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Sunday June 17, 2007 8:45 am

Fanning the Flames of Hell’s Kitchen

Gordon RamsayGordon Ramsay has got to be the most entertaining chef ever to be featured on reality TV. There isn’t a single chef on the Food Network – not Bobby Flay (who could never face off with Ramsay in a direct challenge), not Alton Brown (whose puns are tedious at best), and not even Masaharu Morimoto (my personal favorite) – who is half as fun to watch as Ramsay. I’ve even been tempted – tempted, mind you – to watch him on his other show, the one on the BBC. Such is the compelling draw of Ramsay.

It is hard, however, not to feel a little sorry for the aspiring chefs he roundly abuses in the kitchen. He screams, he curses, he calls them donkeys, and he even very seriously asked Bonnie “are you a dumb blonde?” She didn’t answer – she didn’t have to. Yes, he’s hell to work with. But at the same time, Chef Ramsay can be a pretty congenial, understanding guy. This much is obvious from the kind way he treats poor Aaron, the 48-year-old retirement home chef who broke down and began to cry before the bloody kitchen ever opened. At the beginning of last night’s episode, in fact before it ever began, I was convinced Aaron would be the next male to leave Hell’s Kitchen. After all, he’s already cried and seems to fail at nearly every task to which he’s been assigned – and last night, he didn’t do a whole lot to redeem himself. Yet, Aaron will carry on to cry another day, and I have nothing but trepidation for him. He has, quite obviously, lost himself somewhere in the back burners of Gordon Ramsay’s hard-core cooking world.

Read More | FOX via TV Guide

Next week’s episode promises the ambulance footage that has been repeatedly shown by FOX. Much is left to the imagination – servers cowering in fear, other competing chefs looking shocked, Ramsay screaming “don’t die on me!” and the whirling lights of the ambulance. Last year, Heather had to receive medical attention when she accidentally cut herself. This year, I fear the medical drama that ensues will be much more sinister in nature. The kind thing to do last night would have been to eliminate Aaron, who can not and will not be able to handle Hell’s Kitchen. It was Eddie, the 28-year-old grill cook from Atlanta who left instead, to join Tiffany in what will soon be a long line of chefs to get kicked out of Hell’s Kitchen. Neither expressed much anger at having been eliminated. Frankly, I think they were both relieved. But in the kitchen, it’s getting hotter than ever, and Ramsay certainly isn’t going to put up with any guff. Will he get the chance to eliminate another next week, or will Aaron go home by default? Only Monday’s episode will tell.

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