HK8, ep. 7
The usual reprise of the prior episode opened this one:
1. Melissa was sent to the Blue team and Trev to the Blue team.
2. The Challenge was judged by a senior editor from Bon Appetit magazine and a prize for the best dish was a photo shoot for Bon Appetit
3. Rob’s scallops won the prize and also broke the tie between the Red and Blue teams.
4. At dinner service Melissa started OK but Sabrina and Nona had problems.
5. Red nominated Sabrina while Blue nominated Boris. Ramsay thought Nona and Melissa also deserved to be up with those two and he eliminated Melissa.
At the start of this episode Ramsay told the teams that his family (wife Tana and 4 children) would be eating in Hell’s Kitchen’s Children’s Night. A special kid’s menu was planned, so teams had to prep for the regular menu and the children’s menu. There was a cover over a table, which when taken off revealed a roulette table. Ramsay stated that great chefs frequently gamble on their creations and it was time for the teams to do so. Each chef got one throw, except for Vinny who got 2, and the letter on the wheel was the first letter of an ingredient that would be used in the teams’ dish. All chefs had only 10 seconds to select those ingredients and that pressure caused some inherent problems in the combinations of ingredients. The blue team chose:
Vinny – yams
Vinny 2 –
Boris – miso
Rob – striped bass
Russell – asparagus
The Red team chose:
Trev – rutabaga (ridiculous!)
Jillian – cauliflower
Sabrina – bok choy (not a good choice)
Gail – fennel (a really good choice because of the number of things it goes with)
Nona – salmon (got lucky with a protein so a non-vegetarian meal is possible)
Both dishes were evaluated by Ramsay as quite good, although the fried yams and asparagus for Blue and cauliflower puree and rutabaga chips for Red were sub-par. The Red team won because the cauliflower puree had separated but still tasted excellent. The prize for Red was one of the best ever, a trip to Las Vegas to the Rio Resorts Palazzo All-Suites Hotel where they were staying in a 14,000 square foot room. Can you imagine? 4,000 square feet is a huge home and this suite is 3.5 times that size. The women are very impressed and then there is a noise at their door. It is Penn and Teller who arrived to do magic tricks for them. WOW! The blue team got to unload and prep 1000 potatoes for the complimentary French fries that were to be offered at the next evening’s dinner service.
It is Family Night in HK. Boris could not turn out acceptable macaroni and cheese for Ramsay’s son, which caused Ramsay. Boris and Sabrina are considered weak links by their teams. There is a HK Carnival going on outside. Ramsay says the diners will enter happy, be happy eating and leave happy so that he can be happy. Fat chance! Each table receives a welcoming basket of French Fries. There is a special Kid’s Menu. Vinny has doubled up the portions, for which Ramsay castigating him. Vinny tried a short cut, serving old extra risotto to Ramsay, but Ramsay was very upset that his family is not getting a fresh risotto. Ramsay said “if you can’t be bothered to do it, the go home.”
Sabrina on Meat constantly asked Trev for help, then got a “perfectly cooked from Ramsay. Ramsay asked “Where’s the beef?” before Boris was slicing a perfectly cooked beef on a dirty cutting board. Ramsay asked the same question to Sabrina, who was ready but Nona on Garnish was not. The Ramsay family table was served except for the macaroni and cheese. Rob could not do it. He asked Russell to help, but Russell declined because he thought Boris needed to stand on his own feet. Trev criticized Sabrina for cooking 2 minute lead time grilled cheese ahead of 6 minute lead time chicken. Sabrina’s chicken was checked by Trev, but Ramsay found it to be cold. The Red team worked together to complete their last entrees.
Ramsay stated that 90% of the customer comment cards showed the guests leaving happy. He was pleased. The teams had to nominate 2 members each for potential elimination but this was a classic red herring, as Ramsay was giving them a pass with nobody eliminated.
HK8, ep. 8
The reprise of the prior episode was:
1. A Roulette Challenge forced the chefs to think fast in choosing ingredients in 10 seconds.
2. Nona’s salmon paid off with a win.
3. It was Family Night and Ramsay’s family was there.
4. Trev and Sabrina were at each other’s throats, but they pulled together to finish.
5. Nona and Rob were chosen by Ramsay for consideration, but he eliminated nobody.
Jillian and Gail will pair up and the others will each create a beef, lamb, chicken and pork dish. They had $60 and 20 minutes to buy ingredients. Sabrina wanted to do lamb and lentils. The Red team had to cut out $7. This is to test ability to turn classic ingredients into high end dining experiences. The dishes will be priced by a panel of guest judges:
Mark Peel, owner/chef of Campanile
Sophie Gayot, owner of Gayot guidebook
Libby Rego, reviewer - Yelp
Justin Wybourn, the general manager of the London West Hollywood Nobu
Sophie judging Beef
Nona (pan-seared ribeye, parsnip puree, broccolini, red wine balsamic reduction) $32 vs. Rob (grilled NY Strip Steak, cipollini onion, crispy shiitake mushrooms) $26
Mark judging Pork
Jillian/Gail (pan-seared pork tenderloin with roasted peach and shallots) $28
Boris (marinated pork tenderloin, stir fry) $26
Libby judging Chicken
Trev ( lemon-roasted chicken breast w/ carrots) $22
Russell (chicken cacciatore w/ rustic potatoes) $26
Justin judging Lamb
Sabrina (lamb with lentils and carrots in red wine sauce) vs. $28
Vinny (round bone lamb chop w/ red potato) $23
Red totalled $110 and Blue only $101 so Red team won a sailboat ride with a waterfront dinner at the Maya Hotel with Mexican band playing. The Blue team wrapped and fumigated the kitchen. Prepping was for specific stations. Boris had hot appetizers, while Russell as sous chef was on his case.
Ramsay gave his pre-dinner pep talk outside. He stated that it is the 100th dinner of Hell’s Kitchen and the Goodyear Blimp is overhead. The gala event is black tie, invitation only. The guests dining at 2 chef’s tables had a special connection to Hell’s Kitchen. It was obvious to me that it would be previous winners of HK, but the chefs thought some celebrities would be arriving. It was Rock of HK3, HK4 winner Christina, HK5 winner Danny, HK7 winner Holli.
Hell’s Kitchen opened for its 100th service. It is an evening of elegance, including a string quartet. Sabrina served caviar to all tables. Ramsay was served a risotto from a previous table and Nona tried to blame Gail for it but it was her responsibility. Ramsay told Boris to get risotto on first vs. capellini because it takes longer. Rob helped Boris to get appetizers out. Trev had recurring major problems on virtually every Garnish item he touched. It seemed that an impostor had taken his place in the kitchen, one who caved to pressure and did not know how to cook garnishes. Gail was cited by Ramsay for perfectly cooked Wellingtons. Ramsay was concerned about gnocchis. 3 Blue diners found the roasted lobster to be chewy due to overcooked by Vinny. Jillian had lobster ready but Trev did not have the garnishes ready for it. Russell was not helping Rob, who wanted to communicate with him. Rob forgot a chicken, but that stacked up all the Blue orders. Trev’s errors finally caused Ramsay to send him out of the kitchen. Ramsay decided to shut down the Blue kitchen after Rob tried to get pink chicken past him. The Red team needed Trev back so they could finish the last table and take over the Blue orders not completed. Jillian was commended by Ramsay for “perfectly cooked.”
Ramsay’s post-mortem indicated that the 4 ladies had done really well. The blue team had to nominate 2 and one was clearly Boris, but there was a tie between Vinny and Rob for the second one. Ramsay brought all 3 up and then eliminated Boris. Most would say this was long overdue.
Ramsay then called Trev forward and the screen stated the infamous words “To Be Continued.” Trev had a terrible night, but has been a consistent positive factor on the Red team. Will he bite the dust for one bad night? I don’t think so as Ramsay likes to give chefs a second chance. also, the blue team is now 2 chefs smaller than the Red team, so the most likely outcome is for Trev to be moved back to the Red team.