Mis Main Eats: Hell’s Kitchen


Cutler Sienko, Reporter

In this column, I like to typically review restaurants located close to campus, usually in the Dallas or Harveys Lake area. However, I recently received an invitation to the opening of a brand new restaurant which, while further away than the places I like to include here, was too good to resist. The invitation did not say what the name of the place was, but provided the address and a menu to preview.

I drove to Realville, Pennsylvania to see what exactly this mystery restaurant would have in store. Entering the parking lot, I noticed a van with the name of a film production company on the side. I didn’t think much of this, reasoning that a movie was maybe being filmed in the area.

The interior of the restaurant was fairly typical, with lots of red accents and a dark color scheme. It featured an open kitchen, allowing patrons to see the cooks at work. Strangely, the kitchen was split across the middle, with one side colored red and the other colored blue.

I was seated and given the same menu I had been able to peruse before arriving. Another clue about the identity of the restaurant was that this was certainly not a burger joint or takeout pizza place like I’m used to reviewing; whoever designed this menu had expensive taste. I ordered Seared Foie Gras for a starter and Beef Wellington for the main course.

I waited a considerable amount of time for the appetizer. If this was truly fine dining, however, I didn’t mind waiting. Another strange observance I made was that, from time to time, I heard a loud, booming voice with a strong English accent ordering stern instructions to the kitchen staff. The cooks would respond with a well-rehearsed, “Yes, Chef!” at every direction.

Soon, the Seared Foie Gras appeared. It had the flavor and texture of Foie Gras, if Foie Gras were made of aquarium gravel. At this point, a man with a large camera ran up to me, informing me this was some kind of “prop” Foie Gras. I was confused. The man then pointed this shockingly large camera at my face, and told me to act like I was complaining about the Foie Gras.

“The Foie Gras tastes like cat food,” I said flatly, due to the fact that I was unexpectedly being filmed. Then, a man I recognized came up to take the “Faux Gras” back to the kitchen. The pinched face, chaotic blonde hair, and flustered disposition could only belong to one person: Gordon Ramsay.

Gordon Ramsay, in this strange mystery restaurant? Things were becoming interesting. My new camera-operator friend chased after Gordon as he called his staff to attention and slammed that plate in front of them.

Most of what he said was not Highlander-friendly material, but one good line was, “You call this Foie Gras? Dear, oh dear, this is just Foie Gross!” No replacement Foie Gras came out for me. I asked the waiter where my Foie Gras was, and he explained the dish was just a prop for “my scene.”

I started to understand what was going on. Gordon Ramsay was here to film an episode of Hell’s Kitchen – right here, in the idyllic town of Realville, where roads are well-maintained and drivers only hit 200 potholes per mile (rather than the statewide standard of 201).

As my Beef Wellington was about to come to the table, blinding lights switched on from the ceiling and a voice shouted “CUT!” At those words, I and the other guests were escorted out of the restaurant.

My bizarre night was over, without even having tasted a morsel of food.