‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Review: “11 Chefs Compete, Part 1″
‘Hell’s Kitchen‘ continues to heat up as we enter the back-end of the season. Fewer chefs means less drama (in theory) and better performances, meaning we’ll see some stronger competition emerge in the coming episodes.
Patrick is agitated with Royce for being the only one to call him out during elimination, which could cause some friction in the next dinner service. In other news, Kimmie is apparently a rapper because of course she is, and she’s written a rap for everyone.
The chefs are brought down to the dining room for today’s challenge: cooks from each team will take turns using a giant “High Steaks” slot machine that will select one steak cut and four complementary ingredients for the teams to prepare a dish worthy of earning the title of Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant in Las Vegas.
Dana and Patrick get flat iron steak, potatoes, mushroom, spinach, and blue cheese. Christina and Royce go up next and get hanger steak, yams, eggplant, asparagus, and crab. Barbie and Bryan press their luck with New York Strip, celery root, tomatoes, cauliflower, and shrimp. Tiffany and Justin get filet, beets, carrots, zucchini, and chorizo — a totally bizarre combination that may result in a dish that’s too sweet. Last are Clemenza and Robyn, and their ingredients are rib eye, parsnip, sweet corn, broccoli, and bacon — that bacon pretty much seals the deal on both dishes.
Kimmie is the odd woman out this week, but Ramsay presents a little twist: she can choose anyone on her team and cook the same dish, but only one of their dishes can go up in the challenge against the blue team. She chooses R0byn and the rib eye/bacon dish battle with Clemenza, which immediately puts Robyn on the offensive. And when it comes time for the team to choose which of the ladies’ rib eye dishes will go up, it seems that the red team already has their mind made up against Kimmie before they even start.
Tiffany and Justin are up first with their filet and chorizo dishes — Justin takes the win with a slight edge over Tiffany, who unwisely chose to stuff her filet with zucchini and chorizo. Christina and Royce are next with their hanger steaks — Christina’s dish is perfect except for her lifeless yams, while Royce’s dish is perfect except for the eggplant, and Christina takes the point. Dana and Patrick bring their flat iron steaks next — Dana’s dish looks messy and Ramsay has to drain the plate of excess juices, but even worse is how overcooked her cut of steak is. Patrick’s plate is too salty, and neither team gets a point. With both teams deadlocked in a tie, Barbie and Bryan come up with their New York Strip and shrimp combos — Barbie’s plate looks beautiful and her plate is praised for its perfect execution. Bryan goes for something a little more rustic and hearty, and both teams take the point, keeping the tie firmly in place.
The tie-breaker is Clemenza versus Robyn with their rib eye/bacon dishes. Clemenza has reservations about his dish — rib eyes need more time to cook than other cuts of steak. Ramsay notes that his dish is slightly undercooked, but still praises the delicious flavors. In the red team’s tasting of Kimmie and Robyn’s dishes, what none of them paid attention to was the doneness of either dish — Robyn’s rib eye is overcooked and the red team loses to the blue team because of it. In a play that reeks of pot-stirring, Ramsay tastes Kimmie’s dish and makes the entire red team taste the dish as well, proclaiming it’s far better than Robyn’s dish and could have easily beaten Clemenza.
While the blue team heads off on a kitchen utensil shopping spree and special dinner at Comme Ca, the women must unload cow carcasses and butcher them for the following night’s dinner service. The women struggle to unload their dead cow slab and bicker incessantly, while the men race off to Sur La Table to buy kitchen appliances and then make total asses out of themselves at Comme Ca.
The drama goes full-tilt on the red team when Robyn sleeps in the room of a few of the other ladies because Kimmie’s snoring is out of control. The women are pissed that Robyn slept in their room (really? This is silly) and Robyn is pissed that Kimmie snored, putting everyone in a sour mood for dinner service. With the service focused on steak and Justin’s filet mignon added to the menu, it’s a big night — and to make matters worse, it’s family night at Hell’s Kitchen, meaning the chefs will have to be on point to serve adults and noisy children alike.
But before service can even start Kimmie suffers grease burns on both hands and the medic refuses to let her re-enter the kitchen. Will Kimmie go back anyway, or is she done for good? We’ll find out tomorrow!