I know that lots of people love the show “Hells Kitchen” on Fox. I really loved watching it back in the day, but the last 2 seasons have pretty much been the “same old crap”. I know that l when it first started it was a guilty pleasure for many, in fact Anthony Bourdain even admitted to me that he enjoyed it (although we had already had several drinks at that time). We used to sit glued to the TV to see what the latest creative name Chef Ramsey would call one of the pitiful contestants (Donkey is my all time favorite).
I was surprised to learn that most people think Hells Kitchen is an actual “restaurant” and you can just go there for dinner. Well folks, this is Hollywood and like everything including most of the tits and faces in the city, its fake!
I managed to “score a reservation” using my D – food celebrity status and off we went along with our friends John and Sally Lee for a dinner of unknown and sometimes unwanted. The location is as hidden as it can get in Hollywood and I guess that’s so Japanese tourist and “Marge and Murry” from Green Bay Wi don’t just stumble up to the door expect that snobby French guy to give them a table.
Upon arrival if you are beautiful enough they will valet your car and film you going into the restaurant , you guessed it, we were not, so I parked the car myself. You are led upstairs to the green rooms and told to sign a ton of forms stating you will not talk about the show until after it airs, blah blah blah. You are also told that you “might not get all or any” of you meal once you are in then dining room. When you finish signing your life away, you get to go back into the green room and then the best part of the evening starts, BOOZE and lots of it! The production staff makes sure that the wine if “free flowing” in order to loosen everyone up so they will relax on camera (actually a good idea as I feel I filmed some of my best stuff for my show, “nicely toasted”).
We drank a shit load of wine and ate tons of pretty decent finger food and by the time it was time to go eat, we were pretty much sauced. The restaurant/studio itself is actual really nice, Fox spared no expense in building it. The kitchen/s are in the front and covered with a soundproof plexiglass to keep the yelling from Chef Ramsey in and the drunken dining patrons noise out.
There are mic’s everywhere, in the flowers on the table, posted throughout then dining area and such. The “middle table” is where the “chosen drama person” of the evening appears to always be seated. Tonights was a very loud prissy gay man who bitched about everything and made a total scene every time the cameras were near. We got seated in the “Fat Ugly Guy” section along the wall. This evening it had been chosen that half of the contestants were to act as the wait staff and the other half as kitchen. We were waited on by a long haired hippy guy who would end up winning that season. We got a simple menu with 3 or 4 choices, none were that difficult to make. It was “Steak night” much to the delight of John and I, I mean really how bad can they fuck up a steak! We got our first course of an actually pretty decent salad and then we waited. We waited some more, and some more….and then a bit more. I kid you not that we sat there for at lease 2 hrs waiting, and the shitty part was we couldn’t get any more wine! I managed to grab the contestant/waiter guy amongst the many production crew members who were dressed as waiters but would not bring you shit (not that it was they’re job). I was ravaged with hunger for actual food, the bread was long gone so I begged our contestant/waiter “please kind sir, can you just manage to bring us a main course before Chef Ramsey calls Donkey and shuts the place down”. He must have taken pity on us since we had been begging for bread all evening. A few mins later he arrives with sizzling flat iron steaks, which looked amazing and told us the Ramsey had just shut it down and we got the last ones! I cut into the meat and could tell it was a quality cut of beef, no cheap crappy leather for Hells Kitchen! I took a bite, and chewed the succulent gift from the gods ….what the fuck, salt…salt,there was more salt on the steak then on the rim of a 2 dollar margarita at Hooters! Oh the horror, a perfect steak given to a hungry fat man, was ruined by some dumb ass reality show contestant with no palate. Man I was pissed, cause I was starved and the steak could have been cooked better by a monkey!
I was pissed, but what was I going to do, it’s a tv show, and reality show or not, it’s all fake! We got up and walked to the exit, my nice free booze buzz long since gone….was I disappointed? A little, but hey, look at the bright side, I drank a ton of booze, had a fun time out with my friends and it didn’t cost me a dime!