Guest Blogger, Ian, explores his inner 'angry chef'...
I think my family and friends have decided to place me into a stereotypical box labelled, ‘Angry Chef’.
It seems that they look at me walking up the path towards their homes and start sweating & worrying that I am going to rip apart their kitchen in a Ramsay-esque rant from Hell’s Kitchen.
I wish they would realise that whilst I live to work in the kitchen, working in a kitchen is not my life…well, not all of the time.
If something goes wrong in the kitchen whilst I am working, and it is avoidable, sure I can get frustrated. I think that every chef will say exactly the same, but take that same mistake and place it in your mother’s or sister’s or brother’s home kitchen and you just shrug your shoulders, have a little giggle, get on with it, and appreciate their hospitality. I’m not going to start wiping down surfaces looking for forgotten remnants and crumbs of last nights meal, I may want to, and I may cringe when I also see a cluttered work surface, but I’m not going to start screaming and shouting for the ‘f**kers’ to clean it up or I’m closing the place down. Unfortunately this is how I’m perceived, is that my own fault or is it how television bosses have portrayed chefs in general?
Let’s look at some samples…
What is there to say about this that hasn’t already been written? Ramsay’s rants are his trademark and the show would not be half as entertaining to watch if it wasn’t for his flamboyant use of enough swear words to sink a battleship. Is it true to life?
Hmmm, sometimes at the very extreme end of the scale (or on a day to day basis for me with one of my previous bosses, but that is another story). Anybody who has seen ‘Boiling Point’ will know that there certainly is an element of truth in Ramsay’s boisterous management style. But I’m not going to berate my mother for not knowing how to cook Saint Jacques.
Much more toned down, but full of passive aggressiveness that anyone who has worked in a kitchen will recognise. Greg and John manage to both praise and put down amateur cooks, but not with as much relish as they do for their ‘Professionals’ series. Sure it would be great to walk away with the title, but the damage to reputations can stop a young chef’s career before it has even started and even the single-minded focus on winning by craving to do your best and achieving your best, which every top chef needs, can have its disadvantages after the cameras have stopped rolling.
Much easier for the family to relate to, but they then think that cooking is a bit of a joke that can be done whilst someone has a juggling dog next to you. Cooking is a serious business, where the value of ingredients is in the hands of the chefs - if mistakes are made, it could mean a lot of money lost. It is not all jokes, laughter and music in the kitchen.
There are many other TV cooking shows that are to blame for my family’s opinion of me, at least that is what I keep telling myself, but if those donkeys think they can serve me up a ‘well done’ tuna steak on a bed of baby gem and call it original, then woe betide them; but that could just be the Ramsay in me talking…
Chefs! What winds you up the most when cooking with friends/family who just don’t know how to work like a kitchen pro?