Hell's Kitchen

Hell On Earth?

I've been watching several seasons of Hell's Kitchen and thoroughly enjoy each episode. Unlike most reality shows, Hell's Kitchen is different. The contestants are judged on their performance not on their perceived or interpreted performance. If the meat or fish you cook is raw, your out the game. If your appetisers fail, your zero. Cooking as in sport or war, is dependent on your performance, NOW. Your only as good as your last effort. There is nowhere to hide. You mess up. Your out.

Most reality shows are pretty lame. What makes Hell's Kitchen different from other reality shows? 

The following factors:

1.) Gordon Ramsay
2.) Performance based
3.) Untrammelled abuse
4.) Failure results in exit
5.) Hunger for success
6.) Unbiased ability based

I talked about the show with friends, and most seem to miss the salient points of the show.

Gordon Ramsay puts them through 'Hell'... Why?

If you watch the series, you'll see he's actually tutoring them. He has compassion for the cooks with ability. He beats them up, but for their own good. He does that to enable them to grow into the role.

Some rise to the challenge. Others fail. He pushes them to the edge, and sometimes beyond, and waits to see what comes back. He's gonna offer these individuals the opportunity of running one of his top-line restaurants with a salary of $250,000. He needs to make sure they can take the heat in the kitchen.

What he puts them through, is way more than they will ever experience in their working environment. He knows that. But still he puts them through the paces. He's in their face. Shouting obscenities. Calling them incompetent. Calling them idiots. Tearing down their erroneous views, opinions, and self-perception. He's doing a great job and a great service to all that take part. They may not believe it. They may not like it. But that's the truth.

You can see that in Season 6, when he invites Robert back to participate. He wants that dude to come back a second time and do well. Unfortunately, Robert is too fat for his own health, and bails out a second time. That dude needs to lose weight before cardiac. Yet Chef Ramsay wants him back to participate. How kind is that? Yeah sure, he's gonna shout in his face at max volume. But its for Roberts good. Along with the other  chef's in Hell's Kitchen.

Most people don't get it. This is a formative experience for the chef's that have come to display their wares and show their mettle. Ramsay turns the heat up to forge something special. The furnace of Hell's Kitchen forges a quality chef to run one of Ramsay's disparate restaurants.

Ramsay is no fool. He knows what he's doing. Putting these kids through their paces. And I love it.

Compelling viewing.