Stuart Mitchell isn’t Gordon Ramsay. No-one would mistake the softly spoken Glaswegian for his loud-mouthed fellow countryman – if anything, think a younger, more moisturised Lee Mack – but the TV chef’s lawyers insist he points this fact out at the beginning of the show.
Stuart Mitchell: Gordon Ramsay’s Karma Cafe, Gilded Balloon Teviot (Venue 14) ****
What Mitchell is, is a man who just wanted to take his wife out for a meal to celebrate their wedding. Where better than a restaurant with three Michelin stars. Lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s: what could possibly go wrong?
The answer forms the first half of a neatly structured show from a man who, last time he did the Fringe, told us about his parents’ deaths. Lunch should make for lighter fare, and the laughs do come thick and fast from Mitchell, a regular panellist on BBC Scotland’s Breaking the News.
But the great gags and sharp asides are leading to an epiphany, and Mitchell wonders if there might be a Ramsay moment awaiting us. One that doesn’t include sitting down to a meal involving tiny pigeon legs whose owner is likely stumbling along some nearby street on crutches.
I’m being a little cagey. Mitchell’s show doesn’t reveal the secret of the sphinx, the nature of the Loch Ness Monster or the recipe for the Colonel’s special fried chicken. But it’s Mitchell’s story to tell, and it’s best heard from him. It won’t hurt to know that it involves a Singer sewing machine, high finance and safaris.
Let Mitchell connect those particular dots in a show that, in marrying sharp observation to disarming honesty, may set you to rethinking your life.
• Until 27 August, 6:30pm