So here’s something I’ve been wondering about. Are the poseurs who show up at dinner service in Hell’s Kitchen required to order appetizers, entrées and desserts? Who eats that much? Maybe I’m just one of those people who saves it all for the entrée, but you’d have to roll me out of that place if I had to eat that much. Maybe they’re just playing on the law of averages. If they order lots of food, they have a chance of actually being served some of it. Ah well, unanswered questions. On to this week’s culinary debacle.
We pick up the action this week with the chefs heading back to the dorms after Matt’s ouster. No one – including me – is sad about Matt’s exit. Petrozza tells us that it’s anyone’s game now. He’d prefer that anyone not be Jen and talks smack about her with Christina and Bobby out on the patio. Christina is sure Jen will sink herself in the game. Inside, Jen and Corey clean up the kitchen and Jen moans and groans about having to clean up after the others. She’s tells us her culinary skills are much better than the others’. Later, Christina and Corey bond over their shared hatred of Jen. They can’t stand each other, but they hate Jen more.
The next morning, the five chefs try to present a united front to Chef Ramsay. Tonight, he reveals, they will have a new appetizer on the menu: lobster spaghetti. He’s going to show them how to prepare it right now. Of course, this requires a live lobster and, man, I hate this. Ramsay demonstrates cooking the dish as they all watch….and I watch through my fingers. It looks simple enough for them to all screw it up quite spectacularly. Really though, it’s challenge time and just preparing a dish isn’t nearly enough of a challenge. For the first time, Hell’s Kitchen is going to host a cooking school. Each chef will have a student and the challenge will be to teach that student one dish. Petrozza boasts to us about his teaching ability. He’s sure he’ll nail this challenge.
The Real Housewives of Encino
On cue, the students for Hell’s Kitchen’s cooking school enter the kitchen. It’s like a cougar convention. Either that or the cast of some new Real Housewives series on Bravo. Before their perfume can even choke out the ventilation system in the restaurant, Petrozza is rendered stupid….okay more stupid. As the ladies file in, Chef Ramsay orders one to hand over her Chihuahua, Zeus. He quickly tosses the dog over to sous chef Scott. So then, I’m thinking old Gordo isn’t a dog person.
The chefs and students are paired up and given 45 minutes to get the lobster spaghetti prepared. The chefs aren’t allowed to prepare any of the food themselves: they can only instruct. Jen hopes her student’s ample, um, bosom, doesn’t get in the way of her cooking. One of the women hasn’t ever made pasta, but boasts that she has heard of it. Well, that’s a relief. Christina looks on as her student keeps trying to cut up the ingredients in her hand instead of on the cutting board. Since we’ve already had our major knife accident of the season, I’m guessing this one is going to be fine.
Meanwhile, Petrozza still = stupid. Chef Ramsay looks on and laughs as Petrozza fawns all over his student and actually puts her hair back in a ponytail for her. Bobby’s student looks just as horrified as I would if presented with the task of killing a lobster. She sucks it up and does the deed. Frankly, I would have been out the door at that point. She decides that’s the worst that could happen and gets on with it. Christina watches Jen cutting things for her student when she thinks Chef Ramsay isn’t watching. Of course, Chef Ramsay knows everything and reprimands Jen for helping her student.
Forty five minutes counts down and it’s time for Chef Ramsay to taste the dishes. The chef-student teams gather in the dining room with their dishes. The students all agree that they learned something and, for some, this was the first time they’d ever used a knife. Good grief.
Petrozza and his student are up first. Ramsay says the seasoning is delicious and the lobster is cooked perfectly. Unfortunately, the pasta is overcooked. Petrozza admits it was hard to concentrate because his student was so hot. Christina’s student managed to cook her pasta perfectly. Ramsay also compliments the seasoning and the lobster. On the other hand, Bobby’s student, whom Bobby tells us “brung” a dog into the kitchen, managed to make a bowl full of dog food. Ramsay asks why everything is chopped up to bits. By the way, it also tastes like dog food. Corey’s student cooked her pasta correctly as well. The dish is also seasoned beautifully. To Jen’s student, Ramsay says “You’ve never cooked in your life, have you?” Really, it’s more of a statement than a question because he knows the answer: he tasted her cooking. It was very bland and the pasta was congealed into a big lump. Jen is, naturally, pissed off and blames Chef Ramsay.
The decision comes down to a choice between Christina and Corey. Ramsay gives the win to Christina. Corey fumes. Ramsay compliments Corey as well. She’s not placated at all: she thought she had a good chance of winning and doesn’t think Christina deserved the win.
Hell’s Kitchen is one dirty restaurant and, today, the losers will be cleaning it. Specifically, they’ll be cleaning the fryers, ovens and floors. Oh my. Chef Ramsay tells Christina that, for her reward, she’ll be having lunch with him and two of L.A.’s premiere restaurateurs, who will cook for both of them. While they cook, Christina will be able to pick their brains and ask them lots of questions. As a parting gift, Chef Ramsay gives the MILFs a set of stainless steel cookware from his own line of cookware. Well, that was a waste of money.
While Christina gets ready for her big reward, the others whine about their punishment. Corey continues to bitch, saying Christina won by luck only. Jen joins in with the Christina bashing. Oh please, you didn’t even have a chance with that wad of tasteless goo your student made.
Jen is a Trash Mouth
Here come the 2 big deal guys to cook for Christina and Chef Ramsay. Their names are Mark Peel and Ben Ford. *crickets* Yeah, I have no clue who they are and I don’t care enough to Google. While the losing chefs clean one side of the kitchen. Christina will be enjoying her challenge win on the other side of the kitchen. It’s sort of like a cooking class. First up is some cedar smoked salmon. Corey looks on from the other side of the kitchen and tells us Christina is getting cocky about her cooking skills. I think Corey is getting a little too comfortable in Bitter Loser Land.
Chef Ramsay calls Bobby over to wipe down the hot plate while a pissed off Jen walking through the other side of the kitchen in an attempt to spy. While no one is looking – except, you know, the cameraman – Jen actually grabs some of the food and shoves it in her mouth. This is food that was supposed to go into the garbage. Nice. Christina and the big deal chefs sit around a table in the dining room and she thanks them for the opportunity. She tells us she will use the knowledge she gained to her greatest advantage.
It’s time to start dinner prep and Christina decides to share her newly-gained knowledge by spouting all the various things the chefs told her in their twenty minutes together. The other chefs resent her silently…or not so silently. As if a normal dinner service isn’t enough of a challenge for these people, Chef Ramsay has a new challenge in store for them. Tonight, the chefs will face one of the toughest hurdles: a 12-top. That’s twelve guests at one table. This means 12 appetizers, 12 entrées and 12 desserts and each course has to be served at once. With only 5 chefs left, they will need to put in the performance of their lives. Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
More of the Same
Once again, another doomed dinner service in Hell’s Kitchen begins. Let the tragically hip enter! Tonight, the restaurant is booked to capacity so, with only 5 chefs, performance is critical. Chef Ramsay tells Jen she’s flat-footed and needs to move more quickly. Corey is sure it’s only a matter of time before Jen breaks. Now that, I would love to see. Just as dinner service is beginning, Jean-Philippe walks right into the glass door to the kitchen. *snort* Okay, I feel slightly guilty for laughing, but it’s still funny as hell.
The first orders hit the kitchen and Chef Ramsay tells Christina (who is on appetizers) that he wants a perfect start tonight. Corey then gloats as Christina sends up only one of two lobster spaghetti appetizers. Finally, Christina gets both appetizers to the pass and Chef Ramsay compliments her. Thirty minutes into dinner service, Christina has a rhythm going and appetizers are flying out of the kitchen.
Now it’s up to Bobby on meat, Jen on fish and Petrozza on vegetables to keep the momentum and get out the entrées. Of course, this never goes well. Bobby sends up some meat that is cut incorrectly. Then he sends up meat that’s burned on the bottom. Jen tells us Bobby has major issues. Pot – kettle. Jen, who’s getting quite familiar with our old friend Karma, then gets yelled at for sending raw Jon Dory to the pass. Jean-Philippe overhears the kitchen drama and tells the wait staff to push the meat. Again, Jen messes up, only this time she’s overcooked the fish.
Jean-Philippe continues to try to avert disaster by telling the wait staff to push the meat. Then Bobby, who is trying to redeem himself with his Wellingtons, sends them up overcooked. J.P. immediately starts telling the wait staff to start pushing the chicken. So, when that gets burned, what will J.P. push? Pizza from Domino’s? Bobby continues to piss off Chef Ramsay, who shouts at him almost non-stop. While Bobby tries to get it together, some of the diners are getting upset. It’s like clockwork. For some unknown reason, Petrozza takes up some of Jen’s Jon Dory to the pass too early. Chef Ramsay yells at Jen for her mistake, but she keeps her mouth shut. She then tries to pull Ramsay aside to explain the situation, but he doesn’t want to hear any of it.
Is There Another Kind of “Working Girl”?
An hour and 45 minutes into dinner service, the kitchen is at a standstill. Jen is still trying to explain herself to Chef Ramsay and he won’t hear it. Petrozza states the obvious: Jen has problems with authority and following directions. Bobby observes that it’s like a war in there. Finally, in spite of the war zone, people are getting their meals. The kitchen seems to be working well, but they’re about to be challenged again. Here comes the 12-top. Is that the cougars from the challenge?
Naw, it’s a different bunch of, em, ladies. Jean-Philippe practically wets himself as he seats them all and generally acts like a hormonal 14-year old boy. The ladies tell J.P. they’re having a working ladies night out. Uh-huh. They then tell him they wear bikinis for a living. Working ladies, indeed. Yeah, they’re not hookers, they’re Hawaiian Tropic bikini models. Whatever. Six of one.
The order hits the kitchen and Chef Ramsey calls it out. He tells Corey to help Christina on appetizers: all 12 appetizers need to go out at once. Corey and Christina really to impress Chef Ramsay with their teamwork. Even though they hate each other, Corey says, they’re still going to work together. The girls manage to get the appetizers for the 12-top served together and seem pretty happy about it. Now, Christina and Corey start working on dessert.
Now the pressure is on Bobby, Jen and Petrozza to get the entrees done for the 12-top. Petrozza talks about pushing himself until it burns. Really, more of an issue to discuss with your doctor….or at least your personal trainer, dude. Of course, things never run smoothly when the pressure is on and Jen sends up some raw salmon. Soon enough, Chef Ramsay yells at Petrozza for not communicating with the others. Petrozza admits that his timing feels off tonight. Meanwhile, Bobby sets fire to a pan. It’s just another disaster-filled evening in Hell’s Kitchen.
Chef Ramsay shouts at them to speed up. Bobby, Jen and Petrozza try to get it together to get the entrees for the 12-top out. Finally, they get the food out, but Ramsay is still not impressed. Bobby, on the other hand, looks victorious. Ramsay growls at them to turn the stoves off. They completed a service, he says, but it was downright painful and they didn’t unite as a team. It shouldn’t be so bad this far into the competition and he expected more. The only one who stood out tonight was Christina: the lobster spaghetti appetizer was a big hit. Christina will be nominating two of her competitors for elimination.
Back at dorms, Christina basks in the afterglow of Chef Ramsay’s positive remarks. She talks to Petrozza and asks him for his opinions about tonight’s nominations. Christina says Petrozza could do much more but doesn’t because he’s too focused on himself. She also thinks Bobby is mediocre. Corey agrees with Christina about everything because, you know, this is all about sucking up and not getting eliminated. Jen is sure Chef Ramsay will send her home tonight. Well, you know, fingers crossed. Jen thinks Bobby and Petrozza were worse tonight, but she still goes up to get a head start on packing. Corey and Christina talk about Jen. They both think she’s full of herself and really want her gone. I’m on the fence about this one. With Matt gone, Jen is the only one I can mock freely, without guilt.
Gordon Ramsay is a Big, Fat Tease
When Chef Ramsay asks Christina if the decision tonight was difficult, It wasn’t, she admits: there are only a few of them left. Christina’s first nominee is Jen. When things don’t go Jen’s way, Christina says Jen shuts down and takes her team with her. Plus, Jen keeps promising to bring a new Jen to the kitchen but, so far, it’s the same nasty, deluded bitch as always (<----paraphrasing). Christina’s second nominee is Bobby, whom she says is just too inconsistent. She expected more out of him tonight and he didn’t deliver.
Both Jen and Bobby step forward. Jen tells Chef Ramsay she should stay because she will continue to give 100%. Ramsay argues that Jen went back to her old ways and, when given any criticism, she slows down. Of course, Jen doesn’t agree with him. Bobby admits that he sucked quite a bit during dinner service tonight. He then decides that sucking up is the best way to go. He thanks Chef Ramsay for saving his butt during dinner service and continues to ramble on until Ramsay asks if Bobby’s running for office. Bobby says that it was a rough day at the office, but he didn’t go postal. He thinks he’s a better cook than Jen because he won’t crack. Jen, of course, thinks she’s a better cook than Bobby. She says she’s organized and strong and comes up with good ideas.
Chef Ramsay then asks Christina for her opinion as to who should go home. She barely pauses to think before she answers “Jen.” Unfortunately, Ramsay disagrees and sends Gen…eral Bobby home. Tease. I’m sure Jen just about lost it there. Bobby tells us he’s misunderstood because of his height and calls himself a warm and joyful person that other people like being around. He thanks Chef Ramsay for the opportunity. Bobby walked into Hell’s Kitchen with joy and he’s leaving with it. I’d rather he leave with Jen, but no one asked me. So there.
This is getting close, Chef Ramsay says, and one of them will become the Executive
Dish WasherChef at the London West Hollywood. Right now, there are no favorites. Ramsay wishes them all luck and sends them back to the dorms. Jen, who is still in denial, says she’s still the strongest person there. Petrozza vows to go into fighting mode and Corey says it’s now game time.
Bobby was big in stature, says Chef Ramsay, but he fell short in a number of areas.
Next Week: The remaining chefs will face their toughest critics. Plus, one chef makes the serious mistake of leaving a pot handle over the fire not once, but twice and it’s Chef Ramsay who gets burned.