Deals, Dares & Reviews To Help You Savor Your World.
Dear Gordon Ramsey:
I just saw a television commercial advertising your line of signature cookware and kitchen appliances, which is now apparently available at Kmart to any schmuck with an extra thirty bucks. I just gotta ask — what the bloody hell are you thinking?
Don’t get me wrong — I’m a big fan of your TV shows: Hell’s Kitchen, The “F” Work, Kitchen Nightmares, even your snarky Anthony Bourdain-esque travel show that may or may not still be on the air. I love your gruff style, your penchant for fresh ingredients simply prepared, even your (bleeping) profanity. I’ve accorded you precious space on my DVR, which is an honor not even bestowed upon Alex Trebek or Jon Stewart.
And far be it from me to knock anyone’s hustle. I don’t mind that you’re adding another revenue stream to the vast soggy delta of your celebrity chefdom. So what if you’re hawking sautee pans and spice blends to the shopping mall masses? Paula Deen, Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay are all skimming a creamy layer of cash off their own smallware sales – why should you be any different?
As far as I’m concerned, Chef (may I call you Chef? You still ARE one, right?), selling your soul to Kmart certainly takes you down a notch in culinary credibility — you’ve suddenly gone from Foie Gras to Cheez Whiz in one fell swoop. True, Kmart sells a bevy of fine beige bath products endorsed by Martha Stewart, and plenty of polyester pantsuits by fashion maven and snappy dresser Jacqueline Smith, but they don’t exactly cater to gastronomes. I hate to generalize here, but most of us shop at Kmart for anti-freeze, kitty litter and tampons – not a sleek new garlic press. Kmart’s kitchen department is to home cooks what TGI Friday’s is to dining out – you might reluctantly spend a little money there in a pinch, but you certainly don’t want anyone to see you doing it and you’ll most likely regret it later.
In my opinion, you’d have been much better off choosing Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table for your corporate product line – at least we’d be a little prouder to have your signature on our toasters and teakettles and turkey basters. Or better yet, do what Tony Bourdain does and don’t sell anything but your books. If Tony ever puts his signature on a made-in-China set of china and sells it at a mega-box store in suburban Sheboygen, I will personally mail him a case of Cheez Whiz in protest.
Enough is too much, Chef Ramsey. Give it a rest.