June 17, 2005 -- JEFF La Poff has no regrets over calling verbally abusive chef Gordon Ramsay an "a**hole" before storming off "Hell's Kitchen" last Monday.
"I don't regret it at all somebody needed to tell him he was a j***off, and I think it was well-deserved," says La Poff.
"It got to the point where he was riding me to no end . . . where I couldn't deal with it anymore," says the 28-year-old finance manager from Orange, N.J.
"It was a spur- of-the-moment thing. I was like, how much more of this crap am I going to take?
"I took abuse for hours and hours. I don't think the editing [of the show] showed much of what I endured."
Unlike fellow contestant Dewberry, who quit the week before under Ramsay's withering abuse — only to return minutes later — La Poff's walkoff was his final act on "Hell's Kitchen."
On the Fox reality show, wannabe res taurateurs are whip ped into shape by Ramsay, the world- famous chef known as much for his hair- trigger temper and in sults as for his re nowned restaurants.
La Poff's meltdown wasn't his first run-in with Ramsay who, to be fair, has berated most of the show's contestants.
Not only had La Poff previously earned Ramsay's wrath — OK, and some praise — but his team mates began to question the vali dity of the kid ney stone at tacks that seemed to cripple him.
La Poff remedied that on last Monday's episode, passing the kidney stones in a men's room stall — and them showing them to his teammates to prove he wasn't slacking off.
"Kidney stones are brutally painful, like the most awful pain you can imagine," La Poff says. "I have no problem with working hard, but I was on morphine [for the kidney stones] for days and spent a couple of nights in the hospital, which they didn't show.
"When you're on morphine and no sleep, it takes its toll and puts you in a delirious state," he says.
"But that wasn't the morphine talking — it was me," he says of his profane outburst. "I'm short-fused and short-circuited, and I do have a temper and I'm outspoken. But I'm glad I did what I did."
And La Poff indicated that he doesn't necessarily agree with how Ramsay runs "Hell's Kitchen."
"I've worked in restaurants for many years and how Gordon runs his restaurant is not necessarily how all restaurants are run," he says. "There are other ways of getting the best out of people.
"I think it's exaggerated a bit," he says of Ramsay's abuse. "I don't know how anybody, in fact, would put up with it.
"How many hours of listening to that can you take?"