I wasn’t too excited when I saw the commercials for the new Gordon Ramsay show The F Word. While I love Hell’s Kitchen, there’s only so much incompetence and screaming I can deal with. I detest Kitchen Nightmares. Not only does it make me afraid to eat in restaurants, it makes my blood pressure go through the roof (never mind how real or staged the situations might be).
Well, I’m eating my words. I caught a bit of The F Word last night and was pleasantly surprised. It’s part cooking show (watch Gordon gently and lovingly instruct young cooks!), part educational show (watch Gordon and his children take care of turkeys!) and part celebrity showcase (watch Gordon flirt with the famous British woman who is virtually unknown on this side of the pond, but has enormous breasts!).
I don’t think there was any yelling at all. The show is smartly edited to account for the general brevity of viewers’ attention spans. Last night’s episode saw Gordon mentoring two young chefs who were competing for a spot in the kitchen – not competing Hell’s Kitchen style, but instead acting professionally, cooking food as instructed, and being creative when asked. Strange, that. Positive portrayal of a young cook who doesn’t have his own show on the Food Network? That’s virtually unheard of.
Skip to a priceless shot of Gordon trying to get his ridiculously cute daughters to put their wellies on so that they can go visit the turkeys they’re raising for Christmas dinner. To reinforce the Britishness of it all, the turkeys are named Nigella (who turns out to be a Nigel), Delia (who turns out to be a Dennis), Anthony (who is this strange-looking albino runt of a turkey), and other quintessentially English names.
Gordon also sits down with food critics and British celebrities to ask them how they like the food, and you can see that when he’s not yelling at incompetent Americans, he can be quite charming. I certainly wouldn’t kick him out of my kitchen.
The highlight of the show: in matter-of-fact voiceover, Gordon tells everyone that he has a low sperm count. He proceeds to ask his sous chef about his sperm count, and speak to an expert who says that sperm counts have been decreasing over the past 20 years, likely due to preservatives in the food and exposure to chemicals. (In case you’re wondering, his sous chef has a decent sperm count, but the boys are all deformed, with strangely shaped heads.) Leave it to Gordon to find a creative way to get men to eat properly.