On the heels of multiple scandals, Stony Brook University reportedly invited chef and TV personality Gordon Ramsay to reform the campus dining experience. The move comes as Stony Brook looks to steer attention away from CulinArt’s numerous allegations of payroll fraud and an impending investigation from New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Ramsay, known for his blinding fury and profane antics on shows like Kitchen Nightmares and Hell’s Kitchen, couldn’t have come to Stony Brook at a better time. SBU’s subreddit has recently been inundated with student posts describing their bouts with food poisoning due to undercooked food.
“I took a bite into a Kickin’ Chickin sandwich, and the meat was pink,” one student wrote. “It was so raw it practically still had feathers on it. I was sick for days.”
Ramsay had been called in to focus on just that — how to assure that raw meat is fully cooked. According to staff present at the dining hall, he suggested the cooks use their faces to determine the rareness of red meat. Medium cooked meat feels like the chin, medium rare like the cheek, and medium well like the forehead, he told them. He reportedly demonstrated this technique on the chefs themselves.
“He grabbed my cheek and yelled, ‘Now, this is the perfect example of medium fucking rare,’” a chef, who requested to remain anonymous for their safety, said. “His fingers were kind of clammy. It sort of felt like when your grandma pinches your cheeks when she greets you, but if Grandma was an angry British man.”
Students outside the kitchen in West Side Dining this past week said it was hard not to notice Ramsay’s presence. They reported hearing guttural screams, frequent obscenities and tables being slammed.
The Press gained exclusive access to security footage from the kitchen, revealing the extent of Ramsay’s displeasure at the state of Stony Brook’s food.
“These tater tots are greasier than Wolfie’s neutered — fucking — bollocks!” he yelled, tossing a fryer backwards into the air and causing grease and potato pellets to rain down on staff.
Sources said staff morale only further sunk as the week went on. Ramsay reportedly had to take frequent “bathroom breaks” to blow off steam. One staff member recalled being directly and repeatedly berated by the guest chef after overcooking a burger.
“He told me to go fuck myself,” they said. “He took the patty in his hands, took a huge bite and, without warning, he threw it like a frisbee across the room. It shattered a lightbulb.”
The security footage also revealed an altercation between Ramsay and Vice President of Student Affairs Rick Gatteau, who paid a visit to the kitchen to film a new episode of his Instagram series “What’s Up, Rick?”
Still fogged by his anger at the dining hall staff, Ramsay took out his frustrations on Gatteau. With a cold piece of raw steak in each hand, he held Gatteau’s head in between his hands, declaring Gatteau an “idiot sandwich.” Ramsay then stormed out of the kitchen. Gatteau, stunned, stood still for a minute longer, until a security detail escorted him away.
Stony Brook administrators seem to be framing Ramsay’s stay at the university as a cure-all for CulinArt’s reported misdeeds. Just this morning, President McInnis and a number of CulinArt cooks posed for pictures with Ramsay. Those present at the shoot noted that despite her wide smile, McInnis’ eyes revealed her fear at being so close to a man who repeatedly told staff he “ought to chop their nipples off and serve them on the world’s worst pizza.”
Despite the negativity of the meeting and the revelations about poor food quality, a senior CulinArt administrator said they were “just glad to get the focus off the payroll fraud.”