‘Hell’ and back
“I want better quality everything ... and the only way I can do that is if I’m over that.” BETH TAYLOR
Beth Taylor got just what she ordered from “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Eliminated last week from the Fox reality cooking competition series, she went home to Ponchatoula having learned much from the “you love him/you hate him” British TV chef and “Hell’s Kitchen” host Gordon Ramsay.
“I think I was so different from a lot of the people that went because their goal was to win the $250,000. My goal was to work with Gordon Ramsay,” Taylor, a native of Independence, said Monday. “I wanted to be taught by Gordon Ramsay because that education alone, it’s just incredible.”
The show’s season starts with 20 aspiring chefs who compete in kitchen challenges each week, with Ramsay sending one of the contestants packing at the end of the episode. But not before some heated exchanges among the hopefuls, and Ramsay’s infamous, ultra-bleeped rants.
“That’s editing. That’s editing,” Taylor, 45, said of the show’s slant toward the negative comments coming from the kitchen.
“I know it just seems like he’s (Ramsay’s) on this TV show, and he’s screaming and hollering, but he’s one of the most encouraging people I’ve ever met in my life. He wants you to succeed, he wants you to do a good job.
“I will say this. He’s very particular. He wants you to do a good job, and he tells you how to do the job, and if you don’t do the job, he gets upset. You know, because he wants you to do it right.”
Taylor was the sixth contestant to leave “Hell’s Kitchen” this season. During the episode, which had the guys’ blue team and the women’s red team cooking for TV actresses Elizabeth Perkins (“Weeds”) and Holly Marie Combs (“Pretty Little Liars”), Taylor is seen having trouble communicating with her teammates, overcooking her lobster, and shouting with a fellow contestant in the hallway just outside the kitchen.
“I was just done. That was a long time coming,” Taylor said. “It’s very stressful. When you have people push and push and push, you’re going to react. That’s only human.”
Ultimately, Ramsay tells Taylor to turn in her chef’s jacket.
After all that drama, Taylor still calls it a wonderful experience.
“If you watched the season, I won the point for the girls with my signature dish, which was the pecan-crusted catfish with wilted spinach on gouda grits. He said I made beautiful beef Wellington. He told me that my lobster ris otto was great. He showed me personally how to do lobster ravioli. I learned how to make pasta. There were so many times that he said I did a wonderful job,” she said. “Gordon Ramsay taught me certain things and nobody can take that away from me.”
Back in her real-life kitchen, Taylor is juggling her work at Covey Rise Sportsman’s Retreat, an organic farm/hunting lodge in Loranger; occasionally at the Olive Garden, and as a private chef.
“I like smaller groups. I want better quality food. I want better quality everything — dining experience, the whole nine yards — and the only way I can do that is if I’m over that.”
Between the three jobs, Taylor, who has degrees in communications and the culinary arts, says she’s learning every day.
“And I just love it.”
What did she learn from Ramsay? “Don’t be a doormat. Absolutely. Don’t let people walk on you.”