As a former restaurateur I find the Fox TV show Hell's Kitchen a very realistic portrayal of the inner workings of a restaurant. If you ever entertained the idea of working in one this show will crush your illusions pretty quickly. In fact, I find it rather tame in comparison to some of the German chefs I worked with.
The star of the show is a Scot, Gordon Ramsay, who is both cruel and abusive to both his trainees and any customers who dare approach him while he is working. I suppose he produces some good food but that is not the point of this show. Instead, he has accepted the challenge of training 12 people with varying amounts of culinary knowledge. He vows to make them world class kitchen employees and give the best pupil a restaurant at the end of this "survivor style" elimination show.
The show is set in LA and features a beautiful restaurant seating 120 people. The show opens with the trainees being told they will be opening this restaurant in a few hours. Amazingly, LA being what it is, trendy and status conscious to the utmost degree, there are a seemingly endless number people willing to subject themselves to 2 or 3 hour waits for food just to say they were on TV.
The funniest moment in the second episode was the fellow who after waiting 2 hours for his entree began to question the education of the maitre d. He told him that since he had a doctorate in Music from UCLA that he is better educated and had the right to abuse him. He then pushed the maitre d and was escorted from the premises. The question I asked myself was that if he was so smart then why did he wait two hours for his entree. I would have drank their wine, left after one hour, and laughed at any attempts to make me pay. Of course, I don't have a doctorate so what do I know.