It's official - Satan is back in his hell, and the little devils want snowballs, or at least a decent crack at a job that pays a quarter of a million dollars!!! For this big chance, the one that could change their lives, the one that could start their professional lives off with a bang, they must pay their dues. In other words, they must be able to withstand having a wrinkled hot tempered perfectionist scream and curse at them over a hot stove in a stifling kitchen. No one gets out of Hell unscathed. No One!
This season we have the unsual assortment of overblown egos, soft spoken short people, maniacal laughter, and skirmishes in the kitchen, both with Chef Ramsay and each other. The announcer says, "Chef Ramsay will put them to the test in ways they never imagined." It makes it sound like he's setting up a torture chamber in the wine cellar. Even then, it couldn't be worse than being in the kitchen cooking and trying to prove your mettle to the King of Hell. At any rate, "This year's Hell's Kitchen is unlike anything you've seen before." Bring it on!
Ramsay: "Welcome to Hell."
Credits roll: Josh, Melissa, Eddie, pumping his arm into a muscle with a big grin on his face, Joanna, trying to look coquettish, which, btw, is not her strong suit, Brad, Julia, Aaron, Jen, Rock, looking estatic pumping both arms in a different way than Eddie, Bonnie, blowing heart shaped firey kisses (barf), Tiffany, whose image appears on a knife, and Vinnie, who clearly has something in his eye, thus the wink. No shots of Chef Ramsay shaking his head before or after each contestant, just one of him at the beginning and the end.
After a disastrous dinner service, the red team is in disarray. Bonnie, 26, Nanny/Personal Chef/Dreamer of Quarter of a Million Dollar Salaries, complains that Ramsay called all the women evil and twisted. She thinks that's harsh, and her pretty face shows her dismay over being called twisted and evil. Bonnie? Has never been called evil and twisted before, but she just might lose control of her bladder at any minute when Gordon yells at her. (see last week for one of her first confessionals.)
Now that I think about his attitude towards women, I wonder how happy Ramsay's marriage really is. Is he different at home? I hope so, for his wife and children's sake. I have a half suspicion that his wife probably has him whipped. Wouldn't that make a funny reality show? Cameras at Chef Ramsay's residence, showing him cowtowing to his dear wife and kids. At the thought of it, I think, "HAHA!"
Joanna, 22, Chef's Assistant, vows she will not get on that chopping block again. According to her, Melissa wants her gone because she, Joanna, is the best. Sounds like the usual hubris to me. *yawn*
While the women are divided, and set aside like ingredients for making a cake, the men are united in their concern for Aaron, the Asian cowboy. Aaron has only eaten an apple all day, and he claims he doesn't want to be fat and slow, but he says this with a cigarette in his hand. Not too healthy, Aaron, 48, Retirement Home Chef. Pretty soon he'll be eating at the retirement home from one of the craftmatic beds, instead of cooking for the grey haired residents.
Aaron knows he is the oldest, and that worries him, if not for himself, but for his team mates.
3:13 AM - Deja vu time! After an exhausting first dinner service (this announcement has been recycled from the first 2 seasons, btw) but in HK, you don't always get what you want.
5:56 AM - Evil and twisted Sous Chef Mary Ann and Sous Chef Scott rattle and bang their pots and pans to wake up the living dead. The Chef greets them in the kitchen. He reminds them that last night was embarrassing and that they wasted thousands of dollars of food. He tells them they are going to be reminded of where food comes from. They are going to catch their own fish. Pollyanna Bonnie is very excited, thinking they are going to catch their own fish out of the water, but the only fish out of water seems to be her. Dream on, hon!
"OMG - time to smell like fish!" - Julia, Short Order Cook
That's right, Julia. The contestants all get to wear rubber gloves while the Chef flings fish at them from a pile of fish on ice in the back of a truck. What fun! Poor little Eddie gets a put down from Ramsay. "Eddie, same size as you. Good catch!"
Eddie, 28, Grill Cook and little person: "People look at little people like they can't get stuff done or reach the cans of tuna on the top shelf, and that's partially why I'm here. I'm gonna show em what I got." I guess the a quarter of a million dollars salary fits in there, somewhere, too, Eddie!
The Chef wannabes carry big tubs of fish back to the kitchen. Aaron is not feeling well, and Eddie claims he would carry him on his shoulders if he had to, reminding us he's a little guy, but he does what he can. Does anyone feel a foreboding sense of doom as far as Eddie is concerned?
The Chef introduces them to their next challenge, and Aaron starts to cry after saying a curse word, so Chef Ramsay rewards him with a 10 to 15 minute break. Chef is actually gentle with the weeping Asian cowboy, maybe because Ramsay has respect for that momentous occasion when one of the Chef wannabes says their first curse word in front of the Dungeon Master. Or maybe it's because, as Brad, 25, Sous Chef, says, referring to Aaron, "He's cracking. He's cracking hard. He's freakin' Humpty Dumpty."
The Chef notices the teams are evened out now with Aaron on a break, and introduces them to one of the most expensive fish in the world, the Dover Sole.
Musical Interlude: "The White Cliffs of Dover" If you've never heard of this song, maybe it's because I'm older than you.
And we're back to Gordon introducing how to clean Dover Sole. Josh, 26, Junior Sous Chef, claims that it's beautiful, because he loves working with fish. We'll just see about that, Junior.
Ramsay demonstrates how to peel the skin off the fish, take the roe out, and come away with one prepared Dover sole, good for eating or wearing on the bottom of one of your shoes.
Gordon gives them 30 minutes to clean the fish, with the team with the most successfully cleaned fish winning the challenge. The skin must be removed without damaging the fish, then they must remove the fish eggs.
Melissa, 29, Line Cook comments on the guys yelling out how many fish they'd completed, and she worried the girls were not keeping up. Joanna reminds us that it's quality, not quantity that will matter.
Eddie is first up to show his work, only 2 sole in 1/2 an hour. Chef asks him if he pulled the skin off with his teeth, and declares the first fish not servable. Eddie's second fish passes muster, so one for the Blue Team.
Now on to Brad. Two of Brad's fish were acceptable, the others were thrown out. 3 for the Blue Team.
Vinnie presents his, and Gordon finds skin on the head. No, not Vinnie's head, just the head of the sole. Vinnie talks back, but none of his fish are acceptable, so zero for him.
Rock is next, presenting only one good fish, so the score is now 4 for the Blue Team. Now it all comes down to Josh, who singlehandedly doubles the Blue Team's score with 4 perfect fish. The Blue Team now have 8 fish completed.
Excuse me while I refer to my Dr. Seus book.
Melissa, who Gordon says is the Prime Minister, comes up with 4 perfect fish. Gordon claims that it was the best skinning he's seen so far. Julia, the Waffle House short order cook, adds 2 more good fish to the total. Bonnie doesn't do so well, with zero good fish. I think the problem was that Bonnie thought the fish were like the frogs in the fairy tale, The Frog Prince. She kept trying to kiss them instead of skinning them in hopes one of them would turn into a Prince and take her far away from HK. Oh, well.
Zero Jen. I think that's all we have to know about her. Zero.
Joanna is up next, and the Red Team needs all 3 fish to prevail over the Blue Team. Of course, they have to cut to a commercial before they tell us, but the girls ultimately win the challenge, and the boys have to stay behind and clean fish.
Eddie has a moment of fun when he asks one of the bikini clad girls to reach up for something.
Aaron, 48, Retirement Home Chef is worried that the younger guys are all smarter than he is. He says he knows how to cook Chinese food.
10 AM, 9 hours until doors open
Tonight's special is pan fried Dover sole. The BT must have one person serve it up table side, as part of their for losing the challenge. The Chef chooses Aaron, and then asks Aaron if he is dizzy. Hmm, probably, Chef.
The girls strive to work together. Both kitchens are busy, with Melissa trying to run the girls, and Josh acting like the Alpha male of his team.
At 6 PM, just an hour before opening, Chef Ramsay explains the table side job to Aaron. He says he wants Aaron out of the heat of the kitchen, and it will raise his confidence. Aaron responds by passing out on his feet. Again, Chef Ramsay is remarkably gentle with him and tries to encourage him.
The restaurant is opened to it's patrons. The girls proclaim their love for each other, hoping a positive attitude will win them a victory in the kitchen tonight over the boys. Ramsay barks out the orders so quickly to the boys side, I wonder if they will get it right. Aaron introduces himself to one table after another, until the Chef sees him, and asks Jean Phillipe to get the *bleep*ing donkey out of there.
Eddie tries to get the Blue kitchen off to a good start, but he somehow messes up the spaghetti because of others around him confusing him. Chef chastises him, telling him to control his section. A few pounds of Eddie's spaghetti is thrown away.
Bonnie is doing 3 scallops, but the Chef had only called for one. He calls her a dumb blonde, and *gasp* even worse a *bleep*ing Barbie. Bonnie continually tells herself that she's okay with being a dumb blonde Barbie.
Vinnie is preparing the special, the pan fried Dover sole. Chef notices one that looks burnt, and asks for the fish to be brought to the hot plate. One sole is okay, but one has been overcooked. Vinnie, 29, Night Club Chef, thinks that if the Blue team loses tonight, Chef Ramsay definitely wants to return Vinnie to New Jersey.
Pop Quiz Time
How many guys named Vinnie are there in the great garden state of New Jersey?
a. Just this one. b. I don't know, but it's equal to the number of guys named Tony who live in Jersey. c. a quarter of a million d. Let me count the latest census records and get back to you. e. How you doin'?
Thanks to Jen's leadership, the Red kitchen is pushing out appetizers. Peeps are seen eating and enjoying the food. The Blue kitchen finally sends out some sole, with Aaron trying to debone the fish for the patrons. Unfortunately, he takes 15 minutes to complete the task the first time around, and the fish was cold when it was finally served.
Now, the final indignation to Ramsay - he tastes the risotto, declares it inedible, and unworthy to even serve to a pig, because it is way too peppery. Eddie is dismissed from the kitchen, and Brad takes control of the appetizers on the Blue side.
On the Red side, Joanna forgot to cook the lettuce. Frankly, I can't remember a recipe that calls for cooking lettuce, but I don't work for Ramsay, thank goodness. He asks her why he wasn't told she forgot to cook the lettuce. I think the answer to that would be as *bleep*ing obvious as the wrinkles on his face. So Joanna does the one thing she vowed not to do - she cries.
The Blue team, keeping with their theme of burning things, overcooks the Wellington, as pointed out by Ramsay. Chef gets Josh to bring out some more Wellington, but Ramsay can see the pastry is not cooked underneath. I must say this, the Chef has a good *bleep*ing eye to be able to see that across the kitchen. Chef is upset that nothing is happening in the Blue kitchen. Meanwhile, Aaron sucks at deboning the sole, with all the tables complaining about the bones. Aaron gets called into the kitchen and called unto the tile floor by Ramsay.
Melissa gets caught doing garnishes for Joanna, and the Chef notices it. Joanna knows Melissa is trying to put herself into everything and is trying to be kitchen DAW. The Chef reminds them to stick together, and they get busy finishing up the remaining tables.
Brad also ruins the risotto with too much pepper. Chef karate chops a piece of chicken on a plate because it's too dry. Josh wonders what just happened. The chicken didn't look too dry to him.
Chef is dismayed at all of the men's performances tonight, so he summarily kicks them out of their kitchen. The *bleep*ing girls can finish the Blue team's tables tonight. Brad, 25, Sous Chef, wonders how the girls beat them.
Bonnie, 26, Nanny/Personal Chef/Believer of Fairy Tales, claims that the Red Team kicked a$$. Girl Power! The Chef even compliments the Monk fish, proclaiming it to be beautifully cooked. Melissa glows. Julia, 28, Short Order Cook/Magical Thinker tells us she knew they would complete the dinner service, with no doubt in her mind.
With the dinner service completed, and both teams lined up in the kitchen, the Chef says it was obvious who was the worst team tonight. He chooses Rock to pick two members of his team for elimination. Right away, Rock is approached by Eddie, who tells him two things: Eddie, Aaron, and Vinnie are the only choices to go up there, and secondly, Eddie thinks he is a strong prep person. He does it fast and well, according to him. In a confessional, Eddie thinks Aaron should go, because of his health. A smoking Aaron tells Rock what a pleasure it has been working with him. Aaron would like to stay if he could. Josh approaches and tells Rock he also does not want to go home, and he doesn't feel he deserves to go home. Rock writes himself a new song called, "What to do, what to do, what to do?", a song that will be featured in 2008's "Hell's Kitchen: The Musical".
Back in the heat of Hell, Rock presents his first nominee: Eddie, because he's a small guy who needs to come out of that shell. The second nominee is Josh, because he's all over the place. Eddie and Josh step forward to dramatic music.
CR: Eddie, why should you stay?
Eddie: Well, Chef, I learned a very important lesson today. I really need to speak up and stand up for myself. I have a lot of passion. I have a lot of creativity. I could go very far, and I hope I get the chance to show you.
CR, now speaking to Josh: I think you're one big fake, full of pi$$ and wind.
Josh: No, Chef, I'm not a fake at all.
CR: Not one of your main courses went out. Why should you stay here?
Josh: Tonight was the most embarrassing moment in my professional life. I've never been thrown out of a kitchen before. I feel horrible and embarrassed. And I can't wait to come back and rally.
Josh bows his head, waiting for the guillotine to drop on his neck.
CR: I'm giving you another chance. Eddie, take your jacket off and get out of Hell's Kitchen. Now, *bleep* off.
Eddie, dutifully: Yes, Chef.
Eddie, voice over, as he walks away: My biggest regret in Hell's Kitchen is just not being loud. I should of just went in and just tore the place apart. Getting kicked off sucks. But, you know, I did it to myself.
Chef tells the men to get out of here, while Aaron muses that he was incredibly surprised he wasn't nominated. So are we Aaron. Aaron claims he was kind of in shock. Well, to be fair, he was kind of in shock or asleep for most of tonight's episode, which leads us to believe he's the reason an ambulance gets called in a future episode.
Bonnie: The boys screwed up tonight. Na na na na na na! Neener neener!
Josh: There are some people out to get me. I suspect my cousin Vinnie from New Jersey.
Ramsay: Eddie's got a good heart, but sadly he couldn't keep his own section together. He made far too many simple mistakes and he didn't merit running his own restaurant. Too bad I couldn't keep him on. I love making fun of little people.
Eddie's jacket gets ripped onto the peg, and Eddie's smiling face goes up in flames.
The winner of the $10,000 HK sweepstakes tonight is some chick in Georgia, not me. Boo! Hiss!
Next time on Hell's Kitchen
The aspiring chefs aren't quite ready for Reveille. Marines bark at them to get their uniforms on, and get downstairs. Vinnie cries, "Reveille, Reveille!" Gordon informs them the kitchen will be open for breakfast. They will be serving America's Finest. *tune up "Ballad of the Green Beret"* Joanna loves men in uniform. Julia reminds us that breakfast is the kind of food she cooks at the Waffle House. The winners will be taken out to sea to find mermaids. Gee, what a nice reward! At dinner, one chef makes a disastrous mistake, possibly requiring a medic in an ambulance.