I love Hell's Kitchen, I love Gordon Ramsay. LOVE! I sent in a tape many years ago hoping to get on the show, ostensibly to bring publicity to the cafe, but Clyde knew the truth. I just wanted to work with Ramsay, if only briefly, but I never heard back.
In retrospect, I'm not surprised. I'm not a borderline psychopath and I have mad cooking skills. Fox had no use for my kind, but it's all good and I still watch.
For now I still watch, but that could change, if the wrong scallop dies on the wrong night, it could change. I am sorry Chef Ramsay, but you are in my sights today.
At least twice during any given season of HK, I turn to Clyde and ask sorrowfully, "That scallop gave up its life for this?"
It's not always the scallop, sometimes it's a cow or some other innocent protein, but the point is still the same. Some creature had its life ripped away just so Gordon Ramsay could smash it angrily, hurl it against the wall and dump it unceremoniously into the trash.
That's great TV isn't it? Seeing his face get all red, hearing him call someone completely unworthy of his time a donkey and then watching the food fly? I'm with you right up until that last part.
Every season huge amounts of expensive food gets wasted on Hell's Kitchen and it is a punch in the gut to every starving person on the face of the Earth. Oh my god, it has only been a brief moment in historical time that human beings have NOT had to forage and suffer just to find enough food to sustain themselves. But we live in the modern era with bananas flown to our doorsteps daily and markets just bursting with foodstuffs. We were born into plenty and in true human style, we pervert the hell out of it.
It is not just Gordon Ramsay, I single him out because I expect better from him. He's not an idiot, he's not uncaring; I just don't think that he has given this topic any thought at all. But he is far from the only example. How many people throng around that Kobayashi kid to watch him cram hot dogs down his gullet.
Competitive eating? We are sick, sick species.
People in Spain throw tomatoes by the bushel for sport, we here in America chunk punkins for sport. If you want real sport people, try fending for yourselves, try feeding yourselves every day as though the 7-11 is not there. You won't get a stupid, useless trophy if you win though, you get to live because eating is a fundamental need of survival.
It's not always going to be the land of plenty, the milk and honey will stop flowing; that is the nature of life. How are we looking in the karmic balance? Will Mother Nature see our gluttony and end it for us?
I am trying to scare you, you need to get scared. Why? Because most of you do not know how to fend for yourselves, you have abdicated that responsibility to the food producers and will be helpless when they can no longer service your needs.
That can't happen to us? You mean in our world of excruciatingly centralized food production? The one where most of the world's food comes from a few breadbaskets tucked around the planet? We are in more danger precisely because of that, when one of those tiny dominoes fall, all the rest of them come down too.
When that happens, when you are starving, your children starving, how will you remember Kobayashi and Ramsay?
It is not too late to take responsibility, for ourselves and our individual survival. All it takes is a little respect, respect for the lives of the creatures we eat and respect for the natural balance of nature. A little respect for ourselves should be thrown into the mix as well because, once again, competitive eating?
I conclusion, I have this to say to the future 'chefs' on Hell's Kitchen:
Use a non-stick pan with a little oil, get it nice and hot, but not to the point where the oil is smoking. Place the scallops in the pan, season and cook for about one to two minutes, depending on size. Flip gently, season, and cook on the other side another minute before gently pressing the middle of the scallop with the pad of your finger. If the middle is still mushy, continue cooking for another 30 seconds, if it springs right back, it is done. Take it to the pass, return to you station and repeat.