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Hell’s Kitchen, June 29 – Strippers, Streakers and Steaks


I have always enjoyed the bonus two hour episodes, until I started recapping. I guess that FOX is trying to cram an entire season into the summer schedule. I don’t have any fancy foods or foodie anticipation as I sit down to watch my favorite show today. We are in a bit of a pet crisis here at my house. For those of you who have fur kids at home I am sure you understand the sorrow when one of your babies is sick. Well, if anyone can help me escape this, even for a couple of hours, Chef Ramsay can. A few trash can kicks, followed up by a “You Donkey” should help. Just saying it in my head makes me smile.

Tonight we should see whether Ben’s leadership can save the red kitchen or if they are all destined to go down in flames. The first few minutes of joining the red team Ben may just be the catalyst that blows the team up. He sighs and whines and even announces that he is going to hang himself. I don’t think this is the team building skills Chef Ramsay is looking for.

The next day, before the challenge is announced, the contestants are told that the next service is going to be a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. He brings in the happy couple and has asked them to bring their menu from their wedding reception. For today’s challenge the chefs will be updating the 50 year old menu. The three entrees they will be updating are Chicken Kiev, Steak Diane, and Trout Almandine.

In the red kitchen, Ben takes on the trout, Holli and Fran have the chicken and Nilka and Siobhan are working on the steak. Nilka has no idea what Steak Diane is. Over in blue, Jay is doing the trout, Autumn and Salvatore are cooking the chicken, and Jason and Ed are working on the steak. Jay feels this is his opportunity to take control of the blue team, and run his kitchen. Salvatore feeds into Jay’s power move by seeking approval for the dish with Jay instead of his partner Autumn. Salvatore decides, with Jay’s approval, that an updated version of Chicken Kiev is meatballs. Chicken Kiev is basically a pounded chicken breast that is rolled and stuffed with an herbed butter. It is then breaded and either baked or friend. I don’t understand the connection unless he is making breaded meatballs.

Ben is definitely a calming force in the red kitchen.

The anniversary couple is helping judge the dishes. First up are Ed and Nilka with their Steak Dianes. Nilka presents a steak that is nothing like the original dish, and is forced to admit she is not familiar with the dish. Ed hits a home run with his dish and blue is awarded a point.

The chicken dishes are up next, Holli and Autumn present. When they lift their covers, the blue team’s inside out Chicken Kiev meatballs just look pathetic. Chef Ramsay asks whose idea that was and Salvatore raises his hand. One of the two balls is not cooked. Holli and Fran’s Kiev is just like the woman who is celebrating the anniversary makes it at home, and they win the second point.

It will come down to Jay and Ben who each decided to work by themselves with the trout dish. The wife likes the blue team’s better and the husband likes red better, so it ends in a tie. Chef Ramsay will break the tie. I would assume the undercooked chicken might weigh in here. Nope, I was wrong. Chef Ramsay tastes both trout dishes for himself. He thinks both dishes are good, but the edge goes to the red team. Under Ben’s leadership, they have won a challenge and are told they are stepping back to the 1950’s. They are handed what looks like bowling shirts. The blue team is in charge of cleaning and decorating the dining room, and making a 3-tier wedding cake.

Jean Philippe starts the blue team off with assembling the dance floor, while the red team takes convertible Chevys to a roller skating diner. In the dining room Autumn is starting to annoy her team with her endless chatter; nothing like a loss to bring out the team spirit. The men also need to make little party favor boxes with bows and ribbons. This is quite a challenge.

Red team is enjoying food and drinks. Siobhan wins a giant trophy in a hula-hoop contest.

The teams start the next day doing prep. Ben is taking charge in the red kitchen in a way that works with the others. They meet to go over all of the jobs that need to get done. Jay wants to win the challenge to beat Ben. While he is cutting potatoes he slices open his finger. He goes to seek out the medic and starts feeling light-headed. He goes back to the kitchen for Chef Ramsay’s pep talk.

The Steak Diane’s will be served tableside by Nilka and Ed. Appetizers are going out nicely in both kitchens. Ben is the first to make a mistake. First he serves the crab cakes stone cold in the center, then he burns them. Fran and Nilka try offering help to Ben, but he will not accept help from them. Finally both kitchens can move on to entrees.


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