Any chit-chat with Gordon Ramsay, the foul-mouthed British chef and demanding star of Hell's Kitchen (Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET, Fox), is likely to be, well, profane. We were relieved Ramsay's harsh words were aimed mostly at the contestants… and not us!
TV Guide: There seems to be a considerable lack of culinary talent this season.…
Gordon Ramsay: Characters have to be flamboyant and funny, but you know they could be on the verge of a liability. That's my battle with Fox — they want to run a show, and I a restaurant.
TV Guide: Are you worried that none of these people are really worthy of the prize — a senior chef position at your new London West Hollywood restaurant?
Ramsay: I'm not worried...I'm sh---ing myself. A $10 million investment, and here I am facing a scenario that I could have egg on my face.
TV Guide: Obviously the contestants are challenged, but what is it like for you?
Ramsay: If they look good, I look good. If they look bad, I look terrible — I'm standing there completely exposed with my pants down in front of a dining room full of 120 difficult diners. It's bloody hard.
TV Guide: Is it really that difficult to make beef Wellington and risotto?
Ramsay: [Laughs] The recipes are laid out in black-and-white — it's in plain f---ing English.
TV Guide: You're a dad — do you curse like that at home?
Ramsay: With four young children — no chance.
TV Guide: One word to describe your cooking style.
TV Guide: What's your favorite comfort food?
Ramsay: In-N-Out burgers [an L.A. chain] — I absolutely love them.
TV Guide: Are you a fan of any American chefs? Thomas Keller, Ramsay: Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Daniel Boulud. Then you've got your TV chefs — Emeril [Lagasse], Bobby Flay. [Food Network] keeps on asking me to go on this Iron Chef thing.
TV Guide: Really? Are you going to do it?
Ramsay: I think they want to get me one-on-one to see what [I'm] really like on my own. Here's my issue — I have a competition every day, not once a month on Iron Chef on Food Network, which I love watching. It makes me laugh to watch them cook in an hour. Of course I welcome [the challenge] one day, but winning three [Michelin] stars in New York, three stars in L.A., three stars in London and three stars in Paris — when I achieve [that] goal in the culinary world, then I'll go on Iron Chef America. [Laughs]
TV Guide: You're promoting a new cookbook....
Ramsay: Yeah, Fast Food. Fast food doesn't have to be junk food. With four kids and a manic lifestyle, honestly, at home it's like the bloody zoo. Cooking from home is a completely different league, but a joy.
TV Guide: Any more Kitchen Nightmares?
Ramsay: I just finished filming the new [season] and here's the bad news… I've just been told I've got an ulcer from eating crap. So I have a big medical bill coming towards Fox. I swear to God, I'm so pissed off.
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