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Hell's Kitchen is Not a Democracy – Hell's Kitchen 2, Episode 2


At the next service, both teams and Ramsay are determined to get out all the tickets for the evening. The men are focused, but over on the women’s side, Maribel is feeling homesick and seems distracted.

The restaurant opens and Keith and Sara get started on the appetizers. Keith eats off a cooking spoon and sticks the spoon back in the prep bowl. This is witnessed by the “customers.” (Like real customers wouldn’t sprint for the door after seeing THAT.)

The first starters get out all right, but both teams soon encounter a setback. Giacomo’s oven light has gone out and he either didn’t notice or didn’t solve the problem soon enough. Heather messes up the entrées and Ramseay seems sincerely disappointed in her. Sara and Virginia pitch in to help her with the entrees, and the women start humming along.

The men are not doing so well as they try to get out some final starters. Miscommunication between Keith and Tom leads to a minor humiliation for Tom at the hands of Ramsay. Tom is then pissed, feeling that Keith set him up for it.

Giacomo continues to hold up the men with the entrees. Ramsay is vein-throbbing-irate. And his fury always has this slightly poignant tinge, like a disbelieving misery that ANYONE could be so stupid, slow or not completely committed to excellence. Ramseay has Keith take over for Giacomo at the station.

Meanwhile, Tom burns himself and seems to give up, slowing his pace considerably. Keith notices and doesn’t like it.

Over in the women’s kitchen, Maribel has realized that she only has six Wellingtons prepared and there are currently eight orders for the dish. She gives Ramsay the news and he tells her to make the others from scratch. (Um… I’ve never worked in a kitchen, but isn’t that kind of like, “Duh?”) She makes them fresh but cannot get the temperature correct and the customers waiting for the dish walk out of the restaurant.

Tom messes up some vegetables, Ramsay yells, chaos, failure, the restaurant is closed for the evening.

The women’s team is declared the winner for the evening, but not before Maribel is called out for her errors.

So the men are the losers. Ramsey tells them they will each have to vote for the person they think is the weakest member of the team. They take a brief trip back to the house to confer. It seems clear that Giacomo and Tom were the weakest, so Keith and Garrett are sharing the driver’s seat. Giacomo fights to hang on, admitting his shortcomings but planning to improve, while Tom seems resigned to whatever Fate has in store.

Back at the kitchen, the chefs vote. Tom votes for Giacomo, Giacomo for Tom. Both Keith and Garrett vote for Tom, seeming to think that Giacomo’s energy trumps Tom’s sluggishness.

Well, once again, what they think really doesn’t make a lick of difference to Ramsay. Despite Tom’s receiving three negative votes from his team, it’s Giacomo who will be going home.

I’m all for Ramsay getting the final word – kitchens seem better-suited to iron-fisted dictatorships. But why must we go through the charade of the vote? Oh, right, because it will foment bad feelings between the remaining players (as Tom is now severely pissed at Keith and Garrett). Ham-handed, I say!

Look, Fox, I know it’s too late for this season, but here’s a clue for the future: Ramsay and the professional kitchen are interesting enough on their own. All these reality-staple shenanigans detract from what could really be a great show. Dial down the gimmicks and just let the chefs do their thing.

What say you? Drop Leslie a line at LQSeaton@realityshack.com.


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