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May 07, 2009

Gordon Ramsay: Sure, I'd take Simon Cowell's job

Gordon ramsay hell's kitchen During a conference call with reporters, Gordon Ramsay was just asked if he's interested in taking Simon Cowell's gig on American Idol should his fellow Fox reality star make good on his hints that he's willing to step down.

At first, the Hell's Kitchen boss gave a preamble about how he has his plate full with his own shows, how Simon is great, etc. etc. But then Ramsay added, "If he’s going to retire, Christ, I would consider stepping in; definitely, of course I would."

Hmm. The chef surely couldn't match Cowell in terms of musical taste, but he'd probably make up for any judging deficiencies with his trademark energetic profanity. Less talented Idol singers in exchange for more abusive judging wouldn't be all that bad of an entertainment trade-off.

Ramsay was also asked about all the contestants smoking on Hell's.

The show features more puffing than any primetime series outside of Mad Men. Anyone who's worked in a restaurant knows smoking is part of the culture, but it's still jarring to see practically the entire cast of a reality show smoking during their breaks. One of the reality show's producers once hinted that Ramsay's trial by fire doesn't really help, noting, "If they don't smoke when they get here, it's not long before they start."

"My father died of smoking and my grandfather died of it -- I've never never smoked a cigarette in my life," Ramsay said. "I find it difficult to watch these guys smoke their lives away. I don’t see how they can smoke and go back [into the kitchen and taste the food]. I find it hard to tolerate, [but] I'm not their mother."

Ramsay also said he'd like to see a season of Hell's with world-class chefs instead of boot-camp cases.

"I would love to do a season where every chef was Michelin starred," he said. "Having a dream team, definitely. Be great to get Mario Batali on there, wouldn’t it?"

Part 1 of the Hell's finale (when they do all the decorating that never makes any difference in who wins) airs tonight.

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