Friday, January 30, 2009
Hell's Kitchen - I Also Teach Manners
Spunk is a good word to describe Colleen Cleek. She's a local chef/businessowner who was chosen from thousands to be a contestant on the Fox series Hell's Kitchen. I've interviewed Colleen before for The Reader, so I wasn't at all surprised to hear she was chosen to appear on the show. She definitely one of the best interviewees I've had--very charismatic, 100% personality. And, the journalist's favorite, she is full of good quotes. I interviewed her again last week for a feature on her appearance on the show, which you can read here or here. And last night, I attended a premier party at her cooking school. She served her signature dish--which Chef Ramsey spit out within the first five minutes of the show (I did not). I hadn't actually ever seen the show before, but I enjoyed viewing it from a new perspective--i.e. sitting in the same room as one of the contestants. They showed Colleen getting berated and cussed out--her family seemed to have a good sense of humor about it, as did she. Apparently, no one was immune to the rath of Chef Ramsey. It was clear Colleen had been nervous about how she would be portrayed on the show. Certainly any sort of public experience like that would incur all sorts of criticism. Some people will love her, some people will hate her. We all should know that when watching a reality show, the producers/editors/etc are obviously taking snipets of what really happened to create hightened drama. When she made the mistake of putting sugar instead of salt in the risotto, she said crew members were walking around the set moving things around. And she said, Ramsey really is that mean. She was never able to see the softer side. I give her, and the other members of the cast, major props. Even if I were a talented cook, I don't think I could take the pressure.