Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Un-Ramsey

After reading the New York Times review, I was eager to watch the new NBC cooking reality show "The Chopping Block" -- a clear knock off of the BBC program "Last Restaurant Standing." Unfortunately, I tried a new recipe Wednesday evening that took far longer than I expected (details for another post), and we ate too late to see the program.

I just watched it on Hulu and loved it. Marco Pierre White is the un-Gordon Ramsey. In contrast to Ramsey's proclivity for humiliation and cruelty, White delivers his criticisms with subtlety and understatement. Yet, they just as cutting, perhaps even more so. His glowering presence makes him something of a combination of God and grim reaper.

As much as I enjoy Ramsey, his shows are a guilty pleasure. I often feel dirty after watching him dress down yet another hapless cook or restaurant owner like the drill Sergent in "Full Metal Jacket." Seeing such a different management style is both a relief and a pleasure. Indeed, the two men illustrate opposite ends of the spectrum in leadership styles: The vicious bully and the God-like seer. Both can get results. I'd sure as hell prefer to work for the God-like seer. Indeed, I was impressed, even though I don't doubt that he said so at last partly for effect, when White said that he had a "moral duty" to choose the right person for elimination. Ramsey doesn't give a rat's ass about moral duty. You could argue either way, but the contrast is as stark as it gets.

What makes this even more interesting is that Ramsey is White's protege and the two had a falling out and no longer speak. Now, they have dueling TV programs. Yet more grist for the mill.

I can't wait for the next episode.

1 comment:

  1. Apparently you didn't bother to discover his personality.
    And if you're going to slam him, at least spell his name right!