Homefree after dessert, or so I thought, I sat waiting to speak to the producer before leaving. Instead, the chef came back out wanting to know my feedback. He sat next to me intently focused on my answer. Once again, you could hear a pin drop in the room.
What I thought: Shit. Is he for real? When are they coming out to film the “Gotcha!” shot? When will they admit this is one big joke? On the off chance this is real, how can I honestly tell this man this is a terrible idea and would never work? They want me to lie and say I loved it. I can’t say that, but if I say the truth and it’s real, he will lose it. I have no words. Think! What can you say? OK. I give in. I’ll go the least hurtful route and be done with this.
What I said and did? Finally, I was rattled and showed it. Unfortunately, I fumbled my words. I didn’t know what to say. When asked to choose out of five Michelin stars to give, I merely corrected him and explained the Michelin Guide only goes up to three. When he insisted, I paused and then cautiously told this scary-looking man I would go with a “conservative four because of the overall service…” and only because I truly had not done the entire dinner. Right on cue, he lost it.
He self-loathingly said things like ” I should just give up and not be a chef. My mother was right I would never amount to anything. Never mind Gordon Ramsay thinks I’m talented and he changed my life. I’m just an embarrassment. I will never make it in America!” Blank stare. He has got to be kidding. I looked at the camera crew and repeatedly asked them to come clean and admit it’s been one big joke. Haha. Funny. C’mon. But they didn’t.
I looked at the chef and stoically wondered why he would care about my opinion so strongly, anyway. I’m just one person, after all. He’s really going to decide his career because of me? But please admit none of this is real. He kept going and going about his failure to please me. The producer came back out and attempted to calm him down. He then asked for all the cameras to be turned off as he calmed the chef. The camera crew did as asked and stood there watching, not filming, with zero facial expressions. Meanwhile, the producer and the chef discussed the reasons for his intense behavior as I sat there quietly.
For his last
act plea, the chef said he also had a Saudi Arabian in the back. “Perhaps if you gave me some time to season him, you’d like that better over the Chinese? ” And with that, I was officially done. For the hundredth time, I asked if he was joking and he looked at me like I was the crazy one. He finally walked out of my sight and I waited for laughter, Ashton Kutcher, or someone to run out and officially let the cat out of the bag. Someone. Anyone? Please.
Instead, the cameras came in closer to film my final interview. I asked for some water to compose myself. But I couldn’t. I broke down in tears. I broke down even more out of frustration for not being able to keep my composure any longer as I so badly wanted. The producer rushed over and apologized repeatedly for upsetting me. “I just want you to finally say you are kidding,” I tearfully told him. He said he’d say it if I wanted him to, but he could not because this was all 100% real. I stupidly explained that if this wasn’t a farce, I didn’t mean to insult or hurt anyone. I said I would not be filming a final interview and that I just wanted to go home. He assured me that was OK. “We will be filming all over the country and will have enough footage.”
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