What happens when you mix a cute, albeit loud, amazing chef with a prim and proper maitre d’ and sixteen hopeful chefs? You get a crazy culinary ride full of laughter and surprise called Hells Kitchen, and this year we get it twice! I just love this show and am so excited to be able to bring you on its fantastic journey this season. I am hoping that tonight we will see Chef Gordon Ramsey be forced to taste some interesting signature dishes from all of the contestants. Please fasten your seatbelts and get ready for take off; thank you for flying with Susan.
Holy adrenaline pumped chefs! The three minute intro to the season proves that we might just need those seatbelts. Jean Philippe starts off the season anxiously waiting for the bus to arrive to greet the new contestants. Right off the bus he informs them that he is tired of the complaints he receives because of what happens in the kitchen. He lets the contestants know that this season he is going to give them some tips that they will find useful and escorts them into Hells Kitchen.
The contestants are brought into a lobby, and we see Bonnie from season 3 talking to the chefs from a monitor hanging on the wall. She tells them that during her stay she broke lots of rules. Rule – Always turn the stove on before you start cooking. We see Colleen from season 5 on a different monitor across the room. Rule – Always taste your food before you serve it! Aaron from season 3 is next to discuss his mistake. Rule – There’s no crying in Hell’s Kitchen.
Instead of another rule, we see Chef Ramsey coming from all directions asking them if they are ready. He reminds me of the Wizard of Oz as he appears onscreen behind a giant fireball screaming “Are You Ready?” He appears from behind the wall with blockbuster movie special effects. He asks them why they are staring at him and demands they get back there and cook their signature dishes. Like a stampede of wild animals they run to the kitchen. Chef Ramsey looks into the camera and says “Unbelievable, bloody hell, here we go again”.
The contestants have 45 minutes to cook their signature dishes for Chef Ramsey. The cameras introduce us to a few of the chefs as they run around prepping their dishes. Sabrina, 34, a restaurant manager, informs us that she is going to be the hottest winner yet; she is spicy, sweet and sexy hot. Kevin, 35, and executive chef, tells us he “has won most every award you can do” and tells us he is a legitimate chef. The time is up and all the contestants are at the pass with their covered dishes.
Before Chef Ramsey starts tasting he tells everyone this year’s prize is like nothing he has ever done before. The winner will become the head chef at one of the finest restaurants in Canada, Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, British Columbia. I have been to Whistler, and it is an amazing winter wonderland resort town, nestled in the mountains. Shopping, skiing, fine dining, it really has it all; it would be an amazing place to live. Whistler is hosting the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the winner will be in place at their restaurant by then. Amazing opportunity. Jeff, 34, a sous chef, tells us he is already polishing his skis … swoosh.
Chef Ramsey divides the team by sex; red will be ladies, blue will be the guys. By the way, has anyone else noticed he’s looking tanner and blonder then we have seen him in the past, maybe just back from holiday? For the first time in Hell’s Kitchen, he announces that the teams will go head to head with their dishes.
They chefs line up according to color and wait for their turn to impress Chef Ramsey. Suzanne, 24, a sous chef, prepares a Fontina Risotto and tells us that her food is classical and perfect; she can kick anyone’s ass. Chef Ramsey tells her that before he even tastes it, he can see that it is undercooked. She argues back that she “definitely doesn’t believe so at all!” Gordon tastes it and also passes a fork over to the blue team contestant. The two of them describe her dish as chalky, raw, crunchy, bright white in the center and undercooked, followed up by a spitting out of the food.
The blue team contestant is Dave, 32, an executive chef. He prepares Ostrich with Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts. Dave has idolized Chef Ramsey for years and would like to earn his respect. He believes if Chef Ramsey tastes his dish and tells him it’s crap, it will cause mental damage. The comments after the first bite are “beautifully seasoned”, “very nice”, followed with an “oh dear, why are these Brussels sprouts undercooked?” Gordon thinks the ostrich was perfectly cooked, but there is no excuse for undercooked veggies. “Piss off both of you, nobody gets a point.”
Tek, 27, a sous chef, is up next to impress with Chipotle Honey Grilled Shrimp, and Chef Ramsey asks how long she has been cooking. She responds “ten years, but I am currently unemployed”. She lets us know that she needs this job because she has a family to support. Chef Ramsey tells her it is nice and cooked beautifully. Tek gives herself a pat on the back, which is rather weird.
Louie, 45, a diner owner, is representing the guys on this head-on challenge; he mentions he has been on the diner scene for 25 years. Chef Ransey lifts up Louie’s dome to which we hear a “bleep” me. Louie has made Sausage Gravy over Biscuits with Potatoes on the side and tells him that he sells about five gallons a week; Chef Ramsey comments on the term gallon and asks if it is for pigs. Chef Ramsey continues the conversation and asks how much he charges; Louie responds $4.75 with a coffee. Poor Louie is told that it is gunk and watches him spit it out. The ladies are awarded one point.
Joseph, 27, a sous chef and former Marine, “feels like a dog that has been taken off his leash. I’m hungry! I’m hungry! And I want this. And I am going to get this!” He makes a Roasted Veal Chop with Roasted Vegetables. Chef Ramsey thinks it looks lovely, but unfortunately for the guys we have uncooked Brussels Sprouts once again. I am starting to wonder if Brussels sprouts are very hard to cook; this isn’t the only show that has contestants undercooking them this summer. Chef Ramsey tells Joseph to taste it; Joseph demands a fork and informs him that he is not an animal. Chef Ramsey asks him to calm down; Joseph tells us privately he will drag Chef Ramsey out by his hair to the parking lot and stump the “bleep” out of him. Wow, who picks these people? This can be called the season of angry.
Chef Ramsey turns to Tennille, 28, an executive chef, who makes Lamb Chop with Balsamic Glaze. She gets a “Very nice,” and the ladies now have two points.
Amanda, 27, a sous chef, puts her dish on the table and runs back to get two shots of tequila. Margarita French Toast with Tequila Lime Butter is what she has prepared. Chef Ramsey is stunned and amazed, as she not only prepares him simple egg-washed french toast, but does a shot of tequila in front of him, and wants him to do one as well. He is shocked that she spent 45 minutes making a 3 minute dish. He does not even dignify it with a taste.