While some may disagree, Gordon Ramsay wishes chefs would stop this habit.
As one of the world’s leading culinary authorities, Gordon Ramsay has never shied away from his opinions. From commenting on people’s culinary creations to his quick witted retorts in Hell’s Kitchen, the celebrated chef is never afraid to speak his mind.
During an interview with FoodSided for Hell’s Kitchen Season 19, Ramsay revealed one bad habit that he wishes that chefs would stop doing. While Hell’s Kitchen is a culinary competition, it is also a cooking audition to become part of the Ramsay restaurant group. Although viewers might see the entertainment value, each challenge shares a little more insight on each chef’s talent, approach to cooking and most importantly, their palate.
For Ramsay, he specifically stated “I’m not a big fan of chefs smoking.” Looking at seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, it is a bold statement given that many chefs do not seem to heed that advice.
Ramsay reiterated his opinion saying by not smoking chefs can do better in a taste test. Since many of his challenges focus on understanding and appreciating a chef’s palate, that ability to discern and distinguish taste is important to him.
While Ramsay is looking for a good chef, not necessarily a super chef, he admitted that it is about the nuances. Although training a palate may not be possible, chefs might want to consider their habits that impact their craft.
Years ago, in the French Chemosensory Perception study, the findings showed that people who smoked could not perceive bitter flavors as well as people who did not smoke. The basic flavors that people perceive are sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami. Many people consider the perfect bite to have all tastes in perfect harmony.
While people and scientists debate the impact of smoking on taste, chefs might want to take notice. Just like those many cooking challenges that take away sight during a taste test, losing a sense can impact perception. If flavors are impeded, it could change the overall success of a recipe.
Cooking is a skill that develops over time. From professional chefs to the home cook, many people are looking to better appreciate the craft. Understanding that many elements go into that skill is important to the overall enjoyment.
While smoking isn’t banned on Hell’s Kitchen, it will be interesting to see how some of the chefs fare in those classic taste test challenges. Could a pattern emerge?
What do you think of Gordon Ramsay’s commentary? Do you agree or disagree?