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5 Questions With: Gordon Ramsay

by Maggie Furlong, posted May 14th 2009 6:00AM
Gordon RamsayHe screams, he curses, he gets amazing ratings -- Gordon Ramsay takes cooking to the extreme on two hit Fox shows, 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Kitchen Nightmares.'

In anticipation of the season finale of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Thurs., May 14 at 9PM ET), we got Ramsay to dish on seeing his cheftestants get creative and what makes him feel really old. We also learned that he'd be interested in doing another show on Fox -- could he really be serious about taking over 'American Idol' judging duties if Simon Cowell retires? Keep reading to find out. -- By Maggie Furlong



He screams, he curses, he gets amazing ratings -- Gordon Ramsay takes cooking to the extreme on two hit Fox shows, 'Hell's Kitchen' and 'Kitchen Nightmares.'

In anticipation of the season finale of 'Hell's Kitchen' (Thurs., May 14 at 9PM ET), we got Ramsay to dish on seeing his cheftestants get creative and what makes him feel really old. We also learned that he'd be interested in doing another show on Fox -- could he really be serious about taking over 'American Idol' judging duties if Simon Cowell retires? Keep reading to find out. -- By Maggie Furlong

Gordon Ramsay Photos

    HELL'S KITCHEN: Chef Ramsay (L) speaks with the final two chefs, Paula (C) and Danny (R), before the final dinner service in the season finale episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.

    Mike Yarish/FOX

    HELL'S KITCHEN: The final two chefs, Paula (L) and Danny (R), celebrate making it to the last challenge of the competition in an all-new HELL'S KITCHEN episode airing Thursday, May 7 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co. Cr: Mike Yarish/FOX

    HELL'S KITCHEN: Chef Ramsay (L) talks with Danny (R) about his menu in the season finale episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.

    HELL'S KITCHEN: Danny prepares his final meal in the season finale episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.

    HELL'S KITCHEN: Chef Ramsay (R) talks with Paula (L) about her menu in the season finale episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.

    HELL'S KITCHEN: Paula runs the pass in the season finale episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, May 14 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2009 Fox Broadcasting Co.

    Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana Ramsay attend the White House Correspondents dinner at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday, May 9, 2009, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

    MCT

    Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and his wife Tana Ramsay attend the White House Correspondents dinner at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday, May 9, 2009, in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)

    MCT

    Chef Gordon Ramsay and wife Tana Ramsay arrive at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at Washington Hilton on May 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Washington Hilton Washington, DC United States May 9, 2009 Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage.com To license this image (57403757), contact WireImage.com

    Paul Morigi/WireImage.com

    Chef Gordon Ramsay wife Tana Ramsay arrive at the 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at Washington Hilton on May 9, 2009 in Washington, DC. 2009 White House Correspondents' Association Dinner Washington Hilton Washington, DC United States May 9, 2009 Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage.com To license this image (57403753), contact WireImage.com

    Paul Morigi/WireImage.com



Hell's Kitchen1. Does doing 'Hell's Kitchen' ever get old?
In terms of ... how old do I look? [Laughs] I mean I don't want to sound facetious or incredibly arrogant, but we have an amazing team, and my kitchens are amazing places to work. Am I tired of it? I am tired of the opening night service. That's becoming a bit of a ball break, to be honest. I try so hard, I simplify things -- yeah, it ages me. I don't know when I'll grow into my face, but I just got back from India, and in three different states across India, every person I dealt with or cooked with, each said I looked 55 years of age. Now, at 42 years of age, that's a kick in the balls. What's going to happen when I get to 65? They'll say, "Oh my god, you look 80!" [Laughs]

2. In your opinion, what were the highlights of this season?
When [the contestants] are given the freedom, the sort of the individuality -- you know, them on a plate. You watch what they can do with $25 in terms of cooking an entrée. That segment for me is looking at the difference, the significant turnaround from the first time they presented their signature dish to me to what they've done a couple months later when they're cooking with no agenda. When you find a chef that can create instantly on his toes ... that's what restaurants are, aren't they? You know, that little spontaneously creative individuality. And that's when I get really excited, especially when you get down to the last six.

3. Will we ever see a 'Hell's Kitchen'/'Kitchen Nightmares' crossover?
Oh, dear. I mean, every time we go out to do 'Kitchen Nightmares' and I go to the restaurant the chef says, "I want to get better. Can I come onto 'Hell's Kitchen'?" You know, we had 33,000 applicants this year for 'Kitchen Nightmares.' So you try your best, but the sad thing is, you know, they were going to close if I didn't come. It's frustrating, because it's not difficult if they only could see the woods for the trees. So maybe one day you'll see a crossover, definitely.



Gordon Ramsay4. Do you have any advice for other celeb chefs, like Marco Pierre White, trying to make a TV career?
Just keep it real, I suppose. Don't get overproduced in terms of trying to be someone you're not. And more importantly, talk from the heart. And don't dribble! You know, to cook and talk at the same time is not easy. Open up and talk and enjoy. And relax; don't worry about trying to edit yourself.

5. You're so great at critiquing -- any chance you'd consider being a judge on 'Idol' if Simon Cowell leaves?
[Laughs] Stepping in those pair of shoes? Right now I've got so much going on -- it's pretty amazing -- and we're just really seriously focusing on this new season of 'Kitchen Nightmares.' But Simon is great. If he's going to retire, Christ, I would consider stepping in. [Laughs] Definitely! Of course I would.



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