Ramsay serves up 'the T word' in acting debut

HE HAS amassed a galaxy of Michelin stars and built a formidable culinary empire, but now Gordon Ramsay looks destined to serve up the biggest turkey of his career.

The celebrity chef makes his acting debut in a cameo appearance in the romantic comedy Love's Kitchen which was due to go on general release this week.

But widespread critical maulings mean the film will now only be screened in a handful of British cinemas and will go straight to DVD in the US.

The movie, which stars Fife-born Dougray Scott, has been branded the "worst film of the year" while Ramsay's performance was labelled "as wooden as the tables in Claridge's".

In a move which will surely add sea-salt to the 44-year-old's wounds, Ramsay's name is misspelled "Ramsey" in the film's closing credits. Ramsay plays himself in the British film, which centres around a London chef who attempts to turn an ailing country pub into a thriving gourmet destination following the death of his wife.

In an echo of the motivational role he adopts in TV hit Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, the Scot uses his trademark sharp-tongued tirades to chide the chef, played by Scott, for letting his standards slip.

Clad in a black leather jacket he bellows: "This has got to stop! Real food with real heart. Does that ring any bells with you?"

The film's trailer ends with Ramsay, who is almost as famous for his expletive-peppered outbursts as he is for his culinary wizardry, playing up to his belligerent reputation.

Pointing directly at the screen he snarls: "What the hell are you lot looking at? Get back to bloody work!"

Hopes were high for the film, which also stars veteran English actors Simon Callow and Peter Bowles and CSI NY star Claire Forlani, after it was selected to open the Dances With Films festival in Los Angeles and was screened at Portugal's Festroia Festival.

Love's Kitchen was originally scheduled to go on general release in the UK on Friday, but a spokeswoman for the film confirmed that that schedule had now been considerably scaled back.

She said: "The film will be shown in 15 British cinemas, none of which are in Scotland."

The spokeswoman said Ramsay was unavailable for interview or comment about his role and had left instructions that he would be play no part in efforts to promote the film.

Love's Kitchen has already had critics sharpening their knives. A review in Empire, the respected film magazine, concludes: "Ham, corn and cheese are the only things this kitchen is serving up, even before Gordon Ramsay's awful cameo."

Film critic Alex Ritman claims the F Word star had made a huge mistake by agreeing to accept the role. He said: "He has been the subject of much pointing and laughing over his cinematic debut.

"For reasons only he and his agent can answer, Ramsay appears as himself serving up cheesy lines and looking about as wooden as the tables in Claridge's. Bingo, you've got yourself a turkey."

Simon Reynolds, of Digitalspy, claimed the comedy was "quite possibly the worst film of the year", while perhaps the most scathing comments were made on the review website Media Blog, which states: "Take a pinch of Love Actually, mix in a dash of Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, add a spoonful of tears and then stir it for the rest of your natural life with a stick of pure awfulness.

"Then place it in an oven and stare at it, drop-jawed, until anybody involved with the UK film industry has been shamed to the very core of their existence. Hey presto: Love's Kitchen starring Gordon Ramsay."