Last night on Hell’s Kitchen 2010, episodes 7 & 8, we again had the pleasure of yet another double episode. I’m really not sure why Fox is trying to get through this season as quickly as possible or what they’re motivation is, but I think that they need to go back to single episodes. There simply is nothing fun about two straight hours of a screaming Englishman and a bunch of petulant children who are pretending to know their way around a kitchen.
The first episode picked up where last week left off, with Benjamin taking over his new team and trying to pull them together. Good luck. The Red Team is so splintered they’re worse than the Republican Party after the last election. But he gave them a pep talk and tried to rally them just the same.
The next morning started with the challenge of updating the menu that a golden anniversary couple used at their wedding 50 years earlier. They had 30 minutes to bring the 50 year old menu up to today’s wedding standards, including updating the Steak Diane, which none of the chefs (?) were even familiar with.
After a round of Steak Diane (?), Chicken Kiev, and Trout Almandine, (wow! That must have been some wedding with those selections for entrees. I wonder what the desert table looked like!!) the happy couple ultimately tied on the teams, agreeing on the first two dishes but splitting on the trout. That left it up to Chef Ramsey to break the tie, and he chose Benjamin’s fish.
So, the Red Team finally won a challenge. How about that. Their reward was a 50’s themed outing. Complete with 50’s themed diner with skate-girls and carhops. Siobhan showed us all a useful skill we didn’t know she had: she can rock a hula hoop like no one’s business and in a competition between the five of them, she won a trophy almost as tall as her.
Meanwhile, the Blue Team, suffering their first loss in a very long time, had to set up the dining room in 50’s style. The funniest part of that was watching Jason, not a small guy by any stretch of the imagination, try to tie tiny bows on tiny gift boxes with his big sausage fingers. Something just wasn’t adding up there.
Back in the kitchen, getting ready for dinner service, Benjamin really started taking control of the Red team, and they really appeared to be responding to him. The women were actually paying attention to what he was saying, something that we haven’t seen them do at any single point yet this season.
In the Blue kitchen, Jay took control of his team there and the men appeared to be listening to him. At least until he sliced his finger to the bone while cutting something, perhaps clams. But he seemed to recover from that issue after a few minutes where it seemed as if oxygen and amputation might have been necessary, and carried on.
Things were going great until Benjamin started undercooking, then overcooking the crabcakes out of the Red kitchen. Then he started snapping at Nilka. Quickest way to lose the trust of your team is to turn on them when you’re ass is in the fire. Not smart.
While both kitchens screwed up everything they touched, Nilka went out on the floor and cooked Steak Diane to perfection for the happy couple. Then she continued her culinary skills and cooked individual meals for the rest of the table. Her biggest problem at this point seemed to be geography. When quizzed by Jean Philippe, she didn’t know where either Dijon or Cognac was and was quite embarrassed by it. And really, who wouldn’t be.
Back in the kitchen, Salvatore was completely falling apart on garnishes, not making any for a single dish, while in the Red kitchen, Holli tried to pass of raw chicken and overcooked duck, at the same time. And through all of that, Fran handed Chef Ramsey a pot the wrong way, nearly burning him, and that was after forgetting to properly drain the potatoes. I keep asking myself, how long have these people been cooking?
Benjamin was a pretty good leader, but not good enough because the Red Team lost again. They were ordered to go back up to the dorm and select two people for Chef Ramsey to select one to go home. They went back up and threw insults and every combination of possible names for eviction at each other.
Holli, for not cooking the chicken, Fran for not draining the potatoes, Benjamin for not cooking the chicken, Siobhan for not having passion. Nilka was the only name not mentioned. Ultimately, they decided to nominate Fran for being slow and Siobhan because she’s one of the worst cooks in the kitchen and she lacks technical skills and talent.
She said she has passion and heart, and she takes risks and sometimes it pays off. Fran said she gets stronger every time he yells at her (is that really a good argument?).
Ramsay sent Fran back in line, for about the 2oth time. He then sent Siobhan back in line. He called out Salvatore. He told him that out of 7 services he had one good one and took his jacket. This may have been one of the only times that I’ve seen Chef Ramsay pull someone from the winning team and boot them.
The second show started with Chef Ramsay taking the chefs (?) to LA’s oldest restaurants, Phillip’s, where they learned about French Dip, and the beautiful simplicity of it. The challenge that followed was to create an outstanding gourmet sandwich.
Both teams did outstanding, coming up with very unique, apparently delicious sandwiches. It ended up in a tie, again. This time the tie had to be broken by whether or not Chef Ramsay like Siobhan’s sandwich, some bizarre concoction (cheese, pineapple, oranges, and tuna??? Um, gross!) that was so strange that Benjamin opted to hold her out as the odd number since they had one more person on their team. Plus, she kept mispronouncing challah, which should be an automatic loss. It’s a main bread. How can you mispronounce it? It’s like a chef mispronouncing prosciutto. Give me a break. It’s not pronounced with the CH like CHeese.
Ramsay said he actually liked Siobhan’s sandwich (and sadly, never called her on her mispronunciation) and that the Red Team should have held Fran’s back instead. Because of that, he chose the Blue Team. Their reward was a private plane to a winery while the Red Team’s penalty was to stay in the kitchen and shuck peanuts and make creamy smooth peanut butter.
The Blue Team made the critical mistake of getting snockered because not only did Ed completely expose himself to Holli and Siobhan in the hot tub, but all five of them woke up the next morning with vicious hangovers.
In the kitchen, screw-ups revolved around Fran’s undercooked risotto and Autumn’s inability to properly season mashed potatoes. In the Red kitchen, Siobhan spent several minutes trying to defend her scallops. But Chef Ramsay wasn’t having it and sent her to the dining room to eat the scallops herself.
One patron didn’t like the fact that he was served rare beef instead of medium and brought the plate back up to the pass himself. He then accused Ramsay of trying to kill him by serving him low grade dog food. My only disappointment was that the exchange didn’t go further. There was some real potential there. Too bad it looked so fake.
Back in the Blue kitchen, after seeing several undercooked dishes, Ramsay had enough and shut them down. By that point, it was probably a relief for them. They could finally go lie down somewhere.
In the Red kitchen, after Fran brings up undercooked risotto again, Ramsay gives up and throws out the entire team and shuts down the Red kitchen as well.
With both teams losing, Ramsay tells them both to select their bottom two chefs (?) for him to select one to go home.
The Blue team picked Ed and Autumn, because of his raw duck and her garnishes that kept slowing down the whole team.
The Red team picked Siobhan and Fran (I feel a certain sense of déjà vu), because Siobhan apparently couldn’t handle any of the dishes and Fran is disorganized and direspectful (as opposed to everyone else there??).
Ramsay ultimately tossed Siobhan, telling her that she means well but just doesn’t have enough experience. One of the nicer blow-offs so far this season. Could have, and should have, been a lot worse.
He really could have let any, or all, of the four of them go and the show would have been better off. The only exception might be Ed, who had a bad service but is better than any of the other three.