So LA doesn't have a contestant in the upcoming season of Hell's Kitchen, but for better or worse, we'll be claiming the winner as our own when he or she becomes "executive chef" at Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood. This season's contestants include an electrician, a receptionist, a stay-at-home dad, a few students and a catering company owner. Ramsay isn't one to just throw anyone in his establishments---the opening chef at the London New York was let go after Frank Bruni's review---so how's this going to work again? We were on a call with Ramsay earlier this week, and here's how he explains it:
"The position isn't the exec chef position in terms of running the restaurant lock, stock and barrel. The winner will be an executive chef within the set up, responsible of the day to day general sort of running the restaurant. The tough love scenario of switching it around [in New York], of course it was a tough opening...I want to prove to the industry that any winner of Hell's Kitchen is more qualified and capable of standing alone in my kitchen".About selecting from the competition pool: "It's far more exciting for me to be able to pick someone from obscurity." He also tips off that the female chefs are top contenders this year.
If the New York restuarant had a rocky start, what's in store for LA?
"Everything I learned and didn't do in NY, we put into place here in West Hollywood. Winning two Michelin stars and getting Zagat best newcomer within ten months of opening taught me a big lesson: Come out strong, explode from day one. The ingredients here are phenomenal. It will be light, American California style, with a bit of Japanese influence. Here in LA, trust me, there will be fireworks from the canapés to the desserts.Last we heard, Gordon Ramsay at the London will open in June. Hell's Kitchen premieres on April 1, 9pm, FOX.
If you think customers are impatient in NY, wait to you see how impatient they are here in LA. One thing I can't afford to get sucked up is the trend formation of restaurants here. I invested heavily, we have a 10 year lease, and the style, the feel and décor of the dining room is vibrant. The décor is very LA, lots of silver, nickel, brushed stainless steel, cream fabric. Fast and furious, a level of intimacy, a level of fun."
· Hell's Kitchen 4 Contestants Announced [~ELA~]
· Delays for Gordon Ramsay at the London [~ELA~]