Review Of Hells Kitchen

By Edward Charkow

Hellís Kitchen, a cooking-based reality television show, is most known for its crass and cacophonous British chef Gordon Ramsay.  The US version of Hell's Kitchen follows in the footsteps of the UK television series, the original Hellís Kitchen,which was broadcast in the UK in 2004.  The first American season  (the show is now in its second season)  premiered on FOX in 2005, with Season Two premiering in June of 2006.  It has since been announced that a third season of the show will air on FOX in the Summer of 2007.

The premise of the show features twelve contestants  (with restaurant experience ranging from executive chef to waiter)  who are competing to own their own "million dollar restaurant".  The contestant group features men and women of all ages, some who have been cooking in top American restaurants and others who have been cooking only for their families.  Friction and drama occurs largely based upon this wide range of experience and dueling egos, but is also exacerbated by the rages and incessant insults doled out by head chef Ramsay.

As with the British show, the contestants are divided up into a red team and the blue team and compete in a series of cooking challenges, ranging from creating a five-course meal from last eveningís leftovers to setting the perfect five-star restaurant table in the smallest amount of time.

Each week, the best member from the losing team during the latest service period  ("best" as determined by Ramsay)  is asked to nominate two of their fellow teammates for elimination;  one of these two is sent home by Gordon Ramsay.

The second season of Hellís Kitchen featured two teams divided by gender.  The winner was promised an executive chef position at the billion dollar Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino, as well as a financial interest in the restaurant.

Despite its popularity, critics and audiences alike have panned the show, citing that the drama is based solely on Ramsay's insults and his ability to humiliate both contestants and restaurant patrons.

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