Gor­don Ram­say dishes on din­ing out

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Taste -

AVOID the spe­cials, be sus­pi­cious of out­landish boasts and pre­pare to hag­gle for your wine – three golden rules for a height­ened din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, as newly re­vealed by celebrity chef Gor­don Ram­say. The Miche­lin-starred cook of­fered AFP his tricks for get­ting the most out of a restau­rant visit as he in­spected the Los An­ge­les set of his lat­est show, a US ver­sion of his hit British se­ries The F Word, which de­buted on Fox on Wed­nes­day.

“Spe­cials are there to dis­ap­pear through­out the evening. When they list 10 ‘spe­cials,’ that’s not spe­cial,” Ram­say told AFP at a sound­stage in Hol­ly­wood that is be­ing trans­formed into a func­tional restau­rant ca­pa­ble of serv­ing 100 din­ers.

The 50-year-old British pre­sen­ter rec­om­mends book­ing a ta­ble for at least three if you are plan­ning a ro­man­tic meal for two, as your small lie will im­prove your chances of be­ing able to spread out and avoid “get­ting stuck in the cor­ner like a doorstop.”

Al­ways get the most out of the ex­pert sell­ing you the wine, the chef says, rec­om­mend­ing that din­ers ask for the “bin end” list -- the bot­tles with scratched la­bels, vin­tages that are about to be ro­tated out or poor sell­ers that restau­rants want to get rid of.

One of only four chefs in Bri­tain to main­tain three Miche­lin stars and the owner of a string of restau­rants around the world, Ram­say knows bet­ter than most how to read be­tween the lines on a menu, and says there are some dishes he wouldn’t or­der any­where.

“When they turn around and tell me it is the ‘fa­mous red lasagne,’ who made it fa­mous?” he de­mands.

“They start com­ing up with these ter­mi­nolo­gies, say­ing ‘and the wicked, fa­mous, best in the coun­try prof­iteroles.’ Who said that, who named that?”

Ram­say, who trained un­der Al­bert Roux, Marco Pierre White and Guy Savoy, is fa­mous for his foul-mouthed rants on numer­ous hit TV shows in­clud­ing Hell’s Kitchen, and his acer­bic com­ments have landed him in hot wa­ter on sev­eral oc­ca­sions.

The Scot’s no­to­ri­ously filthy lan­guage em­bar­rassed British net­work Chan­nel 4 af­ter an unedited episode of his Ho­tel Hell aired by mis­take on a mid­day in April. Ram­say used the “F word” six times in 15 min­utes, be­fore the episode was pulled.

His word-for-word re­ac­tion to the con­tro­versy – at least to AFP – is un­print­able, but the gist is that he thinks the chan­nel should be tak­ing the heat for what was, in the end, a schedul­ing er­ror.

Ram­say’s broader thoughts on his rep­u­ta­tion for pro­fan­ity are also un­suit­able for day­time con­sump­tion but, in sum­mary, he senses a hypocrisy in the way the press sin­gles him out for his “in­dus­trial lan­guage.”

He is no dif­fer­ent, he be­lieves, from other pro­fes­sion­als – “from jour­nal­ists to bas­ket­ball play­ers to foot­ballers to school teach­ers” – who use the lin­gua franca of the shop floor.

Ram­say’s pro­fan­ity never comes across as any­thing less than au­then­tic, yet one can’t help but sus­pect that he en­joys his brand.

A filthy-mouthed chef fronting a show called The F Word – notwith­stand­ing Fox’s in­sis­tence that the ini­tial stands for “food,” “fam­ily” and “fun” – knows ex­actly what it is that makes him a bank­able as­set for bil­lion­aire Ru­pert Mur­doch’s lu­cra­tive ca­ble TV divi­sion.

The se­ries is go­ing out live in prime­time and Ram­say’s only pro­tec­tion from cen­sure will be a five-sec­ond de­lay and a pro­ducer hover­ing over the “bleep” but­ton. But the de­fi­ant chef says he won’t pull punches or “wrap any­thing in cot­ton wool.”

“The one big thing I hope doesn’t hap­pen is we don’t crash and come off air, if the naughty F-bomb drops out and Ru­pert Mur­doch is (watch­ing) in Aus­tralia and he pulls the plug out,” he jokes.

— AFP Re­laxnews

Ram­say is de­but­ing the US ver­sion of The F Word. — AFP Re­laxnews

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.