It's probably wise to give Gordon Ramsay a wide berth these days. The mad English chef is apt to be madder than usual following a week of humbling culinary critique and bad publicity.
As reported in The Times, Ramsay's reputation in the cooking world has been dealt a serious blow with the news that his posh New York restaurant The London has been stripped of both its Michelin stars.
In the culinary world, the removal of Michelin stars is considered about as humiliating as it gets. Imagine if the people behind the Academy Awards took back Tom Hanks' Oscars – both of them.
But according to the 2014 New York edition of the globally revered Michelin gastronomical guide, The London, once considered the flagship eatery of Ramsay's restaurant empire, is simply no longer worthy of such a lofty honour.
Meanwhile, Ramsay, who is notorious for his foul mouth on the Fox programs Hell's Kitchen and MasterChef, is already in hot water for sputtering profanities around kids on his latest show, MasterChef Junior.
Launched last Friday night, MasterChef Junior employs the exact same format as MasterChef, except that all the contestants are 13 and under. Which might suggest that Ramsay reins in the potty-talk in the presence of impressionable young minds, right?
As reported this week on Zap2it.com, Ramsay indeed let some nasty words slip while taping the program earlier this summer.
Ramsay was ratted out by a young contestant named Sarah, aged 12, who claims she's not the least bit afraid of the blustery Brit. "He can't be really mean because we're kids," she said at the recent TV critics tour.
Apparently Ramsay simply wasn't able to control himself. According to Sarah, he swore not just once, but twice, during the taping of the series last summer.
Shame on you, Gordon Ramsay.
But there's always light at the end of a tunnel. Earlier this week, Slate ran a lengthy and impassioned defense of Ramsay, which should be required reading for anyone ever wondering how he became famous in the first place.
In rather touching fashion, the author Jessica Winter recaps Ramsay's remarkable rise from rugged footballer to international gourmand and TV star. The real reason behind his recent woes, she posits, is that Ramsay is simply stretched too thin and exhausted from all his business ventures and the constant pressure of being regarded as a mean-spirited villain.
"He seems a little exhausted," writes Winter, "a little checked out in MasterChef Junior, which is also a good look, as it summons the faintest hope that Ramsay might check out altogether for a little while and give us the chance to miss hating him."
Are you listening, Gordon?