Fox's Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live [video]


Last night, the be-flanneled, bleached-blond, and botox-injected Gordon Ramsay, chairman of an imploding restaurant franchise, hosted the special Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live on Fox, an American reworking of the much tamer British Cookalong concept (where all Ramsay really did was stand alone in a kitchen, telling you what to do). And stateside, we do things big. Hollywood! Live studio audiences! Smoke machines! And then we bring in moderate celebrities to cook along, like LeAnn Rimes, Cedric the Entertainer, and Alyson Hannigan. None of them are skilled cooks, making them just like you or I. Except some of them get into car crashes while fleeing the paparazzi (LeAnn Rimes). And then Whoopi Goldberg and her daughter Alex, live via satellite, both "ready to be lively and cooking stuff." How could this possibly fail?


After countless late-night talk show appearances in the US, it's about time Ramsay was handed his own live show, made all the better with the ostensible and honorable goal of teaching people how to prepare a three-course meal in an hour. And Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live was indeed a spectacle. But we don't mean that in a good way: the frenetic, disjointed foray relied heavily on unfunny pre-taped segments and sometimes awkward satellite chats, all of which interrupted the actual cooking of the food. "Trainwreck" is getting tossed around a lot, but that's too inadequate of a description. Also: too charitable, too lenient. Some terms people might use: Inexcusable. A cruel circus. War crime. Skullfuck. Shitshow. Your pick. But let's enumerate his crimes:


Insert a "Jaywalking"-like segment in which Ramsay trolls the streets of Los Angeles asking people if they know what a Steak Diane is (sadly no, they do not). Jay Leno makes an appearance to ultimately explain what it is, mocking British food.


Trying to be on his best behavior, Ramsay couldn't help but insert multiple dick jokes. Even more classy: sort of shamelessly flirting with LeAnn Rimes on live television. Seriously, stop touching her, you're a married man.


For extra gravitas, we pull the heartstrings, bringing in Marine wives whose husbands are in Afghanistan. No, they say, we don't know when they're coming back. Next month, maybe the month after that? But thanks for asking, Gordon. Can we just cook these steaks and put our kids to bed? It's also amusing when people possibly burn their houses down (see above).


But we're here for the food. Gordon Ramsay is a talented chef after all, and what an opportunity to resurrect the forgotten (or possibly irrelevant?) Steak Diane. Above: after flipping the steaks, Ramsay claims, "Look at that color. No color, no flavor. Really important."



In the end, the food came off as garish and sloppily-plated hospital food. Which is a shame, for in theory it's a promising show. Perhaps with more focus on technique and the actual food, it may turn out more successful. And the ratings? Nielsen numbers:

CBS: "NCIS: Los Angeles" (17.4 million, 10.8/17)
NBC: "The Sing-Off" (7.4 million, 4.4/7)
FOX: Special - "Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live" (4 million, 2.5/4)
ABC: "Scrubs" (4.3 million, 2.7/4)/"Better Off Ted" (3.2 million, 2.1/3)

Scrubs got better ratings. Scrubs. But based on the amount of buzz this show has generated, surely we can expect more Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live. Pray for us all.

Video: LeAnn Rimes on Gordon Ramsay: Cookalong Live

Video: Part 1

Video: Part 2

Video: Part 3

—Raphael Brion

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Comment Feed

  1. dav

    Man, the show was boring. It doesn't add to anything new; and please no more Hell Kitchen, last season was enough.

    And why is he looking like Jaime Oliver senior? With the flannel and jeans deal?

  2. Kim

    That was one of the worst shows I have ever seen. Pathetic. Who is advising this man.
    You can cook a more delicious, better looking,properly plated meal with Rachel Ray in 30 mins.

  3. Wow. It's eight million times worse than I imagined. Thanks for posting all the clips. Can't we just do this with Jamie Oliver instead? Gordon Ramsay is one man who just doesn't deserve a standing ovation.

    I'm afraid this is setting back the cause of home cooking 40 years.

  4. Allison

    I'd rather watch Sandra Lee than watch this show. And I hate Sandra Lee.

  5. Adam

    I'm actually quite a fan of his shows on BBC America and this could have sort of been like "The F Word" which is a pretty decent show. But this was miserable. I turned it off after 20 minutes. Why is he so different on American TV than he is when he's in the UK?

  6. Todd

    I watched 15 minutes of this before my partner and I turned it off. If it had been him, alone, or with one assistant/helper, it would have been brilliant. But in the circus show format, it was unwatchable.

  7. Jillian

    Trainwreck's getting thrown around a lot, because that's what it was and it's a word that people understand. "Cruel circus" makes me think of whipped elephants, and "skullfuck" sounds like a bad Guy Fieri tattoo. The show sucked. The end.

  8. Kermonk

    OR you are a bunch of nolife whiners who should get a grip ;)

  9. Liz

    This show wasn't meant to be Hell's Kitchen or the F Word. It's not Rachel Ray's 30 minute meals either. He is different than any other chef on tv therefore this show was different. I wouldn't call it a "trainwreck" though. I liked it, but then again I like Chef Ramsey. All the negative reviews are too bad, but I cannot wait for a new episode to cook along again.

  10. Actual trainwrecks are at least mildly entertaining. This was a skullf*ck under a sh!tshower.

  11. me

    It was Uncomfertable to watch. The flirting with Lee Ann was bad, Whoopi being all confused and grumpy, Ramsay being all weird and friendly, it all sucked...but you can't stop watching because of it. This show is drama waiting to happen.

  12. Chris

    What were all of you watching? I thought it was a good show. So what if he was/wasn't flirting. How would you all do it better? Everybody has their 2 cents to put in and you all say how bad it is. What would you do to make it better. I'd like to see the "improvements" that you would make. This blogger is no critic, he's personally attacking Ramsay. How about we skull fuck him on a trainwreck in a shitstorm!

  13. bjgdal

    Left a lot to be desired. The only reason I stuck with it for the whole show was to see Alyson Hannigan of whom I am a major devoted fan. But frankly, I felt bad for her having to be on stage with Ramsay. The celebs all did an ok job but they all looked like deer in the headlights at some point. Even Cedric which is amazing. It was just too frantic and not educational at all which is I think what all cooking shows should ultimately be. I'm just glad Alyson didn't have any major faux pas in spite of Ramsay being her "tutor". And as always it was endearing seeing her with her hubby who in real life does most of the cooking. From what I've heard he might have put Ramsay to shame had it been he and not Alyson up there.

  14. Michael

    We actually did cookalong. It took 3 of us, but the food turned out incredibly delicious. Great and easy recipes.
    Will use them again.
    Thanks Chef

  15. After watching the show, my wife who also likes Chef Ramsay, asked me to go out and purchase the material we needed to make the meal. I knew the cost would be fairly high because of the alcohol. After all who is going to let you buy 1/3 of a cup of brandy. Needless to say in small towns I am sure your not going to find all the exact ingredients needed for the dishes, so a bit of experimentation may come into play. I have plans on actually cooking this menu tomorrow and if you had to start from scratch like I did, you can be looking at about $55.00 per person for the meal (serving four people). Being someone that loves to cook and try different dishes, I look forward to this.

    As for the show. It was rushed, and steps were skipped and left to the imagination. I tried to remember the steps that Chef Ramsay went through, but got lost along the way. Hopefully the show will become balanced not rushed. I hope the show takes off and we can experience excellent cuizine at home. Until then I will continue to watch Food Network's Chopped, Iron Chef, and the other shows like that. One thing that FOX could have done was to have all the information online prior to the showing and with the instructions. They didn't post the methodolgy until after the show had aired. And to top it off, you had to google it to find the website where the information was. Like I said, I hope the show get better because there are others out there to watch instead of this one even if I do like watching Chef Ramsay cook.

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