The July 30 issue of TV Guide gives you all the dish on TV's hottest chefs and the cooks who are really stirring up the excitement this summer (including the bevy of vixens populating small-screen kitchens). As part of that, here is our Q&A with Hell's Kitchen overlord Gordon Ramsay.
TV Guide: You've developed something of a coarse reputation on Hell's Kitchen. Are you OK with that?
Gordon Ramsay: When I'm in the kitchen, and the s--t is hitting the fan, there are two ways you can handle things: my way or the soft way. To me, it's far better to reprimand the cook and say, "Wake up and get to it or you'll be flipping f--king burgers for a f--king living!" I mean, can you imagine trying to be polite in such a setting?
TV Guide: You're a dad of four kids. Are you concerned that they'll follow your cursing proficiency?
Ramsay: Well, my wife and I have four children with immaculate manners, and I certainly don't want them thinking they can go around saying whatever they want, whenever they want. That said, they need to know that there's a right place and a wrong place to speak that way. I think I do it in the right place.
TV Guide: In Kitchen Nightmares, your fall Fox show that's based on the U.K. series, you whip failing restaurants into shape. What did you find?
Ramsay: I thought I found some sh--holes in Britain, but nothing will ever compare to the places I encountered in the States. I can't wait for the viewers to have access to what I encountered. What dumbfounded me was the way some of the chefs take advantage of the customers.
TV Guide: You take it personally, don't you?
Ramsay: I can't help it. Food is personal to me. I was in Las Vegas earlier this year and I had an executive chef who had never touched a stove in his life. He looked like a pig, he smelled like a pig. He actually tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Tell me the truth — you're not a chef, you're an actor. Right?" I said, "Do me a favor, f--k off." A lot of these guys forget that they're here for the customers, not to feed their egos.
TV Guide: Are we going to see a kinder, gentler you on the American version of Kitchen Nightmares?
Ramsay: Nicer? I don't think so. I am who I am. Truth is, I don't even watch the shows, because I don't want to see myself and say, "Man, I need Botox" or "Those jeans look terrible" or "My teeth need to be whitened."
TV Guide: You've completed 10 marathons. Does running help you as a chef?
Ramsay: I run about 30 miles per week, and it lifts a great deal of stress. Pressure is healthy, and enough pressure can actually make a good chef. But being a chef is a very physical job that's both mentally and physically draining. You have to keep yourself in shape to maintain.
TV Guide: Are you concerned about what people write about you online? You're described in 8,000 horrible ways.
Ramsay: I never surf the 'Net, like some lazy ass with nothing better to do. I don't give two f--ks what people are writing about me. My critics are my customers. I've never Googled myself, and….
TV Guide: Really? Never?
Ramsay: Never. I wake up in the morning, take a run and work my ass off. I don't wanna listen to some vegetarian in Texas or Minnesota who can't stand the way I talk to my staff.
TV Guide: You're driving down a highway and you're hungry. You see a McDonald's on the side of the road. Do you stop for a Big Mac?
Ramsay: My friend, I'd rather eat a f--king cow-pie sandwich.
Check out some fiery Hell's Kitchen clips in our Online Video Guide.
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