Hell’s Kitchen – 7/21/09

Last night was the premiere of Hell’s Kitchen, with a special back to back episode. Let me start by saying that this group of chefs is the least talented group they’ve ever had, and there are WAY too many hot heads in the boys kitchen. There is no cohesiveness on the teams, and the chefs can’t cook to save their lives. Chef Ramsey has his hands full with this bunch of nutters for sure! That all being said, I loved it.. all of it! Follow me after the jump for a recap and my views on the eliminations and surprises. Remember, if you haven’t watched it yet my post will spoil it for you, so be aware 🙂

The show started out with the first competition of the season, the signature dish tasting, but this year it was red team against blue team, with the team getting a point for every dish that was palatable. Let’s just say there weren’t many edible dishes on either team. However, before Chef Ramsay started tasting the dishes he informed the wanna be chefs what this season’s prize is: the winner will become the Head Chef at one of the top restaurants in Canada ( 🙂 ), Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, British Columbia which is the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. All the chefs were very cocky in their video clips about this prize, things like “I’m polishing off my skis” was said by quite a few, so I though to myself, ‘Maybe we’ll have a real group of competitors this season.’ Wow, was I wrong.

There are 8 men on the blue team, and 8 women on the red team yet the score for the signature dish competition was 3 to 2 for the blue team. So out of 8 male chefs only 3 could make decent meals, and one of those was Tony, who is a Culinary Store Manager, not even a regular practicing chef. Oi, we are in trouble. The other men whose dishes passed Ramsay’s high standards were Jim, and Van. I didn’t expect Van to be the one to win it for the boys team but he did with a seared foie gras with a mint sauce that Chef Ramsay really enjoyed.

The women only had 2 signature dishes that passed inspection, and they were made by Tek and Tennille.

The men won a nice meal on the patio delivered from Chef Ramsay’s own London West Hollywood, while the women had to stay behind to clean the kitchens and eat bologna sandwiches. The only advantage was the women got down to work studying their cookbooks before the men even finished up drinking all that wine.

Then we head into our first dinner service… it was a train wreck. Let’s start with the women’s team’s attempts.

Before it even starts, Lovely has messed up the desserts by cooking them all ahead which really baffled Chef Ramsay. He tells her their cooked to order, but she still looks stunned. Move into service and we have Tek, who sends up raw scallops, then over cooked ones, then raw ones. *sigh* I had high hopes for Tek after her signature dish was a success, shame on me I should know better.

Speaking of knowing better, we have Melinda who has thrown out enough pasta to feed a large family for a couple days. Melinda always looks like she’s off in another universe, that is when she’s not trying to appear sexy and seductive. I think that this woman may have just posed as a ‘personal chef’ so she could cover up her secret desire to get into Chef Ramsay’s pants. For real, she was trying her damndest to be cute and attractive but ended up coming across as stupid, and looking like deer in the headlights.

The women continue to struggle with everything, especially with Lovely stepping out of the kitchen for a “hydration” break, which she told herself she needed for her health. Glad to see she’s not only a bad chef, but a hypochondriac as well. lol.

For the icing on disaster cake of the night in the red kitchen, we had Amanda accidentally store all of the salmon in the freezer instead of the refrigerator, she claims she didn’t know it was a freezer. As if. I don’t know about you but I would have noticed if everything in the “fridge” was frozen, or if the “fridge” was freezing cold, I’d assume it was a freezer but I guess that’s just me.

While all of this is going on in the Red kitchen, the Blue team is floundering and fudging things up just as badly. There were lots of little mistakes, mostly from Louie who didn’t season the lamb, didn’t sear the lamb and then mangled the lamb into pieces that looked like they were chewed before being served. After seeing the disgusting lamb cuts, and the pile of wasted lamb sitting at Louie’s station, Chef Ramsay had enough of Louie and eliminated him on the spot.

Chef Ramsay then tells them to shut it down.

After shutting down the kitchen, Ramsay pulls out a surprise plan and brings season five competitor, Robert, who just happens to be eating in Hell’s Kitchen tonight, into the kitchen and gives him a second chance to compete! Yay! I loved Robert last season and was really upset when he had to leave due to medical reasons. Chef Ramsay obviously respects him and thinks he’s a great chef because he’s giving him a second chance which as far as I can remember has never happened in Hell’s Kitchen before.

Well, the Red team was chosen as the losing team and after a lot of disagreement, the women put Melinda up for being terrible on appetizers and Amanda for freezing all the salmon. Chef Ramsay decided it was time for the flirty and flighty Melinda to leave Hell’s Kitchen, which I whole heartedly agreed with.

The final twist of the first half of the episode was Chef Ramsay putting Robert on the girls team not the boys team, which to me it doesn’t matter where he is as long as he brings it as well as he did last season.

The second half of the episode was a little heated all the way through. Everyone was struggling with every task, and my favorite chef, Robert, just can’t seem to get his footing.

The next reward competition was cleaning (de-shell, de-vein and de-head) as many shrimp as they could in 10 minutes. Of course there was the usual over-confidence on both sides although also as usual the confidence should have been toned down a bit. On the women’s team Tennille only managed to get one shrimp that met Chef Ramsay’s standards out of ten peeled, and Robert gave a very disappointing four. Unfortunately for the girls, the boys won with 45 over the girl’s 44 clean shrimp.

The men get to spend the day in Newport Beach having lunch with Chef Ramsay, where a very hot headed Joseph (who is a former marine), told them all that the rewards mean nothing because he’s not going to take his eyes off the prize. The guy is intense.

While the boys were away playing, the girls and Robert, deseeded lemons, prepared cocktail sauce and cleaned more shrimp for shrimp cocktails, enough for both kitchens.

During dinner service Tennille and Van were assigned to do tableside shrimp scampi duty, and both of them struggled with it. Tennille served raw shrimp to a pregnant woman and Van kept dropping pans on the floor and couldn’t remember which tables were his.

The maître ‘d Jean-Philippe, pulled Van aside to give him advice on how to behave in the front of the house, but their tempers clash and they almost end up in a fistfight in front of the customers. Chef Ramsay steps in to sort these two boys out and they come to a uneasy truce.

Finally, Chef Ramsay shuts dinner service down after both sides kept serving raw chicken and Tony couldn’t manage to cook basic halibut. Again, Robert just didn’t impress, or even slightly shimmer. Shame on him, he’s already been here in the kitchen, he should be rocking it, but he’s not yet. I do have faith that he’ll turn it around next few episodes, because overall he is a very talented chef.

Ramsay decides that both teams need to nominate two people, because they were both the losing teams tonight.

Tony volunteers to be up for elimination because he knows he was terrible on the fish station tonight, then the boys start arguing when Jim suggests that Van goes up for elimination after he got into an argument with J.P. On the women’s side they discuss putting Tennille and Lovely up for elimination for their dismal performances. I agree with both teams. Tony was very bad on the fish station tonight, and Tennille was a mess serving the shrimp scampi. Lovely is just lazy, she doesn’t apply herself and walks around the kitchen like she has all the time in the world.

The biggest thing to happen the whole night was when Chef Ramsay asked the over heated Joseph a simple question of “first nominee and why”. Joseph went crazy, talking back to Chef Ramsay saying that the nominees knew who they were and why. Chef Ramsay asked again and again Joseph refused to answer, then Ramsay confronted Joseph who went off the deep end. He tore off his chef’s jacket and started getting in Chef Ramsay’s face saying he was “nobody’s bitch” and told Ramsay they should take it outside. OMG! Joseph is certifiable. He wasn’t even in trouble, Ramsay just wanted to know the nominees and why, which he asks every week, and every week someone answers normally.

The episode ended with the dramatic face-off between the crazy Joseph, and Chef Ramsay.

I cannot wait for next week’s episode, this week was insane! I just hope that Ramsay sends Joseph home next week, because someone that volatile isn’t safe to have in a kitchen.. especially with all those knives 😉

That’s all for now but remember to check out next week’s episode on Fox at 9 pm.

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