Top seven quotes: "Hell's Kitchen"

1. "Yes, chef." - The ubiquitous, reflex reply to any and all statements, questions, insults, accusations, recriminations, and attacks directed to the exhausted contestants by Chef Ramsay. We say this all the time in the Cheese Fry's kitchen - it makes us feel like the few lame dishes we make are actually something special. If you were going to turn this show into a drinking game, "yes, chef" would be the phrase to use to do a shot. You'd be buzzed before the first commercial.

2. "It's raw!" - Usually preceded by Chef Ramsay asking one of the contestants to examine the raw meat in question up close ("C'mon, touch it!") and followed by the hurling of the raw meat in question into the nearest trash can, plate and all. One of the more curious aspects of "Hell's Kitchen" is the way seemingly experienced, competent, confident cooks can shrivel so utterly and completely during the infamous "dinner service" segment of each show. This particularly odd since it seems that only a cursory examination of the meat would tell the cook it needs more time on the stove. The Cheese Fry has long been interested in finding out exactly what make the show's "dinner service" so seemingly impossible. Is it that the diners all sit down at once en masse? Is it that the kitchens are understaffed? Is it that the menus are complicated? Is it that it's hard to have total strangers work together as a team? Are real kitchens this chaotic and stressed-out?

3. "You donkey!" - Chef Ramsay certainly isn't afraid of letting loose a horrific insult right to a contestant's face. "You cow!" would be a close second, always reserved for the women contestants. Calling someone a "donkey" ranks among his more memorable choices. It seems on one hand so quaint and harmless (it's one of the few words Fox doesn't have to bleep), yet on the other hand so unusual and specific. We've been called many things... but never a donkey.

4. "And now the continuation of 'Hell's Kitchen'" - So says the announcer at the top of each show. We love the way each episode picks up exactly where the last one left off (Chef Ramsay dismissing the remaining contestants moments after kicking one of off the show), giving the show a distinctive vibe. These are all just seamless chapters in one long book.

5. "Oh dear." - When you're dealing with a volcanic personality and expect shouts and screams, sometimes it's all the more chilling when instead you get a muted, muttered statement. That's what the quiet "oh dear" is for Chef Ramsay. Part disappointment, part bewilderment, part disgust, he usually utters this moments after receiving a poorly prepared entree from a confident contestant who's sure it's perfect.

6. "Why should you stay in 'Hell's Kitchen'?" - The question Chef Ramsay asks each contestant up for elimination, which invariably leads to pathetic begging and shameless pleading that rarely offers anything more useful that "I want this" or "I know I can do better."

7. "Gimme your jacket." - This show's version of "The tribe has spoken." Goodbye and so long.

8. "It's cooked perfectly." - This Ramsay fake-out happens in every show, so it can be something of a sport to try and predict when it will happen and to whom. Here's how it works: Ramsay will receive an entree, look it over, then shout out in apparent anger the contestant's name. The contestant snaps their head around, "Yes, chef?" (see #1 above). Expecting to hear news of nuclear armageddon or the murder of a litter of puppies. Ramsay instead says, "These scallops... are cooked perfectly!" The contestant smiles and we see a quick confessional cutaway that shows the contestant puffing up in pride at, well, doing his/her job the way it was intended.


  1. Anonymous10:27 PM

    I'm happy to take credit for your obsession with HK. You should try to get tickets to "dinner service".


  2. The Cheese Fry8:41 PM

    You deserve full credit.

  3. I always admire Hell Kitchen becuase it represents the real world. Chef sometimes really make fun of you like Chef Ramsay. You can read the rest at http://paidcritique.blogspot.com/2011/07/chef-of-hell-kitchen-2011.html

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