I’m obsessed with Hell’s Kitchen at the moment. Like. Binge watched 3 series in 2 weeks kinda obsessed. It’s been an emotional roller coaster – I’ve legit cried watching it so many times now (No shame.) but not so much because someone I like has been kicked out, but just finding myself welling up, particularly when people do well and make someone proud. That kinda thing just hits me.
Oh, so if you’ve never seen it, it’s sorta like the X Factor but for chefs cooking. And Gordon Ramsay shouts & swears a lot. Great stuff. There’s a bunch of it on Netflix right now, so get stuck in.
Recently, I’ve been looking at a bunch of the stuff that happens in the shows and realising there’s probably some good stuff to take away from it. So, without further ado:
When there’s a bunch of the chefs in the kitchen making a bunch of dishes that take a bunch of different times to cook, it’s super important that everyone’s talking to each other to get everything ready to go out at the same time. You’ll always hear Gordon shouting about communicating. But I think it’s so true in the real world too. Talking to people, letting them know when you need support & listening to others around you is so important in maintaining your own mental health. Whether that’s talking to friends/family/co-workers or a helpline, talking about what you’re going through can make the world of difference.
I’m such a perfectionist and I hate making mistakes, and while in Hell’s Kitchen making a mistake could end up with you going up for elimination, Chef Ramsay always says that it’s ok to make mistakes, so long as you learn from them & don’t repeat them. Everyone screws up something from time to time. Everyone. But learning from your mistakes, thinking to yourself “dang, I don’t wanna find myself in that position again.” can be just as useful (if not more useful!) as getting it right the first time. Learn how to dust yourself off and start again.
As a people pleaser, this one is super hard for me to accept. But Hell’s Kitchen is a competition and so as much as the chefs all have to work as a team to win challenges and complete the dinner service each night, there’s always times when they rub each other up the wrong way. And that’s ok. As much as it sucks to fall out with friends or to have arguments with your family, you’re not always gonna get on with everyone. It’s especially going to happen when you’re all super passionate about something (like winning the hottest cooking contest in the world). It’s ok to disagree with people, it’s ok to just not get someone; we’re all trying to figure out this crazy ride called life. Sometimes you’ve got to let unhealthy relationships go, and sometimes you’ve got to work to make them work.
Ok so I’m not suggesting that you go yelling and getting all sweary like ole Gordon does. But one thing that really stood out to me watching all that Hell’s Kitchen is that I wish I could have little outbursts like that, and then go back to normal. There’s quite a bit of pressure to seem like you always have it all together, and never seem flustered or worked up, but everyone struggles, and everyone needs to have a vent sometimes. I’m someone who bottles stuff up, and I use playing drums as my way to vent out a bunch of aggression & frustration. Feelings like anger or frustration are natural, and part of being human. We all have them, and we all need to find healthy ways of displaying and dealing with them.
It’s super easy to look at how well others are doing and think that means you’re not doing so well. But that’s not always the case. In Hell’s Kitchen, historically, the people who’ve gone on to win have been the ones who did terribly in the first challenge. So just because someone seems to be doing better than you at something doesn’t mean you’re not gonna end up absolutely smashing whatever it is you’re working towards.
This is something that we spend a lot of time talking about in HATW. As important as it is to build a good support network around you, you’ve also gotta be the one who stands up for yourself the most, and fights for the good things you deserve. Be your own biggest fan! In Hell’s Kitchen, if you get put up for elimination you have to justify why you think you should stay in the competition and stand up for yourself in the face of the competition. In the real world, you have to be ready to stand up and say “I’m worthwhile and I’m not gonna settle for anything less than being treated as worthwhile.”
A most important of all: never serve Gordon Ramsay raw food.