Hell's Kitchen 7 (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Season 7 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen aired on the Fox Network from June 1, 2010 to August 10, 2010. The winner, Holli Ugalde, was promised the head chef position at Chef Ramsay's newly renovated restaurant at the Savoy Hotel in London. Filming had concluded on February 2009, 16 months prior to seventh season premiere, when the hotel reopened in 2010, however, Ugalde was not given the job. Ramsay stated that the American Ugalde could not work in London due to visa problems, but Ugalde called that explanation an excuse, saying, "I don't know if they even applied for my visa."
Sous chef Scott Leibfried returned for the Blue Team, and newcomer Andi Van Willigan from Santa Monica, California became the sous chef for the Red Team.
Overview: At the start of this episode, Chef Ramsay and the contestants introduced themselves to members of the press, with Chef Ramsay promising the media that the first dinner service will be completed. This is in stark contrast to previous seasons of the show, where the first service in every new season invariably ended in disaster. To help meet his goal, Chef Ramsay gives the contestants a series of video demonstrations on how to cook various dishes. However, these tutorials always began with a fire alarm siren, which sounded several times in the early morning hours while they slept.
Signature Dishes / Team Challenge: Each team member cooks their signature dish for Chef Ramsay's approval. The team with the most approved dishes wins. Prior to the start of the challenge, Ramsay sprang a surprise on the chefs by asking a female chef to step forward, and after tasting her dish he started passionately kissing her. The "contestant" then removed her disguise, revealing herself as Ramsay's wife, Tana (and disappointing some of the women, who thought they were being given an extra team member over the men for this season). In the actual challenge, Maria, Benjamin, Siobhan, Jay, Jason and Autumn all impressed Chef Ramsay with their dishes. Mikey's dish was felt to be badly presented by Chef Ramsay, but he enjoyed it enough to award the blue team a point. Andrew, Fran and Scott's dishes were deemed to be bland. The same couldn't be said about Nilka's dish, which was far too hot because she had used half a bottle of Tabasco sauce. Ed's dish was too salty. Salvatore was accused of being lazy by using pre-made pasta and then failing to cook it properly. Stacey's fish was overcooked. Holli's execution of her dish was disastrous, leading Chef Ramsay to throw the plate in the trash. The low point was Jamie's dish, which Chef Ramsay refused to taste due to finding a toothpick in it. The final score was 4-3 in favor of the blue team.
Award / Punishment: No award was given for the blue team; the red team cooks and serves the blue team breakfast in bed.
Service: Jay and Nilka were both assigned to prepare a tableside chicken caesar salad for the diners. Despite the usefulness of the video demonstrations, mistakes began from the very start by both teams including the usual inability to cook food, Fran mistaking crab for lobster, and even Benjamin tasting food and then continuing to use the spoon to cook with. Eventually, Chef Ramsay started sending chefs back up to the dorm, starting with Fran for her troubles on appetizers, along with Jamie for undercooking the entrees, and Maria for being disrespectful towards Ramsay. Benjamin and Salvatore were also sent up to the dorm later on, also for trouble on the appetizer section, followed by Stacey and Mikey, who both continually served up undercooked fish. However, as mentioned at the beginning of the episode, Chef Ramsay was determined to fulfil his promise to the media, so he got Jay and Nilka back into the kitchen and combined the remaining half of the red team with the five remaining members of the blue team in the blue kitchen to finish the remainder of service. Ed was able to lead the team and finish the first dinner service.
Nominees for elimination: While Chef Ramsay noted that both teams had terrible services, he deemed the blue team to have been slightly better before the teams were merged, and declared them the winners. The red team was told to nominate two contestants for elimination; the team nominated Fran for being one of the first three to get thrown out of the service, and for mistaking crab for lobster (her excuse was that she was a kosher cook). Stacey was the other nominee for being confused on the fish station.
Elimination: Stacey was the first chef to leave Hell's Kitchen.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"It's a good thing Stacey's a private chef, her food wasn't good enough for the public."
Team Challenge: Shortly before 5 AM, the contestants were awakened by a sounding alarm clock, amplified with a microphone, and were taken to the kitchen for the next team challenge: each two-person team must cook four egg dishes in four different styles"soft-boiled, poached, scrambled and sunny side up"in five minutes. Siobhan, the odd chef out on the red team was told to cook alone, but Autumn decided that Siobhan should work in a trio with her and Fran, which resulted in most of their eggs being disqualified by Chef Ramsay when they told him about this. The blue team won this challenge.
Award / Punishment: The blue team takes a helicopter tour of Los Angeles and enjoy a champagne lunch with Chef Ramsay and Jean-Philippe on top one of the skyscrapers. The red team take a delivery of tuna and prep it for the next night's service. During their punishment, Autumn continued to try to dictate how the team should work, angering her team-mates.
Service: Scott and Fran were selected to prepare a table-side tuna tartar for the diners. Scott did well, while Fran got lost in the dining room because she didn't understand the floor plan. The blue team got off to a bad start, as Mikey took over 40 minutes to get his first risotto out, and even that was sent back straight away due to the rice being undercooked. Later, Jason undercooked some chicken and attempted to solve the problem by pan-searing it, which infuriated Ramsay when he discovered what Jason was doing. The red team initially coped better, despite Autumn putting too much salt in the team's water pots, and got onto the entrees before the blue team had even served their first appetizer. After that though, the red team suffered a communication breakdown, as none of the chefs were able to time their orders correctly; in particular, Nilka had a lot of trouble getting the garnishes out, while Jamie kept overcooking the fish. The blue team recovered afterwards and the teams both completed the service at roughly the same time.
Withdrawal: During the service, Chef Ramsay threw Andrew (who was talking to the garnishes) out of the kitchen in front of the customers following an argument, for making too many mistakes and for being openly disrespectful towards him. Andrew then began to leave the building, thinking that he was thrown out of the competition. Jean-Philippe tried to talk Andrew back into the contest, saying that it was Chef Ramsay's way of testing the contestants (like when he did the same thing with Andrea in Season 5, who eventually fought back. However, unlike Andrea, he was insulted and yet, he was not asked to leave the building through the main entrance), with Jean-Phillipe saying that many people would like to be in his shoes to compete. Andrew, however, took off his shoes, saying they could have them, and left the competition, making him the second chef to leave Hell's Kitchen. It was mentioned that Andrew's voluntary departure was the second of its kind throughout the history of Hell's Kitchen (the previous was by Jeff in the third episode of Season 1).
Nominees for elimination: Despite both teams finishing the service, Chef Ramsay was not happy with their performances and declared that there was no winning team, nor a best of the worst. The two teams were both instructed to put one member up for elimination. While some of the blue team members called into question Salvatore's skills and experience, they quickly nominated Jason for elimination. The red team initially looked to be in favor of nominating Nilka, but they ultimately decided to nominate Autumn on the grounds that she was not a team player and had been responsible for the over-salted water that held the team up at the start. However, Chef Ramsay questioned the wisdom of the red team's nomination, leading that team to ultimately decide that Jamie was the worst cook.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay, questioning the wisdom of the blue team's decision as well, overrode all of the nominations. So he decided go off the board and eliminate Mikey, for struggling on two straight dinner services which made him the third chef to leave Hell's Kitchen.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:
Andrew: No formal reason was given for Andrew's departure, but Chef Ramsay called him a joke to the industry before he left. He also didn't receive the full coat hanging and picture burning sequence, although his jacket and burned photo can be seen while Chef Ramsay is hanging up Mikey's jacket.
Mikey:"Mikey was all about appearances. Unfortunately for him, it didn't appear he could cook."
Team Challenge: In the Team Communication challenge, teams must serve lunch to members of the University of Southern California Marching Band and Cheerleaders. The Red Team won this challenge in a very close finish.
Award / Punishment: The Red team join Chef Ramsay and his family for a soccer game at the beach. The Blue Team don yellow jumpsuits and head to a portion of the Los Angeles River to clean it of garbage.
Service: Before service has begun, Fran had burned a portion of her hand while carrying a large pot of hot water, and she refused to see the medic, thinking it would slow the team down if she had to have her hand bandaged. Holli and Salvatore were chosen to act as assistants to Jean-Phillipe. While Holli had little trouble taking orders for the Red Team, Salvatore's inability to write an order properly stalled the Blue team and had Chef Ramsay screaming at him until Salvatore nearly walked out of Hell's Kitchen at one point. Unlike Andrew in the previous episode however, Jean-Phillipe was able to talk Salvatore back into the game, although Salvatore said that if the Blue team lost, he would nominate himself for elimination. Despite a slow start, the blue team's service ran more smoothly when they got onto the entrees, thanks to Benjamin's strong performance on their meat station. Meanwhile, Fran was increasingly suffering from her burn, and Ramsay forced her to seek medical attention after he noticed her arguing with Autumn over the situation, while Jamie was having problems with the garnish station by burning the carrots and mashed potatoes. Siobhan tried to take over Jamie's station, but only succeeded in losing track of her own fish station and so served up several undercooked entrees. Nonetheless, after a dinner service lasting more than four hours, both teams were able to complete service.
Nominees for elimination: The blue team were named the winners, though Chef Ramsay told them that they had Benjamin to thank for their victory. The red team were declared the losers and had to nominate two people for elimination. They chose Jamie and Fran.
Elimination: Jamie was the fourth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen. While everyone else on the red team thought Fran had been the worst cook in their kitchen that night, her impassioned plea to remain in the contest impressed Chef Ramsay, who felt that the fact that Jamie had let Siobhan take over her station proved that Jamie was a bad leader and would never make it as a head chef.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"To be a great chef you need creativity, leadership qualities, and passion. Jamie had passion."
Overview: After the elimination sequence, Chef Ramsay pulls aside Salvatore and expresses his concerns about the latter's abilities while Salvatore promises to fight back. To that end, early the next day, Salvatore has Scott give him some pointers regarding cooking some of the dishes.
Team Challenge: Similar to Season 6, each chef rolled a die which had letters on its twelve sides. Upon seeing the letter, the chef had ten seconds to call out an ingredient starting with that letter (unlike the previous season, in which there was no time limit on calling out an ingredient). The men went first. Scott rolled H and went for Halibut, Jason rolled E and went for endive, Ed rolled S and went for salsify, Benjamin rolled C and went for crab, Jay rolled P and went for peas and Salvatore rolled B and went for bacon. For the women, Fran rolled B and went for beets, Nilka rolled S and went for shallots, Autumn rolled M and went for mangoes, Siobhan rolled H and went for ham, Maria rolled T and went for turnips and Holli rolled D and went with duck. The Blue team wins after Chef Ramsay notes the duck fat used in the Red Team's dish is raw; Ramsay also disliked the salsify chips that the blue team's dish was served with, but felt that the raw fat was a more serious mistake.
Award / Punishment: The blue team were told that they were going skydiving (much to the dismay of Jason, who is afraid of heights), but they discovered that they were going to be in a vertical wind tunnel for the day. The red team cleaned the entryway to Hell's Kitchen and prepped both kitchens for the night's dinner service. The stress of the prep work caused Maria to break down crying and leave the kitchen, but after talking with Sous Chef Andi she decided to return to the kitchen.
Service: Tonight's service includes numerous celebrities as well as special guests who will be using the chef's tables during this service. The Blue team's special guests are Debi Mazar and her husband, who is also a chef himself. The Red team's special guests are the host of Kevin Frazier from Entertainment Tonight and his wife. Despite a slow start on Fish, Salvatore on the Blue Team is able to excel in cooking most of his dishes perfectly. Nilka also excels for the Red Team on the Meat station. On the Red Team, Siobhan mistakes lobster for crab twice on her appetizers as the bins were mislabelled during prep, while Autumn has some issues handling the fish using tongs instead of a spatula, and annoyed Chef Ramsay by not seeming to care when she dropped a piece of salmon onto one of her burners, ruining the salmon. On the blue team, Scott tried to control the service by telling other chefs on what to do, only to have issues with his meat as most of his dishes end up undercooked. Ed also had some issues with improperly cooked mashed potatoes. However, the service was considered to be an improvement from the previous night as it took little more than half the time of the previous service, and as a result Chef Ramsay named the teams as joint-winners, this was the first time since season 4 that both teams have won.
Nominees for elimination: Ramsay appointed Nilka and Salvatore as the best on their respective teams. Nilka nominated Autumn while Salvatore nominated Scott for his issues with the meat station, despite Scott helping Salvatore prepare for this service.
Elimination: Despite Chef Ramsay calling Autumn "soul-less" and Scott "shit on a shovel," neither person was eliminated.
Team Change: Instead of sending either one of them home, Chef Ramsay tells Autumn and Scott to take both of their jackets off and informed Autumn that she'll be working with the Blue team while Scott will be working with the Red team.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"After our best service yet, I've decided to give Autumn and Scott another chance. But they better excel or they'll both be gone."
Team Challenge: Each chef had to catch a pig in a pen to get an ingredient listed on the pigs collar, totaling 3 pork items and 3 side items. The teams then had to make up three dishes, each with pork as the primary ingredient and one further ingredient. The red team got ham hock, tenderloin, blood sausage, apple, prunes and sweet potato. The blues got bacon, pork chop, loin chop, cabbage, pinto beans and bok choi. The red team got off to a disastrous start, as Ramsay spat out their first dish (blood sausage and prunes) and said it was disgusting, resulting in an easy point for the blue team's roasted pork loin. The red team earned a point on the next round, as Ramsay enjoyed their fennel-encrusted pork tenderloin and thought the blue team's honey-glazed bacon was far too sweet. On the final round, Maria made a critical mistake and served up a sweet potato soup, only using hamhock as a garnish, which violated the main rule of the challenge (namely that the pork had to be the main ingredient). Ramsay sarcastically congratulated Maria on "screwing" her team and named the blue team as the winners.
Award / Punishment: The blue team took a day off at Glen Ivy Hot Springs Spa. The red team had to go to the pen to give the pigs a bath.
Pre-Service: Chef Ramsay announced that Hell's Kitchen was going to be hosting a barbecue night. During prep, Nilka landed herself in hot water with Ramsay when she fried several pieces of chicken hours before Hell's Kitchen was due to open, and Nilka also appeared to sulk after being told off about the incident.
Service: The service had two servings (the first time in which there were two hostings since Season 5, when Hell's Kitchen was turned into a steak house), with the teams taking turns in cooking the menu and then working tables in the dining room. While Fran got the red team off to a good start on the appetizers, the team experienced numerous difficulties while cooking the entrées, not helped by infighting among the team members, while the blue team did well in the dining room despite further difficulties caused by Salvatore's bad handwriting. Chef Ramsay got annoyed at Salvatore and rhetorically asked him whether he'd ever been to school, only to be taken aback when Salvatore revealed that since he had started working in the U.S. as soon as he moved over from Italy, he had never been to an American school and, as a result, never formally learned to read or write in English. Upon this revelation, Chef Ramsay stopped criticising his writing. When the teams swapped, the blue team proved to be little better at cooking the menu than their counterparts were; Jay was strong on the appetizers, but Salvatore got confused on the garnishes, Autumn undercooked some of her entrées, and Jason got into a heated argument with Chef Ramsay after he tried to save time by frying chicken and French fries in the same basket. The red team were significantly worse in the dining room however, being slow to get orders into the kitchen. Maria, in particular got a lot of her tickets wrong, and took an order from a table that Holli had already taken the order for.
Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay named the red team the losers; both the teams had poor services in the kitchen, but the blues won out overall based on their performance in the dining room. Fran was named the best of the worst for her strong performance on the appetizers, and initially decided to nominate Maria and Scott. Scott talked Fran out of this however, and persuaded her to nominate Nilka (who had the strongest service after Fran) instead, in order to ensure that Maria went home. Chef Ramsay immediately saw through this ploy however and sent Nilka back in line, calling up Scott to take her place.
Elimination: Maria was the fifth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen. After Maria left, Chef Ramsay told Fran to follow her instincts when given a responsibility.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Maria was in over her head. On garnish she was lost and her team paid the cost. That's why her life in Hell's Kitchen is dead."
Team Challenge: The challenge was to make meals out of the five mother sauces (Hollandaise, Béchamel, Demi-glace, Velouté, and Tomato) while also not reusing any of the other twenty ingredients given to them for use. The blue team worked well together; on the red team Nilka, who was still angry at being nominated in the previous episode, took most of the ingredients without first consulting her teammates. To judge the dishes, Chef Ramsay called on the help of his wife and mother. Fran and Nilka won points for the red team, while Ed and Benjamin got points for the blue team. However, because Siobhan and Jay both grossly undercooked their dishes and failed to earn a point when they faced off, the final score was tied at 2-2. Ultimately, Ramsay decided to award an extra point to the blue team for Jason's dish, which had lost out to Nilka's dish earlier, but Ramsay considered to be the best of the dishes that did not earn a point (Holli's dish was also well received, but she misidentified her main ingredient as halibut when she had used seabass). Therefore, with a score of 3 to 2, the blue team was victorious.
Award / Punishment: The blue team went to the Ye Olde King's Head British Pub in Santa Monica, California. Each member of the blue team also received a set of premium pots and pans, compliments of Chef Ramsay. The red team was punished by cleaning and preparing both kitchens. During the punishment Siobhan suffered an allergic reaction to the cleaning products and had to sit out the remainder of the punishment, while Nilka was angry at Chef Ramsay's decision, feeling that the red team should have been named winners because she had cooked the best dish.
Service: Hell's Kitchen hosted family night (the first time in which family night was hosted was in Season 4), adding a kids menu consisting of dishes such as chicken fingers and spaghetti. The blue team initially suffered from Salvatore cooking only one portion of risotto when two were on order, and then lying to Chef Ramsay about having done so. This caused Ramsay to furiously declare him untrustworthy, telling him that "Working with a chef that tells lies is ten thousand times worse than working with a chef that can't cook." Other than that, the blue team's service went largely without incident; in particular, Benjamin emerged as a strong leader. The red team continued to struggle, getting off to a bad start when Nilka undercooked the risotto, and no-one on the team knew who was supposed to be cooking the spaghetti appetizer. Fran overcooked the scallops, while Scott lost track of his orders and served up raw wellingtons. The final straw came when Scott served up chicken and beef that were both burnt, and Chef Ramsay sent all of the red chefs out of the kitchen while he, Sous Chef Scott and Sous Chef Andi completed the red service alone and without further incident.
Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay named the red team as the losers, saying that they had delivered the worst service he had ever seen in his life, and told them to come up with two nominees for elimination. When asked who the nominees were, Fran nominated Scott and then revealed that she was the second nominee, but admitted that she wasn't actually sure why she was nominated and thought Siobhan should be nominated. Chef Ramsay asked the team if they could at least agree who their strongest member was, but Scott and Nilka both claimed to be the strongest and started arguing furiously with each other, and Fran soon joined in as well. Dismayed by the complete lack of team harmony, Ramsay took matters into his own hands and called forward Scott, Fran and Siobhan.
Elimination: Scott was the sixth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen. He interrupted Siobhan's explanation of why she should stay in order to launch a personal attack on her, which didn't impress Chef Ramsay, and when asked to justify why he should stay, he started bragging at length about how he was the best cook on either team. Ramsay rapidly lost patience, and interrupted Scott in mid-sentence to tell Fran and Siobhan to get back in line, and then he finally eliminated Scott.
Team Change: Benjamin was told by Chef Ramsay to fill in Scott's spot on the Red Team.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"If Scott could cook as well as he talks, he'd be the winner of Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately for him, he can't."
Team Challenge: Both teams cooked meals for a 50th wedding anniversary. They both had to remake and modernize the three dishes that the wedding couple had at their wedding reception 50 years ago. The challenge ended in a tie, so Chef Ramsay broke the deadlock, declaring the Red Team as the winner as Chef Ramsay thought that the Red Team's dishes have an edge over the Blue Team's.
Award / Punishment: The Red Team put on some 50's clothes and went to a 50's style diner. The Blue Team had to decorate the dining room for the 50th anniversary reception being held tomorrow night.
Service: During prep Jay cut his finger to the bone, he was later fine and went back into the kitchen. Ed and Nilka served Steak Diane table side. Red team won the challenge so they served the guests of honor. The cake on the blue team made almost fell over but was saved in time. Salvatore struggled on garnish station as he was not communicating with his teammates. On the Red Team, Benjamin sent raw crab cakes and then overcooked one's later. He then flushed out all communication between him and the red team. Holli sent overcooked duck and raw chicken. Fran then struggled to keep up on the garnish station. However, both kitchens completed their 50th wedding anniversary dinner service. Chef Ramsay congratulated everyone on giving 110% effort.
Nominees for elimination: The Red team were declared the losers, despite improving their performance, and initially nominated Fran and Holli. After further discussion however, the team members changed their minds and decided to nominate Fran and Siobhan instead.
Elimination: After briefly speaking with Fran and Siobhan, Chef Ramsay told them to get back in line and announced that while the red team hadn't won the service, no-one from the team would be eliminated since they had improved their performance by such a large degree. Instead, Chef Ramsay decided to go off the board and told Salvatore to leave Hell's Kitchen, making him the second chef to leave the competition despite being on the winning team (as happened with Carol from Season 5). Chef Ramsay said Salvatore's time had run out as he had only one good service in seven services in total.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Salvatore had a big heart. Too bad he couldn't cook with it."
Team Challenge: Each person had to make a gourmet sandwich, with Chef Ramsay checking everybody's ability to be innovative. They had 30 minutes to complete the challenge. Because the red team had one more person than the Blue team, they had to choose the worst sandwich on their team to sit out. The red team chose Siobhan to sit out, much to her dismay. The score ended in a tie, so Ramsay used Siobhan's sandwich to declare a winner. However, the blue team won, because Ramsay said that Siobhan's sandwich should've been picked over Fran's which featured soggy bread.
Award / Punishment: The Blue Team was flown in a private jet for wine tasting which eventually led to both Ed and Autumn getting drunk, giving them hangovers heading into the dinner service. The Red Team had to shuck peanuts and grind them into peanut butter.
Post Award / Punishment: The blue team returned extremely drunk, especially Ed, who went naked in front of Holli, Jay and Siobhan. This affected the next day's service, as they were hung over. Holli also became drunk, but suffered no ill effects.
Service: While Fran was inconsistent with her risottos, Jason and Jay struggled with communication and overcooked the scallops and sent an under-salted and raw risotto out. Autumn struggled with the garnish station. Siobhan under-seasoned scallops and argued with Ramsay, causing him to send her out to the bar and eat her mistake. When she came back Benjamin took over her station and angrily told her to stay on the dessert station when she threw some of his scallops out. An angry customer argued with chef Ramsay after being sent undercooked meat. Nilka then sends up raw chicken. Ed then struggles with the meat station, and blue team suffers more communication problems. After Ed sends raw duck, Ramsay kicks the blue team out. Fran continued her downward spiral on the appetizers, leading Ramsay to kick the red team out as well. Chef Ramsay announced there were no winners and told both team to each select two nominees.
Nominees for elimination: Since both teams had to put up two members, the discussion for the Blue Team centered on that nights' performance solely, and Ed's raw duck and Autumn's many mistakes led Jay to put them up for elimination. As for the Red Team, Siobhan and Fran were chosen for poor performances once again.
Elimination: After briefly talking to the other nominees, Chef Ramsay told Siobhan that he was fed up with her poor overall performances, and her allowing Benjamin to take over her station during the service. Siobhan began to speak in her defense, but Ramsay decided that she did not deserve the opportunity to do so and instantly eliminated her, which made Siobhan the eighth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Siobhan got pushed around a lot in Hell's Kitchen. So it was up to me to finally push her out."
Team Challenge: The contestants conduct a blind taste test to see which foods they can correctly identify. For the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, the blue team won the blind taste challenge (4-3). Jay was singled out as the star for being the only contestant to correctly identify two ingredients.
Award / Punishment: The blue team received VIP passes to go to Sea World to swim with the dolphins and to spend the day at the park. The red team takes in several deliveries of food. However, Jean-Philippe pointed out that the wine delivery that they received was meant for Gordon Ramsay at The London, West Hollywood, not for Hell's Kitchen.
Service: Each team prepares their own menu consisting of four each of appetizers, entrees and dessert, with the customers deciding which menu to order from. Chef Ramsay was not impressed with either menu however, branding the red team's menu uninspiring (apart from Holli's desserts, which he greatly complimented) and the blue team's menu absolutely terrible. The blue team decided to revamp their menu at the last minute, but the red team ignored Ramsay's suggestions for improving their dishes. As a result, the orders for the blue team's menu vastly outnumbered those of the red team. Both kitchens were brought down by poor performances from Autumn and Fran on their respective meat stations, and this eventually led to Jay kicking Autumn off the blue team's meat station and telling her to prepare the desserts instead.
Nominees for elimination: While the red team had clearly been the worse of the two teams, Chef Ramsay refused to name the blue team the winners, since they had come up with such a bad menu at the first time of asking, and had not executed their redesigned version to his satisfaction. With no winning team, both teams each nominate one chef up for elimination with the blue team nominating Autumn while the red team nominated Fran.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay told both Autumn and Fran to take both of their jackets off, and Fran was told to leave Hell's Kitchen, the ninth chef to do so. Before Fran left, Chef Ramsey told her to never to give up, and keep her head up high.
Team Change: Despite being moved to the blue team even though she had a rocky service at first, Autumn was moved back to the red team after Chef Ramsay told her that she has one more chance.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Fran wanted her team to communicate, but it seems the only thing her team agreed on was wanting her gone."
Team Challenge: The contestants each cook a lobster dish using a 10-pound lobster, with three judges, all Michelin-starred chefs, deciding which ones are best. Only one dish from each team earned a point: Holli's and Jason's. As with episode 6, Chef Ramsay broke the tie by choosing the best lobster dish, a decision which ended up going to Holli, who's dish was "by far" the best. Note: The Blue Team's lobster was named Salvatore, and the Red Team's lobster was named Siobhan, both of whom were former competitors in this season.
Award / Punishment: The red team sample some caviar at a Petrossian Paris, and were each given $1000 to spend in a shopping spree. The blue team must clean the dorms and prep each kitchen for that night's service"the red team's kitchen first.
Service: When the Red Team returned from their reward, the Blue Team was still prepping the Red Team's kitchen, and had not begun prepping their own kitchen. Chef Ramsay then declared that both teams will operate in the Red Team's kitchen, serving customers who will be attending the theatre after dinner, placing a 2½-hour time limit on the service. Holli was instructed to serve carvier tableside, which she did without any problems and also appeared to enjoy herself in the dining room. Nilka had problems on the fish station, mainly undercooking the fish, and suffering an emotional meltdown. Meanwhile, Ed allowed some of his pans to catch fire on the garnish station, prompting Ramsay to tell him to have "a little finesse" whilst cooking. Despite these problems, the two teams rallied and finished the service with fifteen minutes to spare. The standout performer in the service was Jason who had a virtually flawless run on the meat station.
Early Elimination Note: After Nilka committed numerous mistakes on the fish station, Chef Ramsay ordered Nilka out of the kitchen, and told her to take off her jacket and leave Hell's Kitchen. Nilka then went back into the kitchen and pleaded to be given a second chance, and despite Chef Ramsay again telling her to leave Hell's Kitchen, Nilka refused to do so and even tried to get back on the fish station. This eventually led to Benjamin, who had taken over her station, being forced to usher Nilka out of the kitchen. Before the actual elimination, Chef Ramsay waited at the back exit to talk to Nilka with calmer heads prevailing. Chef Ramsay urged Nilka not to give up her dream and to leave with her head held high, before saying goodbye to her, taking her jacket, and sending her home via taxi which made her the tenth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen. Like J from Season 5, Nilka did receive her full elimination sequence after being thrown out of mid-service at the end of the episode as she was the only one eliminated this episode.
Nominees for elimination: The teams were named joint-winners (meaning that this season's red team never earned an outright victory over the blue team in any service), and despite having the best service in the whole season, were told to nominate one chef from each team for elimination. Autumn and Ed were nominated to the chopping block.
Elimination: Even though it appeared Chef Ramsay was going to pick Ed to leave Hell's Kitchen, he gave Ed and the rest of the chefs each a black jacket after Chef Ramsay congratulated them as the final six.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Tonight was the best service we've had in Hell's Kitchen, and that's why I rewarded the final six. Now, only the best chefs remain. Nilka was clearly out of her depth."
Team Challenge: In this individual challenge, the chefs have thirty minutes to create a great-tasting dish and to make it look aesthetically pleasing. The dishes are judged based solely on presentation by culinary students. From worst to best, the eliminated dishes were Holli, Jay, Jason and Autumn. Benjamin and Ed's dishes were singled out to be the top two dishes. The dishes are then judged by Tanya Steel of Epicurious on taste, who declared Benjamin the winner.
Award / Punishment: The losers must clean the entire restaurant, while Benjamin gets a make-over and a photo shoot with Epicurious. In addition, Ben's dish will be featured at the next dinner service.
Service: With the final six, Chef Ramsay was hoping for a high quality service, but it proved to be anything but. Ed was horrific on the fish station as he frequently under cooked and overcooked the fish, and Benjamin had no communication whatsoever with the team. Benjamin and Ed's problems caused Jay to get confused on garnishes, and he was not able to give Chef Ramsay accurate times as to when his garnishes would be ready. Meanwhile the team as a whole struggled to remember what was on order. After Ed overcooked some scallops and Benjamin brought up meat entrées for the wrong table, Ramsay kicked both of them out of the kitchen. The remaining four chefs were able to complete dinner service which included serving Whoopi Goldberg (2nd appearance in Hell's Kitchen (Season 4-Episode 14)) who was a special guest at the chef's table.
Nominees for elimination: Based on tonight's service it appeared that Benjamin and Ed would be the two nominees for getting kicked out of the kitchen. However when Chef Ramsay told the team to decide on two nominees based on "overall" performance, this changed the team's method of thinking entirely. The team nominated Autumn for the numerous times in the past she'd been nominated (her sixth nomination overall, meaning that she equalled the record held by Fran from this season and Virginia from Season 2); and Ed, due to his bad performances recently, including tonight's poor performance on the fish station.
Elimination: Ed was the chef asked to leave Hell's Kitchen, being told that he was disintegrating and also for an unconvincing final plea, making him the eleventh eliminated. At first, it seemed that Autumn would be leaving as Chef Ramsay called her before Ed; however, not believing the wisdom of the team, he told her, "You're getting better."
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Ed was one of the favorites because of his strong start. Unfortunately in cooking it's not how you start, it's how you finish."
Team Challenge: The contestants go to a local supermarket, where they must spend no more than $10 in ten minutes on ingredients for their dish, which they have 30 minutes to cook upon return to Hell's Kitchen. Each dish is judged by a panel of three gourmands, who then come up with a price they would pay, if they ordered this dish at a restaurant; the contestant with the largest average among the three prices wins. Jason ($16.00) ended up in last for buying prepared ravioli. Ben's ratatouille dish ($25.00) in fourth. Autumn's veal dish ($27.33) in third. Jay's lamb dish ($28.66) in second. Holli in first with her tuna dish ($29.66).
Award / Punishment: Holli chooses Jay (who came in second) to join Jean-Philippe at The Peninsula Beverly Hills for a poolside lunch, followed by a $1000 kitchen equipment shopping spree. Holli's winning dish will also be featured in that night's service. The others must do laundry and dine on Spam sandwiches.
Service: In order to test their communication skills, Chef Ramsay has the contestants switch stations every several minutes, in which each tell the contestant taking their place what to do next before moving on to the next station, in which the person there briefs the contestant. The service was very rocky, with several miscues on the halibut, but managed to get completed. Jay was confused on the meat sections, Benjamin starting working on Holli's scallops, which were rejected by Ramsay, and Jason sent out overcooked halibut. Benjamin was also ignoring what Ramsay was asking. At one point, Chef Ramsay stepped out for a moment, leaving Sous Chef Scott in charge. Benjamin, however, attempted to read the orders at the pass, only to be berated by Scott, furiously warning Benjamin never to usurp him at the pass ever again. After service, Ramsay said he has five line cooks left in the competition.
Nominees for elimination: Jason and Benjamin were nominated for elimination.
Elimination: Jason was told by Chef Ramsay to leave Hell's Kitchen; despite not performing as badly as Benjamin (or Jay, for that matter) in the service, Ramsay did not consider him to be head chef material. However, Ramsay told Jason that he still had a long career ahead of him, and not to give up on his dream.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Jason was good enough to make it to the final five, but he just didn't instil the confidence I needed to see to be my head chef."
Team Challenge: Chef Ramsay showed the chefs how to cook monk fish, and then they each had to verbally teach a novice how to duplicate Chef Ramsay's dish. Jay won this challenge.
Award / Punishment: Jay chose Holli to come with him on his surprise reward"an aerial tour of Los Angeles on the Goodyear Blimp, the Spirit of America. Benjamin and Autumn did maintenance and cleaning work, including in the parking lot, which the blimp flew over and flashed a digital message that asked if Ben and Autumn were enjoying their punishment.
Service: For the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, contestants choose which station they should work in. The service had a rough start, with Holli undercooking the John Dory, Jay serving a bland risotto, Autumn undercooking the scallops, and Benjamin not only causing a beef wellington to split open, but also became non-communicative for part of the time. However, eventually, all four chefs finished the service flawlessly, with no food returned from the patrons.
Nominees for elimination: Jay, the service's Best of the Best, was told by Chef Ramsay to nominate two chefs he feels should be sent home. His first choice is Autumn while his second choice is Benjamin instead of Holli because she never had a bad service. This marked a record-breaking seventh nomination for Autumn which later equaled by Elise in Season 9.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay called Autumn and Benjamin forward, one by one, only to order both of them back in line"after a very successful dinner service, Chef Ramsay decided that it was impossible to send anyone home; therefore, he refused to eliminate anyone. Instead he decided to invite each of the contestant's family members to Hell's Kitchen for a brief visit (Benjamin's wife and daughter are first, followed by Holli's son and best friend, Jay's mom and step-dad and Autumn's best friend and boyfriend).
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"I decided to let all the chefs enjoy tonight's successful dinner service, but what they don't know is, after the next dinner service I'll be cutting the field in half."
Team Challenge: Chef Ramsay presented a dish and had the chefs taste it. In a "taste it, make it" challenge, they then had to recreate that dish in 45 minutes without knowing the ingredients. Holli won this challenge.
Award / Punishment: Holli spent a few hours with her family on a yacht. Meanwhile, Benjamin, Autumn, and Jay had the duty of cleaning the dorms, including removing the old pots and pans. The day after the punishment, Benjamin complained of lower back and shoulder pains and couldn't bend over. He decided to skip prep time and received a chiropractic adjustment. He then notified the other contestants that he was leaving. While the remaining three prepped the kitchens, Benjamin talked to Ramsay about his pain and had to choose between leaving and staying in the competition. He changed his mind about his previous decision and announced to the other contestants that he would be staying.
Service: Ramsay gave each of the chefs an opportunity to handle the pass and shout out orders to the other chefs. The first person up on the pass was Jay, who had a very strong start and set the bar incredibly high, passing both of his quality control tests with ease. During the chefs' time on the pass, they had to complete quality control checks, including sous-chef Scott sabotaging the food and Jean-Philippe leaving out an entree from an order. The second chef to go up to the pass was Holli, who had a nervous start at first and failed the first of her quality control tests, but then found her rhythm. The next chef was Benjamin, and despite failing his first quality check by not noticing he had been given venison wellingtons rather than lamb wellingtons, he proved to be a strong leader. Autumn was the final chef to take charge of the pass, and she had a shaky start by failing to notice she had been given the wrong sauce, then angered Chef Ramsay by not taking her mistake seriously. After that she became excessively nitpicky and started sending back dishes which the other chefs and even Scott thought were cooked correctly. Chef Ramsay took over again for the end of the service, which the chefs completed successfully.
Nominees for elimination: Instead of asking the chefs who should be nominated for elimination, Chef Ramsay told the chefs to each say why they should stay and compete in the finals.
Elimination: Autumn was the first chef to be eliminated; Chef Ramsay picked Jay as the first finalist and chose Holli to the final. In the end, Benjamin was eliminated from the competition.
Chef Ramsay's Reason: No reasons were given for Autumn's or Benjamin's eliminations and they did not receive the coat hook and burning pictures, even though Chef Ramsay told them to never quit.
Individual Challenge: Holli and Jay travel by limo to The London West Hollywood where, to a crowd of fans, they had one hour to cook five dishes"an Amuse-bouche, a cold appetizer, a hot appetizer, a fish course and a meat course. Judging the proceedings were five chefs from Chef Ramsay's restaurants in England. Jay won this challenge, granting him first pick of the kitchen staff.
Staff: Five of the last six eliminated contestants return for the finale (Ed, though being one of the last six to have been eliminated, did not return for unknown reasons; instead, Siobhan took his place and was the last person prior to final eight contestants). For winning the challenge, Jay has first chose Benjamin, Jason and Fran, while Holli chose Autumn, Nilka and was left with Siobhan after Jay picked Fran.
Setup: As before, Hell's Kitchen is split up into two separate restaurants, each containing 50 diners and like the previous season, without any restaurant redesigns by the finalists. Prior to the start of service, Chef Ramsay summoned Holli and Jay to his office for words of encouragement"and to give each a free trip to Australia.
Service: Among the customers are Holli and Jay's relatives and friends. In the Red Kitchen, Nilka and Siobhan had problems on the appetizers. Jason had trouble on the meat station. Each of them were backed up in the final dinner service by the fallen contestants. Jay was backed up by Fran who eventually made a disaster while Holli was supported by Nilka who was sweating profusely during the preparation. However, both teams eventually rallied together and finished dinner service.
Winner: The winner is determined by Chef Ramsay, based on the comments of the diners. As before, each contestant stands in front of a door; the door that opens designates the winner. Holli's door opened, making her the seventh season winner of Hell's Kitchen. By extension, this is also the Red team's only service victory.
Chef Ramsay's Reason:"Holli won because she has grown as a chef more than any other chef in Hell's Kitchen. At the start, she was barely noticeable. But then, she got her confidence. She emerged and there was no holding her back. I'm absolutely thrilled she'll be working with me at the Savoy Grill in London."
After Holli was declared the winner of Hell's Kitchen, Ramsay announced that Holli would not be given the job at the newly renovated Savoy Grill at the Savoy Hotel, stating that her visa would not let her work in the UK. Holli called that explanation an excuse, saying, "I don't know if they even applied for my visa." However, Ramsay expressed disappointment and said that she was a great chef. Holli accepted an undisclosed amount of cash instead, and she has taken a job as the signature chef of a new restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called B Ocean.
A year later after season 7 was filmed, Holli was one of the special VIP guests for Hell's Kitchen's "black-tie" 100th dinner service on October 13, 2010.
Jay later returned to Season 10, to face against that seasons final six chefs, along with other Runner-Ups.