Before you ask… no that’s not one of my more “educational comments” to an assistant or student…
And no I’ve never, ever been tempted… because a friend and colleague told me of the day he was shooting a car on 10”x8” film (long time ago now!) from up a very tall ladder…at the end of which he realised the assistant had miss loaded all the film…time for a “Gordon Ramsey?” No… for as he said who’s was the bigger fault…the assistant for miss loading or him for not checking…and standing up a ladder swearing at yourself only convinces those watching that you really have lost it!
However before Gordon Ramsay made such outbursts “famous” the comedian Lenny Henry was doing it… just better and funnier! Indeed re-watching episodes from his “kitchen comedy” CHEF!, recently released on YouTube, still leave me doubled up… nearly ten years before Gordon made such outbursts on television “bollocking” Gareth Blackstock was doing it!
And what does this have to do with photography… you may well ask?
Some time ago now we were working in a new hotel and during a long day arrived in the Restaurant to see a selection of the chef’s signature dishes laid out ready for photography.
These included a bowl of Crayfish, looking fantastic on a bed of crushed ice. Needless to say we were under a little pressure to get the shots required before the re-opening of the Restaurant for evening service.
Things were going really well until I noticed that the Crayfish had moved between frames.., though I couldn’t remember moving the bowl and was sure I hadn’t asked my assistant, or so I thought… anyway… eye to camera I simply asked for the bowl to be moved and a hand appeared in frame to make the adjustment…
When the hand of my assistant touched the bowl the Crayfish reached out and oh so gently grasped a finger with it’s claw… my assistant froze! I had trouble seeing… as I was crying…with laughter…and the talented chef calmly and quietly commented that they actually weren’t cooked, simply kept “on-ice” until required… and clearly the photographer’s lights were perhaps a little warm!
And how would Chef Blackstock have dealt with such an “escape attempt”… well just watch… when at 4.10 into the shortened video below he has first to deal with “runny mayonnaise” and is then told that all the Crayfish have escaped… “You’re a pea brained, prat headed, talentless, pillock headed… What are you…??”
To see the full episode CHEF1 Season 1 Episode 5 / BBC Worldwide