Hell's Kitchen 8 (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Season 8 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen was broadcast on the Fox Network on September 22, 2010 and ended on December 15, 2010. Sous Chef Nona Sivley won the season and was awarded a head chef position at the L.A. Market restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live in Los Angeles, as well as an opportunity to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines.
Gordon Ramsay returned as head chef once more, as did sous chefs Scott Leibfried and Andi van Willigan. However, previous maître d' Jean-Philippe Susilovic did not appear in this season (due to his commitment with Chef Ramsay's restaurant in London, Petrus). Instead, James Lukanik took over the maître d' role, as seasons 7 and 8 which were taped a year apart with big staff changes.
World Series break
Due to Fox's commitment of televising the Major League Baseball playoffs, Hell's Kitchen was on hiatus from Wednesday, October 13, 2010 through Wednesday, November 10, 2010. This is the first time the series took more than a week off while the competition was in progress. Cablevision did not carry Fox during the first sixteen days of the hiatus due to a carriage dispute.
The opening sequence of Season 8 of the show, like the previous season, does not take place in the kitchen but rather in a medieval setting based on the classic tale Gulliver's Travels, showing the contestants tying up a giant Chef Ramsay as they take various acts of revenge on him. It then shows each contestant along with their names as they take their revenge on Ramsay. In various moments new maitre d' James, and assistant chefs Scott and Andi are seen tied up. When Ramsay breaks free, the scene switches to the main title.
Order of contestants in opening sequence/credits
Vinny, Melissa, Raj, Trev, Louis, Boris, Curtis, Nona, Sabrina, Gail, Lisa, Antonia, Jillian, Russell, Emily, Rob
Overview: The 16 new chefs arrived at Hell's Kitchen and the doors were closed, but met by new maître d' James (several chefs are thinking Jean-Philippe) - they would be blindfolded and taken to a mystery destination. When they arrived at the mystery destination, they were allowed to take their blindfolds off and they see LA Market restaurant in JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live where the winner would become head chef. While there they met Chef Ramsay who asked them to return to Hell's Kitchen.
Signature dishes / team challenge: The first challenge was the signature dish challenge; whichever team had the most dishes liked by Chef Ramsay would win. Things got off to a good start, as Chef Ramsay liked both Emily's duck breast and, despite feeling it should have been cooked a little longer, Russell's calamari. Ramsay felt Nona's chicken drumsticks were overly sweet due to the honey used in the dressing, and the asparagus was undercooked as well. Vinny's halibut was oily and badly presented, but Ramsay enjoyed the taste enough to award the Blue team a point, giving them a 2-1 lead. Antonia's Mardi Gras Gumbo met with a disastrous reception, as Chef Ramsay vomited on tasting it, and then made the other contestants taste it (no-one else vomited, although Vinny and Nona came close) before throwing the bowl in the trash. Curtis's peppered chicken didn't fare much better when Ramsay tasted it, and neither chef earned a point. Jillian had more luck with her chicken dish, which Ramsay liked, while Rob's lamb was undercooked and badly carved, restoring parity between the teams at 2-2. The next two pairs, Gail and Trev, followed by Lisa and Louis, all failed to impress Chef Ramsay, before Boris restored the Blue team's lead after his dish impressed Chef Ramsay, while Melissa's did not. The score was 3-2 going into the final pair, Sabrina (who had angered Chef Ramsay by appearing disinterested earlier in the challenge) and Raj. Sabrina's mixed seafood dish impressed Chef Ramsay, whereas Raj's seafood and vegetable pancake was so badly presented that Ramsay refused to give the Blue team a point, despite otherwise liking the taste of it. The final score was 3-3, and on the basis that "a kitchen is only as good as its weakest link," Chef Ramsay named the Blue team the winners, since their worst dish (Curtis's) had only been mediocre, whereas the Red team's worst dish (Antonia's) had been offensively bad.
Award / punishment: After winning the signature dish challenge, the Blue team received massages while the Red team's punishment was cleaning up the entire kitchen, along with all the cookware.
Early exit: Shortly before dinner service, Antonia was rushed to the hospital after she collapsed while complaining of a migraine. Later, just before the actual elimination Chef Ramsay stated that Antonia would not be returning, making her the first chef to leave Hell's Kitchen.
Service: The service started with singer Michelle Branch and herpetologist Donald Schultz arriving at Hell's Kitchen. The Red team started off okay on the appetizers, but soon ran into trouble when it came to the entrees, in part due to Lisa working too slowly and undercooking the fish. Sabrina attempted to serve her beef wellingtons despite none of the other dishes being ready, and was accused of being a glory seeker by Chef Ramsay. The Blue team's service was equally disastrous, as Trev kept overdressing the salads, and Raj and Boris were hopelessly uncoordinated when it came to ordering and serving the amuse-bouche pizzas. Boris jokingly mocked Chef Ramsay, which angered him. After two hours with no entrees and only a small handful of appetizers having left both kitchens, Chef Ramsay eventually lost hope and shut the service down.
Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay declared this the worst-ever start to a season in Hell's Kitchen; consequently there was no winning team, and Ramsay asked for two nominees for elimination from each team. The Red team nominated Sabrina and Lisa (Sabrina wanted the others to nominate Nona for her lack of fine dining knowledge, but her teammates disagreed), while the Blue team nominated Raj and Trev. After being called forward, Sabrina again said that Nona should be eliminated, even accusing her of snoring at night, and also caused an argument with Lisa after accusing her of being "spent." Despite this, Chef Ramsay sent Sabrina back in line, along with Trev, leaving Raj and Lisa facing elimination.
Elimination: Lisa was chosen by Chef Ramsay, making the second chef to leave Hell's Kitchen following Antonia's departure to hospital early in this episode.
Chef Ramsay's reason:
Antonia: No reason was given for Antonia's withdrawal from the competition despite being hospitalized prior to dinner service and did not receive her full elimination sequence. However, in episode 9, Antonia's burned picture and hung jacket can been seen when Ramsay's hangs Rob's jacket.
Lisa: "The only thing positive I can say about Lisa's performance tonight: she didn't kill anyone."'
Team challenge: After the contestants were woken early by the very loud sound of a taiko, they were paired up and told to make sushi, to both Chef Ramsay's and master sushi chef Masaharu Morimoto's specifications. The blue team were told to choose one pair to sit out, and Trev and Curtis quickly volunteered themselves because their efforts had gone disastrously wrong. On the red team, Melissa and Gail went first, and their sushi was similarly disastrous, with not a single piece being rated as acceptable. Nona and Jillian did much better, having 8 out of 9 pieces deemed acceptable, and Sabrina and Emily also did well, managing 7 out of 9 pieces. On the blue team, Louis and Rob failed to put any wasabi on their sushi. Russell and Raj only remembered to put wasabi on one piece and both pairs together managed just 4 out of 9. However the final pair, Vinny and Boris, did remember to use the wasabi, and their 8 out of 9 acceptable pieces allowed the blue team to win with a total of 16 pieces, as opposed to the red team's 15 pieces.
Award / punishment: The Blue team's award is a trip on Southwest Airlines to Cellar360 in San Francisco for a tasting of Rosemount Estate wines and a dinner, as well as being allowed to keep the high quality knives they were given for the challenge. During the reward, both Raj and Rob over-indulged on wine and got drunk. The Red team's punishment is to prepare the special sushi side for dinner service, followed by a meal consisting of seafood, including squid and sea cucumber. Gail wasn't bothered by this aspect of the punishment, as she is Filipina and had eaten similar food while growing up, but the same couldn't be said about Sabrina, who threw up after every mouthful.
Service: Vinny and Jillian were each chosen to be an assistant maître d". Both teams have a slow start at service. The Red team initially suffered from Emily having trouble on the meat station and Melissa getting confused on the garnishes, which led Chef Ramsay to throw her out of the kitchen and bring Jillian back in, with Melissa assuming the maître d" role; however, the team eventually finished their service for the first time at Hell's Kitchen. The Blue team's service proved to be even worse than the first one; they had trouble with Curtis's failure to make sushi, and Raj's relationship with the team and Chef Ramsay. Vinny tried telling customers not to order any side dishes due to his lack of faith in Raj, but when James informed Chef Ramsay about this, Ramsay reacted furiously and threw Vinny out of the service. Curtis continued to struggle on the sushi, causing Chef Ramsay to throw him out of service. Trev was scolded because Boris was taking over his position. Raj continued to make garnishes, starting a long line with them, eventually forcing Ramsay to throw him out. The final straw for the Blue team was when Louis screwed up the salad, Ramsay then took the remaining members of the blue team into the dishwashing room, kicked open the door, and threw the entire Blue team out to the dorms. Raj's condescending attitude would lead to a heated argument amongst the men on why the service went bad. The Red team finished triumphantly, and were deemed the winners, as they were the only team to complete the service.
Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay asked for two nominees from the Blue team, who easily nominated Raj again, along with Curtis for his trouble on the sushi station. After some discussion however, the team changed the nomination to Raj and Boris, due to an altercation between the two just after the Blue kitchen was shut down. Chef Ramsay also nominated Vinny for his disrespectful attitude.
Elimination: Despite nominating Vinny for nomination himself, Chef Ramsay decided to go off the board and chose Curtis to leave Hell's Kitchen. While the other men wanted Raj gone, Ramsay said that Curtis had ruined any small hopes the Blue Team had of winning the service.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Curtis might have been a good ol' boy, but unfortunately, he wasn't good at cooking."
Team challenge: The teams had to cook breakfast for fifty Los Angeles paramedics. The first team to finish serving their side wins. The paramedics could order one of two dishes: an egg-white omelette, toast, turkey bacon, and roasted tomatoes, or scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon, and sausage. The teams also had to prepare large bowls of fruit salad before the other dishes left the kitchen. Only two chefs in the blue kitchen were working on the salad, which resulted in a bowl being sent back because they forgot the pineapple. The red team had a nearly flawless service with the only problem being Emily failing to check the bacon in the oven which resulted in it being severely burned. The blue team worked as individuals and couldn't get a single order out. Raj talked back to Ramsey after under seasoning his scrambled eggs. Ramsay, offended by Raj's backtalk, got into his face about it. This in turn caused Raj to become flustered, and he went into the pantry and stuck his head in the fridge to "cool off," which only angered Ramsay even further. After the red team won, Ramsay told all of them to help the blue team with their orders.
Award / punishment: The Red Team went to trapeze school and then lunch at the Viceroy restaurant. The blue team's punishment was having to prep both kitchens, and during the punishment the already bad atmosphere within the team continued to deteriorate as Raj caused another massive argument among his team-mates.
Service: Trev and Sabrina were assigned to mix and serve cocktails for the diners. The red kitchen got off to a slow start, as Jillian was unable to correctly taste the appetizers due to an allergy, and had to rely on Emily, who kept getting Jillian to make the dishes overly salty. Melissa also overcooked the dover sole special, and Gail set fire to her pans on the meat station, though she later rebounded and served several perfectly cooked meat entrées. In the blue kitchen, Vinny got things off to a great start with a near-perfect performance on the appetizers, but Boris struggled with the meat and Raj proved to be dismal on the fish station; firstly he tried boiling salmon in stock rather than searing it, with results that Ramsay branded "disgusting," and secondly he both failed to cook the dover sole special properly and cooked more than were actually required, resulting in the blue kitchen running out of dover sole after serving just one table. Chef Ramsay ordered Raj to go into the dining room and apologize to the customers who were still waiting for the dover sole, but Raj angered Ramsay by refusing to do so on the grounds that he didn't want to be seen wearing dirty clothing in front of the customers, which eventually resulted in sous chef Scott throwing Raj out of the kitchen. After that, both teams rallied and finished the service. The Blue Team were named the winners, as their customer approval rating of 54% was slightly better than the 50% than the women had managed.
Nominees for elimination: For losing the service, the Red Team must choose two that should leave Hell's Kitchen. They easily picked Emily as the first nominee, but Nona, acting largely out of a desire to prevent Melissa from being nominated, persuaded the other women that the second nominee should be based on the pre-service prep work, leading to Sabrina being nominated. Chef Ramsay was confused by this decision since Sabrina hadn't been in the kitchen, and Jillian told him that she thought the team had nominated the wrong person, but he called out Emily and Sabrina anyway. This led to Sabrina angrily railing against the other Red Team members, particularly Melissa, during the elimination process.
Elimination: Despite choosing the Blue Team as the winning team, Chef Ramsay decided to go off the board and eliminate Raj, saying to him "You big boy are out of your league, BIG TIME, and I personally can't go an inch further." This made Raj the third chef to leave the competition despite being on the winning team (as happened with Carol from Season 5 and Salvatore from Season 7). Just after Raj left, Ramsay asked the Blue Team if they were relieved to see him gone, to which the Blue Team responded positively.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "When the going gets tough in the kitchen, a chef puts his head down and cooks. All Raj wanted to do was put his head in the freezer, and that's why his stay in Hell's Kitchen was a short one."
Team challenge: Each chef must cook their own ravioli dish with only one condition; none of the raviolis may burst. All of the chefs got positive reviews for the flavor of their ravioli, apart from Louis, whose ravioli was described by Chef Ramsay as one of the worst things he'd ever tasted. Vinny and Sabrina lost points because their ravioli had burst, while Gail's was slightly underseasoned, which caused her to lose on the tie-breaker with Trev's dish and left the final score at 4-3 in favor of the blue team. Despite having his ravioli burst, Vinny's dish was placed on the next service's menu.
Award / punishment: The Blue Team took a helicopter tour of the Pacific coast, then take in a day of golfing at a resort. The day out trip threatened to turn ugly for the men when Trev started an argument with Russell, as he felt he was not being treated properly as a team member. But Rob managed to get Trev to calm down, and the men went back to enjoying their reward. The ladies must prep both sides for service, as well as make pasta and mozzarella cheese by hand; they had to get the cheese straight from the cows, which the ladies must milk. Sabrina refused to milk any of the cows.
Service: The service started with Italian night. The guest for this service was Jack Osbourne. Everyone started off the service badly, with both teams frequently overcooking salmon, and entrees were slow to leave the kitchen. Chef Ramsay ordered several Blue Team members out of the kitchen, starting with Boris, who was kicked out for cleaning the dishes when he was supposed to cook; Chef Ramsay ordered him out of the kitchen, having him help out with the behind-the-scenes staff in cleaning the dishes instead. Louis had a horrible time on his station, constantly undercooking meat, and at one point incurring the wrath of Sous Chef Scott for bringing sliced pork chops up to the pass by hand instead of putting it on a plate. After undercooking a piece of chicken, Ramsay kicked Louis out of the kitchen, and also ordered him to tell Boris to stop what he was doing and go up to the dorms as Vinny took Louis' meat station. Rob had burnt a pizza, so he was sent out to the bar to eat it. Despite struggling, the Red Team completed its service and was ordered to help out the Blue Team complete its service. As the tickets piled up and the Blue Team's service still a debacle, the final straw was when Russell's polenta was not at the pass for the meat. Chef Ramsay had enough and ordered all the members of the Red team and most of the Blue team are out, leaving sous chefs Scott and Andi to finish the service to the couple in a marriage proposal where a man got proposed to his girlfriend, where their entree included the question "Will you marry me?" written on a chocolate. The night's service was generally poor, while the Blue team had clearly lost the service, Chef Ramsay also named the Red team as losers, since they took longer to finish this service than they did the previous one (which they had also lost).
Nominees for elimination: Each team was told nominate two members for elimination. The Blue Team easily decided on Louis and Boris, the two chefs who had been thrown out of service, but the Red Team had a harder time deciding on nominations, with Sabrina, Melissa, Gail and Emily all being put up as potential nominees. The confusion was still not fully resolved when Chef Ramsay asked Nona for her team's nominations, resulting in her naming Melissa as a nominee but not being able to give a reason as to why she was nominated, and then naming Gail as a nominee, but then changing her mind and naming Sabrina instead.
Elimination: After calling Melissa and Boris down, only to order them back in line (with both Boris and Melissa starting to remove their jackets, thinking they were eliminated), Chef Ramsay chose Louis to leave Hell's Kitchen for his lack of experience and disastrous performance on the meat station.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Louis the camp cook dreamed of fine dining, but the only thing I would trust him with is toasting a marshmallow. Kumbaya, my friend."
Team challenge: Each team needed to prepare a tasting menu with one appetizer and two main dishes for the prom Hell's Kitchen is hosting for Beverly Hills High School. The prom committee were the judges. The Red team won the challenge with all three dishes; on the Blue team only Trev's dish was positively received, and even that was blown away by Emily's pasta dish, which was described as the best of all the dishes by the committee.
Award / punishment: The Red team spent a day at Knott's Berry Farm. The Blue team spent the day transforming Hell's Kitchen into a prom setting, directed by the prom committee. During the punishment Russell was blatantly rude to the committee, causing Trev to get on his case and make up for Russell's lack of respect by showing a more positive attitude toward them.
Service: Vinny and Nona were assigned to assist Chef Ramsay with plating the food. Despite losing the challenge on every single dish, the Blue team's fish entrée was included, since all of the Red team's entrées were meat based. Both teams struggled initially with appetizers, but the Red Team got it together. Melissa inexplicably cooked every fillet on order before they finished serving appetizers. She also sliced some undercooked meat and tried to put it back in the oven, and when Chef Ramsay tried to tell her why this was a bad idea, Nona angered Ramsay by talking over him, and he forced her to explain Melissa's mistake instead. Emily struggled on the fish station. The Blue team had a shaky start, due to Boris failing to cook the appetizers correctly, but Russell took on a leadership role and pulled the blue team together. The Blue team won the service, as they had been better on the entrées, which Chef Ramsay considered the most important aspect of the teams' performance. Russell was complemented for his leadership skills. Sabrina was named the "best of the worst" and got to pick the two nominees for elimination, much to the anger of her team-mates (particularly Nona, who immediately and openly told Chef Ramsay that he was making the wrong decision. He replied to her by saying that none of Sabrina's food was sent back to the pass from the customers).
Nominees for elimination: Sabrina nominated Melissa and Emily for elimination. She had considered nominating either Gail, who she considered as her strongest competitor, or Nona, who she had disliked since day one and thought Chef Ramsay might be annoyed with due to her twice interrupting him, but decided to stick with nominating the two weakest performers.
Elimination: Because of Nona's earlier interruptions, Chef Ramsay asked her who she'd send home. She chose Emily, and he agreed, making Emily the sixth chef to leave Hell's Kitchen feeling she wasn't contributing as much as the other women.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Like everyone in Hell's Kitchen, Emily started at the bottom. Unfortunately, she stayed there."
Team change: Before the challenge, Chef Ramsay decided to switch things by moving Melissa over to the Blue team and moved Trev over to the Red team since Ramsay said that he is looking for a leader for the team.
Team challenge: Each chef needs to come up with an entree salad. The winning salad will be featured in Bon Appétit magazine. Sarah Tenaglia, the senior food editor from Bon Appétit was the guest judge. The teams were tied 2-2 with the best salad from Rob breaking the tie and winning the challenge for the Blue team.
Award / punishment: The reward for the blue team was a lunch at the Getty Villa in Malibu. Rob's salad was also going to be featured on the dinner service menu. The Red team had to clean and prep both kitchens for dinner service and were served a flower salad for lunch which also contained bugs.
Service: Each team would have a chef's table in their respective kitchens. The guests for this service are American Idol season 7 contestant Carly Smithson, actresses Kelli Williams, Mo Gaffney and Nancy Grahn as VIP guests. The service got off to a terrible start, as the teams were slow to get appetizers out; in particular, Nona on the Red team and Melissa on the Blue team consistently failed to serve up properly cooked scallops for Rob's winning salad. The Red team eventually started getting the salads out after Trev took over the fish station, but Melissa managed to use the Blue team's entire stock of scallops without managing an acceptable serving, and so Chef Ramsay was forced to change the dish into a shrimp salad. The teams started doing better on the entrées, but the Red team suffered from an increasingly uncooperative Sabrina, who screamed at both Trev and Chef Ramsay when they asked for times on her garnishes. Boris also experienced trouble on the garnishes; with one table to go he overcooked the garnishes for one dish, turning them into mush, and Chef Ramsay told him he was an embarrassment to his team and threw him out of the kitchen. Both teams completed the service, but Chef Ramsay said that their performances were embarrassing, particularly considering they had chef's tables that night, and announced that there was no winning team, saying, "That was filled with more speed bumps than a church parking lot."
Nominees for elimination: Each team must nominate one teammate for elimination as Ramsay told both teams to "get rid of dead weight" and then the Red team nominated Sabrina and the Blue team nominated Boris. But Chef Ramsay, although he had no qualms about the nominations, also added Nona and Melissa for elimination.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay selected Melissa to leave Hell's Kitchen. As well as her high-profile mistakes, Ramsay felt that Melissa's switch to the Blue Team had not had the positive effect on her performances that he had hoped it would have.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Melissa had a red jacket, she had a blue jacket, and now she has no jacket at all."
Team challenge: The contestants spin a modified roulette wheel, consisting of 18 letters of the alphabet, each given twice, with the two green spaces represented with Hell's Kitchen logos. Each contestant must name an ingredient beginning with the letter where the ball stops. (It is unknown what would happen if the ball lands on a logo, as it never happened in this game.) As the blue team had one extra member, Vinny would be spinning twice, first he landed on K and went for Kale and then he landed on Y and went for Yam. Boris landed on M and went for Miso, Rob landed on S and went for Striped Sea Bass and Russell landed on A and went for Asparagus. For the red team, Trev landed on R and went for Rutabega, Jillian landed on C and went for Cauliflower, Sabrina landed on B and went for Bok Choy, Gail landed on F and went for Fennel and Nona landed on S and went for Salmon. After all the contestants have spun, each team has thirty minutes to cook a dish using the ingredients given in the game. The red team won this challenge, with Rob's failure to properly season the asparagus or yam causing the blue team to lose.
Award / punishment: The Red team's reward was a trip on Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas for a stay at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, featuring a special appearance by Penn & Teller. The Blue team must stay and prep potatoes for french fries after Chef Ramsay told them the next service is going to be a Family Night.
Service: The night's service is a family night, complete with clowns and carnival games. Among those in attendance were members of Chef Ramsay's family; Jerry Springer and his family were also in attendance. The service had a fresh start with serving fries as it started on time. Vinny had a fair start on making risotto and Chef Ramsay had freaked out on his situation and yelling "That"s old! This table you just sent me, that happens to be for my family. And even if it wasn"t for my family they deserve a fresh risotto, you dirty little fuck." Rob had struggled on preparing macaroni and cheese to serve for Chef Ramsay's son, Jack. Service was successfully completed on both sides, with a satisfaction rating of 90%.
Nominees for elimination: Despite both teams successfully completing tonight's service, Chef Ramsay asked both teams to nominate two members each for elimination with the Red team nominating Sabrina and Nona and the Blue Team nominating Boris and Rob. But Chef Ramsay narrowed it down to two and only took Nona and Rob. Ramsay noted that Nona had an honest personality, but was not convinced she was the right person to run LA Market. Meanwhile, during his plea to stay in Hell's Kitchen, Rob claimed that he had no support on his station, and that Russell could have helped him get some of his garnishes out quicker. Russell denied this however, saying that Rob was more than capable of running the station by himself.
Elimination: It appeared that Rob was going to be eliminated when Chef Ramsay asked him to remove his jacket. But to the surprise of everyone Ramsay gave Rob a clean jacket (saying that his was "filthy and dirty"), and sent him and Nona back in line. Chef Ramsay decided that after a string of horrible dinner services, both teams had finally had an excellent night. He decided that nobody would be going home.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Tonight, I finally got a respectable service, so I gave them a little respect and didn't send anyone home. But tomorrow, they're in for the most intense dinner service in the history of Hell's Kitchen."
Team challenge: The contestants go to a local supermarket, Bristol Farms, where they have 20 minutes and $60 to buy ingredients for four dishes - one each of beef, pork, lamb and chicken. Upon return, each team has 45 minutes to cook their four dishes. Afterwards, four judges will decide how much they would pay for that particular meal, with each judge representing the type of meat served; the team with the highest monetary total wins. The Red team won this challenge ($110 to $101, and winning all but the chicken dish).
Award / punishment: The Red team spent the day sail boating, along with enjoying a seaside dinner and mambo dancing. During the reward an argument broke out after Trev said that he was proud to have contributed to the Red team's victories, to which the women accused him of being the weakest member of the Red team. The Blue team must prep both kitchens for the black tie dinner service, which includes fumigating both kitchens.
Service: In celebration of Hell's Kitchen's 100th service, tonight's service is an invitation-only, black tie affair, whose guests including four former winners sitting at the chef's table - Rahman "Rock" Harper (Season 3), Christina Machamer (Season 4), Danny Veltri (Season 5) and Holli Ugalde (Season 7). As the service opened in time, several various dignitaries and celebrities (including several cast members of Glee). The Red team was able to complete their service with some flaws; however, early on in the service, Trev was dragging down the others' performance, leading to Chef Ramsay to tell him to get some fresh air, and he came back in time for the last ticket. The Blue team, however, did not have as much of a successful dinner service. Boris was struggling to keep up on the appetizers, causing Rob to have to give him a helping hand. Meanwhile, three of Vinny's lobsters were returned for being overcooked while Rob forgot the chicken for a ticket. Confusion on the timing of Rob's chicken causes a ripple effect"Vinny sends up an overcooked lobster, followed by Rob serving pink chicken. With the backlog of tickets, and constant mistakes; Chef Ramsay kicked the entire blue team out, and had the Red team finishing the Blue team's service for them.
Nominees for elimination: With the Red team being the 100th service's victors, the Blue team must nominate two contestants that they felt should leave Hell's Kitchen. They have chosen Boris but came to a tie on votes between Rob and Vinny. Upon finding out Chef Ramsay called all three up.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay told Boris to leave Hell's Kitchen, but not without giving Boris words of encouragement to stay passionate.
Chef Ramsay's reason: No reason was given for Boris's elimination. However, this episode ended with a cliffhanger, when Chef Ramsay declared that he wasn't finished yet, having Trev step forward. At that point, the episode ends with "To Be Continued". (Boris didn't receive his full elimination sequence with his coat hanged and his burning picture, though Boris got the "hook" and burning picture in the recap in the following episode.)
Team change: Picking up where Episode 8 left off, Trev was sent back to the Blue team where Chef Ramsay told him that it is his last chance to improve after his poor performance on the Red team when Ramsay announced the return of the battle of the sexes.
Team challenge: The contestants participate in a blind taste test to see how refined the chefs' palates are. Chefs are paired off and blindfolded as well as having their ears covered with headphones. Russell and Gail were the first pair, and Russell identified two pieces of food to Gail's one. Rob and Sabrina went next and could not identify a single item of food between them (in particular, both mistook filet mignon for chicken), to the disbelief of Chef Ramsay and the other contestants. Jillian and Vinny were third up and both identified two pieces each, leaving the blue team a point ahead. The final two were Nona and Trev, and Nona successfully identified three of the four pieces of food she was given, while Trev only identified one, resulting in the red team winning with a final score of 6-5.
Award / punishment: The red team go on a shopping spree at a local boutique, followed by dining at XIV, a restaurant owned by celebrity chef Michael Mina. The blue team stay behind to remove recyclables from a garbage truck filled with trash, dine on American cheese sandwiches, and prepping both kitchens for service.
Service: During the service, on the red team, Nona was thrown out of the red kitchen for arguing with Chef Ramsay. On the blue team, Vinny had trouble cooking the gnocchi, Russell ignores his teammates and then sends up a raw chicken and Rob failed to produce enough halibut. Chef Ramsay kicked Vinny, Russell, and Rob out of the kitchen, leaving Trev to finish. Both teams managed to complete their services; the Red team was declared the winning team, with Sabrina and Jillian both declared "Bests of the Best" for their efforts. Ramsay berated the Blue team for their horrendous track record, having failed to outright win a single challenge or service in the last four episodes. Trev was honored as the Blue team's "Best of the Worst" for finishing the service for the blue team all by himself. After his post mortem, Ramsay had a talk with Nona to remind her not to argue when she's done something wrong and that she still has the "most important jewel in the crown" which was her palate.
Nominees for elimination: For being "Best of the Worst", Trev must nominate two contestants who should leave - he nominated Rob (for his poor performance on the halibut) and Russell (for not being a leader, and mistreating Trev early on in the service).
Elimination: After calling down Russell for elimination, only to order him back in line, Chef Ramsay told Rob to leave Hell's Kitchen.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "If the size of one's waist corresponds to the size of one's talent, then Rob would be a fantastic chef. Instead, he just wears gigantic pants."
Team challenge: The contestants had to prepare three dishes; lobster, chicken, and salmon. Only one chef from each team was allowed in the kitchen at a time, for only five minutes. When their time was up, the next chef took his or her place. The previous chef was given 15 seconds to brief the next chef. Chef Ramsay then compared the same dishes from each team for completeness, taste, and appearance to decide the winning team. The Blue team won. Chef Ramsay, however, informed the Red team that they would have won, if not for the salmon accidentally falling on the floor, leading to it not being included on the dish.
Award / punishment: The blue team go on a shopping spree at Sur La Table for cooking equipment, followed by dinner at Mélisse, a two-star Michelin restaurant in Santa Monica, where they met its head chef, Josiah Citrin. The red team must take in a delivery of food for Hell's Kitchen.
Service: Both teams make up their own menus for the service. The diners then decide which menu to order off. The customers seemed to favour the Red Team's menu as the red kitchen received several orders before any tickets came into the blue kitchen. In attendance is Chef Citrin, who orders off the Blue menu; and Matt Cassel of the Kansas City Chiefs, who orders off the Red menu. Vinny's string of bad services (which had begun in episode 8) continued as he first forgot to cook the lamb for Chef Citrin and then sent a poorly carved undercooked lamb to the pass, leaving a disillusioned Ramsay to refer to the situation as "car crash." Russell took over the meat station, but the Blue Team practically disappointed Chef Citrin, for taking so long to properly prepare his entrée, and later rejecting it for being overcooked. Meanwhile Vinny moved over to the fish station, but his fortunes did not improve as he ended up serving raw Sea Bass. On the Red Team, Gail was booted out of the kitchen for repeatedly failing to cook the lobster dish properly. Both teams finished their service, but because of their numerous mistakes, both were declared losers.
Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay announced that the next service will feature "the final six" competing together; because of that, he has each contestant decide who should leave Hell's Kitchen. The women unanimously decide that Trev should leave (four votes), with Sabrina getting two votes (from Trev and Vinny) and Vinny getting one vote (from Russell).
Elimination: Trev, having the most votes, was the first to be called down by Chef Ramsay. After being ordered to take off his jacket, Chef Ramsay gives Trev a black jacket, signifying that he's in the final six. In succession, Jillian, Nona, Russell, and Sabrina all received their black jacket, up until reaching Gail and Vinny. After stating their cases, Gail was told to take off her jacket, only to get a black jacket. In the end, Vinny ended up leaving Hell's Kitchen, with Ramsay saying he had not expected him to back up the blue kitchen as badly as he had done in the service.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "When the competition first started, I thought Vinny was the one to beat. But after tonight's dismal performance, he's now the one to go home."
Individual challenge: Each contestant has 20 minutes to create five servings of an amuse-bouche, which will be judged by five notable chefs in the Los Angeles area - each judge will give a score out of 10 in presentation and taste, for a maximum possible score of 100. Russell won this challenge by scoring perfect scores of 50 in both categories, totaling 100. Gail came in second place with 87 points: 44 in presentation and 43 in taste. Sabrina (70) came in third place, followed by Nona (67), then Jillian (65), with Trev (62) finishing last.
Award / punishment: Russell and Gail (who was chosen because she came in second) were invited for lunch at the L.A. Market restaurant where they and Chef Ramsay joined its executive chef, Kerry Simon. The others must prep the kitchen for that night's service, as well as clean the dorms.
Service: Prior to the start of the service, Chef Ramsay had the contestants look at a pile of money on a silver serving tray, which represents the $250,000 that the winner will earn working a year as head chef at the L.A. market. In this first service as a unified black team, Steak Diane would be served tableside by Nona. In addition, American sports stars Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm are among the night's diners. However, Sabrina made several mistakes cooking the risotto and ended up in a shouting match with Trev over her procedures; when Trev yelled back at her, Sous Chef Scott intervened shouting in his face and warning him not to yell at her again. Furthermore, Gail made several failures at fish - the halibut stuck to the pan, and the salmon had extra grease. Russell also undercooked the beef wellingtons. With so many mistakes and little making it onto the floor, Chef Ramsay wanted to "shut it down", but the contestants pleaded to keep going. Chef Ramsay relented, but vowed to close the kitchen if he spots one more mistake. At that point, several entrées made it to the diners to raving results. However, Russell undercooked the lamb, leading to Chef Ramsay to make good on his promise to throw everyone out and close the kitchen.
Nominees for elimination: In what was deemed the worst black team service in Hell's Kitchen history, Chef Ramsay had everyone decide two that should leave. While Nona was actually deemed the Best of the Worst due to her flawless performance in serving the Steak Diane, she was not given the choice of the nominees. The team decided that Trev and Sabrina should leave. However, as both stated their cases to Chef Ramsay, Sabrina tearfully said that she and Trev should stay and Gail should leave for her poor service on fish.
Elimination: Discounting Sabrina's tearful plea, Chef Ramsay decided that she should leave Hell's Kitchen. He complimented her on how well she had done, but said that she still needed to learn and mature outside and inside of the kitchen before she could think about running a kitchen.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Sabrina was quite dramatic in her final plea, but I'm not looking for a drama queen. I'm looking for a head chef."
Individual challenge: The contestants go to LA Live where, in their own food truck, they each have one hour to create a meal and make 80 portions of it. Then, each diner, all lawyers and executives on lunch break, grade their lunches from best to worst. Russell's grilled octopus and aioli salad entrée was deemed the worst, while Gail's skirt steak with mangoes and pecans entrée was deemed the best (although Nona's chicken salad and bacon sandwich lost out by only two percent), winning the challenge.
Award / punishment: Gail goes to José Eber's studio in Beverly Hills, where she gets a new hairdo, then to Hollywood, where Steven "Cojo" Cojocaru gives her a fashion makeover. The others clean the exterior of Hell's Kitchen, then each of the food trucks.
Service: In attendance among the diners is Cojo and Paris Hilton, along with twelve Marines seated at a twelve-top. Some of the appetizers and entrées left the pass slowly, as Russell was teaching Jillian how to cook fish and scallops as they went along, and Gail was not communicating with her teammates. Later, Trev's "cold in the middle" ribeye was the boiling point for Chef Ramsay, leading himself and Sous Chef Scott to walk out of Hell's Kitchen in frustration, leaving the contestants to fend for themselves. During this time Nona and Russell took control of the pass, and Nona's appetizers left the kitchen in a timely manner. Trev, however, still had problems on the meat station. Russell told Trev that the beef that he had sent up to the pass was "dead". But Trev insisted they were fine and even tried to refire them in the oven, much to the annoyance of Nona and Russell. Chef Ramsay and Sous Chef Scott eventually came back in the kitchen, with Chef Ramsay having the contestants change stations. He then issued an ultimatum - anyone who makes one more mistake would be thrown out of the kitchen. Gail was the first to be ejected, after undercooking the salmon. Jillian would follow, when she submitted an egg dish that was still raw. The remaining three - Trev, Nona and Russell - completed service.
Nominees for elimination: The team must decide among themselves which two should leave Hell's Kitchen. The two nominees were Gail and Trev. Whilst revealing Trev to be the second nominee, Nona (who Ramsay had asked for the nominations) also mentioned the refired meats that he tried to use whilst Ramsay was out of the kitchen. Trev defended himself by saying "I was just trying to make something work." Despite all this, Chef Ramsay singled out Jillian as one who should also leave, for serving raw eggs, though she was not called down.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay decided that Gail should leave Hell's Kitchen, telling her that he had expected her to go even further than she did.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "Gail's performance at Hell's Kitchen was up and down, up and down, and up and down. Roller coasters are great for amusement parks, not kitchens."
Individual challenge: Each contestant has 30 minutes to cook an entrée using the ingredients provided. He then tastes each dish and identifies its ingredients by taste alone. This led to the actual challenge - the "taste it, make it" challenge, in which they had 45 minutes to recreate a dish that Chef Ramsay made himself, without knowing the ingredients. Jillian finished last; despite creating a good-tasting dish, she misidentified every ingredient apart from the chicken stock. Trev was the only chef who identified that the dish used carrot purée rather than yam purée, but forgot to actually put the purée on the plate and used pork instead of veal, ruling him out of the running. This left Russell and Nona, and Nona was named the winner on the grounds that with the exception of the purée mistake that everyone except Trev made, her dish was a perfect copy of Chef Ramsay's dish, right down to the cooking techniques and seasoning (Russell incorrectly used bacon instead of pancetta, in addition to having the wrong purée; Ramsay also noted that Russell's seasoning, while fairly close to the original dish, wasn't as exact as Nona's).
Award / punishment: Nona won a copy of Chef Ramsay's cookbook, Recipes From a 3 Star Chef, along with a set of cookware; also she and Russell (of whom she selected to go with, as a strategy move to keep her out of Russell's crosshairs) spends a day at a day spa, Hands On Boutique Spa, complete with massaging. The losers, Trev and Jillian, must prep the kitchen for service and do laundry, including Chef Ramsay's chef's whites.
Service: Prior to service, Chef Ramsay had a private talk with Jillian, asking why she was slipping up the last two services, despite starting strong. After Jillian explained that she had trouble focusing, Chef Ramsay gave her a pep talk, urging her to take her time and focus on her work. Diners in tonight's service included Mackenzie Phillips of One Day at a Time fame, former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Brian Bosworth, and American Idol season 6 contestant Sanjaya. In the service itself, Trev was taking too long checking the beef wellingtons, leading to Chef Ramsay to calmly show him how it's done. Later, after Trev tripped, rushing to get the wellingtons ready, Chef Ramsay threw him out for thirty seconds as a "time out" measure. Russell had committed various mishaps on scallops and halibut, either undercooking or overcooking it. Nona miscooked the risotto twice - first by adding too much pepper; later by underseasoning and burning it. Jillian, remembering her pep talk earlier, cooked all her garnishes perfectly. Nevertheless, they all eventually cooked perfectly, and was able to complete what Chef Ramsay called a "not perfect, but bloody good" service.
Nominees for elimination: The contestants must choose two that should leave Hell's Kitchen. They all agreed that Jillian had been the best and so would not be nominated, and that Trev would be nominated for his many errors. When it came to the second nominee however, there was a tie on votes with the two women both voting for Russell and the two men initially voting for Nona. At the last minute though, Trev decided to chance his vote to Russell, making him the second nominee.
Elimination: Chef Ramsay called Trev down, only to order him back in line. He then called down Russell. Each contestant's family members then came into the dining area for a visit (Russell's parents and girlfriend were first; followed by Jillian's boyfriend and sons, Trev's best friend and sister and Nona's husband and son), to spend brief quality time with the contestants. Chef Ramsay then said that, because of tonight's near perfect service, no one would be sent home.
Individual challenge: Each contestant has 45 minutes to cook a fusion cuisine dish, using ingredients from two of eight countries - France, China, Thailand, Spain, Mexico, Greece, India and Italy. In selecting the countries, each contestant pulls out two flags at random, determining which countries they would cook. Trev drew Mexico and China; Russell drew France and India; Nona drew Greece and Italy; and Jillian drew Spain and Thailand. Each of their dishes are then judged by three chefs - all experts in fusion cuisine. Jillian won the challenge for her Spanish / Thai dish; she was also the only one to get favorable reviews from the chefs. Nona's dish tasted good, but the chefs didn't think it worked as a fusion dish, while both Russell and Trev's dishes were deemed to be bland and overcooked.
Award / punishment: Jillian joined her family and Chef Ramsay for lunch at Spago (its owner and creator, Wolfgang Puck, was not in attendance; instead executive chef Lee Hefter took his place). The others not only must prep the kitchen for that night's service, but also move the furnishings out of the dorms vacated by past contestants. Russell and Trev spent most of the punishment arguing, and after Jillian returned, she conspired with Nona to try to sabotage the two men and ensure an all-female final two.
Service: Chef Ramsay gave each of the chefs an opportunity to handle the pass and shout out orders to the other chefs. During the chefs' time on the pass, they had to complete quality control checks, including sous-chef Scott sabotaging the food. Russell had trouble getting acceptable scallops out of Trev, but otherwise controlled the kitchen well and was able to spot pecans placed in a salad instead of walnuts. Nona was able to get her orders across, but was not able to distinguish mashed potatoes from mashed celery root, the former being the correct dish, even after Ramsay pointed it out to her. Trev was able to identify that Scott had served seabass rather than halibut, but everyone was ignoring his orders, and he messed up by trying to call the entrées for one table before the appetizers had even been served. Jillian practically was shouting her orders, like Chef Ramsay, but was unable to catch the error that the steak was supposed to be rib eye, not New York prime rib; in addition, when Trev was not responding favorably to her orders, Chef Ramsay practically showed her how it was done by yelling at him, ordering him to listen to her and threatening to throw him out of the competition if he made any further mistakes. Nevertheless, the service (whose diners included Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Sasha Vuja?i?) was successfully completed.
Elimination: Based on the remaining contestants' overall performance, Chef Ramsay personally decided who shall leave and who shall advance to the finals. The chefs were sent up to the dorm to consider why they should stay and Nona told the others that she felt she was the only chef who had truly deserved to be in the final, angering Jillian who saw this as a betrayal of their earlier promise to get Russell and Trev eliminated. Before deliberations began, Chef Ramsay told Trev to leave as he was the weakest of the four. Though Jillian is the only chef that has never nominated for elimination even for once, Chef Ramsay announced that Nona and Russell are going to the final, leaving Jillian alone in the out cold. Jillian is allowed to kept her jacket, because Chef Ramsay is proud of her determination, passion and dedication, and he wants her to proud of herself. A teary Jillian left the competition though she's so close to the final.
Chef Ramsay's reason:
Trev: Chef Ramsay did not give a specific reason for Trev's elimination; he complimented Trev on the effort that he had put in and for lasting so long against the odds, but also told Trev that he had been by far the weakest, both as a leader and as a cook, in the service. Trev had to hand back his jacket, though the full elimination sequence was not shown for him.
Jillian: "Jillian didn't let her lack of fine dining experience get in the way. She made it this far because of her passion and determination. Unfortunately, it just wasn't enough to get her into the final." (Jillian kept her jacket, but chef Ramsay burned her picture without her jacket hanging.)
Individual challenge: Nona and Russell were taken to LA Market and asked to cook five dishes for a taste challenge. Russell won this challenge by a margin of 3-2.
Staff: For the first time, eight chefs returned to help the two finalists (in previous seasons only six chefs had returned; this was also only the second time that all of the eligible chefs returned to the finale, the other being in Season 3). However, in another first, the finalists were not given the help of sous chefs Scott or Andi in the final service, meaning that they would be totally dependent on their former competitors. For winning the individual challenge, Russell has first pick of the chefs - he chose Jillian, Vinny, Sabrina and Rob. For her team, Nona picked Gail, Melissa, Trev, and was left with Boris when Russell chose Rob. Nona's team were immediately united behind her, whereas only Sabrina had any enthusiasm about working for Russell (Jillian didn't have anything against him, but would have preferred to be on Nona's team, while Vinny and Rob felt he had thrown them both under the bus while they were on the Blue team).
Service: Both teams started well, serving their appetizers in a roughly equal amount of time. Among the customers are Kerry Simon from LA Market, Nona's husband and son and Russell's parents and girlfriend. Russell's kitchen moved ahead on the entrées, as Nona's team got bogged down by Boris's repeated failure to cook the halibut properly, then Trev tried to take over the fish station and caused an argument before Nona knocked them both back into line. Melissa also had trouble getting the meat out, but after encouragement from Nona, she was able to cook it correctly. In the blue kitchen Sabrina messed up on the meat section early on, and Russell threw her off the station and replaced her with Vinny, which Chef Ramsay said was a clever move. Rob later got into trouble on the appetizer station and Russell had a heated argument with him before removing him from the station and putting Jillian on it, and the continued arguments among the team would cause morale to grow steadily worse as the service drew to a close. Russell also attempted to serve two tables at once, which backfired when the entrées were returned for being undercooked. Both teams successfully finished their services; Nona's kitchen finished in a triumphant mood, but Russell's team finished in a much more subdued fashion.
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. Nona's door opened, making her the eighth season winner of Hell's Kitchen. Despite getting words of encouragement from Chef Ramsay, Russell took his defeat sorely. After accusing his team of "screwing" him and sabotaging his service, he promised that he would make certain nobody on his team would work in the same city as him when he became a chef.
Chef Ramsay's reason: "When Hell's Kitchen first started, I used to say, 'No, no, no,' to Nona. After every service, she improved dramatically. And I was soon saying "Yes, yes, yes." She has a phenomenal palate and a real passion for cooking. Soon, all of America will be saying, 'Yes' with me when they see her excel as the head chef of LA Market."
Nona became head chef of LA Market, and still works there to this day. Her menu in the last service was integrated into the LA Market menu made previously by Executive Chef Kerry Simon.
Nona later appeared in the first episode of Season 9
Jillian and Trev returned in Season 9 along with Ben (from Season 5), Van and Tennille (both from Season 6) to compete against that seasons final five chefs.
Russell returned in Season 10 along with other runner-ups to compete against that seasons final six chefs.