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Hell's Kitchen, Sept. 22 – Chefs Behaving Badly


Tonight starts another new season of Hell’s Kitchen. I am hoping for a little more skill, a little less drama with the contestants this season. I actually had my own drama this morning, so I was looking forward to some Gordon Ramsay to lighten my load. A person asked me on Facebook why I would even consider recapping the evil monster Gordon Ramsay.

I would like to go on public record as saying on top of all the awards and Michelin stars earned that make Ramsay a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen, he also spends a great deal of time doing charity work. He and his wife not only give out of their pocket but also give of themselves to many organizations, including CAFOD, Scottish Spina Bifida Association, Willow Foundation & Women’s Aid. While he may call someone a donkey, the people that sign on to this show know what they are signed up for. Personally I would rather eat at a restaurant where 100% perfection is demanded then where sunshine and rainbows grow and under or overcooked food is acceptable because it is nicer in the kitchen.

I thank each of you that take the time to read my thoughts and opinions, and hopefully along the way I also make you smile. We all share a commonality and you are all, very much so, appreciated for participating in my “being a writer” dream. With that all said I feel that I have done my job standing up for one of my favorite reality show chefs! Now let’s see what kind of craziness casting has given us this season.

OK, right off the bat I have to say I love the way they are starting the show. It has a sort of documentary feel to it in the beginning seconds, but they are showing us the contestants getting their letters of acceptance on to the show. Fun! The 16 are chosen from over 10,000 applicants. It’s like winning the lottery. Holy cow, the coming attractions are, well, disturbing to say the least. I am starting to think they give testosterone laced coffee to them in the morning.

Many moons ago I applied and was accepted into CIA; I have lived with a chef and worked in a 3 star kitchen. For those of you who have never worked in a kitchen before, I can assure you that what you see the first few minutes of the show is not how the majority of chefs behave. I have to wonder with businesses closing down and hundreds of thousands of people out of work, if there isn’t part of that stress playing into the absolute desperation to win this. No wonder they all smoke and drink; I want a cigarette after seeing that intro and I don’t smoke.

So the show begins. The chefs all arrive at the same time but are locked out of the restaurant. I guess already they don’t trust each other because more than 5 of them have had to try opening the door for themselves. The never-before-seen James, supposedly the new maître de, comes up behind them, introduces himself, and tells them to put the blindfolds on and come with him. I am hoping this is another setup, because I love Jean-Philippe. After some research and checking and double checking, it seems that Jean-Philippe is opening a restaurant for Chef Ramsay across the pond, but will return next season. Sigh, that is disappointing.

They are taken to Chef Ramsay who is standing in a large indoor area. Sabrina, who from previews seems to have severe anger management issues, says to the diary camera that when she heard his voice her heart fell from her butt. Seriously? I am a member of a reality TV chat group and we do blind picks every season from just name and face of contestants. We try to choose the winner; it is silly but fun, because you never know what you are going to get. I know they all read so let me do a quick shoutout and say I am so glad I didn’t pick this girl!

Anyway, Chef Ramsay tells them they are standing in the restaurant that houses the top price. It is called L.A. Market and is huge, in a huge downtown complex. It is a multi-million dollar restaurant. He teases them with it and tells them they haven’t earned the right to see the rest yet. The salary will be $250,000.

They are sent back to Hell’s Kitchen. There are two challenges in the season that I love more than others. One is the blindfolded taste test challenge. The other is the signature dish challenge. I like watching other peoples’ creativity in the kitchen, and I’ll be honest, I get a kick out of watching Chef Ramsay taste some of the lesser desirable dishes. As Chef Ramsay watches them run out, he says “Bloody Hell, here we go again.” I wonder if he takes a big dose of Pepto before this challenge.

The chefs go running in to the kitchen like it is a foot race, they have 45 minutes to prepare and plate their dishes. Here is a tip for anyone that is thinking about applying for Hell’s Kitchen next season. The first day there is ALWAYS a signature dish challenge. You should not wear high heels or extremely revealing dresses. You will be running around the kitchen cooking.

This season is again starting out with Red Kitchen being the women, and Blue Kitchen being the men. The first challenge will be head to head signature dishes.


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