‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Review: “8 Chefs Compete”
When last we left our cooks in ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ Clemenza was in danger of being kicked out of the kitchen for his sloppy dishes — including a quail with bones still in it. And all of this before one of the cooks’ most important dinner services has even begun!
In the red kitchen, Kimmie is being combative, Barbie is working too slow, and Tiffany’s work leaves something to be desired, making everyone a bit worried about the evening’s dinner service — a competition wherein the teams had to create three appetizers, three entrees, and three desserts for diners to choose which team is best.
Clemenza asserts that he’ll fix the bony quail before dinner service, and Justin offers to double-check his work throughout the evening to ensure nothing is sent back.
Right out of the gate the red team is slammed with appetizer orders, and the heat is on for Christina, whose flatbread is a popular item. Flatbread is a strange choice considering the challenge last week involving Ramsay’s flatbread pizzas and all the trouble the wood-burning stoves caused for both teams.
Robyn sets an unfortunate tone for the blue kitchen when she ineffectively cooks Justin’s squash blossom and scallops appetizer. Her second try isn’t much better, but what else does Chef Ramsay expect from someone who refers to her teammates as “bro”? Robyn runs out of the squash blossom and scallop appetizers thanks to the few orders she wasted by preparing them incorrectly.
The red kitchen is working at peak performance, churning out dishes quickly and earning praise from Chef Ramsay for their perfectly cooked fish — until Kimmie puts up overcooked duck, pumping the brakes on their excellent performance. Her second attempt at duck is much better, but her ribeye is overcooked — once again, her second attempt is perfect. Meanwhile, Barbie offers her help and is consistently shut down.
Back in the blue kitchen, Brian is on meat and forgets to add his fried onions to the steak dish. He rushes to prepare them, resulting in an unacceptable glob of fried onion. Tonight’s service seems to be the night of second attempts because Brian’s second onion preparation is great and service moves right along.
Dana’s fish dish is sent back thanks to some raw lobster — she thought the lobster claws on her station were already cooked and just needed reheating — but her second attempt was, of course, correct. Chef Ramsay discovers Tiffany’s dirty little secret: she’s been scraping the remains from pans and reusing them with fresh items, when she should be using a new pan for every preparation.
Justin and Clemenza are confused by the number of dishes ordered, sending Ramsay’s temper up a notch, and the red team doesn’t help matters any when Tiffany sends up a raw potato gratin — a dish that will take an agonizing 10 minutes to re-cook. Tiffany is kicked out of the kitchen before dinner service ends and Dana struggles to cook the potatoes gratin, which refuse to soften up in the oven. Dana’s description of them as “mad crunchy” just makes me love her even more, and I have a feeling she’ll be the one winning this competition because she seems to be the most competent cook in the kitchen.
After Brian puts up some raw sea bass, Ramsay kicks the entire blue team out of the kitchen before they’re able to complete the final table of their dinner service, leaving Chef Ramsay and Chef Scott to finish it for them.
At the end of the service Ramsay rips up the diners’ comment cards and decides there are no winners, even though the red team finished their service and appeared to perform much better than the men. Both teams must now choose two nominees each for elimination, and both teams struggle to make their final selections. The red team loses sight of the purpose of an elimination as several of them contemplate sending Barbie home for her attitude — even though all of her teammates refused to let her lend a helping hand during service. How can they send someone home when they didn’t give her a chance to perform?
The blue team nominates Robyn for her poor appetizer performance, but in typical drama queen fashion she fights to blame Justin for not helping her enough on a dish she was trained to prepare on her own. Clemenza, much to his surprise, is the second nominee. The red team nominates Tiffany for her poor job cooking the potato dish, which stalled the entire kitchen, and Barbie for… bad prep work. A nomination that surprises and confuses Chef Ramsay, when he thinks Kimmie would have been a more appropriate choice for her bumpy performance on the meat station.
Tiffany is sent home because Ramsay doesn’t believe he sees a leader in her, giving Robyn yet another chance to be a nightmare for another week. Ramsay warns the chefs that if they don’t clean up their act, he’ll be kicking them out a lot quicker from now on.