Hell’s Kitchen’s Charlie: “I should have been more obnoxious”

by | February 20, 2009 at 4:46 PM | Hell's Kitchen

Chef Ramsay was up to his hellish tricks again on last night’s Hell’s Kitchen, and the brunt of his anger turned out to be good ole’ Charlie; a quiet, red-headed chap who was quick on his feet and understood the effort that the kitchen called for. After spending a day tasting wine and being pampered while the women stayed back eating cow liver and intestines and gooey things, the elimination round came calling and Charlie unfortunately was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Here’s what he had to tell us:

What was your most memorable moment from last night’s episode?
The one that stands out the most to me was the fuel and the tenderloin. Because I was standing right next to the fuel and you don’t do that. Give me a minute and I’ll show you how to do that. But he kept doing it. And that’s my most memorable. There were a few others that were probably more pivotal but that one really caught my eye.

How do you think your team would have handled doing what the girls did with the meat and all that throwing up?
Oh my god, I am fully confident that we would have reacted the same way and I almost would bet that there would have been more crying on our side.

What was your biggest run-in with Chef Ramsay?
He really didn’t bother me too much. I’ve been trying to think back this whole time because you don’t know what they’re going to show and what they’re not going to. So you really don’t have any idea how you’re going to be portrayed. So the whole time I’m thinking how are they going to make me look? And I was worried about a lot of little things. Ramsay didn’t really talk to me much. We didn’t have too many issues. I did my job and there were a few instances where he snapped real quick but I didn’t have any chef moments where there was like fifteen minute reamings. Most of the things I did were just like okay, you missed this, do this, and then you turn around and kept going. He yelled at me a little bit but I didn’t really have any of those hard core nose to nose run ins with this man. I’ve worked for guys like him before and my only focus when I walk in that kitchen is put your nose down and cook and just do your job. Don’t worry about what anyone else is doing. Just pay attention to what makes this man happy because he’s the one that signs your paychecks. That’s kind of what I do.

Did you experience any moments of watching him ream somebody else?
Oh yeah. The first one was on the first day when he started tearing into Colleen about her first signature dish and her cooking school. That reaming was a little longer than you guys saw on TV. That one went on for a few minutes. And that was the first day and I remembering going oh my god, I’m glad I’m not her. He didn’t even try my food. He spit other people’s food out. And he was really getting into her so that was probably the worst one for me. There were a couple of good ones with Seth too where he ‘s just kind of a meatball so it’s expected.

I know the chef had a nickname for a couple of people. Was there one for you?
I don’t think that he did but I know that since the second episode with the whole beard thing and ginger colored pubic hair they’ve been calling me ginger at work ever since. So if he didn’t have one for me I have one now.

What was going through your mind during the elimination round?
I was just so tired and I really didn’t think that there was any way that Seth was going to make it through another round. I couldn’t see how that was going to happen so to myself I was thinking it was a formality. I was here because there needed to be two of us. I was the second nomination and this guy has already been here before. The thing you can kind of see in their eyes is they’re going wait a minute, if I had to pick between the two of these guys I would definitely want Charlie to still be here. It was just dumb luck.

So did you agree or disagree with what ended up happening with your elimination?
I disagree, I think more of the focal point of our elimination that night should have been on our dinner service. And less of it should have been on our serving challenge. I find it a little ridiculous that I was kicked off of a cooking show on a serving challenge. But you know, it is what it is. You take your lumps how you get them and that’s how my lumps came. Looking back and seeing it the way that it comes out on TV it’s almost the same way where I saw in the kitchen that Seth needed to go and that night Giovanni was our weak player. They did a good job of pin pointing the key details of truly what’s happened. Granted there’s a lot of things that were left out. They just skipped over where I was a knight in shining armor. Or skipped over where I did a good job or where I got yelled at. There’s a lot of points where I was like that would have made for good TV or that really wasn’t how it happened. As a whole I think they did a pretty good job but it was just bad timing. Bad luck for me.

What’s next for you?
Um next for me, I’m going to get a shower, get dressed, and go to work. I’m just doing the same thing. Not too much has changed. I mean maybe if I had made it further in the competition it would have been a little different or maybe it’s just too new to TV that nothing’s happened yet. But other than being recognized by a couple of strangers here and there it’s business as usual. I’m still going to the same job, doing the same things, have the same friends and family. So not much has changed in my neck of the woods.

Would you do anything differently if you had to do it over again?
I think I might have been a little more obnoxious and confrontational just for entertainment value. That’s really all that it comes down to. I’m just a boring TV personality because I was there to do a job and for the competition. I really wasn’t there to instigate the situation or to create drama. I think that was a big part of what we were doing and I kind of knew that going in but I didn’t take it deep enough and I should have been a little more of a character I guess. That’s probably my one regret.