'Hell's Kitchen' star Gordon Ramsay can't imagine being polite
By Christopher Rocchio, 07/18/2007
Top Chef judge and restaurateur Tom Colicchio might not be a big fan of the profanity-laced matter in which Gordon Ramsay deals with his Hell's Kitchen contestants, but the Fox reality show star can't envision handling things any other way.
"When I'm in the kitchen, and the s**t is hitting the fan, there are two ways you can handle things: My way or the soft way," said Ramsay in the July 23 issue of TV Guide. "To me, it's far better to reprimand the cook and say, 'Wake up and get it or you'll be flipping f**king burgers for a f**king living!' I mean, can you imagine being polite in such a setting?"
If Hell's Kitchen highlights 40-year-old's demanding side, viewers can hope to see his gentler side when Kitchen Nightmares -- an American adaptation of his British Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares reality series that follows Ramsay as he travels across America and helps restaurants in crisis -- premieres Thursday, September 13 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox.
"Nicer? I don't think so. I am who I am," he told TV Guide before adding it would be difficult to compare his demeanor on both shows because he's never actually seen either. "Truth is, I don't even watch the shows, because I don't want to see myself and say, 'Man, I need Botox' or 'Those jeans look terrible' or 'My teeth need to be whitened.'"
While he apparently doesn't have any plans to watch Kitchen Nightmares, Ramsay said viewers should tune-in to see what he discovered at various eating establishments during his trek across the country.
"I thought I found some s**tholes in Britain, but nothing will ever compare to the places I encountered in the States," he told TV Guide. "I can't wait for the viewers to have access to what I encountered. What dumbfounded me was the way some of the chefs take advantage of the customers."
Ramsay added he "can't help" taking that sort of stuff personally because "food is personal" to him.
"I was in Las Vegas earlier this year and I had an executive chef who never touched a stove in his life. He looked like a pig, he smelled like a pig," explained Ramsay to TV Guide. "He actually tapped me on the shoulder and said, 'Tell me the truth, you're not a chef, you're an actor. Right?' I said, 'Do me a favor, f**k off.' A lot of these guys forget that they're here for the customers, not to feed their egos."
Ramsay said just because a chef can't stand the heat doesn't necessarily mean they should get out of the kitchen, as the former footballer said he has found a method to balance the pressures that come along with cooking for hungry customers.
"I run about 30 miles per week, and it lifts a great deal of stress," he told TV Guide. "Pressure is healthy and enough pressure can actually make a good chef. But being a chef is a very physical job that's both mentally and physically draining. You have to keep yourself in shape to maintain."
Exercise might be one way Ramsay manages stress, however profanity is obviously another way he blows-off steam. For example, TV Guide asked Ramsay if he'd ever consider eating a Big Mac from McDonald's.
"My friend, I'd rather eat a f**king cow pie sandwich," he replied. Ramsay was also asked if he ever reads what people write about him online. "I don't give two f**ks what people are writing about me," was his answer to TV Guide.
Despite all the verbal obscenities he's prone to, Ramsay said he hopes his four children know the proper time to use improper language.
"My wife and I have four children with immaculate manners, and I certainly don't want them thinking they can go around saying whatever they want, whenever they want," Ramsay told TV Guide. "That said, they need to know that there's a right place and a wrong place to speak that way. I think I do it in the right place."