Tremont 647’s Andy Husbands is on this season of Hell’s Kitchen, testing his tolerance for abuse from mean old Gordon Ramsay. He’s hosting a viewing party for his restaurant on July 21 for the premiere — expect dishes from the show and at least two fellow contestants.
Hell’s Kitchen isn’t generally known for chefs of your caliber. What made you decide to go onto the program?
I’m a guy who like to walk down many paths and see where they go. I just thought it would be exciting. I’ll tell you something: I used to have my tongue pierced and I did it because other people had done it and I wanted to see how bad it could hurt. It was the same thing with Hell’s Kitchen. How bad could it be? There’s a misconception that the people on the show can’t cook. The people I was on with can cook.
I think it’s partly the editing.
Maybe. I haven’t seen any of my episodes yet, so I don’t know, but I think it’s just Hell’s Kitchen. Hell’s Kitchen is bonkers. It’s an intense place.
As an established chef, was it harder to have Gordon Ramsay yelling at you?
No. We have a very successful restaurant at Tremont 647, but every now and then we make a mistake. A customer talking to you about a mistake you’ve made can be more intense than Chef Ramsey because you take it personally. I’ve worked with chefs like Ramsey. I tried to filter it and listen to what he was really saying to me.
How would you describe your role within the Hell’s Kitchen cast? Did you take a mentoring role since you’re more experienced?
No. You know, there were some real good cooks there. They called me Alton Brown a couple times because I knew a lot and I should know a lot. I read a lot. I’m a student of food and food history.
Did you consider other food shows like, say, Top Chef?
I didn’t think about Top Chef at all. You know, I have tattoos on my arms and people ask me why I got them and I say “because I wanted to”. I do what seems fun. Hell’s Kitchen seemed fun.
Why do you think there are so few Boston chefs on culinary competition shows?
I don’t know. I’ll put any Boston restaurant apples to apples against any other U.S. restaurant and we’ll hold our own. We have some unbelievably talented people. It’s not always about cooking skills, but casting. Maybe that’s it.
What’s been the reaction from your fellow Boston chefs?
They crack up at it. My BBQ team is like “We can’t wait to see this to give you a hard time.”