Hell’s Kitchen: the Velvet Hammer swings

Last night was the season finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX, and one of the stiffest competitions yet on the show between two low-key but talented Floridians, Danny and Paula. At the end of last week’s episode, they had just chosen their teams for their big dinner service, and Danny chose first since he won the challenge back at the Borgata in Atlantic City. His team was Ben, Giovanni and Carol; Paula had Andrea, L.A., and Lacey. Giovanni didn’t want to be there, and Carol admitted she had been pulling for Paula. But the biggest issue was that Paula got stuck with Lacey. Danny knew he had a decided edge already.

During prep, Lacey was at it already, just being Lacey…as she ruined an entire batch of creme brulee. Then Gordon Ramsay wanted to see the design of each restaurant. Paula went first, with her brightly themed “Sunergy” very impressive to the boss. Then Danny, who couldn’t resist
hanging fish on the wall and calling his restaurant “Velvet Hammer,” a reference to his sexual prowess in high school. I can’t believe he actually went through with that name!

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Hell’s Kitchen: throwaway episode?

By all accounts I thought last night was going to be the “Hell’s Kitchen” season finale, but it turned out to be mostly a fluff episode, setting up the meat and potatoes of the big showdown between Danny and Paula next Thursday. The show began with a 10-minute recap of the season, followed by the two finalists enjoying way too much champagne together and then feeling like crap when they had to wake up early the next morning.

They met with a designer for their restaurants, and had to pick a name…Paula picked something like “Sunshine” though I don’t quite remember exactly what…and Danny picked “The Velvet Hammer,” saying that was his high school nickname, because he “was smooth but could lay the hammer to the ladies.” Did he really just say that? Did I really just write that? Yep. Freaking hilarious.

Then they traveled on a private jet with Gordon Ramsay to the Borgata in Atlantic City, where one of them would run Ramsay’s new restaurant. Meanwhile, Paula and Danny each had two “advisors” left to keep an eye on the design progress, and those were family members, or Paula’s stripper sister and mom, and Danny’s dad and girlfriend. They were able to communicate with each other via webcam to make sure everything was running smooth.

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Hell’s Kitchen returns with dysfunctional fun

Last night on FOX, Gordon Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” returned for Season 5. The winner of this season will earn $250K and the position of executive chef at Ramsay’s new restaurant at the Borgata Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City. After 300 hopeful chefs were brought to the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant to find out who the 16 finalists would be, restaurant manager Jean Phillippe announced the names of those selected, and we were off to the races. And I have to say, it’s pretty clear that the criteria is not all based on cooking skills. Though they boasted that this was maybe the best class of talent the show has seen so far, you know that the producers and probably Ramsay himself prefer to have a few crazy contestants who wil boost ratings. After all, it’s a freaking reality show.

The first episode means one thing…the contestants each have to make their personal signature dish for Ramsay to taste. Carol went first, and made a roulade of veal that Ramsay said was “delicious.” This girl is already a contender. Wil, a 26 year old dude, was wearing a pride pin, something Ramsay asked about but I’m not sure quite understood. Anyway, Ramsay said Wil’s dish tasted better than it looked. Ji, a 33 year old who grew up in her dad’s restaurant, made a Miso Chilean sea bass, which Gordon loved. Robert, a 29 year old very large dude from New York City, also made Chilean sea bass, but wrapped it in some sort of potato thingy Read the rest of this entry »

  

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