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Gordon Ramsay’s Softer Side: Hell’s Kitchen and MasterChef Star Felt “Vulnerable” During Filming and Auditions

Gordon Ramsay fans have reason to celebrate this week! The celebrity chef and legendary hot-head’s popular reality cooking shows return to Fox. The first, Hell’s Kitchen (now in its 10th season), pits professional chefs against one another in a showdown to earn the title of head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. His second show, MasterChef (now in its third season), conducts a nationwide search for amateur cooking talent to compete for the title.

If MasterChef sounds a bit like American Idol for chefs, that’s precisely the point. Gordon says he’s “finally pleased” with the public turn out for auditions this year, which topped 50,000. Gordon says,” I think we’re on the cusp of something of equal comparison [to American Idol].” Working with amateurs brought out the softer side of Gordon (yes, a softer side exists!), who says he felt “vulnerable” amid such "extraordinary natural talent." He even goes so far as to confess that the sight of the line of folks auditioning for MasterChef “put a lump in my throat.”

But Gordon hasn’t lost that legendary short temper. Hell’s Kitchen still has the same pressure cooker format that has professional chefs melting down left and right — with Gordon’s notoriously high expectations keeping the competition at full throttle. He says, “It bums the hell out of me when I see incompetent chefs that can’t get their head around the word pressure when their cooking a dish for one — but we’re cooking for a whole restaurant!” He thinks both long-time fans and those new to Hell’s Kitchen will be pleased with Season 10, adding, “The unscripted drama of running a restaurant is something that you just have to experience.”

Hell’s Kitchen premieres on FOX June 4 at 8pm, with MasterChef following right after at 9pm.

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06.4.2012 / 05:41 AM EDT by Daynah Burnett
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