Hell’s Kitchen: have some fingertips with those crepes

Last night’s “Hell’s Kitchen” episode on FOX was gruesome, but also telling in how things might shake out in the coming weeks.


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Hell’s Kitchen: taking things too far?

So if boisterous Gordon Ramsay wasn’t getting wilder and more demanding with each season of “Hell’s Kitchen” on FOX, the producers seem to be making things wild, and bordering on hard to believe…literally. Last night, Season 6 kicked off, and while it’s always fun to see how some of these contestants will react when first meeting Ramsay and having to cook for him, some of the contestants appear to have been planted by producers, and some of the action seems almost as fake as the Hell’s Kitchen video game. But I’m here to recap, so that’s what we’ll do…..

The 16 contestants arrived with an impatient Jean Phillippe waiting and worrying that Ramsay was going to kick his ass for the limo arriving late. JP announces that he’s tired of contestants who don’t know basic skills in the kitchen, so he invites them inside and shows them former contestants on TV screens who offer advice such as, “Make sure the stove is on.” Then Ramsay appeared, first on TV, then in person, and he announced that the winner this season would become the head chef at the Araxi restaurant in Canada. He then shouted to them to go cook their signature dishes, and they herded into the kitchen like a a bunch of wild cattle.

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Hell’s Kitchen: Down to two

Last night’s episode of “Hell’s Kitchen” brought us to what we’ve all been waiting for this season….what has become the inevitable cage match between the two most talented competitors. But first, after Ben had been eliminated last week, the three remaining chefs–Andrea, Danny and Paula–had a quick visit from their families. And I don’t know how much was edited, but they showed about one minute of said visit, and then the families were headed home again. What, they didn’t even have the chance to cook for them? Weird.

Then the challenge came and it was cooking a dish for 100 Hell’s Kitchen customers–who were all the top chefs in Los Angeles…and I do mean top chefs…all Michelin star and James Beard award winners. Each chef had to cook one dish, with tasting portions of 100. And they had only 90 minutes to do this. It went so fast that I could barely hear what their dishes were, but know Danny made some sort of halibut and it failed miserably, with 76% of the visiting chefs calling it the worst of the three. That same 76% number called Paula’s dish the best. So Paula had a makeover, after some fabricated romantic banter between Paula and Jean Phillippe in the limo. Please! Then Paula had her makeover and she actually looked really good with her hair down, not the plain looking chef we’ve all seen this season.

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Hell’s Kitchen: Pressing Ramsay’s buttons

Gordon Ramsay, star of the FOX reality show “Hell’s Kitchen,” is pissed. He has his six finalists for the head chef position at the Borgata Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and he’s not sure he wants to hire any of them. Ratings for this show must be down, because they keep teasing us with twists and turns, more so than ever before, and Ramsay threatening to shut down Hell’s Kitchen permanently is clearly a gag. But more on that in a bit.

Last night the show began with everyone in a state of shock that Carol had just been eliminated, after her red team had won the dinner service. Ben and Robert were mostly relieved that they had survived the chopping block. So then Ramsay asked Paula who the weakest link on the red team was, and she said Andrea. Danny was asked the same question for the blue team, and he chose Ben. Andrea and Ben were asked to step forward, the lights dimmed, and Ramsay told them both, “I hate to do this, but give me your jackets.” What? Then he told them to get back in line and put on black jackets, and he asked everyone else to do the same, to signify that they were the final six and that from here on out, it was an individual competition, and not red vs. blue.

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Hell’s Kitchen: Ramsay throws a curve

Last night on “Hell’s Kitchen” Lacey started off by going over to the blue team, much to the delight of the girls on the red team. The guys cautiously welcomed her, because they knew Lacey did not like the women she was teamed with and would seek revenge. Then they were all whisked off to an Asian market and told by Ramsay that their challenge for the day would be to cook three different Asian fusion meals–a meat, a seafood and a poultry, for Ramsay and a food journalist from Epicurious.com. Robert and Danny won the first round with a pad thai barbecue chicken, but Paula and L.A. made a tuna tempura that won the second round, and Colleen and Andrea took the final round with their beef dish. Ramsay loved the tuna dish so much that he put it on the menu later that evening.

But first, the red team had the prize of going to this martial arts gym to watch Ramsay and Jean Phillippe dress up in these big, puffy, Sumo outfits and then wrestle. Then the ladies all had their opportunity to do the same and to take their aggressions out on each other. Later on, they went to a Japanese restaurant and drank lots of Sake. The blue team, meanwhile, had to make fortune cookies and dress the restaurant up with origami art. Lacey was very good at making the art and was showing her new teammates that she could be a team player.

At the dinner service, surprisingly, Andrea and Robert were performing horribly. Colleen and J were as well. But when Ramsay called Robert “Bobby” several times, it hit a nerve in the big boy and pissed him off. Later Ramsay called Robert into his office and found out that Robert’s dad had ridiculed him growing up by calling him Bobby, and Ramsay agreed to stop doing it.

And while the dinners were somewhat flying out of the kitchen, there were definitely some things holding up the operation on both teams. Finally, Ramsay shut it down and once again declared no winning team. He told Giovanni and L.A. that they were the “best of the worst” and to nominate one person from their team for elimination. J and Andrea both admitted that they screwed up, and so did Robert. And L.A. wasn’t so sure she wanted to nominate Andrea. But in the end, it was J and Andrea on the chopping block.

Right then is when my TiVo shut off, thanks to “American Idol” running over by about five minutes. So it wasn’t until this morning that I found out who was eliminated by reading Buddy TV’s recap. Thanks Buddy!

Anyway, after J and Andrea stepped forward and stated their case, Ramsay threw a curveball and told them both to get back in line, and he eliminated Colleen instead. Ramsay has been riding Colleen all season, since she teaches a cooking class back home but has never been formally trained herself, and he just couldn’t take it any longer.

So that’s it…..it’s good to know Ramsay is firmly in charge, isn’t it? I thought for sure J would be going home because Andrea really just had a bad night. But results like this certainly make you want to keep watching to see what happens next. See you guys next week!

  

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