Hells Kitchen, Week 9: Is Anyone Not Watching ER Tonight?
Is anyone watching tonightís episode? Airing opposite the ER series finale, Iím sure the ratings wonít be great. Just to reward us for tuning in, we get to see Lacey get kicked out mid-service from last week again. That makes it worth tuning in. Then we are reminded that LA was caught in the cross-fire of the Carol vs. Andrea catfight, which is too bad. I miss LA.
Carol diagnosis Andreaís problem: thinking that her excrement smells marvelous, while enlightened Carol has realized while as a contestant that her in fact has an odor. Is that our friend foreshadowing, indicating that Carol has realized sheís out of her depth? Nah, not likely that introspective, as Carolís main point is that Andrea is just like her, and thus, terrible.. Paula and Gio beg them to put away the daggers for the sake of the team, and Paula points out the obvious: they both suck. I wish she would have said that. Instead Paula pointed out that if they canít work together, she and Gio will both nominate the two of them just to get some quiet already.
Crabby Patties, Seven Ways. I Love The Delicious Crunch of Shell in My Dish.
First challenge: Gordon asks them to name chicken dishes. They rattle off a dozen memorable chicken preparations, and start to sound a little like Bubba from Forrest Gump. Chicken Dumplings, Chicken Kiev, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Noodle Soup, Kung Pow Chicken, . . . you get the picture. Always the one to make an overly-confident and utterly misplaced statement, Ben proclaims ďI love cooking chickenĒ and has his dish already planned in his mind.
So Ramsay brings out the secret ingredient, Iron Chef style, but it isnít chicken. Oh snap. Itís King Crab. This crab is live, and enormous. Robert wants a pound of butter and a bucket because heís ďgoing to town.Ē I hope when he gets to town, he makes sure his pants stay together this episode. Iím just say, they have new pants in town.
Paula asks Chef Ramsay to help her find a piece of kitchen equipment. He tells her to, um, something I canít write here. Letís just say it was a bad idea. Paula has rarely had the chance to say anything between Andrea and Carolís non-stop chatter, so for to break her silence to make this request was quite the bone-headed move.
Is This The Best That Your Team Can Do? Really?
Each person needs to make a dish, and then each team needs to pick one to present to Ramsay on behalf of the team.
Robert likes the sauce on Benís dish, and Danny doesnít fight this pick too much, even though he prefers his dish. Gio likes Andreaís and Paulaís dishes. Carol carps that Andreaís dish isnít good because the legs are still in the shell. They go with Andreaís dish because she fights to have hers used.
First up is Andreaís ďstill in the shell crab legsĒ dish. Ramsay points out that it doesnít look good on the plate. Carol smirks with glee while he rips her apart for putting the awkward and unappetizing shells on the plate, and then calls the crab bland and mushy.
Benís crab is in some fancy pantsy spicy butter sauce, he rambles on about it for ten minutes. Ramsay is unimpressed. Both dishes are awful, and there is no winner here. Um, ok, but we have a reward and a punishment, so one team needs to win. Letís try some more food, shall we?
Second choices for each team Paula and Danny are then asked to present their dishes.
Paula had a basil-coconut broth in a beautiful presentation. Chef declared it delicious. Dannyís crab was poached in a Midori burre blanc which Ramsay also declared delicious. Ramsay thinks that these dishes were clearly the best of each team, and wanted to know why their teams both picked something else. Maybe they were saving it for themselves, I dunno, but the answer of course is because loud and lousy once again won over timid and talented. Danny and Paula will likely step out of the shadows just at the end to win, unless Gio manages to stick around despite his problems with cooking meat despite working in a steak place.
Which is the Worse Punishment? Shelling the Crabs, or Listening to Andrea and Carol?
Ramsay picks Dannyís as the winner. The red team needs to clean the living quarters for both teams, and then cooking and cleaning a huge pile of crab (is the plural of crab, or crabs, I donít know) for tomorrow nightís service. Robert leaves his dirty drawers all over for them to work around. Nice. Iím hoping this is our weekly dose of Robertís undergarments, as I donít need another shot of them, thank you very much. Seeing his enormous man-panties reminds me of the John Candy movie Summer Rental involving a sail boat race that was won despite sabotage to the main sail because they were able to use Candyís underpants as a replacement sail for the boat. Large underpants and sabotage Ė perhaps the scriptwriters, er, segment producers for this show are stealing plots from lesser known 1980s comedies. Weíll see next week if they lift the plot from The Great Outdoors.
The guys on the blue team are rewarded with a trip in a Hummer limo to go to the beach in Santa Monica. California beach-goers are very mad at this choice, as Robert at the beach is likely to result in a call to the fire department to rescue a beached whale. In a cruel twist of fate, Robert is once again, too heavy to participate in the best part of the reward. Robert canít ride on the Segways with Ramsay, Danny and Ben because there is a weight limit. So instead, he gets to ride some crazy bike instead. Itís probably just as well, as it appears someone took a header off one of the Segways. It looked like Ramsay to me, but not sure why they didnít focus more on that. Then the guys go for a lobster lunch. Luckily, there is no Speedo scene for the guys, as it looks too cold for swimming.
Back in the kitchen, the red teams is done cleaning the dorms; and are cleaning crab. Carol and Andrea are talking and whining non-stop, and then both give confessionals that the other canít stop blathering all the time. Hello Pot, meet Kettle. I think youíll find you have a lot in common.
You Can Pick Your Menu, and You Can Pick Your Nose, But Please Donít Do Either.
Next service, the teams are responsible for their own menus. Three appetizers, main dishes, and desserts, including a crab special. Or perhaps a crab dessert. Um, no thanks.
The guys easily pick Dannyís crab dish as the special. Ben takes over at the board and the guys brain storm dishes. Both teams are picking some very similar dishes, how odd. Ben starts kicking around a bunch of goofy French preparation terms, alienating Robert and Danny, who are not wild about the prospect of Pom Fondant or whatever heís saying.
During prep, the guys start sniping at each other, with Ben nagging Robert to prep some apples or something. How do you like them apples? Sorry, Ben Affleck is on Leno while Iím writing this recap and I was channeling Good Will Hunting there for a moment. Iíve got a hankering to do some math. Ok, back to the recap.
For tonightís service, each customer needs to choose from either the red or blue menu, which both feature a Carpaccio appetizer, steak entrees, and ambitious potato garnishes. The dinners are ordering pretty evenly from both menus. Ironically, the appetizers are unappetizing, with complaints of bland beef Carpaccio. Ramsay yells at steak chef Gio to slice his Carpaccio onto a seasoned plate. Ben hears this and over-salts his soup in an effort to avoid the serious problem of kitchen blandness. The soup is ruined (even though he tries to ďfixĒ the over-salting by reducing it more on the stove? Wha??) The red diners are eating while the blue diners at the same tables are not.
As frequently happens on this show, some saucy tart who wants to be on tv takes her plate to the kitchen to complain a second time about the lack of seasoning on her Carpaccio. She makes the mistake of whistling at Ramsay, who does not take crap from customers, and says ďdonít you whistle at me like Iím a dog, as you look more like a dog than I do.Ē Customer service is apparently job number 3,452 in Hellís Kitchen, somewhere between flossing your navel and ordering out for Chinese for all the extras who didnít get fed during dinner service.
One Potato, Two Potato, Red Potato, Blue Potato?
Carol doesnít know why her fancy potatoes arenít cooking as quickly as she wanted. Ramsay thinks she might be trying to sabotage her nemesis Andrea on meat, and then rants to the dining room when sheís not sure how long it will be until her silly potatoes will be ready, maybe ten minutes.
Ben isnít having any better luck with his fancy potatoes over in the blue kitchen. He claims that he has no idea what Ramsay is talking about when he gets hammered for blanching the potatoes instead of pan sautťing them. Ramsay asks his sous chef Scott if Pom Fondant has a different preparation in the US than in does in Brittan, and Scott assures him that it does not. Ben then claims that everything Ramsay says is ďforeignĒ to him. I suppose it would be, as heís speaking English. Moron.
Carol and Ben are going down with their crappy potatoes, as Carol attempts to salvage her tray of undercooked crap by pouring cream all over it. Ramsay tosses it into the bin and demand they come up with a different potato side dish. Carol, Paula and Andrea are for once, all speechless. Gio suggests fingerling potatoes, and weíre off again.
Robert has forgotten about a halibut and is delaying a bunch of meat entrees. Robert is for some reason handling both meat and fish, which does seem like a lot of work compared to someone else only doing garnishes, and not well, Ben. Ben carps behind his back that Robert isnít as good as he and Danny, rather than helping out with the fish or meat. Chef Ramsay thinks Ben tried to sabotage Robert by cutting the steak incorrectly. Robert and Ben are going at it like Carol and Andrea. Without Lacey to be their team lightening rod, the guys are imploding, and the red team has been imploding for weeks now.
Carol canít cook steak medium, keeps sending out rare steaks, and Ramsay shuts it down. Ramsay needs to choose a ďwinning teamĒ despite the lousy and incomplete service. Chef focused on the entrees scores from the comment cards, and the red team had a slight lead.
Now Go Make a Choice That Will Alienate Someone On Your Team and That I Will Ignore.
As tonightís best performer on the losing team, Ramsay wants Danny to pick between Ben and Robert for nomination to go home. This is not an easy task, as he doesnít think either of his current teammates are really capable of being the new head chef of Bourgatt or whatever the name of Ramsayís new restaurant is.
Hereís our friend, foreshadowing, watching the red team talks about how lucky they are to not be facing elimination. Carol feels guilty, knowing that she had a terrible service with failed potatoes and meat that was too rare. I hate overly rare meat, so that alone in my book is reason to go against the vote and kick out Carol tonight. I think weíve seen enough foreshadowing that she will be gone, despite the red teamís ďwinĒ in tonightís service. Since when does Ramsay follow the rules that he establishes? He is a kitchen rebel, I tell you.
Danny is agonizing over whether to nominate Ben or Robert to send for elimination. Danny picks Ben, saying he thinks Ben has already reached his full potential (and presumably Robert has not). Ben claims he should stay because of his foundation of leadership in the kitchen. Ramsay questions his leadership after cutting the steak inconsistent sizes and then slithering out like a snake. Robert, however, is inconsistent and doesnít always cook to his potential.
Ramsay says he will eliminate the person who has given up on the competition and is sabotaging her team. He turns and points to Carol, and asks her to remove her jacket. Yeah, vindication. I wasnít on either Team Andrea or Team Carol, but I was plenty tired of their bickering week after week with no resolution, and raw steaks are a major no-no when Iím eating, so off you go, you silly twit.
Carol doesnít even look shocked as she comes over. Ramsay said that she gave up after her potatoes didnít work out, and she never bounced back. Heck, I can make decent potatoes with some butter, seasonings, and a pan, it isnít that hard.
The blue team is happy to have survived. Ramsay says ďCarol knew she was out of her depth in Hellís Kitchen. I just put her out of her misery.Ē
Join us next week for more Hellís Kitchen. The previews indicate a rather unexpected event next week, but who knows what they might be blowing out of proportion just to pimp the episode in the ads.
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Re: Hells Kitchen, Week 9: Is Anyone Not Watching ER Tonight?
The previews indicate a rather unexpected event next week, but who knows what they might be blowing out of proportion just to pimp the episode in the ads.
: That's probably spot on.
Wow, I missed a lot of details last night. Thanks for the recap - hilarious!
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