Looks like Gordon Ramsay's been called to the judges' table.
In the wake of news that a chef who'd appeared on Kitchen Nightmares has jumped to his death, Top Chef judge Eric Ripert unleashed a flurry of tweets that seem to—if not exactly blame Ramsay for Joseph Cerniglia's suicide—take him to task for the abrasive abuse he heaps upon his TV charges.
"Nothing personal against Gordon Ramsay but he is a poor inspiration for professional chefs in his shows. Who perform better scared, insulted?" tweeted the usually low-key Ripert, the executive chef of Le Bernardin when not on Top Chef and Avec Eric.
"I have my bad days to but always try to improve.TV or not it s no excuse! Ultimately I believe in the goodness of Gordon but he is very wrong," wrote Ripert.
"Smart chef lead kitchen by sharing, teaching, inspiring with respect. Not insulting, abusing, humiliating their team."
Cerniglia, who owned the Italian restaurant Campania in Fair Lawn, N.J., revealed on Kitchen Nightmares in 2007 that he was "financially in trouble" and owed investors nearly $80,000.
Ramsay, unsurprisingly, upbraided him for not knowing how to run a business.
Perhaps fueling Ripert's social networking commentary is the fact that Cerniglia, who leaves behind three young children and a wife, is not the first former Ramsay charge to take his own life. Rachel Brown, a chef who came in fifth on Hell's Kitchen, shot herself in her family's Dallas home in 2007.
Whatever the actual cause of Cerniglia's death, let's hope something good comes out of this food fight.
Maybe now would be a good time for Stars Eating Ice Cream?