10 Thoughts on Hell's Kitchen — Episode 6-11

My apologies for this being a week late. I know, I know. I’ve missed you all, too.

Last week, Chef Ramsay walked out! People got out! People were eliminated! Tactful Van, thanks for coming out! OK, here we go.

1) Upstairs, Stoner Dave gets pissed at Shouty Tennille for sticking to her convictions and telling Chef Ramsay the truth about how Tactful Van needed to go. He feels that if she was going to do that she should have told the whole team first. Scheming Kevin’s playing the sit and watch game, and Suzanne seems to know that she’s on borrowed time. The next day, Chef Ramsay is ready to test the final five in their first individual challenge, and it’s all about presentation. To help judge, the editorial staff of Bon Apetit magazine is in the house! Chef Ramsay explains that they reach 5.8 million readers per month. Suzanne talks about how she and everyone else in the industry read it. Sure you do. We’re all here, so let’s get to the…

2) Reward Challenge: Each contestant will make a dish; the staff will judge the dishes based purely on presentation. I’m wondering who green-lit this challenge because there’s no way for it to end in a tie. After the dishes are ranked, the top two dishes will be tasted and judged by chef Chef Ramsay and the head of the staff. Ahhh, so that’s how they’ll do it. I was worried there for a second. As always, Chef Ramsay reminds the team that no one wants to lose this challenge. Suzanne’s doing a calamari salad; Stoner Dave interviews that it’s not good enough for Bon Apetit. Meanwhile, he’s got a rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes. Ariel doing some type of John Dory dish. Shouty Tennille is doing snapper, but it breaks apart at the last minute, so she just piles the garnish on top of it. Scheming Kevin’s got Caribbean sea bass. Most of these dishes seem to follow the “make something, pile sauce and garnish on top of it” formula. Stoner Dave blanks completely on what his dish is in front of the judges and in his interview. Smooth.

3) After tallying the votes, the dishes break down like this:
5th: Shouty Tennille
4th: Suzanne
3rd: Stoner Dave
2nd: Ariel (Sage- & prosciutto-wrapped John Dory with cranberries)
1st: Scheming Kevin (Pan-seared sea bass, finished in the oven, with lots of fruit)

4) And the winner is—both?! Oh you’re fricking KIDDING me. Oohh, it’s so hard to pick a winner; they’re both so good. Save it. I’m done. Both dishes will be featured in the magazine. Scheming Kevin and Ariel get to eat with Chef Ramsay and the Bon Apetit lady at Shutters on the Beach, as well as be in a photo shoot. It’s Next Food Network Star and Top Model rolled into one! The losers get to go do some street cleaning. Apparently, at some point Hell’s Kitchen adopted a section of highway in LA, and the losers are off to clean it, pick up trash, and do community service type stuff. But they do get sweet orange municipal jumpsuits. Shouty Tennille hates looking like a convict in orange, and pledges in her interview to never commit a crime.

5) When they get back to Hell’s Kitchen, they have to clean the entire place. Stoner Dave’s wrist starts swelling up, and he gets about a foot width of ice wrapped around it. Scheming Kevin is telling him to look out for himself and not get some long-tern damage, which on one hand is strategic but on the other is probably a little bit genuine. Stoner Dave of course interviews that he needs to look out for people and win this. Way to be, Stoner Dave. During prep, Scheming Kevin is trying to lead, and is getting coldness from everyone, obviously.

6) Dinner challenge. Stoner Dave has told people that he may not be able to do some things, and the rest should help him “for the team.” The two Reward Challenge-winning entrees are on the menu tonight, and right away Suzanne is too slow with a scallop order. That gets fixed quickly, but the Announcer Man lets us know that lots of people are arriving at the same time (wow, almost like they’re supposed to do that), and tickets are flowing in. Ariel spies an overcooked risotto, but Shouty Tennille lets it go. Chef Ramsay finds it immediately and calls for it to be redone. Shouty Tennille again screws up the risotto, but it appears the rice was overcooked during the prep. Scheming Kevin cops to it. Stoner Dave of course blames Shouty Tennille for not seeing it. Chef Ramsay keeps shouting about the rice, yelling at Scheming Kevin over and over. More risotto goes to the pass, and Chef Ramsay calls over Scheming Kevin and Shouty Tennille to yell that…the rice is done right. Oh. Well, good then.

7) Time for entrees. Now we’ve got pink undercooked chicken up at the pass. Bad move, Ariel. She redoes it and now it’s fine. Entrees are going out, and Suzanne screws up the fish. Chef Ramsay makes the “more cooked at a sushi bar” comment for the third episode in a row now. He yells that the fish needs to be continuously basted with the pan sauce to cook it through, but he’s visibly starting to crack under the strain of working with five smart people that have inexplicably turned into moronic children. He bemoans the inconsistencies of the kitchen and says varying combinations of, “It’s not possible,” for a good twenty or thirty seconds. This? This is the “Chef Ramsay in disbelief” that we were promised last week? Wow. I’m floored; no really, I am.

8) An order of lamb goes up cut ragged, and Chef Ramsay takes Ariel outside to the dining room and makes her admit that she would not send that out if she were at the Araxi. A quick meeting is called, and Chef Ramsay lets the team know that he’s not going to keep sending out one plate at a time as they’re completed, to every table. The team needs to get it together or get out. Somehow, the service limps along without getting shut down to the last table, and with one more order of lamb out, the service is completed. No one is happy about how bad the service was, especially the Boss. Chef Ramsay tells the team that they, as a team, have to come up with two names to eliminate. Upstairs, Scheming Kevin calls it to a vote; everyone pick two people. Suzanne feels that everything she did was great. Amidst looks of disbelief she says with a straight face that she owned her station and made no mistakes. Ariel calls out Scheming Kevin for the risotto prep fiasco, most likely to bring everybody back to reality.

9) We cut to downstairs, so somehow the team has come to a decision. Since we saw next to none of this process I’m sure that this will devolve into Chef Ramsay just picking whoever he wants to get out. But let’s humor him. Scheming Kevin, first nominee and why: Ariel, because of inconsistencies, bad lamb, and a bad overall service. Second nominee and why: Suzanne, due to raw fish, bad scallops, and her thinking her service was without issue.

10) Suzanne, why, for the fourth time, should you stay? She claims she was focused on solid techniques and cooking to perfection. Chef Ramsay tells her flatly that she failed. So she defaults to just saying she’s a better chef than Ariel. Yep, that’ll work. Ariel, there’s only a few minutes left in this episode, why should you stay? She believes she is better that Suzanne and better that Chef Ramsay has seen so far, and wants another chance. Chef Ramsay thinks they both should go. In the end, it’s Suzanne. Chef Ramsay cites all of the chances he gave her and she still couldn’t pull through. As she leaves, he tells the team they need to bounce back right quick.

Next time: Shouty Tennille dodged a bullet! Everyone is on their own! Did Stoner Dave go too far? Crazy surprises! As always, you don’t want to miss this [recap]!

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