Suzanne Schlicht eliminated from 'Hell's Kitchen's sixth season
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/30/2009
Suzanne Schlicht had more than enough opportunities to impress Gordon Ramsay before she finally ran out of chances.
The 24-year-old sous chef from Milwaukee, WI who currently resides in Las Vegas, NV was eliminated from Hell's Kitchen during last night's sixth-season broadcast of the Fox reality competition series. Suzanne was cut following her fourth time on the chopping block.
"This experience has been very enlightening and I learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses," said Suzanne after her ouster.
The next morning, the five remaining chefs met Gordon in the kitchen, where he explained the rules for their first individual challenge.
Each contestant would have 45 minutes to cook an entree that would be judged solely on appearance by the editorial staff of Bon Appetit magazine. The top two dishes based on visual appeal would then be tasted by Gordon and Bon Appetit editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild, who would determine the winner.
The magazine's editorial staff decided the Caribbean sea bass dish prepared by Kevin Cottle, a 35-year-old executive chef who currently resides in Middleton, CT, and the John Dory dish prepared by Ariel Contreras, a 27-year-old sous chef who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, were the most visually appealing.
However Gordon and Barbara thought both dishes tasted wonderful, so they called the challenge a tie. For their reward, Kevin and Ariel joined Gordon and Barbara at Santa Monica's Shutters on the Beach Hotel for a Bon Appetit photo shoot and would also have their entrees featured in that night's dinner service.
For their punishment, the other three contestants -- Suzanne; Tennille Middleton, a 28-year-old executive chef from Hampton Roads, VA who currently resides in Fairfax, VA; and Dave Levey, a 32-year-old executive chef from Chester, NJ who currently resides in San Diego, CA -- had to pick-up trash on a stretch of highway before cleaning the outside of the Hell's Kitchen restaurant building.
All of the work aggravated Dave's broken left wrist.
"My wrist started to swell up," said Dave. "It now feels like it wants to crack the plaster in half it's so swollen. I don't know what to do."
Upstairs in the dorms, Kevin saw Dave's re-aggravated injury as an opportunity to eliminate another contestant.
"Dave, he truly poses a threat to me winning," explained Kevin. "I want him to leave this competition."
Not surprisingly, Dave saw Kevin's thinly-veiled speech about being healthy in the long run for what it really was.
"I have to watch my back," said Dave. "Everybody is hoping that my broken wrist is going to send me home. If they want to try and drive me into the ground, they can keep trying because they're not even close."
The dinner service then commenced, and it got off to a rocky start. Suzanne's scallops were burnt and Tennille -- who had previously been a wizard when it came to risotto -- overcooked several orders of it, much to Gordon's dismay. He eventually realized that it was Kevin who overcooked the rice earlier in the day that was causing the risotto to not be right.
"Kevin made a terrible error, but Tennille should have picked up right away that the risotto was f--king s--t," said Dave. "Shame on Kevin, shame on Tennille."
Kevin admitted he made a mistake, but it wasn't enough for Gordon as he continued to berate him for it.
The kitchen eventually finished the appetizer orders and moved onto entrees, and it didn't go much better. Ariel's chicken was raw and Suzanne had problems cooking Ariel's John Dory dish, as Gordon said it was more raw than sushi.
"These girls just can't cook," said Kevin.
Tables were receiving half orders due to all the delays in the kitchen, and the contestants tried their best to pull it together. However Ariel rushed the lamb so it wouldn't screw up the already-prepared garnish. Gordon thought the lamb was sub par and took Ariel out of the kitchen.
"Would you send that if you were standing in Araxi?" Gordon asked her, a reference to the sixth season's grand prize.
"No chef," she replied.
Gordon then berated all of the contestants for their lack of timing.
"Either you get it together right now or f--k off!" he told them.
The contestants then completed the dinner service and it mercifully came to an end.
"That was one of the worst services in a long time," said Gordon. "None of you came together as a team, so do it now and come up with two individuals up for elimination."
Each of the contestants offered their nominees, and when Suzanne's name came up, she said she was "on top of her game" and had a "beautiful" service.
"I don't believe I should go home tonight," boasted Suzanne. "I devoted my life to winning this competition."
Ariel and Suzanne were then revealed as the consensus nominees. While it was Ariel's second consecutive week on the chopping block, it was Suzanne's fourth overall time being nominated.
"Tonight I was focused on solid techniques, standard of food and cooking things to perfection," said Suzanne.
"You were focused on a lot of good things, but you accomplished nothing," responded Gordon.
"I believe I'm a better chef than Ariel," added Suzanne.
"I know I made mistakes," said Ariel. "But I do believe I am a better chef. I want this very badly and I just hope you give me one more chance to show you that."
"Honestly, truthfully, you both should go," said Gordon before giving Suzanne the boot.
"I've given you so many chances to fight back," continued Gordon. "But the last three or four services, you haven't been at your best and it's only going to get harder."
After Suzanne left, Gordon let Tennille know she also dodged a bullet.
"You could have been up there," he told her.
Hell's Kitchen's next sixth-season episode will air Tuesday, October 6 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox.
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