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A Hell of a Job: Rye grad works alongside chef Gordon Ramsay

By Emily Blatta

Working alongside celebrity host and chef Gordon Ramsay can get pretty hot.

Arthur Smith, executive producer of Hell’s Kitchen and Ryerson radio and television arts grad, is back for the show’s 13th season premiere.

“We knew we had something special when we started,” said Smith. “Hell’s Kitchen is unlike any other reality series.”

The show is a reality TV cooking competition set up in an intense culinary academy run by Gordon Ramsay.

The Emmy-nominated show first aired in 2005, and has since been considered one of the most popular cooking shows on TV.

While some reality shows might seem unrealistic, Smith said that Hell’s Kitchen is always natural and never scripted. “The contestants are authentic, we get real chefs and real people.”

After launching his career at CBC sports and producing three Olympic games, he went on to work with Dick Clark Productions and FOX Sports.

In 2000, Smith and his friend Kent Weed started their own production company, A. Smith & Co. Productions, now one of the leading production titles in North America, bringing Hell’s Kitchen to the top.

“I knew I wanted to work in the entertainment industry, and Ryerson gave me the confidence I needed,” Smith said. “[Ryerson] was an opportunity to experiment”, said Smith, who continues is test out new ideas in the show. After 13 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, he said the most important thing is to “keep trying to re-invent.”

For prospective students looking to break into the industry, Smith offered a piece of advice, “Take the best guess of what you want to do and focus on it.” Smith said that kids many will take any job, but it’s imperative to set goals and stick to them.

“But a good show is like a good meal,” he said, “You have to have all the right ingredients.”


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