There’s an old saying that warns you to get out of the kitchen if you can’t handle the heat, but that’s exactly where the best scenes take place in the vastly entertaining Kitchen Nightmares.
Kicking off the show’s 5th season tonight of Kitchen Nightmares at 8pm ET, we get to see many facets of Gordon Ramsay’s personality as he tries to rescue flailing restaurants from going under. Those just expecting to see the abrasive, hot-tempered chef are better off tuning into Hell’s Kitchen, because here we occasionally get glimpses of his rarely-seen compassionate side.
There’s not a lot of reality in today’s so-called reality TV, but it’s evident with this show that Ramsay really does care about helping those who want to help themselves. He has come close to tears in past episodes, because he can tell that some of his projects are simply over their heads and are in dire need of guidance.
“There are so many restaurants suffering, that are in need of desperate help,” he said in a preview of the new season on the FOX website. “And this year more than ever before, [they] are literally on their last legs.”
Don’t think for a minute, though, that the volatile Brit won’t unleash his fury when necessary. He has very little patience for those who try to cut corners, going as far at one point to bluntly tell two woman they should not be running a restaurant. Those who think they can go through the motions or get away with consciously serving subpar food will feel his wrath.
“The problems I see more than anything is laziness, because chefs get complacent,” he said. “Unless you are passionate about going into the kitchen every morning and cooking fresh, you shouldn’t be a chef.”
The beauty of Kitchen Nightmares is being able to witness some of the mind-boggling things that go on behind of the scenes at a restaurant; the downside is that you may never want to eat out again.
“You just dropped the chicken on the floor and put it back in the pan,” he said incredulously to one cook after cameras witnessed him literally picking the piece of meat off the dirty floor. “Honestly, you guys look like a bunch of f-cking idiots.”
In tonight’s episode, Ramsay has his hands full trying to rescue the Italian eatery La Galleria 33, located in the heart of Boston’s historic North End. As with most of his projects, he will review everything from the menu to the decor to how the restaurant is run both in the dining area and the kitchen.
The key to the establishment’s success will lie in how the owners and staff respond to Ramsay’s criticisms and suggestions. One would think a restaurant very close to going under would be open to any new ideas from a world-famous chef, but denial and incompetence often get in the way of reason.
The one constant we get every week is a gamut of emotions shown by Ramsay, who will end up hugging a person in the same episode he ripped off their head. Nobody wants to see these restaurants succeed more than he, which is why it’s such a rare treat to see him wear his emotions so openly on his sleeve.