Sharon Stewart the second cut from 'Hell's Kitchen's fourth season
By Christopher Rocchio, 04/09/2008
Gordon Ramsay didn't have faith in Sharon Stewart's culinary capabilities, which is never a good sign.
As a result, the 31-year-old room-service chef from Las Vegas, NV was revealed to be the second culinary contestant eliminated from Hell's Kitchen's fourth-season during last night's broadcast of the Fox reality competition series.
"I don't think Gordon liked me from the start," opined Sharon after her ouster. "He just had the wrong image of me. But I'm not going to change anything about me. I'm not going to give up on my dream. I'll have my own restaurant one day. I'm a chef right now for a reason. I'm not going to give up."
"I dodged a bullet tonight," commented Bobby, a 37-year-old executive chef from Niagara Falls, NY. "I had this laid-back approach. But it's going to be a new Bobby. The four-star general's got to come out now."
While the contestants tried to sleep, they were instead woken up the next morning at 5:43AM by sous chefs Scott and Gloria. Once outside, Gordon explained they wasted so much food at the previous dinner service that now they'd have to pick all the food out of the garbage to fill two large cylinders.
"It was nasty," said Jen, a 24-year-old line cook from Chicago, IL, who gagged a couple times.
With the task over, Gordon told the contestants they should be "ashamed" of themselves for being so wasteful. They retreated to the showers before reconvening in the kitchen, where Gordon explained the rules for the next challenge. Each team would have 20 minutes to properly prep a halibut before cutting it into six-ounce portions. The team with the most portions that meet Gordon's standard would win.
Petrozza, a 47-year-old catering director from Charlotte, NC, took control of the filleting for the Blue Team and they finished with eight minutes to spare. Meanwhile the Red Team took their time.
"I was getting nervous because the guys were finished," said Sharon. "My hands were shaking. I was like, 'Okay, just let me cut this right and not cut myself.'"
"Sharon, she just don't know what she's doing," said Jen. "She needs a lot of coaching."
The Red Team worked until time expired and Gordon looked at their portions. Although they took longer, they finished with 41 correctly cut portions. While the Blue Team mangled several of their pieces -- and Gordon accused them of rushing it -- they also finished with 41 correctly cut portions. It was the first time ever in Hell's Kitchen history that a challenge ended in a tie.
Gordon told each team to select one individual from their squad to pick one of their portions, and the team that was closest to six ounces would win. The Red Team picked Corey, a 25-year-old private chef from Brooklyn, NY; while the Blue Team chose Ben, a 29-year-old electrician and former chef from Charlotte, NC.
Both picked a portion and they were weighed. The Blue Team's portion weighed 5.9 ounces and the Red Team's weighed 4.8 ounces -- handing the Blue Team the challenge victory.
"I felt more embarrassed than anyone because I was the one who chose the fish," opined Corey. "It sucks so bad. It's just depressing."
The Red Team would now be prepping all the halibut and making all the fish stock for the upcoming dinner service -- maximizing every portion. The Blue Team would be joining Gordon for an excursion on a 100-foot yacht. As the girls did prep work, the guys enjoyed their "day of decadence" on the yacht -- with a full spread of food and champagne. Gordon also offered some advice for the impending dinner service.
Back in the kitchen, Jen voiced her complaint that it was Corey's fault that the Red Team lost the challenge.
"Don't f**king call me out in front of everybody. It just makes her look stupid," said Corey. "I think her personality is just to blame others."
The next morning, both teams arrived in the kitchen bright and early to begin preparing for the night's dinner service. However Sharon was confusing recipes for the Red Team and constantly asking for advice.
"Our team has a problem now just with Sharon," said Christina, a 25-year-old culinary student from St. Louis, MO. "It puts us at a really big disadvantage." However Corey criticized Christina for being a "know-it-all."
Gordon asked Petrozza about the menu after the Blue Team struggled with it the first dinner service. He failed the test, and Gordon threw him out of the kitchen to read the menu. His station would be unmanned until he got his "s**t together," as Gordon put it.
Gordon then revealed for the dinner service, one member from each team would be assisting maitre 'd Jean-Philippe throughout the evening.
He chose Craig, a 30-year-old sous chef from Coram, NY, from the Blue Team and Rosann, a 33-year-old receptionist and former cook from Staten Island, NY, from the Red Team. Petrozza studied the menu, returned to the kitchen and was once again tested by Gordon. He struggled again and was sent back upstairs.
"You think that you're strong. You think that you're bullet proof. But not here," opined Petrozza as he smoked a cigarette. "I'm done. I'm done. In the words of Chef Ramsay, 'F**k me.' I'm done. I'm done."
Bobby then appeared and talked Petrozza down from the ledge, explaining that Gordon wanted to see him.
"I was feeling defeated. I was a shell of a man," explained Petrozza. "But I am going to press on hard and give every single thing I've got."
He then nailed the menu when tested by Gordon and joined the Blue Team in the kitchen.
Hell's Kitchen's second fourth-season dinner service then commenced. Craig delivered his first orders, and Gordon implored the Blue Team to communicate and perform. Rosann struggled and didn't deliver a ticket 37 minutes into service. Bobby's egg for the appetizer was criticized by Gordon, and Jason, a 29-year-old sous chef from Las Vegas, NV, was prematurely frying scallops. The two bickered.
Rosann finally delivered her first orders, and the Red Team got to work. The Blue Team's second appetizer attempt was a success and served. Meanwhile the Red Team's orders remained in the kitchen, with Christina criticized by her teammates for tasting too much.
"Her voice gets under my skin and I have to tune her out and keep going," commented Corey, whose appetizers were complimented by Gordon.
The Blue Team served all 48 of their appetizers and began on the entrees, but Gordon criticized Jason for his raw halibut while Petrozza's beef was cold. Craig tried to keep the Blue Team's diners happy but struck a customer with a chair while trying to move it. He had to apologize and explained he wasn't a "violent person." Apology accepted.
In the Red Team's kitchen, Sharon had raw meat touching cooked meat, and Gordon noticed.
"Every time Sharon screws up, if I have a fish on that ticket, then I screw up," opined Christina.
Gordon said Sharon was "scaring him" and called her the "female version of Hannibal Lecter" because her tongue was hanging out of her mouth as she worked. He told her to concentrate. Petrozza was complimented for the lamb being "beautifully cooked," and he appreciated it.
The Blue Team's entrees left the kitchen and received compliments from patrons. The Red Team's entrees also left the kitchen and were complimented. However Rosann was delaying orders for the Red Team and bore the brunt of Gordon's criticism.
The Blue Team started to have a communication breakdown and Ben described it as "chaos." Sharon and Christina also continued to struggle in the Red kitchen.
"You're not really a chef are you? You're just a showgirl with a big feather coming out of your ass," Gordon told Sharon.
Meanwhile the Blue Team served a customer raw fish, and the dinner service came to a premature end.
"Bad. Meltdown. Pathetic. Really pathetic," said Gordon once the restaurant was empty. "I studied the comment cards. The losing team are the ladies. The guys sent half of your entrees. Not brilliant -- but damn better than the women."
Gordon then revealed Corey was the "best of the worst," so she'd be nominating two of her fellow Red Team members for elimination.
"I don't think it's going to be difficult," commented Gordon on Corey's decision.
Jen was confident Sharon would be one of the Red Team nominees, however Rosann wasn't so sure since they've been friends since the start of the competition.
"The main person who sparked my attention, who I'm always worried about, is Sharon -- aka Barbie," said Jen. "She hasn't been able to execute nothing properly yet."
Christina said she didn't think Vanessa, a 31-year-old line cook from Bozeman, MT, or Shayna, a 28-year-old catering-company owner from Buffalo, NY, would be nominated. Corey was surprised nobody had approached her about trying to convince her why they should stay.
The teams then reconvened in the kitchen and Corey delivered her nominations. She nominated Christina for "strategic reasons" and because she's been treating her "like a dumb blonde."
"If she's really that smart, she might want to take a deeper look at me -- past my appearances -- and examine what I have inside of me," said Corey about Christina.
Corey then nominated Jen "for personal reasons," adding she's a distraction.
"Oh f**k me!" said Gordon.
He had Christina and Jen step forward and asked both to plead their case. Christina apologized for being "condescending" to Corey, while Jen said it was "unfortunate" Gordon doesn't get to see how hard she works.
"Before I make my decision, there's something I'd like to say," said Gordon. "This is one of the most important prizes ever -- an executive chef position in my own restaurant. I am not just going to give this job to someone I do not believe in. There's someone here that I just don't believe in. So the person leaving Hell's Kitchen is Sharon."
"Two services, you haven't convinced me you can cook," said Gordon to Sharon before booting her out of the kitchen. "Corey, I appreciate your strategy -- but I have a conscience. In good conscience, I could not keep Sharon."
Both Christina and Jen said they were now gunning for Corey before retreating to the dorms.
"Sharon clearly showed great attention to detail," said Gordon. "Unfortunately it wasn't for her cooking -- it was for her makeup."
Hell's Kitchen's next fourth-season episode will air Tuesday, April 15 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox.
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