Chef Gordon Ramsay Dishes On Season 11 Of 'Hell's Kitchen'
One of the things Chef Ramsay isn't concerned with is the drama that goes on outside of his kitchen. "I purposely [made] a decision eight years ago not to get engaged with what happens off set," he explained. "I’ve always maintained, I run a restaurant and Fox runs a show, so it’d be very unprofessional of me to start delving into what goes on in terms of the characters and the personalities. I judge everyone from an equal playing field.
"It’s too easy to get obsessed with what goes on in the dorm, but that doesn’t interest me because that doesn’t make any difference to me. When I open that restaurant, when we do the challenges, when we set the menu, which I’m totally involved in far much more this year than ever before, it’s always done as a professional chef."
The chief compromise between the professional cooking and the creation of the TV show is that the emphasis is on competition, more than the hands-on Chef Ramsay familiar to viewers of Kitchen Nightmares, MasterChef and even Hotel Hell. The chef let us know that's going to change in Season 11. "I insisted this year that we have a little bit more mentoring, and you’ll see [that in] sort of week six or seven, when we sort of start focusing on the real talent," he said. "I’m always sort of defensive when [the chefs] get criticized [that] they’re not real chefs. They are real chefs. They just want an amazing break.
"[We] had that mentoring aspect that went on more than ever before, cooking classes in downtime, little insights. I’m far more involved this year cooking, because that’s what I miss," he said. "I missed that buzz, because I also like the little things of The Voice, where the actual judges physically get off their chairs and stand up on the stage and perform in front of their contestants. That’s exactly what I started doing in Hell’s Kitchen. I thought, 'You just see me now as this guy that is fronting a program, but you’ve got no idea I’ve made more mistakes than all of you put together.' I continue pushing myself to the full extent, and more importantly I can cook and here’s why. I like that vulnerability."
Ramsay also reported that Season 10 winner Christina Wilson - who won a job at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas - is still employed there and will also make an appearance in Season 11. "This is an amazing opportunity and I just look at what Christina has done in Vegas and how she’s handled the pressure of running the kitchen, still there this length of time after that program and the success of that," he said. "It’s the success of the business in the real world. I introduced Christina early on in the competition to say to these guys, look, this is not a fly-by-night twenty-four hour success. This is the real deal."
How does he think this year's brigade stacks up? "We have some phenomenal chefs," Ramsay said. "They’re competitive and really ready to win this thing." To achieve that goal, they'll have to impress one of the world's best chefs, who is determined to find someone who can stand real heat in the kitchen.
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