'Hell's Kitchen' Executive Producer Arthur Smith Takes THR's Taste Test

Fox’s Gordon Ramsay wrangler talks reindeer burgers, calf’s liver, ice cream sandwiches and more.

Arthur Smith, the executive producer of Hell’s Kitchen, wraps on the 12th-season finale at the show’s Culver City studio-turned-restaurant tonight. (The 11th cycle of the top-rated primetime chef competition was filmed earlier this fall and has yet to air.) The CEO of busy TV production firm A. Smith & Co., which also handles TLC’s durable Trading Spaces, is a veteran of Dick Clark Productions and Fox Sports Net. Here, he takes a break from his typical on-set control room perch to discuss his own habits of culinary consumption.

ARTHUR SMITH’S THR TASTE TEST

Current Fixation
“Beef Wellington at Hell’s Kitchen. When in Hell, it’s a must-have.”

Known for Cooking
“Right now, everyone I know is laughing at the thought of me being known for cooking anything. I’ve never had the patience or the discipline. However, my daughters love my sandwiches and my omelets – not because they taste great, but because of the way I work so hard on coming up with a creative way to lay it out on the plate. Never underestimate the importance of presentation!”

Destination Dinner
Mastro’s, Osteria Mozza, Rao’s in New York City, TAO in Vegas and Gordon Ramsay Steak in Vegas.”

Go-To Take-Out
Crave Cafe in Sherman Oaks for crepes or paninis.”

Adventurous Bite
“Reindeer burger in Finland. Sorry, Santa.”

Simply Won’t Eat
“Any kind of liver: chopped liver, calf’s liver, etc. … can someone explain the appeal?”

Favorite Snack
Skinny Cow chocolate ice cream sandwiches. Big on flavor, small on guilt.”

Dietary Regimen
“Egg whites or oatmeal for breakfast, some form of chicken for lunch and something grilled – meat, fish or chicken – for dinner.”

Preferred Company
“Can’t beat a night with all the Smith girls.”

Pet Peeve
“Waiters who don’t write down your order, then don’t remember what you said. And restaurants that clear plates while someone at the table is still eating.”

Big Wish
“That when the waiter tells you there’s no garlic in it, there’s really no garlic in it.”

Embarrassing Experience
“Let’s just say it involves a garlic allergy, a mad dash and my fellow diners wondering why I never returned to the table.”

Guilty Pleasure
“Pizza, pizza and more pizza.”

Last Meal
“A smoked meat sandwich from Schwartz’s in Montreal. It’s a taste sensation. And if it’s my last meal, I may be able to avoid the heartburn.”

What do you think?

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