Instagram Is Losing It Over Gordon Ramsay's Chocolate Fondant Clip

Gordon Ramsay is famous for his sharp tongue. It's at the heart of the Ramsay brand. Shows like "Hell's Kitchen" and "Kitchen Nightmares" (shows that have helped make Ramsay's career) are understood to be less about food and cooking and more about Ramsay laying into his kitchen staff.

It's interesting, then, watching viewer preferences, interests, and disinterests play out on Ramsay's Instagram page, where just about anyone (and not just Fox execs) can view and interpret the celebrity chef's ratings. Even a cursory look at posts and view counts from the past month provides a picture of Ramsay that's somewhat different from that of the beloved, foul-mouthed chef.

Here's one striking statistic, among others: In the past month of IG updates, the best-rated clips on Ramsay's page — and the only clips to have received over a million views — have been audio-less, chef-less, five-to-ten second videos of food. In other words, the highest-rated audio-visual content on Gordon Ramsay's page in the past month did not include one second of Ramsay speaking, much less cursing. A video of an oozing chocolate fondant, posted earlier today and already at 1.5 million views, is the latest data point in the trend.

Letting the food do the talking

What conclusions might Ramsay and Ramsay fans draw from this information? In a way, it's no surprise that quick-hitting content about gourmet food has done as well as it has on Ramsay's page. Who doesn't want to watch endless videos of pizza (1.3 million) poached eggs (1.55 million), beef wellington (1.9 million views), and lava cake (1.5 million)? There's also something to be said for the medium in which these clips exist: Perhaps Instagram is just a better home for Ramsay-branded food videos than it is for "Hell's Kitchen"-esque content. That side of Ramsay does occasionally appear on his Instagram (as, for example, in his "drive-by" food reviews, or in his re-posts of spot-on impressions), but it can sometimes feel out of place — or in some cases, outshone. The "drive-by" review, for example, in which a joking, mostly friendly, Ramsay critiques a Starbucks sandwich, was posted in April and has 2.8 million views. Ramsay's 6-second shepherd's pie video, posted two weeks ago, currently sits at 2.2 million.

There's no denying, Ramsay's quick wit and fiery temper are key ingredients in some of his best-rated content (the numbers are still out on seasons 18 through 20 of "Hell's Kitchen," but Season 17 drew an average audience of 3.13 million per episode (via TV Series Finale). But Ramsay's Instagram demonstrates two important points: 1) that Ramsay is willing and able to step back and let the food do the talking, and 2) that there's an audience for that.