I caught the chef Gordon Ramsey on my new favorite show, BBC’s comedy car show “Top Gear,” and since he could drive really fast, I decided to watch his show Hell’s Kitchen.
This is a sort of American Idol of cookery, only the sole judge is Ramsey, the Simon Cowell of chefs. The different cooks compete in doing the various tasks required in a professional kitchen and the winner gets to run one of Ramsey’s restaurants.
Watching the show reminds us of the hard work and high pressure that professional restaurant workers have to deal with. Ramsey is like a drill sergeant, demanding excellent work, quality preparations, and outstanding service for the customers. He yells at the contestants and cusses them out (carefully bleeped) when they fall short, but he also teaches and mentors.
The show can demonstrate to young people the demands of the no-coddling real world of demanding bosses and high performance standards. We often see the customers enjoying their peaceful dinner, unaware of the turmoil that it took to prepare it. The show makes us appreciate the vocation of the professionals who prepare us our daily bread.
(I just caught the reruns. The new season premiers tonight after “American Idol.”)