‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season Finale Review: “Winner Chosen”
We’ve finally made it to the season finale of ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ and it’s a boy vs. girl fight in the last round as chefs Justin and Christina rely on their past competitors to help them execute their menus and prove to Gordon Ramsay that they have what it takes to run his new restaurant in Las Vegas.
At the end of last week’s episode Clemenza seemed apathetic to being back on the show and tasked with helping Justin win with one last dinner service; it looked like Clemenza might be ready to walk, but he changed his mind and decided to work past his bruised ego and stay. Justin, however, is still worried that Clemenza won’t work quickly or dedicate himself enough to the final service.
Christina takes a more laid-back approach to working with her team, asserting that she wants the last service to be fun and less stressful, and she doesn’t want them to call her “chef.” That may be a concern with Chef Ramsay later on. Clemenza causes some issues in Justin’s kitchen when Ramsay comes in to sign off on the menus and he burns some crostini. Justin course-corrects with the help of Bryan and Ramsay approves of both teams’ dishes, with a few minor tweaks suggested.
When the doors open Justin immediately asserts himself in the kitchen, demanding his subordinates answer him with “Yes, chef” and respond to his orders accordingly. Christina struggles a little in her kitchen with wrangling the problematic Robyn, while back in Justin’s kitchen, Royce is putting up sub-par crab cakes — first they’re cold, then they’re overcooked and dry.
Dana takes too long with Christina’s scallops and overcooks one side, forcing Robyn to re-fire her risotto and Dana to start over on the scallops. Finally they get their act together and finish appetizer service with Justin trailing right behind them. Clemenza is the last person standing between Justin and moving on to entrees, and his raw salmon aren’t helping him get there any faster.
Christina and Dana butt heads over halibut when Christina demands all portions look exactly the same in color, even though Dana says they are all cooked well. Christina agrees that they may be cooked correctly, but their coloring is inconsistent. When Dana takes what she thinks are the favored halibut up to the pass, Christina says they aren’t right — they’re too dry and flaky. Dana contends that she brought the right halibut up to the pass, and sous chef Andi has to step in and tell her to quit fighting Christina and do what she says.
Dana makes a turn around, but things aren’t going so well for Justin — Clemenza and Royce continue to work poorly, making the rest of the team work twice as hard. Christina rounds the corner, preparing to deliver her final entree, but Dana’s last serving of pork is raw in the middle and they have to re-fire the entire table’s dishes. Justin also approaches his final table, but Barbie puts up some overcooked steaks. Her second attempt is also overcooked, and when Justin tells her he needs her to cook two more steaks, she has to inform him that it’s impossible because they’ve run out, sending Justin’s head spinning.
Luckily, the diners agree to switch to filets and Barbie kicks into gear prepping the meat. Both teams race to complete their final orders and celebrate with their teams. Even after all the yelling and the drama — not just tonight, but all season — both chefs hug and congratulate their team members for helping them with the last service.
Ramsay tells everyone he’s decided to ditch the whole two-mystery-doors thing and just announce the winner right then and there — it’s Tayvon! The first chef eliminated! Everyone has a laugh and then Ramsay seriously sends Christina and Justin back to their dorms to await his decision. Using the customer comment cards and reflecting on their performances from the entire season, Ramsay contemplates who deserves the title of Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas.
Both of them are asked to step up to the doors. Only one of their door will open when the handle is turned, allowing the winning chef to step through and celebrate with their families, friends, and former competitors.
They turn the handles and the winner is… Christina!