Gordon Ramsay’s F Word

9:00pm Thursday, January 7 on C4

The nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant reaches its climax in the grand final. Following 10,000 nominations from the public, 18 fantastic restaurants in nine different categories (Italian, Indian, French, Chinese, Spanish, Thai, The Americas, British, Rest of the World) battled it out in front of the F Word diners. Only six made it through to the semi-finals and now the remaining two face their hardest challenge. The two restaurants face the toughest set of F Word diners ever, as Gordon has packed the dining room with food writers who will be deciding whether to pay or not to pay. And finally Gordon will decide who should be crowned The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant.

Gordon Ramsay’s F Word has been trundling away on Channel 4 to absolutely no fanfare. For a time, Ramsay had an imperial moment where he could almost walk on water. Everyone tuned in to see just how angry he’d get… or to see him slap an ailing restaurant into shape with a mixture of kindness and cruelty.

Then, at some point, seemingly overnight, everyone got bored of his wicked stepmother routine. I mean, that’s all he is. A sneering bitch.

And so, thanks to the Manchester derby cup game being called off, I was faced with a black hole in the TV listings. With complete nothingness, I pressed ‘4’ and watched Ramsay hulk around like a bear with a thorn in its paw.

This series is telling us it’s different from previous outings. Before, we’ve seen slebs and proles invited into the kitchen to be abused as well as amused by Gordo’s nervous tics.

Uh? Eh big boy? Yes chef! *hand slap* Eh? Uh? Big boy? Yes chef!

Now, the show has added some X Factor to proceedings by looking for the very best of Britain’s culinary scene.

Of course, this is boring and lacking in the ‘journey’ aspect that is currently shown in programmes like MasterChef and The Restaurant. Instead, we’re faced with some places I couldn’t give a fig about (called The Pheasant, Simply Thai and the Greek Retsina if you must know) all battling it out for the title of Best Local Restaurant.

Best Local Restaurant? Surely it should be Best Small Restaurant In Britain or something?

Either way, we’re invited to see talented people cooking food under the guise of ‘challenges’ and the whole thing limps along until Ramsay chooses someone to go through to the semi-final. I can’t remember who won because, quite frankly, I couldn’t care less.

The only moment this tepid foodjerk raised above the trench was when the camera showed a woman in a wig from Simply Thai having a loud, angry, finger pointing nervous breakdown every three seconds. This woman looked like the kind of boss who doesn’t fire you, but rather, slices your throat open and makes pate from your congealed blood.

Even so, I was still pretty bored by her too, because, the simple fact of the matter is that I’ve got food lethargy. I’d be more interested watching someone pour the molten contents of a McDonald’s apple slice into Ramsay’s eye socket rather than yet another diatribe about reputations being on the line, locally sourced shit and the heaping on of a passion for food.

This show is dead in the water, along with 90% of all other food shows. Please 2010, can we have another trend now?

9:00pm Tuesday, January 5 on C4

Gordon’s nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant is hotting up. This episode features the first semi-final. The Best British restaurant The Pheasant and best Thai restaurant Simply Thai, as well as the winner of the Rest of the World category, will be giving their all, competing for the chance to cook in the grand final at the F Word restaurant. Another semi final airs tomorrow night, with the final airing on Thursday night.

Tuesday, December 15 on 4

The nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant continues. So far, Gordon has found his best Italian, Indian, French, Chinese, Spanish and Thai restaurants; now he turns his attention to food from North and South America, as Discover Bay, a Caribbean restaurant from Huddersfield, goes head to head with Santa Maria del Sur, an Argentinian restaurant from London. The two eateries battle it out in the kitchen cooking a delicious menu of chicken and chilli, rib eye steak, spicy pork and roast peaches, for 50 paying diners. Plus, Gordon travels to Canada to hunt for snow goose.

Tuesday, December 1 on 4

The nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant goes Spanish. El Gato Negro from Yorkshire and Lola Rojo from London face one of the biggest challenges of their lives as they prepare a three course meal under Gordon’s watchful eye – including prawns, sea bass, fish stew and churros with chocolate. But who will be good enough to wow the 50 F Word diners and go on to fight for the title of The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant ? Also, Gordon travels to Spain to hunt for an extraordinary delicacy, goose barnacles.
An interview with Gordon is available on the press website at Programme Info/ Future Highlights/ November.

Tuesday, November 24 on 4

The nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant continues as two Chinese restaurants go head to head: Chop Chop from Edinburgh and Sweet Mandarin from Manchester. Both restaurants prepare a three-course meal under Gordon’s watchful eye, including salt and pepper squid, pork dumplings, claypot chicken and banana fritters. Meanwhile, Gordon goes hunting for an amazing Chinese delicacy, mitten crab, in the river Thames.
An interviews with Gordon is available on the press website at Programme Info/ Future Highlights/ November.

Tuesday, November 10 on 4

Tonight, two Indian restaurants go head to head. Curry is one of Britain’s favourite dishes so the pressure really is on. Both restaurants face one of their biggest challenges of their lives as they prepare a three-course meal under Gordon’s watchful eye, but who will be good enough to wow the F Word diners and go on to fight for the title of The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant? Gordon continues his search for the world’s best ingredients and travels to Scotland to hunt deer to create a brand new curry – Venison Masala – and comedian Lenny Henry takes Gordon on in the Recipe Challenge.

Tuesday, November 3 on 4

Gordon Ramsay’s F Word returns with an exciting new mission: the nationwide search for The F Word’s Best Local Restaurant. Eighteen restaurants in nine different categories have made it onto the show. Each week the top two from each category face the challenge of cooking with Gordon in the F Word restaurant for 50 paying diners. Tonight, two Italian restaurants go head to head. Also this series, Janet Street-Porter tries to rear three different meats for the chefs to cook, and Gordon finds himself facing Katie Price in the recipe challenge.

Thursday, September 17 on M4

Gordon goes “back to the floor” and becomes a junior chef at a Chinese restaurant, learning how to make one of the world’s most ancient delicacies: Dim Sum. Janet’s veal calves are living happily in her field in Yorkshire, but not all calves are so lucky; Janet reveals what can happen to some veal calves that are sent abroad.

Thursday, August 20 on M4

Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy and his family are faced with cooking for 50 hungry diners, while Kate Garraway challenges Gordon to beat her recipe for bread and butter pudding; Janet continues her struggle to rear veal that will match Gordon’s exacting standards; and Gordon gets into the ring with champion boxer Ricky Hatton to hit home with some straight talking about his eating regime.

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