How Hell's Kitchen Changed Reality TV Forever, According To Its Executive Producer

The world of food television is a vast and exciting space these days. From culinary competitions to cooking tutorials, food enthusiasts and home chefs can easily zero in on something that they love to watch. The iconic cooking show "Hell's Kitchen" has seen an unbelievable amount of success since its debut. According to IMDb, the show aired in 2005 and has since released 20 seasons so far. It's not planning to go away anytime soon and remains a fan favorite thanks to the delicious combination of drama, yummy food, and difficult culinary challenges.

The show's executive producer, Arthur Smith, had an interesting explanation for the show's success. Smith said that he consciously chose to design the show in a way that would make the program an appealing option for everyone, not just for foodies (via Food Sided). The show managed to stay inclusive right from the start. Before "Hell's Kitchen," shows in the food genre could feel robotic and predictable. "Hell's Kitchen" offered up a bold alternative to the norm that strayed away from the stereotypes linked to cooking shows.

A reality show that doesn't pull punches

Arthur Smith explained to Food Sided that "Hell's Kitchen" doesn't shy away from showcasing reality, and never distorts or conceals events. This means that every bit of the drama that's on display is real and nothing is scripted. Gordon Ramsay's strong reactions don't get hyped up for the camera. It also helps that the show never moves away from its main goal — to look for talented chefs who can shine in the kitchen and impress the judges with their exceptional talent. Simply put, food never gets taken lightly on "Hell's Kitchen."

Smith boiled down the premise of the show in the simplest terms. He asked readers to think about dinner service on "Hell's Kitchen" in relation to a sports match. Everything happens in the heat of the moment and few individuals get second chances. Participants must do their best with what they have and weigh the odds while attempting to win against their competitors. With a winning formula like this, "Hell's Kitchen" captured the attention of audiences everywhere and cemented its reputation as an iconic cooking show.