramsey food poisoning with a badly cooked scallop. After Chef Ramsey finished throwing up, he was understandably upset.)

Last season's winner turned down a chance to open his own restaurant in exchange for a position in Ramsey's own flagship in London. People who know him report that Ramsey really is a pussycat in real life. Like anyone who understands excellence, once you earn his respect, you have it forever. In the meantime, it's the earning that's the hard part. I, for one, can hardly wait to watch!

Hell's Kitchen
8:00 p.m. (2-hour premier)
Fox -- Channel 11 (Indianapolis)

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