How to Stay Out of Hot Water in 'Hell's Kitchen'
The next season of Hell's Kitchen will be starting on April 1, 2008, and from the request for diners on the Fox website, it would appear the series is in the process of being filmed right now.

Most reality shows impose severe restrictions, such as no internet access or other contact with the outside world, on their contestants. So the current batch of masochists who have decided to seek culinary glory via Gordon Ramsay's particular brand of humiliation will probably not be helped by the article.

However, for their sakes, one hopes they took the time to read Ramsay's own book Roasting in Hell's Kitchen as it gives a pretty clear roadmap…if not to success, at least to the way to outrage him the least.

In the excerpt available on Fox's website, he clarifies the answer to a question that many have pondered, namely, “What on earth is he so upset about?”

“What makes me really pissed off in the kitchen? What makes me explode? Lies.

A chef can overcook a scallop, they can overcook a fillet of beef, they can overcook a turbot. But what they can't do is lie about it. That really upsets me. It's not the fact that they're lying to me; they're lying to the customers, too, and I won't have that.”

But that's not all. Another thing to watch out for? He writes, “The second thing I can't stand is dirty cooks. I want clean trousers, clean hair and clean nails. I want a chef to take pride in his appearance.”

And there's more! (At least the contestants can't say he didn't make his preferences clear.)

“The third thing I can't stand is clock-watchers. There's no room for clock-watchers in a kitchen. You could be working twenty hours on the trot. So what? That's the way it goes…What's my idea of a clock-watcher? Someone who's more interested in the last bus than in the last table.”

Don't be a clock-watcher, and don't be a “mummy's boy.”

Ramsay thinks “[t]here's no place for mummy's boys in a kitchen. Young chefs that involve their parents are making a massive mistake. You've got being at home until you're sixteen or seventeen, and then you've got the kitchen. The two are, and should be, entirely separate. You've got to stand on your own two feet.”

And one also hopes the new crop of contestants on Hell's Kitchen did a few months of serious training before they showed up because, Ramsay says, “there's one thing above all that I have grown to despise and that is a fat chef. I should know, I was one myself once. That's why I started running.”

So as you watch the next season of Hell's Kitchen, keep an eye out. As new chefs commit offenses, you can cross-reference this list as a handy guide for what's going to make Ramsay especially screamy that episode.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Image courtesy of Fox)