I've come to the conclusion that Americans don't know how to cook, and by cook I mean run restaurants. They are two separate things, I understand, cooking and running a restaurant. The first; cooking. I know Americans as a whole don't really know how to cook. This group does not contain the group of Americans who recently emigrated to this country. They undoubtedly still have traditions they brought over from the "old country", where they still know how to make "food" without the help of a little glove or dough boy. Americans are getting a little bit better, thanks to global monstrosities such as Whole Foods and Rachael Ray, but we still have a long way to go. I can't believe its not butter!?!? I can't believe you are eating that crap! Still, other than my own observations, and the fact that I don't use margarine (any more), I have no ultimate proof that Americans can't cook.
The second part of my argument, that Americans can't run restaurants, has been proven unquestionably by being the source material for my favorite television show at the moment, "Kitchen Nightmares" (duh-duh-duuuuuuuuh). Kitchen Nightmares was first an English show. This proves that the British also can't run a restaurant, but this has been documented for hundreds of years I'm pretty sure.
Kitchen Nightmares, like the Office, was adapted to American TV. I don't know how far they had to go to "adapt" it. All they did was take the host, chef Gordon Ramsay, from England to New Jersey and let him continue to yell at people. That's pretty much the entire show, and the only reason to watch it, is in fact, to watch Ramsay go balls-out crazy at the owners of these restaurants for 44 minutes with five, 30 second commercials on Hulu. It's not like they don't deserve it mind you. The basic setup for any restaurant on this show has most, if not all, of the following going on:
- No head chef, absentee head chef, or one who doesn't speak any English.
- Owner is going to loose their house and is at least $200K in debt. Handlebar mustache or emotional tick optional.
- Parents/friends/spouses of owner also duped into investing, they are going to loose their houses/children/pets/gun collection if restaurant fails.
- Restaurant interior looks like a Dennys and a Waffle House had a baby restaurant with autism who's favorite activity is to paint on the furniture, and serve drinks.
- Butter and oil are the two cooking spices, bought in bulk and of the lowest quality. If that doesn't solve it, cover it with cheese.
- The entire fridge is filled with rotting food, no exceptions! Insects optional but encouraged.
- The owner thinks everything is just fine; customers are just dumb and need to like cheese more.
- Gordon arrives, dines at restaurant, everything is shit. Gordon yells. Gordon leaves.
- Gordon comes back. Fox packs place with diners who are getting paid to eat there. Restaurant hasn't had this many people in years. Restaurant fails. Gorden yells, possibly shutting down restaurant in the middle of service. Rotten food is found, all cheese is removed from building.
- A "special" is added to the menu. Fox packs restaurant again. Restaurant screws up special. Gorden screams. Waitstaff cries. Owner storms out.
- Gordon does life changing exercise with owner. Shows owner what fresh food looks like. Gordon's team takes autistic child restaurant interior and replaces it with autistic child wearing cool kids cloths interior. Waitstaff crys again.
- Relaunch night. New menu. Things mostly go wrong. Gordon yells, but not as much as the show needs to end now. Sometimes Gordon hugs people. Waitstaff cries one more time. Gordon leaves and gives Christmas Carol-like warning of restaurant's need to change before "it's too late".
Actually, one bright spot in the sea of screaming profanities is the first episode of season 2, where we get to revisit all of the restaurants that are still alive after having been revived by Gordon and his team. Don't watch this episode unless you want to see the soft exposed underbelly of the hard-ass that is chef Gordon Ramsay. In this episode, he's the nicest guy ever! This leads me to believe that off camera he is sitting there with the cast going, "Look man, I'm sorry that I called you a fat mother-fucker on national TV, really the burnt cheese is actually MY favorite too."
In conclusion, if you're bored like me, and need to watch someone else take some shit for 40 minutes, "Kitchen Nightmares" is for you buddy!