Ramsey's F Word Series 2 On DVD

Totally uncensored, sorta...
Series 2 of Gordon Ramsey's F Word comes out on DVD on March 17 (you can advance order it here), and the flaks are pushing it as totally uncensored. The claim is about 99.99 percent true.  I previewed the show, and in the course of the season chef Ramsey utters the eponymous F-Word in every imaginable register and emotional timbre, from Bull-piss fury to a bemused whisper. But there is one bleep in the season. I think he might have called somebody a cocksucker.

The F Word runs on BBC's Channel 4, and it's the best of Ramsey's shows (as intense as Hell's Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmares, but deeper and more varied).  Ramsey invites a team of amateur chefs -- butchers, society ladies, Emergency hospital techs -- to cook a night's meal in his London restaurant: if the customers don't like a course, they don't pay for it.

That's plenty of fun, but the real heart of the show concerns Ramsey's  projects to investigate the ethical and philosophical aspects of what we eat. This season he raises two Berkshire pigs in his back yard, with the help of his darling kids, revealing the full ramifications of our carnivorous predilections from birth to slaughter. The pigs become pets, of course, and Ramsey visibly weeps when he finally has to take them to the abattoir (and so do we, the slaughter is uncensored too). But he and the kids recover nicely: in the next show they're filmed making sausage out of Trinny and Susannah's intestines  -- those pet pigs retain their names  down to the grilling of their tails.

Along the way there are segments on factory farming of  pigs and veal, on American lobsters  crayfish crowding out the native species in England's watery bi-ways (Ramsey goes crayfish trapping), on spear-fishing for sea bass off the coast of Devon, and a plea to the English to start loving and eating their native freshwater eels again. Ramsey's a big mouth for the ethical, the sustainable, and the slow -- he dives into these subjects with his trademark passion and competitiveness, and it's great fun to watch him trying to wrestle a bucket of  eels into submission.

In the funniest recurring segment, Ramsey stages a competition. He invites a British celeb to cook his or her best dish in the restaurant kitchen. Meanwhile Ramsey prepares his own version of the same meal --  Shepherd's pie, say, or lasagna. The two versions are sent out side by side to be judged by a table of customers, and Ramsey can hardly contain his excitement. If the pick goes to his dish, he whoops with joy. But just as often, hilariously, he loses -- and when he gets the news, he visibly droops, crestfallen and astonished. 

It's a fabulous show, in other words, interspersed with some awesome recipes -- I used the video of Ramsey cooking rabbit fricassee with tagliatelle from this season when I cooked my own rabbit last year. Ramsey's despised by the French, and no doubt by the celeb chefs whose photos he had made into toilet paper as a gag for the show, but he's f-king irrepressible. You gotta love the guy.

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