- Gordon Ramsay
It begins with the swearmaster jumping into the sea for no real reason, and doesn’t improve from there
Gordon Ramsay and some of his Future Food Stars contestants. BBC
Gordon Ramsay is wearing a wetsuit while standing on the edge of a helicopter. Below is the blue water of the Cornish coast, while on a beach in front of him, 12 disciples wait with bated breath. They’re nervous; they can’t believe what they’re seeing. Ramsay edges towards the edge of the helicopter, and plunges. A brief panic. He emerges from the water, shaking his hair like he’s James Bond. He approaches the beach, stands in front of the contestants, and asks them to take a leap of faith with him.
No: this is not a biblical fever dream. This is Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars, the worst TV show of the sweary chef’s career.
Gordon Ramsay is just a prop, but he’s also everywhere
Reviewing Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, former Eater editor Greg Morabito concluded that the problem with that Gordon Ramsay show was none other than Gordon Ramsay. Unfortunately, Gordon Ramsay’s Future Food Stars is the same.
That might seem a strange conclusion when Ramsay is clearly the vehicle for this show — and it’s his £150,000 on the line, to invest in whichever food and drink entrepreneur gets through his madcap assembly of challenges. But he really is everywhere: he’s jumping out of a helicopter into water; he’s making the contestants jump off cliffs into water; he’s eating toasties; he’s getting angry about toasties; he’s talking to local street food people; he’s sitting in an interrogation room with each of the final four.
Compare this, say, to The Apprentice. Alan Sugar is the Boss, but he doesn’t hang around every element of every challenge rubbing his hands together, sending then deleting racist tweets and commenting on every move. He announces the task, leaves for 40 minutes, then eviscerates the whimpering contestants in the boardroom. Ramsay, here, is doing everything at once while actually doing very little, frenetic to the point of turning into very loud foreground noise. This also makes the scenes where he is allowed to try and be funny, or even show a touch of personality — including asking someone if their hair comes with a hat because it’s long and blue, lol! — feel uncomfortably forced.
The show itself is a bad fusion dish
Speaking of The Apprentice, this show is pretty much The Apprentice. It’s also, at various junctures, Kitchen Nightmares, The F Word, and SAS Who Dares Wins. Ramsay’s sheer force of personality and weirdly punctuated way of making, everything, sound, important could probably just about yoke these together if he were allowed to be anything more than very high-energy,