Stacey Slichta becomes the first contestant cut from 'Hell's Kitchen'
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/02/2010
Stacey Slichta, a 38-year-old private chef from Buffalo, NY who currently resides in Studio City, CA, became the first culinary contestant eliminated from Hell's Kitchen's seventh season during last night's premiere broadcast on Fox.
"I'm used to cooking for people at home and running the show," opined Stacey after her ouster. "I completely screwed up. I screwed up. I took accountability for it, ands kudos to me for standing up."
Hell's Kitchen's seventh season began with the 16 culinary contestants arriving in Los Angeles and traveling to the Hell's Kitchen restaurant, which is also where they would live for the duration of the competition.
They were immediately met by Gordon Ramsay and members of the media -- with Gordon guaranteeing that the seventh-season cast would complete the first dinner service. He then sent the contestants into the kitchen to begin working on their signature dishes, which they'd have 45 minutes to create.
Once time expired, Gordon called on a nameless contestant, a "mom and cookbook author," as the first to present her dish of veal scallopini. He thought it was delicious and proceeded to make out with her before revealing it was actually his wife in disguise.
"The point I was trying to make is I don't give two f--ks about how much experience you've got," said Gordon. "What I do care about is who has the magic, who has it."
The real contestants then began to present their signature dishes, as it was the all-female Red Team versus the all-male Blue Team.
Salvatore Coppola, a 35-year-old pizzeria chef from Monte Di Procida, Italy who currently resides in Laurel Springs, NJ, was the first present for the Blue Team versus Maria Torrisi, a 24-year-old kitchen supervisor from Scranton, PA, for the Red Team. Maria's pan-seared filet mignon won, as Gordon was upset Salvatore didn't make his own pasta.
Benjamin Knack, a 33-year-old culinary instructor from Elmont, NY who currently resides in Malden, MA, went next for the Blue Team against Holli Ugalde, a 24-year-old banquet chef from San Bernardino, CA, for the Red Team. The Blue Team won the point as Gordon liked Benjamin's lobster and pasta dish over Holli's banana leaf-wrapped halibut.
With the score tied, neither Scott Hawley, a 32-year-old executive chef from Modesto, CA who currently resides in New York, NY for the Blue Team, nor Jamie Bisoulis, a 26-year-old sous chef from Chicago, IL for the Red Team, received a point.
Mikey Termini, a 29-year-old line cook from Santa Cruz, CA who currently resides in Kihei, Maui, HI, presented his brie stuffed with lobster for the Blue Team while Siobhan Allgood, a 25-year-old pub executive chef from Rockledge, PA who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA, presented her seared ahi tuna wrapped in mint leaves for the Red Team. Gordon liked both and the score remained tied at two.
Stacey then presented her fish for the Red Team while Jay Santos, a 32-year-old executive chef from Melrose, MA who currently resides in Medford, MA, presented his steak for the Blue Team. Gordon preferred Jay's dish and the Blue Team took a 3-2 lead.
Fran Klier, a 44-year-old catering chef from Rockville Centre, NY for the Red Team, then faced off against Jason Ellis, a 37-year-old personal chef from Greenville, SC who currently resides in Suwanee, GA for the Blue Team. Gord liked Jason's dish and the Blue Team extended their lead to 4-2.
Ed Battaglia, a 28-year-old high school cooking teacher from Burlington, NJ who currently resides in Edgewater Park, NJ, presented fish for the Blue Team while Autumn Lewis, a 29-year-old personal chef from Chicago, IL who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA, presented chicken for the Red Team. Gordon liked Autumn's dish, making the score 4-3.
In the final round, Andrew Forester, a 28-year-old farmer from West Babylon, NY who currently resides in Wake Forest, NC on the Blue Team, faced off against Nilka Hendricks, a 28-year-old line cook from Glen Cove, NY who currently resides in West Hempstead, NY on the Red Team.
Andrew expressed his love for eating raw meat however his steak tartare failed to impress Gordon. Nilka's buffalo chicken was considered way too hot by Gordon, who awarded no points. The Blue Team won by a 4-3 margin and Gordon said the teams would learn their rewards and punishments later.
"The winner of Hell's Kitchen this year will be the head chef at one of my restaurants at the most amazing, historic Savoy hotel in London, England," revealed Gordon.
That night, the contestants studied for the next night's dinner service. They received help in the form of video tutorials from Gordon, which they were originally grateful for. However the tutorials -- which began with a fire alarm sounding -- continued throughout the night and into the early morning hours, meaning the contestants got very little sleep.
In addition, the Red Team learned their punishment was to make the Blue Team breakfast in the morning -- which they begrudgingly did.
That night, Hell's Kitchen's first seventh-season dinner service commenced -- with the contestants cooking some of the show's signature dishes. In addition, Gordon assigned Jay from the Blue Team and Nilka from the Red Team to prepare Caesar salads table side.
Stacey was on the fish station and boasted about how her food was "amazing," however she failed to season the scallops. Once she did, Gordon criticized her for putting too much curry on and also for serving them raw and stone cold.
"I thought it was going to be a piece of cake, making scallops," she opined. "But apparently it's pretty darn hard."
Salvatore was also criticized for burning the appetizers twice in a row before Gordon gave him the task of dressing salads. Fran's potatoes also didn't meet Gordon's standards and she did a poor job communicating.
"Fran just crumbled and it really was disappointing to see that," commented Siobhan.
Gordon then called Fran "pathetic" when she revealed she was afraid of him, and Autumn tried to give the Red Team a pep talk. In the Blue Team's kitchen, Benjamin listened to Gordon's instructions to taste what he was cooking, however he continued to use the spoon after putting it in his mouth.
Fran worked on lobster risotto, however Gordon needed to tell her she was instead using crab.
"Yeah I made a mistake, but give me a break," she opined.
Jamie's first entree in the Red Team's kitchen was cold, and when Gordon chastised the team, Maria laughed.
"There's nothing right now to laugh about," warned Gordon.
Maria agreed but laughed again in her response.
"No she's laughing again," said Gordon, who proceeded to throw Maria, Jamie and Fran out of the kitchen and up to the dorms. Nilka was called from the dining area to return to the kitchen.
Maria, Jamie and Fran were upset about being kicked out and fumed about it in the dorms.
In the Blue Team's kitchen, Gordon called for the halibut Mikey was cooking. While Mikey thought it wasn't ready, Scott implored him to send it up anyway -- causing Gordon to rip into Mikey for serving raw halibut.
"Scott was making me look bad," said Mikey.
In the Red Team's kitchen, Autumn commented that she felt the ladies worked better after the three got kicked out -- and she was right, as diners were enjoying the team's entrees.
Benjamin and Salvatore were finishing the appetizers in the Blue Team kitchen, however Benjamin failed to put the rice in the risotto and Salvatore was criticized for putting cold food in cold pans. Gordon threw them out of the kitchen and up to the dorms with the ladies.
Stacey was also criticized in the Red Team's kitchen for falling behind.
"I haven't been on the line for a long time and I had no idea what I was walking into," she said.
When she told Gordon she was unsure how long it was going to take to get her entree out, he threw her out of the kitchen. Mikey's halibut was once again blasted for being raw, and he was also thrown out of the kitchen.
"What is going on!?" yelled Gordon.
Both kitchens were now stalled two hours into dinner service and Gordon gave them a pep talk to finish, combining both teams. The strategy worked, as both teams were able to successfully finish the dinner service while working together with Ed in the lead.
"We did fulfill our objective, we served an completed a fully-booked restaurant," said Gordon. "But trust me, I am not ready to celebrate because we shouldn't."
Gordon then revealed that it was "clear" that the Red Team lost the service and would have to nominate two members for possible elimination.
"I definitely screwed up, but as far as my performance, it wasn't the best and it wasn't the worst," said Stacey in a confessional. "It was right in the middle of the road and I'm absolutely going to fight to stay."
The ladies discussed who they would nominate, with Fran and Stacey being singled out by Autumn. Fran said she would nominate Autumn for not being a "team player."
Back in the kitchen, Autumn revealed the Red Team nominated Stacey and Fran.
"I don't think I did the worse today," pleaded Fran. "I don't even know why I was sent upstairs."
When Gordon told her it was because she couldn't tell the difference between a lobster and a crab, Fran said she was a kosher chef and is still learning.
"I admitted I completely screwed up, let my team down and completely and utterly let you down," said Stacey. "I'm a team player and I have nowhere to go but up from here."
Gordon then eliminated Stacey.
"It's a good thing Stacey is a private chef, because her food isn't good enough for the public," said Gordon.
Hell's Kitchen's next seventh-season episode will air Tuesday, June 8 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox.