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At Last, a Successful Service! (Sorta) – Hell's Kitchen 2, Episode 5


Last week saw the departure of workhorse Rachel, and Heather’s feeling upset about losing her ally, even though that ally was on a different team. It’s understandable, considering her own team of Keith and Garrett spend some time after the elimination critically assessing Heather’s unexpected weakness.

They will have to put all of that aside, though, and focus on the next challenge. Chef Ramsay sends the chefs to a local market. The challenge focuses on inspiration; each team will need to prepare a three-course menu for Ramsay using the fresh ingredients in the market.

Virginia takes charge of the Red Team, which annoys Sara (then again, what doesn’t annoy Sara?). She’s also portrayed as not being the most effective leader as they seem slightly discombobulated as they run through the market. One moment of clarity: when Virginia is buying poultry, she decides to get something that, as the announcer puts it, “will get Ramsay’s attention,” and she orders the “biggest [chicken] breast” they have. Oh chortle chortle, Fox! Booby jokes never miss!

Back in the kitchen, Virginia continues to direct the others, giving repeated instruction to Sara to char the red pepper she is roasting. The teams have one hour to pull it together and both teams finish.

Ramsay likes the Blue Team’s soup, but complains that Garrett left the sharp shrimp tail on. Ramsay thinks the Red Team’s red pepper soup tastes burnt. Virginia is mildly chagrinned that she gave such strong direction to Sara to char the pepper, but immediately follows that up with, “But Sara didn’t say no!”

Both team’s entrees please Ramsay; he finds the Blue Team’s steak perfectly cooked, and is impressed by the sophistication in the Red Team’s chicken dish. (There was another booby joke, but I can’t, Dear Reader, I just can’t bring myself to write it out.)

Last up are the desserts. Heather’s fruit crepes are tasty, but soggy. Maribel’s strawberry shortcake is also tasty, but uninspired.

So who will win? Ramsay thinks it’s close, but ultimately the Red Team wins for the sophistication of the chicken dish. As winners, they will have a night on the town with Ramsay. As losers, the Blue Team will be responsible for bringing in deliveries any time they hear a horn honking outside.

The Blue Team is irate and thinks they were robbed. Keith vents that their “soup was money,” their “dessert was money,” how could they lose? The Blue Team suspects that Ramsay is playing favorites.

Their poor mood is compounded by the heavy labor they are put through over the next few hours, hauling in delivery after delivery, while the Red Team heads out for wining and dining with Ramsay. Both teams have a late night: the Red Team, due to their partying, and the Blue Team, due to middle of the night deliveries.

The next evening’s service will again give the chefs a chance to show their creativity. Each team will design their own menu, and the patrons will be able to choose between Red and Blue menus.

The Red Team selects a sashimi dish as Virginia has had experience with it before. Sara offers up a lamb dish that she said got her fired from a previous position, the owner was so jealous of her recipe. Maribel doesn’t feel her ideas are being respected or listened to.

Garrett, over on the blue team, feels the same way, and whether it’s his lack of input or just a desire to keep things simple, the Blue Team only puts two original dishes – a steak entrée and peach tart – on the menu.

The Blue Team takes an early lead, with Keith successfully getting out good quality risottos, for which Ramsay praises him. On the Red side, Virginia messes up her scallops, and compounds her error by being too flustered to adequately communicate with Ramsay about cooking times. She also is having trouble with the sashimi dish, because the fish is too “wiggly” to cut properly. Ramsay is incredulous; this is the dish they’ve selected, it doesn’t even require cooking, and she can’t do it right?

The disparity in getting out the starters is especially evident tonight as the patrons who selected Blue dishes are served while the customers at the same table who picked Red dishes have to wait.

It’s not all smooth sailing for Blue, as Garrett messes up a duck salad. They also have a delay when a horn honk alerts them to a delivery and they have to stop cooking to attend to it. The Red Team is able to catch up on starters, but they cannot sustain the momentum.

Sara, despite her assertions about how fantastic her lamb dish is, seems unable to actually cook it. Ramsay sends back dish after dish. The Blue Team is able to get back on track, despite Garrett’s weakness. At one point, Ramsay even starts showing him how to prepare some of the food, and Heather winds up having to take over the steak station for him.

Sara seems totally incapable of actually completing a single proper lamb dish, so Ramsay finally takes it off the menu. Maribel is having trouble with her portion of the menu, a fish dish. The Blue Team, on the other hand, is completing their entrees and actually sending out desserts!

Frustrated with the Red Team, Ramsay merges the kitchens, and the Blue Team helps the Red finish. It’s clear who the winner is going to be tonight!

As expected, the Blue Team wins, and the Red Team is sent to the corner to think about what they’ve done. No, actually, they’re sent back to the house, no “best of the worst” tonight, they’re all vulnerable and each will have to select one of their own to be eliminated.

Back at the house, the discussion about who should vote for whom is about as civilized as one could expect at this point. Sara wins no friends and influences no people with her unapologetic attitude.

Also, as expected, the concept of voting for one another was just a gamut to get a little intramural tension going on. Once they get back to the restaurant, Ramsay informs them that their votes don’t matter. He’s calling the shots here. And the shot is aimed at Maribel. She going home because she doesn’t have the kind of leadership ability Ramsay needs.

We’re down to five, but honestly, we could be down to two, the strongest players are clear. I’m making my prediction now that Heather and Keith will be the final two! Prepare your own brackets and tune in next week to see what happens!


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