‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Review: “7 Chefs Compete”
With only seven chefs left on ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ things are finally starting to clear up in the kitchen. The strong chefs are making themselves known (Dana), while the weak ones are dropping like flies (Robyn, your time is coming). Shockingly, Chef Ramsay sent the competent Kimmie packing instead of Robyn, who attempted to serve raw food to the diners. What ridiculous decision will he make next?
Ramsay wastes no time getting to the next challenge: the teams must prepare three dishes from the signature menu, but there’s a catch — only one chef can be in the kitchen at a time, and each will cook for five minutes. The challenge is designed to test their communication and attentiveness.
Dana gets to work right away on the lamb, knowing that it will take the longest to cook, but she neglects to fire up the risotto. It’s completely raw and will take about 15-20 minutes to prepare. Luckily Christina notices as soon as she enters the kitchen and rectifies the issue before passing the duties on to Barbie, who makes a smooth transition to Dana. Dana is a bit frantic and doesn’t seem to get much done before Christina enters and removes the cod from the oven before it’s finished.
Justin kicks things off in the blue kitchen by mostly doing basic prep and organizing items for Clemenza, who wastes time futzing with his apron and blanching bok choy instead of hopping on the risotto and lamb. When Brian enters the kitchen he notes that most of the most important components haven’t even been started yet. Robyn follows and ends up burning the cod, but Justin comes in to course-correct. Unfortunately, Justin speaks too quickly to Clemenza, who is confused by his instructions.
First up are the risotto dishes — the ladies overcooked and the blue team undercooked, resulting in neither team receiving a point. Both teams’ cod and lamb dishes were also cooked horribly wrong, meaning neither team wins the day’s challenge, which would have involved a helicopter and a beach trip. Both teams are sentenced to cleaning and detailing Hell’s Kitchen’s SUVs inside and out. I’d like to take this moment to note two things: SUVs? And Dana is incapable of speaking at a normal volume and awkwardly yells through her one-on-one interviews.
Before the evening’s dinner service Chef Ramsay brings out a mystery plate, which he claims is a brand new dish to inspire the chefs. When he lifts the dome it’s the black and white chef’s jacket, which will unite the remaining contestants in one team. Unfortunately, they’ll have to make it through this dinner service first if they want to wear the coveted jacket.
Both kitchens are off to a great start, with Clemenza and Justin keeping the appetizers in line, and Christina making a perfect risotto, though she’s criticized for making too much. Clemenza throws a wrench in the blue kitchen’s progress when one table places an order for five risottos, which Clemenza decides to cook in separate pans. That act results in three risottos that are of different colors and quality, something the table of diners will notice. Chef then has each of Clem’s teammates yell that they should be cooking a large order of risotto like that in ONE PAN. ONE PAN. ONE PAN.
The red team runs into issues with risotto as well when Christina’s pans are too hot and the bottom of her risotto is burnt. She makes a quick turn around and corrects the issue, taking her criticism constructively. Clemenza has also bounced back in the blue kitchen, completing appetizer service so Brian can begin entrees; though his plate of wellingtons are inconsistent, with several raw and others cooked well. Robyn isn’t helping things by miscommunicating with her teammates regarding the garnish.
Barbie’s excellent performance on entrees and her beef wellington dishes are keeping the red team moving right along to the last ticket, where it’s up to Dana to complete the fish. She pulls a Clemenza and chooses to cook three pieces of fish in three separate pans instead of using ONE PAN. ONE PAN.
The blue kitchen is struggling to complete service with Brian undercooking and overcooking his meat entrees. The delay results in several diners leaving the restaurant and Chef Ramsay sending Barbie over from the red kitchen to take over for Brian and complete service.
As a reward for a job well done, the ladies are all rewarded with black jackets, but the blue kitchen must now nominate two cooks for elimination before any of them will get new jackets. They choose Robyn for her lack of communication and overall weakness, and their second nomination is a tie between Clemenza and Brian. Ramsay points out that not only did they fail at dinner service, but they’ve failed to follow his instructions now, so he asks all four of them to step forward and face the music. Clemenza and Justin are given black jackets, which Ramsay notes is being awarded for their overall performance and not for their performance in dinner service that particular evening.
For the second elimination in a row Ramsay makes a terrible decision and forgives Robyn yet again, sending Brian packing.