‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Review: “5 Chefs Compete”
Last week’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen‘ brought the inevitable (and long overdue) elimination of Robyn, leaving the remaining five chefs to celebrate her absence. But with only five chefs left, the competition is getting more intense, as evidenced by this week’s challenge, when the chefs must once again recreate one of Chef Ramsay’s dishes by teaching an inexperienced student how to prepare it.
There is, of course, a catch: the students are all former Miss Teen USA winners. The chefs cannot touch any of the ingredients and must guide their students verbally to recreating the dish perfectly. It goes about as well as expected, with the pageant queens in high heels, one of them referring to tongs as “thongs,” and another wondering why they don’t just use a machine to mince vegetables.
Christina’s student is up first, and although her chicken breast was large, Ramsay notes it was juicy and cooked perfectly, though it didn’t have enough sauce and had too much cheese. Justin’s dish is a little too thick, and again, not enough sauce. Dana’s student is up next, and her dish is also criticized for over-using cheese, though their sauce impresses Ramsay. Barbie is up next and Ramsay praises her student’s dish for being close to perfect. Clemenza’s student’s dish is also good, but the sauce is too thick. Ramsay calls back Barbie’s and Dana’s students to re-taste for a final decision, with the pageant queens staring at him like they’re going to eat his face. The winner is Barbie’s student, Hilary, who says she’ll put the achievement on her resume. Good luck with that.
Barbie chooses Justin to share her prize: a specially prepared lunch and a kayak trip down the Venice canal, and as a bonus, they get to borrow Ramsay’s own Maserati. Ramsay announces that the next dinner service is Italian night, so the remaining chefs will have a long day of prep in the kitchen ahead of them, which includes making all of the pasta for the next night’s service.
Before dinner service even begins, Clemenza has already messed up by pounding the chicken breasts too thin and too large, so Chef Scott asks Dana to remove the ones that are too big, but that might mean the kitchen is under-stocked on chicken breasts for the evening. Clemenza’s issues don’t stop there — as soon as service begins, he isn’t paying attention to the orders as they’re called out and he’s working too slowly. At the end of last week’s episode, Chef Ramsay warned Clemenza that he was on thin ice, meaning this could be his last service if he doesn’t pull it together.
Barbie seems to have relaxed a little too much during her reward with Justin, resulting in a horrific risotto that is under-cooked and under-seasoned — twice. Clemenza steps in to help, but Barbie is screaming at him to take the risotto to the pass when he hasn’t finished cooking it yet. As it turns out, Clemenza had cooked it enough; in fact, he’d cooked it too much. Barbie is warned that if she makes another poor risotto dish, she’ll be immediately eliminated from the competition.
After the shaky start, the kitchen starts to work better, but when they begin entrees Dana burns her steak fillets, prompting Justin to hop in and help. While Barbie and Clemenza stay on appetizers, Christina, Dana, and Justin work on entrees, hoping to keep the momentum going. But Christina burns the greens and doesn’t season them, and all of a sudden ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ is looking almost as inept as the first few weeks.
Barbie and Clemenza’s final appetizer dish holds everything up as they enter the last tables, but the group still manages to complete service, with Ramsay demanding a single nominee for elimination. The chefs are unable to reach a consensus, divided between Barbie and Clemenza. Obviously, Clemenza is the one to leave this week after being put up for elimination seven times over the course of the season. Barbie is given another chance, but will her next dinner service be her last?