Maria Torrisi becomes the fifth contestant cut from 'Hell's Kitchen'
By Christopher Rocchio, 06/23/2010
Maria Torrisi thought Scott Hawley should have gotten the boot, however Gordon Ramsay disagreed and instead ousted her.
The 24-year-old kitchen supervisor from Scranton, PA became the fifth contestant eliminated from Hell's Kitchen's seventh season during Tuesday night's broadcast of the culinary competition series.
"I really didn't show the heart, I really didn't show all of my capabilities," opined Maria after her ouster.
"But based on performance alone, Scott had a worse service than me -- plain and simple."
Hell's Kitchen's fifth seventh-season episode began after Gordon decided to place Autumn Lewis, a 29-year-old personal chef from Chicago, IL who currently resides in North Hollywood, CA, onto the all-male Blue Team and Scott, a 32-year-old executive chef from Modesto, CA who currently resides in New York, NY, on the all-female Red Team.
"It was definitely a bit of a shock switching to the Red Team," said Scott. "So my approach is going to change a bit. I'm going to stop trying to help other people out. I'm going to try and help Scott out now."
The next morning, the 12 remaining chefs met sous chefs Scott Leibfried and Andi Van Willigan in the kitchen and received outfits that led them to believe they'd be butchering animals.
Instead they traveled to the restaurant's parking lot, where they were met by a pig sty. Gordon then explained for their next challenge, each contestant would have to catch a pig. On each pig was a collar with an ingredient -- six had a pork cut and six had a side dish.
The contestants had to race to catch what they thought was the best ingredients and each team needed three pork cuts and three ingredients.
The challenge commenced and the contestants tried to grab the slippery pigs. Nilka Hendricks, a 28-year-old line cook from Glen Cove, NY who currently resides in West Hempstead, NY, struggled for the Red Team as the Blue Team snatched up the best ingredients.
Eventually the Red Team resorted to grabbing whatever ingredients they could get their hands on.
The contestants returned to the kitchen and had 45 minutes to work in pairs to create pork dishes, and Gordon was expecting them to match the correct side ingredient with the right pork cut. While Scott planned to hang back in the Red kitchen, he couldn't resist.
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"Scott's got a little bit of Autumn in him," commented Siobhan Allgood, a 25-year-old pub executive chef from Rockledge, PA who currently resides in Philadelphia, PA.
"He needs to stop trying to put his two cents into everything."
In the Blue kitchen, Autumn knew she was an "outsider."
"I just have to get comfortable with my team and I think we'll be able to work together really well," she said.
Nilka and Fran Klier, a 44-year-old catering chef from Rockville Centre, NY, had problems in the Red kitchen cooking their blood sausage.
The challenge ended and the contestants presented their dish.
Nilka and Fran's blood sausage with a prune puree faced off against Benjamin Knack, a 33-year-old culinary instructor from Elmont, NY who currently resides in Malden, MA, and Ed Battaglia, a 28-year-old high school cooking teacher from Burlington, NJ who currently resides in Edgewater Park, NJ, who prepared pan-roasted pork loin with thyme and baby-bock choy.
"Who in the f--k chose prune with blood sausage?" asked Gordon. While it was Scott's decision, he didn't say anything. Gordon gave the point to Benjamin and Ed.
Autumn and Jason Ellis, a 37-year-old personal chef from Greenville, SC who currently resides in Suwanee, GA, then put their honey-glazed bacon and slaw up against Siobhan and Holli Ugalde, a 24-year-old banquet chef from San Bernardino, CA, who presented their pork tenderloin with sweet-and-sour apple in a mustard sauce.
Gordon thought the Blue Team's dish was too sweet while the Red Team's dish was cooked perfectly, tying the score at one point a piece.
Jay Santos, a 32-year-old executive chef from Melrose, MA who currently resides in Medford, MA, and Salvatore Coppola, a 35-year-old pizzeria chef from Monte Di Procida, Italy who currently resides in Laurel Springs, NJ, put their pork loin chop and pinto beans up against Maria and Scott's sweet potato soup with ham hocks.
Gordon enjoyed both dishes, but gave the final point to the Blue Team because the pork wasn't the Red Team's main ingredient in the dish.
For their punishment, the Red Team would have to clean the pigs in the parking lot. For their reward, the Blue Team would go to Glen Ivy Hot Springs spa.
"The Red Team, I thought, was on a comeback, and it kind of sucks to lose again," opined Fran.
The next day the contestants met in the kitchen for the upcoming dinner service, and Gordon explained it was the first time the restaurant would be serving barbecue.
The contestants worked on mastering the new menu, and Nilka was scolded by Gordon for frying half of the Red Team's chicken three hours before the restaurant even opened. He then told he to stop sulking.
Just before the restaurant opened, Gordon revealed it was overbooked -- so there would be two seatings starting with the Blue Team serving and the Red Team cooking before they switched.
The dinner service then commenced with the Red Team in the kitchen, having two hours to serve the entire dining room. Maria immediately ran into a problem when she sent raw crab to the pass.
"It completely stopped the kitchen," said Fran.
Salvatore's hand writing continued to upset Gordon and he revealed he never went to school as a child and instead worked for his family. Gordon appreciated his honesty and told him to try writing a little clearer. Nilka and Fran shouted at each other in the Red kitchen and Scott tried to calm them down.
"It was a disaster," he said. "They would just stop in the middle of dinner service and fight."
Their bickering was louder than Gordon calling out the tickets, and he implored them to work together. He also thought Fran did a really nice job on the appetizers, and the entrees started to get sent out. However Siobhan served an undercooked burger to a customer, who sent it back.
Scott sent some fried chicken to the pass, but Gordon said it was "cooked to s--t" and seemed like it was leftover from a fast-food joint. In addition, Scott was also criticized for cooking with the oven door open -- a careless safety hazard.
As the Red Team pushed to finish their part of the service on time, Siobhan sent raw hamburgers to the pass -- which were thoroughly smashed by Gordon. He stopped the service and told them to shut it down.
"That was just such a f--king joke," said Scott.
The tables were turned and the Blue Team got in the kitchen, with the Red Team working as the servers. Similar to their problems in the kitchen, the Red Team struggled as servers -- taking 10 minutes for the first order to come in.
While the tickets came in slowly, Jay got the appetizers out quickly and Gordon had the Blue Team move onto entrees. However Salvatore was having problems on the garnish station and eventually stopped communicating.
Maria then revealed that the Red Team took a table's order twice.
"Are you trying to screw the Blue Team?!" asked Gordon.
Holli said the table was in her section, which meant it was Maria's mistake.
"Maria's like losing it right now," said Holli. "I think she's over-stressed or something because she's just not there."
Autumn's ribs were then criticized for being sent to the pass ice cold. Maria's problems continued as she screwed up another table's order.
"She f--ked up the order!" said an agitated Gordon.
The Blue Team quickly moved to finish the service, and Jason tried to save some time by frying chicken with french fries.
"Jason, not f--king good enough!" scolded Gordon. "Get the fries out of there first, then put the f--king chicken in there!"
Jason mumbled under his breathe and his teammates weren't pleased that he talked back to Gordon. Jason then needed three minutes to finish his dishes and ran out of time, as the Blue Team's service came to an end.
"If my team loses tonight, it'll be bye-bye," said Jason. "I love you honey. Meet me at the airport."
Gordon said he was disappointed with both teams' efforts but the Red Team was worse, so they lost the service. He called Fran the best of the worst and told her to come up with two nominations.
Maria acknowledged it was "one of the worst services" she's ever had but was quick to add Scott also "f--ked up."
"I don't know about Scott yet," said Fran.
Siobhan also took the blame for her poor performance, and Fran implored her to be stronger. Scott then spoke to Fran privately about her impending nominations.
"If you put anybody else up against Maria, they'll be safe," he told her. Then we'll still have five people tomorrow, we can come back and win this. If you put me up with her, chances are we're both going home and then you're done for."
Fran thought Scott had a point but was still unsure as to what to do.
Back in the kitchen, Fran nominated Maria because she has "totally fallen apart" and Nilka, who was surprised by the nomination.
"No Scott?" asked Gordon
"I felt Scott was a very strong team player in the kitchen," answered Fran, which brought a laugh from Nilka.
Gordon then called Maria, Nilka and Scott forward. He immediately sent Nilka back to the Red Team since her service wasn't as bad as Scott and Maria's.
"I feel that I can do better," said Maria, as Gordon questioned her commitment.
Scott also argued his case and said he has "leadership abilities."
"But you have to cook," said Gordon.
He then sent Maria packing.
"Maria was in over her head," said Gordon. "On garnish she was lost and her team paid the cost. That's why her life in Hell's Kitchen is dead."