Oh, if only my dreams included being a chef at Borgata restaurant in Los Vegas, then I too could have my life dreams crushed by a bully chef on a national reality tv show. But alas, my dreams are small and achievable – to write recaps for a reality tv website for no compensation. That’s a secret to success folks – keep your goals achievable and you’ll be happy. Go on Hell’s Kitchen, and happiness is really unlikely. Do you like watching chefs get yelled at? You do? Well then, join me again for another day in Chef’s Kitchen.
We start out this week with a recap of Carol’s unexpected departure after Ramsay was picking from between Robert and Ben to leave. We get to see Andrea’s look of glee while Carol leaves. Oh, will the show still have its spice without our long-standing catfight? Probaly not, so expect some manufactured drama coming our way soon.
As part of our “everyone reacts to the elimination” segment, Robert tells us that he is not Ben’s friend and that he would step on Robert’s back to make it on the show. We see video of Robert telling us he’s a better chef than anyone else on the show. And the most modest. Don’t forget to brag about your modesty while riffing on the ludicrous. Ben doesn’t seem to notice Robert’s animosity. How could Ben possibly hear Robert, as Ben was talking. He’s always talking.
You Are The Weakest Link: Here’s Your New Jacket.
Ramsay greets the chefs and picks the top chef from each kitchen to name the weakest chef in each team. Paula chose Andrea as the weakest chef in the Red kitchen. Danny picked Ben as the weakest chef in the Blue kitchen. Ramsay asks Ben and Andrea why they should stay. We get some uncomfortable self-justifications, the ceremonial taking of their jackets, and then Ramsay tells them, it’s time to put on black-striped jackets because the kitchens are merged and their cooking as individuals on one team instead of two. Psyche!
The teams are now merged and its time for the first individual reward challenge. The reward will be a trip to San Francisco to enjoy some time with Ramsay and a nice meal. Danny has never been to San Francisco, but would like to win. I’ve got some nice Rice-a-roni in my cupboards for the losers, as that is the San Francisco treat.
We’re Out of Ideas for Challenges: This Looks Just Like Chopped.
Each chef needs to use each of 14 set ingredients. They have to use all of the ingredients. This is pretty much the premise for the Food Network show, Chopped. Not to be confused with The Chopping Block, which was awful. On Chopped, a group of chefs need to make a dish using all of the ingredients in a mystery basket, and the basket always contains some oddball foods.
Here on Hell’s Kitchen they don’t really throw the chefs any major curveballs, but they do need to include all 14 ingredients in their dish. However, rather than telling us all 14, they name 5 or 6, and then I try to figure out the rest. I think I’ve got 10 of them. Can anyone call out the other 4? Anyone? Bueller? The ingredients I noticed were:
Danny said that he doesn’t know what he’s going to do with his dish until it’s done. As a little contrast, we see Andrea say she knew right from the start she was going to use rosemary as a skewer for chicken.
After the cooking, Ramsay tastes the dishes. Andrea’s kabobs didn’t have enough meat in the dish. Gio gets “very nice” comments and hopes to win.
Paula’s was “nice” and Robert’s chicken had nice flavor, but was too dry. Danny’s was “very nice” and it’s looking like it will be one of the guys. Ben cooked both the chicken breast and the leg, and Ramsay complimented him for using both parts.
It’s down to Danny with his delicious sauce, and Ben with his choice to make chicken breast and drummies. And the drummies take it, as Ben finally has Ramsay’s favorite dish of the competition. Ben gloats and talks a lot to celebrate. Actually, that is not much different than what he does when he loses, only it’s whining and talking rather than gloating and talking.
Ben, Pick Your Bestest Friend To Go On a Trip to San Fran.
Ben gets to pick one person to come with him for his reward. Still smarting from Danny picking him worst on the Blue team, he immediately picks Robert. Hopefully they weren’t planning to take a helicopter. Danny is ticked that he didn’t get to go as he had the second-place dish. He thinks Ben is a punk, but then again, why would Ben choose him after Danny called him out less than an hour before that?
Everyone except Ben and Robert get the punishment of unloading truck after truck and checking the produce into the kitchen. Danny was searing holes through Ben’s brain with his eyes. Paula notes that none of the guys taking losing well. I guess Bob Seger is the only beautiful loser, as these guys are really pathetic whiners.
Ramsay, Robert and Ben board the private jet. Robert is very glad that Ben picked him to go on the reward. Robert says he has lots of gratitude and feelings for Ben, and then feels the need that he doesn’t have gay feelings for Ben. Trust me, Robert, they don’t really want you on their team. We’ve all seen entirely too much naked Robert this season for him to be on Lance Bass’ most recruited prospect list for Team Gay.
Back at the kitchen they are unloading box after box of supplies. Gio is dropping crates of wine that break all over the floor. I miss Lacey, but only because I’m sure she would have pitched a fit and not helped at all with this chore. The odds of her cooking the most successful dish or being picked to go along with the winner were pretty much nil. Like a moment of silence, let’s insert some grating whining here in Lacey’s place.
Come And Knock On My Door – Three’s Company, Too
Ben, Robert and Ramsay take a cable car tour of the city. Everytime I see groups on cable cars I remember the theme song and opening credits for Three’s Company where Jack, Janet and Chrissy were riding the cable cars. Ben, Robert and Gordo seem like an equally fun-loving trio. I wonder if they’re heading to The Regal Beagle for dinner and drinks, and dancing with Larry.
Gio says he’s old and sick of running back and forth to the trucks. He’s eating something out of the cooler. Paula says he’s putzing around. Gio noted that Paula was “the most pissed” he’s seen her. I guess the women have almost run out of other women to claw at and some of the men are landing in their sights.
Our happy (but not gay) trio in San Francisco go to a nice restaurant on Fisherman’s Wharf where they get to sit at the chef’s table in the kitchen and receive special service with a chef’s menu. And, for their special treat, they get nettle ravioli with snails on the bottom – oh yuck. I grew up in the country where you avoided the nettles because they’d give you a nasty rash, and snails were a nasty garden pest. This is not my idea of something fancy to eat. I’d rather be sneaking stuff out of the walk-in fridge with Gio than eating that “gourmet” lunch.
Hey Buddy, You’d Better Turn That Truck Around And Come Back With Our Lobsters!
Back at the ranch, the chefs think that one of the trucks shorted them 2 lobsters. They run after the truck to stop it, and then realize that they actually had all their lobsters. Ooops. Danny had checked in the fish delivery, Gio runs after the truck (after already being tired and old). Andrea realizes they had mis-counted, and Gio is ticked because he had been running around yelling at the driver for no reason. The punished chefs are exhausted and crabby, and then Robert and Ben make their triumphant return.
Ben and Robert saunter through the kitchen, and Ben blathers on about his day on Fisherman’s Wharf. He really has no concept that people are tired of hearing him talk, and yammers on and on. I’m sure other parents of 8 year old daughters can relate.
Our Best Dinner Service Ever. . . . NOT!
Ben’s challenge-winning stuffed chicken is added to the menu for the night. The chefs are prepping and running out of time. Ramsay thinks that this service is going to be “our best” but I think that is once again misleading foreshadowing. Yes, there is really no chance this will be a great service now that many of these chefs are working together as a team for the first time.
Gio can’t resist the urge to open up the oven door and keeps the chicken from cooking. Robert is over-cooking scallops, as they’re rather small. Ramsay pokes at them, and the picking and crabbing is off to a great start.
Paula got good remarks on her salad and her risotto. She’s kicking butt on appetizers. Gio is having a hard time cooking the chicken dish without going straight from bloody to overcooked. Well, Gordon is English, maybe it was “bloody overcooked.”
Ramsay is riding Andrea because she was starting potatoes in a cold pan before the entre is started. Andrea is supposed to be doing garnishes, but she doesn’t know what orders are in process. She storms out of the kitchen to have a smoke.
Back in the kitchen, no entrees have been served. Andrea is pouting and yelling at the camera crew to leave her alone. Jean Philippe goes after Andrea and tells her to pull her act together and come back to work, telling her that if she doesn’t, she is out. They are standing in the hallway in front of the pictures of the prior season winners. Is that foreshadowing, or irony? For the sake of future diners of Borgata, I hope it’s irony as Andrea really has no business running a kitchen.
Ramsay is now yelling at Robert for putting bacon in the same oven with the John Dorrey fish entrée, claiming someone eating the fish could be allergic to bacon as bacon is apparently air-borne when at oven temp, but not when it’s sitting in the same kitchen. I’ve never heard of bacon allergies, but I do know plenty of people who choose not to eat pork – though I’m not sure why anyone would forgo the deliciousness of bacon their whole lives.
A Meltdown of Gio-Metric Proportions
Now Ramsay is yelling at Giovanni for screwing up Ben’s chicken special, making it very “not special” anymore. He instructs Ben to yell at Gio. Um, ok. Gio looks ticked to get this feedback, and swears at Ramsay. Ramsay flips out and screws at his face, calls him a donkey, gets in his face, and Gio stands there and takes it. Gio must be married, as he took that mental abuse and kept right on cooking. Honestly, I’ve never looked to see if Gio wears a wedding band or not. I’ve been married while now I guess, as I don’t even look anymore. Who could see a ring with that skunk stripe of highlights in Gio’s hair anyway? Ben joins Gio on the meat station and joins the Ramsay yell-a-thon, this time taking a beating for slicing the chicken and letting all the yummy juices out before serving them.
Gio stammers some, Andrea mocks him, and Robert can’t get an answer from Gio about how soon he needs to start his fish. Gio stuck a hot pan somewhere in the fridge and Robert grabbed it and burned his hand. We get some nice “sizzle” sound effects. Gio’s face sinks.
Robert goes to see the medic. He had blisters forming on his hand and Gio tries to apologize. Things are snowballing into disaster. A pan of food catches on fire, and no-one seems to care. Ramsay puts it out with a look of disgust. Ramsay calls them the “Dynamic Six” as he storms out of the kitchen and declares his crew a “nightmare” and disappointment. He calls Gio “special” and gives him crazy fingers. Paula is the best of the night and needs to come up with a bottom two.
Paula’s On The Hot Seat.
Back in the living quarters, Gio apologizes to Robert again. Robert is still pissed. He goes off in front of everyone, and starts his lame-ass Ralphie May impersonation. Paula starts going off on everyone, comparing Giovanni to Lacey. Paula says Andrea doesn’t know what’s going on in her own station. Robert was on a teeter-totter. That is a funny visual, as Robert getting onto a teeter-totter is likely to launch his partner into orbit.
Paula’s nominees are Giovanni for his poor performance that night, and claims he’s been in a downhill fall. Andrea is the second choice, due to her poor communication in the kitchen, despite having heart and determination. Paula delivered her bad news as tactfully as anyone so far.
Ramsay tells off Robert for also not having a good night, and then sends Giovanni home “for all the right reasons” as he again apologizes again to Robert about burning him with the pan. We gets clips of Gio’s strong performance in cleaning scallops, and joining the red team as their savior for a few episodes, but it was not enough because of his struggles with meat – very ironic for a steak house chef. He and his highlights are walking out with some pride in tact.
Ramsay tells off Andrea, and then sends her back in line. Ramsay wants to think he got rid of all the weak chefs – but we viewers all know that just isn’t the case.
But Folks, It’s Not Over
This is the point where the episode usually ends, but for some reason we get post-dismissal comments from contestants. Andrea is happy to have survived another week, and proclaims that it is now “all or nothing” which I think was a sequel to “Bring it On” so apparently next week it will be a cheerleading competition rather than cooking contest.
Ben feels happy to have Gio gone, as he doesn’t see Andrea as much of a threat to “his” prize. Over course he’s totally overlooking Danny and Paula, who are the obvious picks for final two. If either of those two leave before the finale, I’ll eat some over-cooked scallops and undercooked risotto as punishment.
For reasons known only to the producers, we are then shown a shot of Robert’s naked belly while the chefs try to sleep. Every dang week we get more than our fair share of naked Robert – what the heck did I ever do to these producers? Really, I don’t need to see that. The chefs are trying to sleep, but it’s apparently 4 am and they are woken up to talk to Ramsay because . . . dramatic pause:
He’s shutting down Hell’s Kitchen! Gasp!
He calls all the chefs down to the dining room immediately. Ramsay yells: “It just doesn’t make sense. How can the final six be so stupid [bleep].”
Um, aren’t there just 5 now? I backed up my DVR – he definitely said six. Maybe it was the lateness of the hour. Or else he was counting Robert twice based on mass.
Ramsay continues with the super-dramatic: “I’m shutting down Hell’s Kitchen.” Apparently next week we’ll see their reactions while they curse and scream and try to convince him to keep the show going. Join us then. Maybe it will be our last episode of the season. I don’t think we’ll get that lucky.