Angeli: Life Lessons from Hell’s Kitchen

Up until recently, Hell’s Kitchen to me had always seemed like a distant, floating pop cultural concept. You know, the kind of thing you’ve seen turned into gifs and referenced on Twitter. You think you know what the general idea is, but you’ve never actually explored it firsthand. If you relate to that at all, I only have one thing to say: what are you doing in your spare time? Thanks to a good, nay great, friend I have been exposed to what is quite frankly reality show gold–as a soon-to-be Viacom employee, I think I know a thing or two about this subject. Now I’m not talking about the kind of trash TV you watch when you feel like not taking life too seriously (though HK can have that cathartic entertainment effect as well.) Gordon Ramsey can actually teach you a thing or two about life itself. Here are some of the tidbits I’ve picked up on so far in my binging:

1) Sometimes people need a little tough love.

I’d say most people know Chef Ramsay for his devilish insults. Yes, he can be harsh. But hey, the man is looking for his restaurant’s next best chef and he knows talent when he sees it! Think of him as that one professor who seems to expect more from you than any other pupil. It’s (hopefully) because she knows your potential and wants you to get there, so you have to keep fighting.

2) Good leaders have to make difficult decisions and own them. 

(Spoiler alert) I’ll never forget watching Gordon–can I call you Gordon?–sent someone home who wasn’t in the bottom two. She was definitely a struggling chef but hadn’t been put on the chopping block by her team because she was a good friend. Sounds like having a group project with a close buddy who’s just not holding his/her weight. It’s so hard to do, but you know that confrontation is needed for the betterment of the team. 

3) Believe in yourself or nobody will. 
I have to hand it to Chef R. I’ve never seen someone say such absurd statements with such self-assurance. He knows who is and what he’s capable of. Some may say he tears people down to lift himself up, but I would say the contrary. Gordon already has all the confidence he needs and is challenging other people to find their own.

…or he just knows the type of persona people enjoy watching and producers are willing to pay for. Either way, confidence!

Not buying what I’m selling? Critically analyze HK for yourself, with all seasons on Hulu.

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