The new/old series of Hell’s Kitchen looks set to sizzle – or should that be freeze. Instead of the ranting, mouth-foaming Gordon Ramsay we get the cool-hand of Marco Pierre White to not only entertain but also frighten us half to death.
The Michelin starred chef who put his name to the River Restaurant at the Lowry Hotel at one stage looks like he might have learned a thing or two about cultivating a hard man demeanour during time spent in Salford.
If last night’s episode is anything to go by, we’re in for a substantial meaty trotter of a treat – no sugar coated fancies with this guy.
Not only did the kitchen staff come in for some well-scripted television criticism but customers, it now seems, are not always right.
“You have two choices – apologise or leave” said our steely hero for heinous offence of returning cold food. Is this really a crime which should then result in having your complete place setting and your companion’s untouched and uncomplained about food loaded onto a tray?
This kind of treatment sits rather uncomfortably with moves to re-shape our economy towards the service sectors. How many of you would frequent an establishment which treated you in that way?
The unfortunate customer was completely polite – no ranting, no aggression just a gently delivered observation about his cold asparagus. After all the years it’s taken us Brits to get the courage up to complain, this sort of lack of service could see us all quaking over our poorly cooked meals served up by surly staff once again.
But whatever MPW’s diplomatic skills, the first episode clearly proved he’s not much of a tipster. Anyone following last night’s episode would have lost out when he predicted the “girl’s” team (is there anyone under 25 among them?) team would “bottle it” with favourable odds going to the oldest “boys” since, well Old Boys.
While the show might not teach us mere mortals much about food, it’s all good entertainment and I’m already looking forward to the next episode and wishing I could get along there to see what it’s really like.
The editor of Catersearch did – and bumped into the unlikely figure of George Galloway too. Here’s his verdict.