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Bill Buford New Yorker Piece on Gordon Ramsay

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by JR, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Great profile in this week's New Yorker on three star chef Gordon Ramsay.

    I'm assuming everyone here knows he is but as nuts and manic as he appears on Hell's Kitchen, that's a toned down version of the guy. He's the Boss from Hell.


    That afternoon, Ramsay tasted the restaurant’s dishes and changed most of them. He revised more the next day. He was still revising as the first lunch service began, eliminating items already printed on the menu: an oxtail that was too fancy (“It’s too arty—I just can’t identify what I’m eating”), an eggplant that was too tough (“Will someone give me a pneumatic drill so I can get through the fucker?”), a phallic pigeon leg (“No woman is going to put that bone in her mouth—that’s disgusting”). He spotted a waiter without a waistcoat. He stopped another with a tie broadly knotted around his collar.

    “Young man, what’s your name?”

    “Swapon, chef.”

    “Your knot,” Ramsay said. “It’s very big, don’t you think?”

    “Yes, chef.”

    “You know what they say in Britain—the bigger the knot, the smaller the cock. Young man, I’m sure your cock is very big. Will you do something about your knot, please?”

    “Yes, chef.”

    If you read and enjoyed Buford's "Heat", you'll love this profile
  2. I spent some time working in up-scale restaurants. I've found a lot "chefs" to be like the one described here.
    I think they have an inferiority complex over the lack of appreciation for their art.

    Although I once told one chef, who was a particular jackass, he was just pissed off cause he got kicked out of the Village People.

    Indian: We don't need know chef, man!
    Guy leather: Yeah! Get the Fuck out here you Loser!
  3. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    I think in Ramsay's case, he's absolutely driven and doesn't suffer fools gladly.

    Unlike a lot of chefs, Ramsay (or Mario Batali for that matter) doesn't portray himself as an "artist" but a guy who loves cooking good food.
  4. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    Thanks for the heads up, JR.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    You're welcome.

    Buford is a terrific writer. I loved "Heat"
  6. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    Interesting piece. I went to Ramsay's place in NY -- hated it. Food was very good, but the staff treated us like we should be thankful that we were being permitted to spend an arm and a leg on food and drink.
  7. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    They weren't waiters. They were temporarily unemployed actors.
  8. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    As is my secretary. And my doorman. And the woman who teaches my toddler daughter's overpriced music class. But if any of them treated me in the haughty manner in which my wife and I were treated, they would be looking for a new job.
  9. zeke12

    zeke12 Guest

    I loved Heat as well as Among the Thugs.

    The portrait of Batali in Heat was good enough that I wished the entire book had been about that, rather than detouring as it did. I appreciated the detour, as well, ut the whole time we were in Italy I was wishing we were back in Batali's kitchen.
  10. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Sorry, Webster, I forgot the sarcasm font.

    Ramsay is as working class as you can get so I suspect he'd be seriously pissed if he knew that was going on in his restaurants
  11. Webster

    Webster Well-Known Member

    JR, I know.

    As someone who spends way too much money on good food and drink, I just hate those places which try to make you feel inferior as soon as you walk in and it becomes a battle of wills to either justify that you are worthy or just to acted like an ass in order to get respect. Food and drink are supposed to be pleasurable experiences and the best places are where the staff tries to be a part of that experience.
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