Bully and cook Gordon Ramsay has a new television vehicle: Future Food Stars. A bunch of promising young food entrepreneurs compete each week in challenges until only one is left, whereupon they will receive a genuine investment of £150,000 of Gordon’s money to turn their business into a big thing… oh yeah it’s The Apprentice, they haven’t even filed the serial numbers off, they’ve just got even more of an obnoxious man to mistreat people.
Now, I have to defend the producers of Future Food Stars. While the Apprentice has spent the last few years acting like its sole purpose is to have us laugh at the contestants as they make a series of understandably pressure affected decisions, Future Food Stars actually has us sympathising and liking the contestants. They’re an affable bunch, they have some solid businesses, they in no way deserve to be demeaned and belittled each week by Gordon Ramsay, who hasn’t toned down his career long ‘absolute inhuman monster’ persona.
Obviously I have to explain that this isn’t some weird class based comment. I have eaten in one of Gordon’s restaurants, and it served the best chicken I have ever had, and I have no objections to expensive, highly skilled cookery. But what every shouting, swearing, attack Gordon launches on the rest of humanity makes me do is wonder, is the cooking worth it? Do I really want to each the best chicken I’ve ever tasted if I have to know it’s been made by the roundly abused? Would a takeaway made with love be much better?
That’s a word Gordon uses a lot: love. He goes on and on about having love for the food, love for the ingredients, and what’s fascinating in that, with just one episode of Future Food Stars left to air, Gordon has shown absolutely no love for any food whatsoever. All Gordon has shown love for is Gordon, and his egomania and showing off. Guest businesses get a little bit of fellatio, but this is squarely Gordon telling everyone he’s great and treating them like he just slopped them out of a prison cell.
Future Food Stars is awkwardly enjoyable, but not in the way it’s meant to be. I really hope the plucky young entrepreneurs on the show get investment, but I also hope somehow, some way, no one wins and they all get their money from someone other than Gordon. I expect someone will suggest this is a review of Gordon and not the show, but that’s because Gordon occupies so much of the show he’s like a hateful, contemptuous black hole pulling everyone towards him (and telling them to fuck off).
Will this get a series two? I mean, yes if they change the presenter. Will I go back to a Gordon Ramsay restaurant? I don’t know, it’s currently unpalatable.