Hello, dear readers. Hello? Anyone there? Anyone miss Jen? Anyone? Not me, I tell you. Well, that is not quite true. I miss her for the sheer entertainment value. How I loved to laugh and laugh at her delusional rantings. And after last week’s flaming of Jen will there be any entertainment left in this show? Well, I guess we are forced to watch it and find out. Never fear, dear readers – I won’t make you do it. I, Iguanachocolate, will endure the mind numbing ridiculousness that has been this season for you. You may thank me now.
The show starts off predictably enough with everyone rejoicing and dancing in the streets at the departure of Jen. Petrozza, Corey and Christina all express their joy and rapture and all is good in Hell’s Kitchen. For now.
In the morning, the cheffettes (I just can’t bring myself to call this lot chef’s) assemble in front of Chef Ramsey who surprises them by letting them know that he will be cooking one of his signature dishes for them this morning and that some special guests will be joining them. Of course, it’s time for the exploitation of the relatives! Yeah, I always love this part as I know that the end of the season is imminent. In walk the parents of Christina, the boyfriend and mother of Corey and Petrozza’s father and girlfriend. Mr. Messy has a girlfriend? Apparently so. After some tears of happiness the cheffettes and their families sit down to enjoy Ramsey’s offering. Corey and Petrozza are more excited to be with their families than they are in eating the food, but wary Christina suspects Ramsey of something more sinister and quizzes her parents on what they think is in the dish. Her mother repeatedly says “cream”. Christina doesn’t appear to hear her, though. She does pick up on some white bean purée, though.
Sure enough, when the meal is over and the loved ones sent on their merry way, Ramsey says they will now have to recreate the dish. He thoughtfully provides them with a single sample dish to taste and try to emulate. The cheffettes taste and run, gathering ingredients. They all grab the same vegetables, but Petrozza and Corey grab buffalo as the protein while Christina grabs venison as she searches in vain for the white beans. They begin to cook. Petrozza tastes his and realizes that buffalo is the wrong meat and witches to the venison. All of their dishes are similar but the proteins and the purées. Corey went with a potato base, Christina finally found the white beans for her base and Petrozza elected to forgo the purée completely. Corey struggled a bit with the base for her reduction, but finally scored some framboise (raspberry) wine or liquor and uses this in her reduction. The three present their dishes to Chef Ramsey for his critique.
None of them recreated the dish perfectly. Corey, whilst remembering the cream and doing a perfect sauce used buffalo instead of venison, and that was an egregious error, so it was down to Christina and Petrozza. Both correctly identified the correct protein as venison, both had the correct vegetable and both had an incorrect sauce. It all came down to the purée or lack thereof. Petrozza had none, so by a bean, Christina won the challenge. Petrozza couldn’t believe how close he had come only to lose by such a mistake of not using any kind of purée. Christina wins a sightseeing tour and lunch with Chef Ramsey. As she scurries off to change her clothes, Chef let’s the other two in on the afternoon he has stored for them: under the watchful eye of Jean Philipe, they will have to wash and polish all the bar glassware. Oh, and today is ice deliver day! So they will also have to receive the delivery and then break the giant blocks of ice down to manageable pieces for the bar use. What, Hell’s Kitchen is to cheap to purchase a little modern piece of marvelousness called an ‘ice machine’?! Or is it just too hot in Hell for any ice to survive. I don’t know, but watching Petrozza and Corey chipping away at that ice made me long for an Icee. Orange, please.
Meanwhile, Christina goes out front and sees Chef standing in front of a double decker bus, and then her parents exit it. They will be joining them for the tour and lunch. It’s your typical LA tour: palm trees, movie stars, and tourists. But little Christina’s eyes are wide open and is having a great time. They arrive at the restaurant and a good meal and more tours are had by all.
When Christina gets back from her tour of LA, she and the others get ready for the night’s dinner service. Ramsey pulls each one of them away to talk with them. He instructs them that they need to be firm at the pass and to let everyone knows who is boss at the kitchen. He pretends to bring each of them a poorly made dish and wants them to yell at him for it. I recognize Petrozza’s yelling from the previews and is disappointed but not surprised that they had led us wrong again, that there will be no yelling at Chef Ramsey during the dinner service. Will nothing save us from the boredom of this episode? Corey is a bit weak at her yelling and Ramsey instructs her and smashes a plate in emphasis of how she needs to step up and take control. Little Christina just sounds like a lisping Minnie Mouse at the pass, but she does deliver her commands with some punch, watered down as it is.
The service begins with sous chefs Scott and Gloria filling in for the eliminated players. They will make sure the food goes properly made. Or will they? Chef Ramsey pulls them aside to hear their sabotage ideas for the cheffetes as they take their turns at the pass. They will take the peas out of the risotto, use the wrong sauce on the Wellington and put the wrong herb into the mashed potatoes. The service begins and seems to be going well. Ramsey calls Petrozza up to run the pass. He does a good job at getting the food moving despite missing the absence of peas in the risotto and Christina’s poor performance at the fish station She seemed to be sabotaging Petrozza, but as she said later in confessional, why would she sabotage him at the expense of her own ability to show what she is worth in the kitchen? Nope, folks, she performed badly on her station all due to her ineptness. Go Christina!
Corey takes her turn at the pass next and fumbles over reading the ticket missing the fact that the order was minus one entrée. She catches the wrong sauce on the Wellington, but after the dish had already been sauced forcing it to have to be re-cooked. Christina’s turn at the pass fared better, she was forceful and caught the mashed potato with the wrong seasoning and sent it back. After a flurry of dessert making, the service was over. Chef Ramsey gathers the cheffettes together and lets them know that they did a good job, but that now they must choose one person each to go up for elimination.
After a couple of beers and cigarettes (why do chef’s smoke too much, anyway, doesn’t it ruin their palates?), they gather in the dining room in front of Chef Ramsey. He asks each of them to name their choice: Christina nominates Corey and Corey and Petrozza nominate Christina. Chef lets Petrozza know first that he will be in the finale. He then has the girls stand before him. He has Christina tell him why she should move on and she says while she doesn’t have the most experience, she is a fast learner. Corey answers that she never gives up. Finally, Ramsey declares Christina will be moving on to the final. He tells Corey that she should not give up her dream and should be proud of what she accomplished.
And there we have it folks, two unlikely contenders for the prize: Christina, a wide eyed innocent fresh from culinary school and Petrozza who has the experience but not the drive necessary to be the top in his field. The two huge banners that are suddenly dropped from the ceiling bearing the pictures of the finalists and the show ends.
Next week, join me for the finale of this season and we shall see if either of these two cheffettes can step up to the plate and deliver the meals.