Even the box seems a bit grim …
Department and specialty stores are brimming this time of year with kitchenware endorsed by celebrity chefs, with Jamie Oliver (11-piece stainless steel cook set), Mario Batali (7.5-quart persimmon-colored Dutch oven), and Giada De Laurentiis (5/8-quart butter warmer) leading the way. But a tidal wave of Gordon Ramsay products have recently crested over the holiday alps of other chef’s endorsements. Gordon Ramsay?
In case you’ve forgotten, he’s the host of Kitchen Nightmares. Ever seen it? The Brit celebrity chef stands over the hapless restaurant employees — front of the house and back — humiliating them, screaming obscenities, and nitpicking everything they do. Without really helping anyone very much in a permanent sort of way. It’s like a three-day brainwashing camp. After a blip of notoriety and a stage-managed meal among adulatory extras/patrons, Ramsay splits and the restaurant slips back into its former wretched dysfunctional obscurity.
In fact, in the aftermath of two shows, Kitchen Nightmares and another Ramsay abuse-fest — Hell’s Kitchen — a pair of chefs have actually committed suicide.
And this is the cookware you want to give as a Christmas gift? What kind of friend are you? Maybe the message that you’re trying to send is that the recipient is an incompetent boob who deserves to be screamed at, and maybe even die? Think about it.
He’s kind of smiling now, but wait till he goes off on you …
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 29, 2010