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Hell's Kitchen, Aug. 1 – Do Good Things Come in Small Packages


Chino may be happy he went home last week; Hurricane Elise is about to hit the kitchen. Elise was so confident she had the backing of her team during the elimination that Chef Ramsay polled all of the ladies. Tonight’s episode starts off with the contestants headed back upstairs after a heated elimination.

Elise tells the rest of the contestants that she has learned a valuable lesson tonight. Could it be, “Cooperate?” How about, “Listen.” Okay maybe, “Teamwork.” Nope, she has learned the lesson of “Bring it on.” I must have been sleeping when this lesson was taught. She believes she is the target, because she is the strongest contestant there. Hopefully she will get a good night’s sleep, as it looks like she is opening her own personal bottle of wine. New day, new challenge awaits them tomorrow.

In the morning they go down to the dining room and are greeted by Dr. Gordon / Mr. Ramsay. It looks like the challenge will have something to do with molecular gastronomy. This morning’s challenge will have two guest judges. How funny would it be if Marcel from Top Chef walked out as a judge? Chef Ramsay explains that the judges have worked with NASA and have also worked on a pizza that changes into a dessert taste. Sounds like a room from Willie Wonka we never saw, maybe behind the lickable wallpaper.

Natalie gets excited recognizing that they are from Moto Restaurant in Chicago. Ben Roche and Homaro Cantu are the judges for today’s challenge. They demonstrate how they make a Cremesicle Sorbet. They take a tool that generates sound frequency and stick it into an orange. It breaks down the cell structure and turns the pulp into juice. I wonder if you did that at home if it would drive your dogs crazy. They add to the juice some handy liquid nitrogen which will instantly freeze the juice mixture into ice cream in 45 seconds. Tommy is worried about it because it is so cold “You could freeze a body part off.” He really wants to get his hands on some, but wouldn’t they freeze off?

The next challenge is about doing amazing things with very little. They are going back to basics, fire and water. They can steam, boil, or poach, but all other cooking methods are off limits. Poor Jonathan was looking forward to using “these things from the future;” now his mind is blank. Each team is given six proteins to cook. Since Red has seven remaining contestants, they will make one protein twice, taste the two dishes and present one. They are given 45 minutes. The proteins are salmon, lobster, veal, prawns, filet, and hen. Elizabeth and Carrie are doing prawns.

I’m thinking Gina drank some of Elise’s wine last night. At the start of the challenge everyone grabs a protein. Krupa takes the hen; turns out Gina called it and she is having a fit. They show Gina down in the wine cellar talking to the diary cam, cursing Krupa out and wiggling her head like some tough middle school girl would do. Good grief, really, you are 34 years old. From day one I have wondered about her, because it says she is a restaurant consultant. For all we know she could be the one that decides what color crayons to stock up at Macaroni Grill.

Krupa gives in and decides to do veal; I’m a bit surprised, as I have never seen a veal roast. I am, however, one of those “does not eat veal” people.

Over in the Blue kitchen, Monterray is having trouble deciding what to do with his prawns. There is only 23 minutes left, and he is still scratching his head. At 8 minutes to go, he still is not sure what he is going to do. It seems to me the prawns and the lobster would be the easiest proteins to make in this challenge.

Time is called, and the red team must decide which prawn dish to serve. Chef Ramsay is standing there watching Elise say she likes Elizabeth’s dish better. Elizabeth could have served prawn heads and veins on a plate and Elise would have said it is the better dish. Chef Ramsay asks Elise how she could possibly make that decision, considering she has not even tasted Carrie’s dish. Elise tastes food with her eyes, a cool trick I guess. They choose Carrie’s dish to sit out. I’m kind of hoping it comes down to a tie and Carrie’s dish is called into play.

Jennifer and Jonathan are the first to go up with their filet. Jonathan says he has gone back to the basics: meat, potato and vegetable. His dish looks horrible. It looks like a 1960’s T.V. dinner minus the flashy foil. Chef Ramsay asks him how far he went back. Homaro Cantu thinks it is a visually a trainwreck. However, they do think the beef tastes good. Jennifer scores high marks for the texture and flavor of her beef that was cooked in a broth. She wins the point for the visual presentation.

Elizabeth and Monterray are up next with their prawns. Monterray makes Prawns Eggs Benedict; Chef Ramsay bows his head in shame. The prawns are so overcooked they are solid in the shell. Elizabeth presents Prawns with Spaghetti. They think the seasoning needs a lot of work and Chef Ramsay is disappointed. He asks Carrie to come down with her dish. Carrie’s dish is praised by the judges. Chef Ramsay continues that Carrie’s dish would have won her team a point. As it stands, neither kitchen wins a point for the prawns.

Jamie poaches an overcooked salmon. Will cooks his salmon with a poached egg on top. Blue wins a point. The score is tied.

The hens are next. Gina poached her breast; Tommy poached the breast and the leg. The judges think that Gina’s tastes nice and think Tommy has a lot going on in his plate. Chef Ramsay asks him what he was thinking; Tommy says he doesn’t really think when he does things, he just does them. Well now we know the story of the giant tattoo across his forehead. The judges tell him less might have been more and award the point to red. It is now 2 to 1.

Elise and Paul bring up lobster. Elise has poached hers; the judges agree that it is rubbery. Paul poached his lobster in citrus. He gets a Bravo and Blue gets a point.

The tie-breaking dish is going to be the veal dishes. Natalie and Krupa approach the judges. Natalie makes a veal terrine wrapped in greens. She is told not to take it personally, but her terrine comes off as having a cat food texture. That’s funny. Someone tells you that your food feels like cat food in their mouth, but you shouldn’t take it personally. To add insult to injury, after Ben Roche tells her that he meows.

Krupa’s dish goes over well even though they all think it looks horrible. Ben Roche thinks it is reminiscent of beef stew. Chef Ramsay has a huge problem with the dish; I’m guessing it isn’t veal. I’m right; how she couldn’t tell the difference is beyond this home cook. Chef Ramsay sends Carrie into the kitchen to fetch the veal. Neither is awarded a point.

The score is tied. Chef Ramsay decides that because Krupa messed up so badly, and they chose to leave the best dish, Carrie’s, to the side, that he cannot give them the win. Blue team is awarded the win for the challenge.

Elise is now angry with Krupa. How about being disgusted with yourself that you made rubbery lobster? Or being the person that shut Carrie’s dish out of the running?

Blue team is awarded a spa day in Beverly Hills. The red team wins their own mini spa trip. They will scrub down the hot tub upstairs, the fountain in the front of Hell’s Kitchen, and prep both kitchens for service tonight.


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