A: I'm a self competitive perfectionist, so I need things to be right. When I get put in a situation that needs my undivided concentration then no one is stopping me and I don't take fools lightly. I don't like dishonesty and more importantly I need to get straight to the point.
The big difference is like, any athlete, when you are in it and you're competitive and you're dying to win then you are in a different mindset. Cooking is exactly the same for me. When the stove is on and we are live, and there are ingredients, pressure. It's unscripted and I'm just going to ask you to follow me and you're going to get me as a real chef talking about what excites me the most and what frustrates me the most.
I think I'm at my best under pressure. When I don't have that pressure around me I'm a nightmare. I need to be under that spotlight to get the best out of myself.
A: I'm a real chef, no disrespect to television -- Kitchen Nightmares was the first time for me on TV, twelve years ago when we launched that in the UK. With cameras on or cameras off, there's no difference when I walk into the kitchen. I think sometimes it feels like there's a superficial act when some chefs that are on TV don't really consider themselves being on otherwise because they don't think it's as important without the cameras rolling. Restaurants for me are my confirmation and bedrock, my foundation. If I see something great, I'll call it there and then, if I see something bad, same thing, I'll call it then and there. It's raw and unedited and straight to the point.
I've come across a lot of chefs that have TV shows that are far better on TV than they are in their own restaurants. My saving grace is that I know my industry and I know how to cook.
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