Needless to say, it was quite the journey for the 35-year-old sous chef from Pinehill, NJ, as he became the tenth culinary contestant cut from Hell's Kitchen's fourth season during last night's broadcast of the Fox reality competition series.
"Hell's Kitchen is a lot different that you think," said Matt after his ouster. "The whole teamwork thing was tough. I did my best. I'm happy as far as I came. My career's not over. It's going to keep growing. My dream came true, I got to work with Chef Ramsay. That's the best thing that could ever happen to my life."
Hell's Kitchen's tenth fourth-season episode began following the previous dinner service, which saw Gordon eliminate Louross Edralin. In addition, Gordon revealed that Matt would be returning to the Blue Team while Jennifer Gavin, a 24-year-old line cook from Chicago, IL, would be returning to the Red Team.
Louis Petrozza, a 47-year-old catering director from Charlotte, NC, described Matt as "like a hemorrhoid " and Jen didn't receive rave reviews either.
"We were glad to get rid of Jen and now we have Jen back," said Christina Machamer, a 25-year-old culinary student from St. Louis, MO. "I don't trust her farther than I can throw her and I don't want to be on her team."
The next morning the six remaining contestants awoke at 6AM, were blindfolded and taken to the rooftop of The London West Hollywood, a new restaurant Gordon is opening this summer. Gordon then revealed there would be no more teams before giving them a tour of the restaurant before it gets renovated.
The contestants then returned to Hell's Kitchen for their first challenge as individuals, with each putting a spin on a classic ingredient. Matt had veal; Christina had sea bass; Bobby Anderson, a 37-year-old executive chef from Niagara Falls, NY, had duck; Jen got beef; Petrozza had chicken; and Corey Earling, a 25-year-old private chef from Brooklyn, NY, got lobster.
Each contestant would have 45 minutes to prepare a unique dish that would be judged on both creativity and deliciousness. The challenge commenced and the cooking went pretty smoothly for all the contestants.
Matt was the first to present his dish -- a roasted veal loin -- to Gordon, who thought it was "nice" and said there was "hardly anything wrong" with it. Christina presented her pan-seared sea bass, and while she said it was "nerve wracking" Gordon thought the dish was "robust and meaty." Petrozza' chicken breast stuffed with cheese and vegetables was also complimented.
Corey prepared an asparagus pea lobster soup, and while Gordon thought it was "tasty," he also commented that she could have used more of the lobster for the dish.
Jen's rib eye went next, and while Gordon was concerned she'd cooked it wrong since the beef was so thinly sliced, he added she managed to keep it moist and thoroughly enjoyed it. Bobby's duck soup was a mixed bag -- as Gordon thought the soup was "delicious" but added the duck was "really tough."
Gordon said it was "very, very close" but singled out Jen and Christina for doing the best -- calling both dishes "highly imaginative." He then revealed Jen was the winner, and her rib eye would be on the menu for the upcoming dinner service.
In addition, Jen would travel to Las Vegas to have dinner with Hell's Kitchenthird-season winner Rock Harper at Terra Verde, an Italian restaurant at the Sin City's Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino. Jen was allowed to take one other contestant with her and she surprisingly chose Corey.
"That's like the cobra and the mongoose hanging out," commented Matt.
For their punishment, the other four contestants would be required to take in all the deliveries that came into the kitchen throughout the day. Christina quickly agitated Matt as she barked out orders, however Matt did an awful lot of complaining and was getting on everyone's nerves. As the two bickered, Matt eventually turned his frustrations on the entire group and cussed everyone out.
"Matt is really losing it," said Christina. "I'm worried about Matt."
Jen and Corey arrived in Vegas and gushed about their plush suites before meeting Rock, who took them to a private table for dinner.
"I'm glad they didn't send me two guys," said Rock, who gave both ladies advice.
The next morning the contestants awoke and immediately began prep work for that night's dinner service. Matt and Christina continued to bicker.
"I need to be the best tonight because I really need to send Christina home," said Matt. "She's getting on my damn nerves."
Jen and Corey returned to the kitchen and walked into Christina and Matt arguing.
"That guy went f**king crazy," Christina told Corey.
"You want to see crazy? This is f**king crazy! This is f**king crazy!" yelled Matt as he hit himself in the head.
The other contestants pleaded with Matt and Christina to pull it together for the success of the dinner service.
Hell's Kitchen's tenth fourth-season dinner service commenced, and Gordon said Jen and Petrozza would be on appetizers; Bobby would be on the fish station; Corey would be working with vegetables; and -- of course -- Christina and Matt would be on the meat station.
"If Matt starts to go down, then I'm going to kick him off the station," said Christina. "I cannot afford to have a useless piece of meat standing next to me on this line."
The first orders came into the kitchen and Matt already began to burn stuff.
"Hey you!" yelled Gordon at him. "I'm watching you like a hawk!"
Jen's first attempt at risotto was complimented for being "very nice" and Petrozza was also doing a good job, although he was once again criticized for being a "messy pig" when he wiped chives on the bottom of a dish.
"You work like a pig yet you produce amazing food," said Gordon.
Despite Jen's next helping of risotto being criticized as too salty, half of the appetizers were out 30 minutes into the service. As Gordon began to deliver additional entree orders Matt kept mixing up how much of everything he was supposed to be cooking. He still failed to get it right even after Gordon repeated it several times.
Gordon implored Matt and Christina to communicate better and Corey became real emotional when the lack of dialogue in the kitchen was hurting her work on the vegetable station. Gordon pleaded with Corey to pull it together and snap out of her sour mood. Matt and Christina attempted to reconcile and called a truce for the duration of the service.
Christina was criticized for cooking chicken and beef in the same pan at the same time, and as Gordon was yelling at her for it he noticed Bobby was cooking scallops and salmon in the same pan.
One hour into the service and things had slowed down considerably as Matt was undercooking all of the rib eye. Both he and Christina blamed Jen for telling them the wrong amount of time needed to cook it, which she vehemently denied. Corey then burned her hand as she was cooking the chicken garnish. Gordon told her to go see the medic, but she refused.
"Corey, go see the medic. I'm not asking you, I'm f**king telling you to!" he screamed at her.
Corey finally relented and Jen took over the station while Corey was briefly treated by the medics. With no food coming out of the kitchen, Gordon caught Matt eating. While Matt tried to explain he was only "tasting," Gordon didn't buy it.
Christina and Matt were both having a hard time keeping the orders straight and continuously confused what Gordon was telling them. Matt then served pieces of beef that had raw centers and overcooked edges, causing him to apologize to Gordon and blame it on a migraine headache. Matt then complained about getting yelled at by Gordon, who only yelled at him some more.
"I can't concentrate anymore," he whined. "Send me home."
Corey accused Matt of making "excuses" and called him a "cry baby" before Gordon and sous chef Scott Leibfried got a good laugh while watching Matt take aspirin. He continued to complain about a headache and subsequently stated he could no longer feel his hands. Fed up, Gordon sent Matt upstairs to the dorms to rest.
"I want to work through it," pleaded Matt.
"Get out!" yelled Gordon. "F**king get out!"
The dinner service went on without him, but Jen burned an entire pot of rice that she "forgot" she had put on the stove an hour ago. Gordon kicked her out of the kitchen, then kicked Christina out because she never noticed the rice was burning despite working right next to it. With half the contestants kicked out of the kitchen, Gordon threw the rest out and brought the dinner service to a close.
Gordon said everyone was "pathetic" and sent them upstairs to the dorms to come to a consensus on which two contestants should be nominated for elimination. Matt then asked Gordon for a minute of alone time.
"I don't know if I'm supposed to give up or if I should stay here," he told Gordon.
"I can't make that decision for you," answered Gordon. "But what I would like to see is just a little bit of manliness. I'm not pissed off at just you. So if I was in your shoes, I'd be fighting."
The conversation made Matt confident he'd be sticking around. He went upstairs and immediately learned it was a consensus he'd be nominated, which he boasted was a "waste of time" since Gordon wouldn't send him home anyway. He then cursed out his competition and went to pack.
Corey and Christina both suggested Jen should be the other nominee due to her lack of communication, but Corey eventually decided to nominate herself due to her poor performance. Since the meat station went down in flames, Bobby nominated Christina. With Christina, Corey and Jen all having one nomination, the decision came down to Petrozza.
The six contestants then returned to the kitchen, and Petrozza revealed Matt was the first nominee since he "failed" during the service and his attitude was making everyone else suffer. Corey then said it was a "tough decision," but the second nominee was Christina.
"I should have gone up," said Corey, and Gordon agreed so he added her as a nominee.
All three then pled their cases and while Gordon criticized both Corey and Christina, he made the obvious elimination and gave Matt the boot.
"There once was a boy named Matt, whose kitchen performance fell flat," said Gordon. "He was far from neat -- miserable on meat -- so I kicked him out and that's that."
Hell's Kitchen's next fourth-season episode will air Tuesday, June 10 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox.
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