Wednesday, August 4, 2010

ramsay : op-ed

being in the industry and have access to a bit more than the average foodie, for some reason i felt compelled to speak up about this whole ramsay thing.
i get why you can sell more papers if you embellish and paint this guy as a complete dick.
so here's my 2 cents...

he's actually paid to show up at the London (here in nyc) 6 times a year right now and consult for them. he is the chief food consultant and dishes and vision for menus are his thing. it then goes through a dollar / cents audit and gets the "yay" or "nay" to print on the menu. (despite what you may read or hear, gordon can cook guys. he's damn good at it)
i know this because i asked the exec chef at the restaurant myself.although he does not own it anymore, it still bares his name and it's still in his best interest to make it a destination (a profitable restaurant) for city goers.
the restaurant just never took off in nyc and never got the numbers needed to keep up with food costs for the dishes they want to serve.
he's got more money at stake with his tv career and has chosen to focus on that for the moment, which shouldn't be the case for a chef, but he stands to lose even more if he does not focus on the media careers he is already married to.

he's a great guy, and all the chefs in the kitchen stand by the guy's philosophy. they wouldn't be there otherwise.
people have been throwing him under the bus because of the character he is on tv. but truthfully, you aren't going to find a better boss to work for. as a knowledge hungry chef working your way through the kitchen scene, gordon ramsay is a damn good mentor to have.
although i've never met him, i like the guy a lot. everything i've read, everything i've heard about his cooking is tops.
i can respect a chef that sticks to principles, and won't serve a #$@%en burger on his menu because A) it's cheap and covers a good portion of NYC patrons who want to say they dine at a top restaurant and want to go for cheap, B) everybody's doing it C) it's just wrong (except for Robuchon, because that's oh so right) and doesn't belong at a fine dining establishment.

for gordon to fail as a restaurateur and bobby flay to be a mega giant is an injustice.
there is something to be said about the patrons and viewers of our food nation somewhere in this hodgepodge we call America.

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