July 08, 2011 07:53 PM by Lisa Princ
FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen is returning soon for its ninth season, and in an interview today, Gordon Ramsay revealed that the girls will dominate the cooking competition in the new season. Read on to hear more of what Chef Ramsay says we can expect!
Season Nine of Hell’s Kitchen is almost here as our favorite culinary competition returns on July 18th at 8 pm EST. Gordon Ramsay took some time today for a press interview in which he started off by saying: “I am excited for season nine, it’s quite a big one – this one. This season we will see some extraordinary chefs, predominately female and they have the edge on this one, but it’s a quite interesting line up.”
Chef Ramsay then answered some questions for us, and this is what he wanted to share with the viewers and fans:
Question: What do you get out of doing Hell’s Kitchen?
Gordon Ramsay: The show gets better, I continue running a restaurant and more than before due to the long gap since the last season, we get a good chef mix. Cooking shows are not slowing down so we had to up the ante – I love the challenge and I like finding talent. It turns me on I suppose.
Question: We’ve seen a huge jump in talent from last season to this season on Masterchef, can we expect the same out of Hell’s Kitchen?
Gordon Ramsay: Not the just the jump but the ambition cooking that holds so much passion and freedom – I am quite excited. Cooking that is humble, exciting and full of passion can take you on so many avenues.
Question: What type of chef does this competition produce as opposed to culinary school?
Gordon Ramsay: We did something quite unique this year. We brought past chefs back, to highlight where they are now. Like Blue Jay…Jason…he just opened a new restaurant tonight in Boston…and Paula, she is running an amazing restaurant in Miami. I commit to them and they commit to me – it doesn’t just end with the show. This year more than ever I focused on returning chefs and put them up against existing chefs in competition to light a fire in them and raise the bar.
Question: How do some of the egos go along with food?
Gordon Ramsay: Some egos spiral out of control. I suppose I love that level of confidence in a chef, but I also like that level of the control element and the way that they have the inner strength. If the vision is something that they can really pull out of them. So the ego, we don’t get carried away with stars and stripes, it’s what you put on a place every day should resemble you. It’s fascinating. I don’t see many out there that build such an arrogance, to some extent, because they’re telling themselves the dish is good, any good chef is picking up on the negative and it’s easy to ignore them.
Question: How do the chefs this season stand out from previous seasons?
Gordon Ramsay: This season, the chefs have over studied the tapes and raised the bar. We do have one extraordinary lady, her name is Elise, from Pittsburgh. She is rare, I mean unique rare. I won’t say anymore, but she has this confidence that is extraordinary and she has it backed up with talent.
Question: It’s amazing that these chefs come in with their signature dishes and they are awful. Are they really that bad or are they just buckling under the pressure?
Gordon Ramsay: They over complicate it, because if someone just served me a New York Strip with braised collard greens and the most amazing potatoes, I’d be like a pig in shit. They think too hard and over compensate. They get too worked up and over ambitious when all they need is a humble approach with food. We need to touch base with that, it’s not all about high end ingredients. It can be about amazing oxtail, stunning new york strip, packed full of flavor. Just something that tastes immaculate.
Question: Do you find it difficult to dine out?
Gordon Ramsay: I love eating out, I don’t deny that, but I don’t want 12-15 calls because the chef wants me to taste this or that, I just want to eat. I just want to sit and indulge…I want the light to be low, I want server to be attentive, and the chef to give me his best shot.
Question: What is the best thing they could cook for you?
Gordon Ramsay: I’m a big lover of fish. Cooking fish is so much more difficult than cooking protein meats, because there are no temperatures in the medium, rare, well done cooking a stunning sea bass or a scallop. I had the most amazing fish yesterday and pasta, and it was just cooked to perfection. Fish, one temperature, crispy skin, sweet, and absolutely cooked to perfection. So, cook me some fish, please.
Question: What is the biggest mistake the chefs make on Hell’s Kitchen?
Gordon Ramsay: The biggest mistake they make is that they take it for granted, I want them to shine as a team and individuals. I like individuals that can motivate, and when the chips are down, never ever start pointing fingers, because that is the beginning of the end for me. Let the food do the talking.
Question: What criteria do you use for the challenges?
Gordon Ramsay: I look at existing challenges that we face as chefs such as waste percentage, creativity, etc. This year we did an amazing charity event, we have the most amazing ingredients and I want their individual flair. In my mind, the palate is paramount – if you don’t know how something should taste, you shouldn’t be cooking it.
Question: Why did you decide to go with theme nights on the show this season?
Gordon Ramsay: I quite like the vulnerability in terms of those individuals learning a new style. They need to know the diversity of the cross sector success in restaurants today and they can’t be just a one hit wonder.
Question: How does the dynamic change for you as the contestants dwindle down?
Gordon Ramsay: I cringe at the beginning, but when we get down to 7 or 8, the core talent emerges and it’s a dream to me. I had a shock with one brigade this season, we will see quite an extraordinary twist happen.
Question: Can you tell us about your great team?
Gordon Ramsay: Andy is amazing, Andy worked for eight years alongside a prominent chef in California. Scott has been there since day one…when I am not there during the day, they are like 2 head chefs. We are a team, the three of us run it.
Question: What do you think is behind Hell’s Kitchen’s huge success?
Gordon Ramsay: No one is walking on water, but what’s important for success is that we keep it real I suppose. No one gets carried away, the prize this year is phenomenal, but the level of creativity is second to none. Am I getting to old for this? I think I am, I am not saying this is my last season, I love it, I live for this. I really focused this year more than any before and season nine is going to put a stake in the ground more than ever.
A huge thank you to Gordon Ramsay for taking the time to chat today! Are you looking forward to the new season of Hell’s Kitchen? We are! Be sure to tune in on Monday, July 18th at 8 pm EST for this exciting season premiere episode on Fox!
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Photo Credit: FOX