This post isn’t really about Russia. This post has Gordon Ramsay in it.
I watch his show, Hell’s Kitchen, in which a dozen or so wannabe chefs face off to win a position as a chef at one of his hotel restaurants. The set is tricked out with lots of flames and other intimidating decor, and Chef Ramsay swears a lot. I watched the whole season this summer, pretty much, and I was struck by the words of the third-place competitor, who didn’t make it to the finals even though he had showed a lot of early promise. When this aspiring chef, who was in the lead for the first half of the show, began to fail and lose focus, he would always defend himself to Chef Ramsay or to the audience by saying, “I am so passionate about cooking,” and especially by claiming that he was more passionate than the other competitors (in particular, more passionate than the woman who went on to win). His conviction made him angry and he was haughty and mean to his competitors.
I really admire people who love the things they do. But I couldn’t stand this contestant for saying that he had more passion than other cooks. His passion had stopped showing in his food, and yet he kept arguing that he was more deserving than his fellow contestants just because he cared more than they. His claims were empty and annoying.
Plenty of people want to convince other people that they love what they do, and that they love it more than other people. I just don’t get the need show off how much you care, to trumpet to the world how much of your soul you pour into your work. (And for people who do have passionate love of what they do, I think the signs will surface in quiet glory. Those other chefs, who never tried to claim that they had more love for their work, simply produced more delicious, more beautiful food.)
Chef Ramsay, do you agree with me?