August 5, 2019 | New York, NY
“How you can sit there, calmly eating muffins when we are in this horrible trouble, I can’t make out. You seem to me to be perfectly heartless.” – Oscar Wilde
It wasn’t supposed to be this way.
Gordon Ramsay never wanted to give the world another travel show it didn’t need. He didn’t want to roam around a random beach with a machete or pretend to be happy climbing trees while picking fruit off them or say things like “Onto my next adventure” while cooking on some rocks.
He wasn’t supposed to have a career defined by glorified bullying. It’s just that early on, a producer saw him lose his temper and said, “Gordon, you’ve really got that je ne sais quoi,” and Gordon Ramsay just went with it, y’know? Because when you’re young and trying to make something of yourself, sometimes you just have to Go With It and see where It takes you.
And look where It took him – straight to The Food Network. To Hell’s Kitchen and The F Word and Hotel Hell and Kitchen Nightmares. The stuff of dreams. Except, it wasn’t his dream to be the Angry Blonde (Male) Chef. He just wanted to be…himself: Actually Quite a Softie.
It wasn’t Gordon Ramsay’s dream to be the Angry Blonde (Male) Chef. He just wanted to be…himself: Actually Quite a Softie.
So the networks pitched him a new show, Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted and once again, no one asked him, “Gordon, in your heart of hearts, what do you want?”
Because if someone had asked him, he’d have told them what he wanted: Muffins.
A TV show all about muffins. Not the flat English kind, but the over-the-top American ones. “How beau-ti-fully comforting and complex they are all at once,” Gordon said somberly over a video call, “A warm, crumbly muffin with a small pat of butter, is there anything more perfect?”
Muffins, it turns out, are an unexplored landscape. Do people today know what constitutes a good muffin? How do you get the perfect round cup shape on top? What are the best muffin-jam duos? What kind of muffins do you serve your friends the morning after a raging game night, or your judgy mother-in-law who’s visiting from out of town? What are the best kinds of muffins to stuff in your backpack for when you’re hungry later? Which teas best compliment a nut muffin?
These are all questions, we as a society, haven’t answered yet. And people deserve to know.
“How beau-ti-fully comforting and complex muffins are all at once. A warm, crumbly muffin with a small pat of butter, is there anything more perfect?”
Because, as Gordon explains, muffins aren’t just a morning (or afternoon or evening) snack. They’re nuggets of unclaimed identity. Are you an apple muffin sort of gal? A traditionalist who goes for blueberry? Or do you charter your own course and only eat spud muffins?
He’d help us all figure out who we were through the simple, delightful lens of pastry. There’d be no fierce competition, no harsh critiques, just lots of…fun. We’d discover new possibilities along the way. Maybe there’d be an episode on brownie muffins for dessert, and another one on swapping boring weeknight dinners for garlic onion muffins.
It was going to be great.
People would be obsessed. They’d tune into the virtual muffin basket that was Gordon Ramsay’s Muffins and laugh and be awed by the wondrous world of muffins with him. They’d be like, ‘Man, that Gordon, I really misjudged him.”
“It would’ve been better than the time I won my sixteenth Michelin star,” he said, salting a batch of muffins with tears.
But here we are.
For now, Gordon Ramsay’s riding off into the Moroccan (or Peruvian or Hawaiian) sunset. We’ll never really know the rest.