Have you ever wondered what Gordon Ramsay is like on his home turf, Britain? Neither have I (nor cared) but BBC America is on hand to show us and it turns out he's exactly the way you'd expect—loud, brash, and full of ego. "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" pits two of his favorite restaurants with similar cuisine against each other.
If you're wondering, yes, I'm discussing a second British reality television export—I'm over cupcakes, "Cake Boss" and "Top Chefs," which is all the Food Network, Bravo, and TLC are giving us these days, but not to worry, I'll head back that way next week.
In his Best Restaurant series, Ramsay chooses Momo and Azou, two of London's finest North African restaurants and, like previous episodes in this series, they are subject to three tests chosen by Sir Ramsay himself (I know, I know, he's not a Sir, but he sure acts like one).
For the first challenge, each restaurant is subject to the mass arrival of 30 or so diners who can choose from a full menu. No matter how experienced these restaurants are, taking orders from so many diners at the same time is surely taxing. At one point it looked as though Azou was fully equipped for such an evening with an entourage of wait staff, but Ramsay noticed and quipped, "There are more managers in this dining room than there are grains of #$%#$^& couscous."
It's these moments that make Ramsay the entertaining character he is and, no matter what you think of him as an individual, he's an amazing chef with three Michelin stars under his belt at my last count.
For the second challenge, Ramsay solicits undercover operatives to head to both of the restaurants and record their encounters. It's here that the true restaurant comes out and for both restaurants, it is the service that falls short—don't bother looking for a glass of water at Momo.
The final challenge is not as entertaining as the previous two, each chef is provided with Ramsay's professional kitchen to cook a meal for each other's restaurant staff. Blah, blah, it's really boring. It's ultimately down to Ramsay to be the overlord and judge which crew reigns supreme and, for him, it was Azou, the tiny restaurant in Hammersmith West London. Be sure to order the lamb tajine.
For an entertaining hour, head over to BBC America and "Ramsay's Best Restaurant." Check your local listings.
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