July 12 2005

Hell’s Kitchen Episodes 6 & 7

Episode 6
After a week’s hiatus (stupid holiday falling on Hell’s Kitchen night!), we were treated to a double dose of Ramsey upon Hell’s Kitchen’s return.

When last we left the schlubs…I mean, the lovely contestants…Chris has just gotten the boot. Adios Executive Chef. So, now down to the final 6, Ralph discusses that maybe his kitchen background isn’t as big help as he thought because Gordon said he expects more from the pros. It gives him something to ponder though.

The morning after a service always brings a reward type challange, and this time it was a test of their palettes. Members of the teams were blindfolded and had earphones on so they couldn’t see the food they were tasting, or hear anyone mention it. They were each given four items to taste. First up is Jimmy vs. Andrew, they tie at 1-out-of-4 each. Second group was Elsie vs. Jessica, Elsie gets 3-out-of-4 and Jessica gets 1-out-of-4, score is now 4 for the reds, 2 for the blues. Last is Mike vs. Ralph, they both miss the first one, Ralph misses the next one, making an automatic loss since blues won’t be able to catch up. The blues get the punishment of cleaning all the pots and pans from the previous night, while the reds go to a wine tasting with Gordon.

After the reward and punishment are over, the teams are called back to the dining room and are informed that the next night’s menu will be their own creations. Winner will be determined by number of orders and customer feedback. The teams go back to the dorms to come up with their menus. The reds come up with items that each of them feels strongly about, while on the blue team, the menu is 100% Ralph’s choices, beating down all of Andrew’s and Jessica’s ideas. Evil Dictator Ralph emerges.

The teams prep the food for their meals and get ready for the night. At the last minute, Gordon tell’s the blue team that the second half of their punishment is that their storeroom is locked by combination, he gives them the combination only once, and that each time they need something from there, they will need to unlock the door. The blues get it right on the first time, and Andrew gets the bright idea to put masking tape over the lock so it won’t lock anymore. Well…it sounded like a bright idea until Souse Chef Scott catches Andrew in the act and scolds him like a naughty child. Quite amusing actually.

As customers come in they are informed they can order from either the blue or the red menu, but they may not mix and match. (I would love to know where they found all these “customers”) The blue’s get their food out faster, but are having a lot of problems such as hair in the food, over cooked hallibut and stone cold plates. (Even I know you never serve hot food on a cold plate in a professional setting). The red’s have some problems with their starters, but slowly start catching up. The blues end up winning the numbers game, but lose on customer feedback and speed. In the end, the reds win.

Jessica is spared possible eviction because she was never invovled with the entrees, the main source of the blues problems. It seems Ralph should go because he devised the whole menu, but Jessica opts to nominate Andrew because she has an allaince with Raplh. In a brilliant moment of reality TV though, Gordon accepts Jessica’s nomination of Andrew, but informs her it is still his show, and calls Ralph up for eviction. In the end it was Andrew who went, and honestly I couldn’t be happier. He and Ralph are both annoying, but Andrew’s ego was just more than I can stand.

Episode 7
After a recap of the episode you had just watched (*snore* thanks Fox!), we learn Elsie is wearing down. After that brief bit of news, the teams gather in the dining room and are congratulated on being the final five, and red vs. blue is no more. They are all presented with new black-shouldered jackets, and informed everything is now head-to-head competition.

For the reward challange, they are shown how to do a table side mango, peaches and bananas flamb? dessert. After the demonstration all five schlubs…erm…screw it…schlubs…have to recreate the dish. Michael’s is nice, Ralph forgot the powdered sugar, Jessica had raw sugar because she failed to carmalize it, Elise’s is nice and so is Jimmy’s. It comes down to Jimmy and Elise, he declares Jimmy the winner. That sound you heard was me falling over.

So, for the prize he is told he could pick one person to go with him. Oh, I’m sure he’ll pick Elise since she came in second and….what? He picked Micahel? WHAT? For what possible reason? Oh well, whatever. They go on a helicopter tour of LA…yadda yadda…losers clean the resturant…yadda yadda…champagne and caviar on a rooftop…yadda yadda…back to the kitchen.

The Souse Chef’s have taken the menus the two teams created and fancied them up some, and that is what the new five person team will be preparing for the evenings surface. Ramsey then has two surprises for the team, first they will not have the Souse Chefs working with them and secondly Jimmy must choose someone to go out and do table side ceaser salad and desert prep. This had to be the funniest thing in the show yet:

Ramsey:Choose someone to go out and do the table side service….come on…right now.
Ramsey:Jesus? No.
Ralph:He didn’t make the final five.

Oh my…that was a good laugh. Anyway, he picks Elsie to go out. She does a good job and only has one complaint…she didn’t cut it up enough for a guy. Even the Maitre’D, Jean Phillipe, calls the guy a baby to Elise. You can’t cut your own salad? Yeesh.

The kitchen is a disaster all night. Jessica keeps burning filets, which the Souse Chef’s find interesting as they sit at the bar having drinks. When they have 27 orders for them, she claims the only have 2 left. Well it seems Michael knows where there are more and saves the day. Jessica didn’t bother to even look around…not wise.

Other flub ups included Jimmy throwing out a completed lobster…Ralph flirting with customers in the dining room by stopping his work and waving at them…and then the biggest faux pas of them all happens. While Ramsey yells at Jimmy for another screw up, Jimmy decides to yell back. Even watching on a TV, I wanted to dive for cover and put on a military helmet to protect my head from the shrapnel.

Anyone surprised Ramsey gets annoyed and closes the kitchen 45 minutes early? Didn’t think so. Ralph gets to nominate because he worked with Ramsey and did ok besides the flirting flub up. Elise asks to be nommed because she is questioning if she is cut out for this. In the end though, Ralph does his own thing and nominates Jessica for losing the beef, and Jimmy for folding under pressure.

Jessica defends herself, Jimmy apologizes for snapping back, but in the end, Jimmy is sent home. In a turn of events though, Ramsey actually compliments an evictee, and tells Jimmy he should be proud of what he accomplished and wished him luck in the future. I immediately decided Gordon has been taken over by pod people.

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