Gordon Ramsay's number two complaint (we know the first...) is that the food was frozen. But I am confused about the specifics. Does he mean the meat was not thawed before cooking? Does he mean that after being placed in a freezer meat cannot be "saved" even after thawing?
I like chef Ramsay, he can be snobbish and course at times but he knows food and he's a straight shooter and tells it like it is.
Sometimes he's just saying the food isn't hot or even warm in the middle, but some times he is referring to frozen vs fresh ingredients. Most food is better when it's fresh, because freezing destroys cell walls and breaks down some materials. For everyday cooking that may be just fine, but when you are charging a premium for your meal, he expects top notch and I agree with him.
Just to put a foot note on it, try this at home. Steam some broccoli, side by side, use fresh broccoli and frozen and see what the difference is. It's quite a huge gap.
There are a few more problems with frozen ingredients that might not be obvious at first:
- The cut of the ingredients is usually already defined by how the factory did it, and might or might not be as desired, be it for textural, cooking behaviour, or presentation reasons.
- There is always more free water in what you pour out of a freezer bag versus what fresh produce has, whether used thawed or frozen. Also, you have to pay attention not to actually pour lumps of ice out with the ingredient in some cases. The difference can be enough to upset dry, high heat cooking methods (stir frying, deep frying, roasting), and dilute sauces more than wanted.
- Proper thawing might (in hours) take longer than acquiring and using some things fresh.
- Some things are hard to portion while frozen, and thawing them whole affects the quality of the unused portion too...