A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is more a reality show than it is a cooking show, so viewers looking for useful how-to's from world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay will be disappointed. The focus is rarely on his skills in the kitchen, instead playing up his animated personality and giving him a forum for his occasional foul-mouthed rants and penchant for hob-nobbing with the celebrities who dine in his restaurants. A cast of experts discusses various health and diet topics facing the food industry.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
GORDON RAMSAY'S F WORD follows the very animated and world-renowned chef Ramsay as he bounds from stove to stove -- offering cooks criticism of both the friendly and not-so-friendly kind -- and out into the dining area, where he schmoozes the high-profile guests drawn by the restaurant's glitz and good eats. Food critic Giles Coren makes regular appearances to team up with Ramsey and a rotating panel of experts to discuss a host of issues facing the food industry, including fad diets, recent dietary health scares, and labeling guidelines. The series plays up the reality angle by featuring two young chefs who are vying for a job at one of Ramsay's many restaurants. The two learn at the side of their celebrated mentor, accepting his advice and attempting to win him over with their own culinary creations. At the end of the episode, one chef is selected as a new addition to Ramsay's staff.
Is it any good?
While F Word is undeniably an entertaining choice as food shows go, viewers who tune in hoping for helpful tips from Ramsay will be disappointed, since very little time is actually spent cooking (and Ramsay does virtually none of it). Instead, the focus is on Ramsay's gregarious personality and the celebrities who come to visit. The only time instruction is given is when Ramsay visits the home of a culinary-challenged female fan to walk her through making a meal. And he does dirty up his apron a bit when he matches cooking wits with his celebrity guests, who have included the likes of Sharon Osbourne and Joan Collins.
The main concerns here are Ramsay's occasional tendency toward foul-mouthed language and his mercurial personality. But it's unlikely the subject matter will entice many teen viewers in the first place -- this is definitely adult-targeted television.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why larger-than-life personalities like Ramsay are the bread and butter of reality TV. Is Ramsay TV-worthy? Why or why not? Is it truly "reality" to follow these kind of people around, especially when they're famous? Families can also discuss the culinary arts. Do your teens enjoy cooking and baking? Why or why not? How important is it to know how to cook today? Parents can use this show as an instigation to take up a whisk and spend some quality time with their kids in the kitchen.