TCA Press Tour: The 'f-word' is for 'food' on Gordan Ramsay's 'Junior MasterChef'

Did Gordan Ramsay ever curse during the filming of Fox’s “Junior MasterChef?”

The question was posed to the Michelin-starred chef famous for his scorching tirades on shows like “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares,” on Thursday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.

On “Junior MasterChef” Ramsay is now mentoring budding chefs between the ages of 8 and 13 as they compete in a high-pressure kitchen just like the adults do on “MasterChef.”

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So, no, said Ramsay, he never cursed. A few kids onstage with him laughed and raised their hands.

“You swore twice,” chimed in a little blond girl named Sarah.

“Twice, good, and we know the ‘f-word’ means ‘food’,” Ramsay responded.

This kinder, softer Ramsay, call it Ramsay 2.0, is a shock to viewers familiar with his legendary temper. But it’s clearly not a put-on. Ramsay has four children of his own and a keen sense of what makes for good entertainment.

Nine-year-old Sarah put it best: “I’ve seen all of Gordan Ramsay’s shows but I wasn’t really scared because he can’t be mean, because, well, we’re kids!”

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Viewers certainly wouldn’t go in for a show that capitalizes on crushing kids’ dreams (although we love it when that happens to adults). So on “Junior MasterChef” Ramsay said that much attention was paid to managing the kids' expectations.

“Whether they become chefs or food writers or something else entirely, they will go through life with the understanding that in order to live well, you need to eat well,” said Ramsay. “Learning to cook for yourself is so important. And it doesn’t have to be fine dining.”

These kids were lucky to get kitchen advice from Ramsay, but they were chosen to participate on the show because they were pros to begin with.

“They actually produced food in the first and second challenges that was better than in the overall competition this year,” said Ramsay. “I rest my case.”


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