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Offline apskip

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Hell's Kitchen 9
« on: June 08, 2011, 12:44:58 PM »
Gordon Ramsay is at it again. Hell's Kitchen 9 is coming on July 19 Tuesday nights at 8pm EDT.

For those really excited by Hell's Kitchen like me, a new book has recently published titled Chef Wars: Hell's Kitchen about HK1 through HK8, available through Amazon.com.


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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 01:09:55 PM »
I LOVE Hell's Kitchen. I'll be so happy to have a summer version!  :wohoo:
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Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 01:46:06 PM »
HK9's schedule has been juggled by FOX due to low ratings for MasterChef 2. HK9 will open on Monday July 18 at 8pm and also air Tuesday July 19. Here is a preview of the first episode, which looks quite similar to first episodes of other seasons:

An all new set of contestants attempt to impress Chef Gordon Ramsay with their culinary skills in order to win the position of head chef (and what the heck does that mean?) at NYC's BLT Steak restaurant (executive chef Cliff Crooks from Top Chef 2). After they present their signature dishes for Ramsay, they prepare for the first night's dinner service, but one aspiring chef must be rushed to the hospital before it starts. Later, the service is full of problems, leading Chef Ramsay to ban three contestants from one of the teams from the kitchen. 

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 01:53:45 PM »
The 18 initial competitors in HK9 are listed below, but I cannot find any biographical information no them, which is strange indeed:
   
Elizabeth Bianchi

Natalie Blake
   
Amanda Colello
   
Chino Chang

Jamie Gregorich
   
Brendan Heavey
   
Carrie Keep

Monterray Keys
   
Will Lustberg
   
Gina Melcher

Paul Niedermann
   
Jennifer Normant
   
Krupa Patel

Steven Paluba
   
Jonathon Plumley

Tommy Stevens

Elise Wims
   
Jason Zepaltas

Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2011, 10:09:14 PM »
HK9, Ep. 1

A new batch of contestants have arrived to go for the gold. At the top end of this show, the list of attributes Gordon Ramsay is looking for is listed:
Intelligence
Team Spirit
Diplomacy
Humility
Passion
Drive
Ability to Persevere and Fight Back
Inquisitive Naure

For a similar list, see “Attributes of a HK Winner: Skills, Values, Teamwork, Behavior” on pages 239-241 of “Chef Wars: Hell’s Kitchen” by Arthur E. Perkins Jr. Ludicrous examples of the above attributes are portrayed with three second clips from the HK9 season.

The Signature Dish challenge became a team challenge so it’s Red team (women) vs. Blue team (men) competing to win points. Both individuals who present a dish at the same time can win a point, or neither, or just one, depending on the relative quality of the dishes. Here were the results of this:

Carrie vs. Will – chicken-fried rib-eye, with Yukon Gold mashed potatoes (sugar added??) with truffle cream gravy; sheep’s milk gnudi R 0 B 1
Amanda vs. Brendan - eggplant rollatini with creamy polenta; salmon with a basil cream sauce R 1 B 1
Jennifer vs. Jonathon – pork w/ a special marinade + green beans; “Punch Drunk Chicken” with canned pineapple R 1 B 0
Krupa vs. Paul – stuffed naan; eggplant rollatini w/ crab and mascarpone ricotta R 0 B 1
Jamie vs. Steven – lamb lollipops with red onion confit; seared diver scallops over wild mushroom risotto
Elise vs. Chino – not shown ; not shown R 1 B 0
Natalie vs. Monterray – lamb; sea bass R 1 B 1
Gina vs. Jason - pan-roasted pistachio scallops with pureed parsnip; pork taco R 0 B 1

So Blue won the usual cliffhanger 5 to 4 to get the first reward. It was a trip to LA Market to chat with Nona, winner of HK8. She mouthed a lot of obvious platitudes which the Blue team interpreted as great insights. The Red team had to clean a very dirty kitchen. 

The next day prep for the first dinner service started. Both teams were taught the basics of the dishes whey would be cooking, including risotto and Beef Wellington. They were also given a set of Henckel knives.

Dinner service begins with Ramsay expecting that some mistakes will be made as the competitors settle in. However, an omen of things to come happened during the Blue prep. Jason was unable to function and a medic’s evaluation had him sent to a local hospital. Although HK8’s first dinner service was the only one ever to come to a successful conclusion, Ramsay can hope that HK9 will be similar in outcome. There are chef’s tables now in Hell’s Kitchen and instead of sending chefs off to the bar or upstairs or elsewhere, errant chefs will be sent to wait in what is effectively a “penalty box” in full view of their teammates.

This dinner service does not go well. Both teams had trouble with risotto.  At the beginning, Blue plowed ahead during the first hour and got appetizers out and were theoretically ready to start on entrees. However, a variety of problems prevented them from ever doing a single one. The biggest problem was that the Garnish station was incapable of timing their output to match that of Meat. Several nicely cooked Beef Wellingtons had to be tossed as a result of that. Then first Steve and later Chino got sent to the penalty box for poor performance on the Fish station.

Red had their problems too, with appetizers consuming them for the first hour. At that point, Krupa’s leadership gave Red the edge of getting out entrees. Blue had 2 of their team sent to the penalty box and Tommy was sent to the Fish station to solve its problems. He did not and so got sent to the penalty box too. Both Red and Blue had some rubbery scallops totally rejected by Ramsay. Jonathon completed a good Beef Wellington but the Garnish station screwed up, forcing it to be done over.

Elise tried to take over Fish from Carrie, but Ramsay intercepted that and asked Elise why she had failed to get the garnishes for a 6-top (table for 6) out. She got sent to the penalty box.

James reported to Ramsay that the mass migration of the customers out the door after 3 hours had started. He was forced to shut Hell’s Kitchen. It was obvious that the Red team had won. Blue was asked to nominate 2 individuals. They did, Steve and Monterray. Ramsay added Chino to the mix. He then sent Chino and Monterray back to their teams. Steve was eliminated. Ramsay’s finishing comment on Steve was “he had as much chance of being head chef at the BLT Steak restaurant as I did of winning a gold medal in figure skating.” 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 10:13:10 PM by apskip »


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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2011, 10:14:33 PM »
HK9, Ep. 2

A young rock electric guitar has been brought in to provide reveille for the HK9 competitors at 535am. They do not look amused.

The challenge for this episode is to cook steaks 4 ways:
NY Strip Medium Rare
Ribeye Medium
Filet Mignon Medium Well
Burger Well Done

Each team of 2 (or 3 for the Red team at the end or 1 for the Blue team at the end) will have their steaks cut and judged by Ramsay. Here were the points up to maximum of 4 that each pair received in his scoring:

Amanda/Krupa 4
Brendan/Jonathon 2
Carrie/Elise 1
Chino/Tommy 3
Jamie/Natalie 3
Monterray/Paul 2
Jennifer/Elizabeth/Gina 2
Will 4

Total Blue team 11, Red team 10 so the blue team got the reward of a trip to Palm Springs. The men flew with Ramsay in a private propjet, took the tramway to the top and had a lunch with Ramsay getting to know them better. The women got to clean the grills, unload a special meat shipment (several huge sides of beef), and have a lunch of blenderized meat scraps with the gristle into an unappetizing shake. The women also peeled potatoes and studied menus.

The prep for the next day’s dinner service was uneventful. Ramsay announced that Carrie and Will would make Caesar salads tableside for all customers and later Krupa and Monterray would carve prime ribs of beef tableside. However, Carrie could not handle the simple task of Caesar salad until Ramsay assigned Krupa to help her. Later, Krupa overturned by mistake the cart with the prime rib, forcing Ramsay to have Monterray handle the Red team prime rib cuts as well as the blue team’s.

Chino had multiple problems, including no communication, burning risotto and overcooking risotto. It took him until the 3rd attempt to turn out a decent dish of risotto that Ramsay approved. Brendan had problems with sea bass and it was rejected. He made the huge error of attempting to pass off the rejected one as newly cooked sea bass. Ramsay called him on this, threatening to turn the Blue kitchen upside down to find the discarded sea bass Brendan claimed to have trashed. Brendan’s lie was exposed and he lost all credibility with Ramsay.

Elise attempted to step up as a leader, but her Red teammates just saw her as annoying and obnoxious. Ramsay told her to shut up and take her direction from him rather than trying to give it to others.

One hour into the dinner service no Blue team had gone out, while Red was halfway through its entrees. Tommy’s duck was overcooked. Krupa got an “attaboy” from Ramsay for really exceptional sea bass. At this point nearly 2 hours had passed without Blue again getting no entrees out successfully. Ramsay shut the Blue kitchen and had 4 of the Red team come over and finish the blue dinner service. The Blue team was fuming but there was nothing they could do.

Blue had to nominate 2 as usual and Chino and Brendan were the obvious choices. Ramsay wasted little time in eliminating Brendan even though Chino has proven totally inept so far.  I am sure the lie was the reason. Ramsay’s summary remark on Brendan was that the only thing bigger than his ego was the lies he tells. Brendan left Carrie with the idea that he wanted to get together with her after HK9 was over. Ramsay alerted both teams that he wanted a volunteer from Red to join and provide leadership for the Blue team the next morning to rebalance the teams. The Blue team told him they did not want help but he told them his reputation was on the line and they had no say in his decision. I predict that Elise will be that volunteer since the Red team already hates her.

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2011, 12:40:46 PM »
HK9, Ep. 3

It’s a new day in Hell’s Kitchen, with a group of clowns waking the competitors up early. Ramsay said that if they continue to cook like clowns, then they should be woken up by clowns. Ramsay assembled the Blue team and Red team to hear Red’s nomination of Carrie. He did not even listen to that, as he wanted to move Natalie to blue to get them organized properly.

The clowns are the lead-in to a kids and moms luncheon with a special menu of quesadillas and pasta for the kids and paninis made from naan for the moms. The first team to finish wins. The suspense is hyped by the announcer, but as usual it’s a cliffhanger ending with Blue victorious for the third time in a row.  Carrie was criticized sharply by Elise and then other Red team members piled on.

The reward was a private visit to Medieval Times with jousting lesson included. The Red team had to clean the dining room of the mess that the kids and moms left behind, then set up a playground area for the upcoming Family Night of swing sets and a Basketball hoop. On return from Medieval Times the Blue team was smart enough to ask Natalie what the techniques were that Red had used to win the first 2 dinner services by such a wide margin. She told them that they organized each station meticulously with lists of how things would be done and then during the service they communicated continuously. To me that showed it was not rocket science, just the basics that Blue had been missing.

Chino and Gina were ordered by Ramsay to be Assistant Maitre D’s in the dining room assisting James for the biggest occupancy of the season for Family Night. The kids’ menu has chicken tenders and cheeseburgers while each table will get a margherita pizza.

Dinner service started. Elise received “nice pizza” acknowledgement from Ramsay. Krupa and Jamie then combined to put out a good risotto which was also acknowledged. Tommy overcooked chicken tenders.  For the first Red order, Jennifer left Beef Wellington and a Burger off, which caused Ramsay to huddle the Red team for severe comment. Blue finished the appetizers and started entrees well before Red. Will failed? to complete an entrée. Amanda’s performance on the Meat station was ludicrous. Natalie had a problem with her first Beef Wellington but got at least 2 right after that. Amanda forgot an entire cod dish as the rest of that order was ready to go out. Carrie submitted lamb that was raw. That was the last straw for Ramsay. He ordered Gina to take the Red team on a tour of all Red tables so they could apologize to the customers. On return to the Red kitchen, he sent them packing and asked the Blue team to finish the orders for both kitchens.

Elise blasted Carrie for “upsetting the rhythm of the kitchen.” It is obvious that they have a personality conflict and one of them will eventually have to go. I believe it will end up being Elise after we viewers are subjected to more weeks of her vendetta against Carrie.

Ramsay asked the Red team what happened. Krupa opened her mouth and blamed it on Carrie’s infighting with Elise distracting the Red team from solving their leadership gap. Elise stepped up and blamed Krupa for non-performance. If there was any evidence of that on this telecast, I missed it. Elise is just one of those bitches who will not last very long. It only depends on how long the producers, including Ramsay, want to let her make more waves and get more publicity.

Ramsay nominated Jennifer, Carrie and Amanda for their transgressions in this episode and asked the standard “why should you stay” question. He then eliminated Amanda even though there was a case for each of those 3. However, I would have eliminated Elise so that the Red team can make an effort to develop good teamwork, which will be impossible as long as her big mouth dominates that team.     

Ramsay told all competitors that they acknowledge any errors and then must fight back whenever they occur. His parting words for Amanda were that she lost the will to fight and that he therefore lost the will to protect her.

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2011, 12:49:39 PM »
Normally, I present this well in advance but IO was away on vacation when this information became available. Here is a summary of the background of the 18 initial competitors for HK9:

Elizabeth Bianchi, Age: 27, Line Cook, Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Pan-Roasted Quail
   
Natalie Blake, Age: 23, Sous Chef, Hometown: Harrodsburg, KY
Signature Dish: Lamb Chops   

Amanda Colello, Age: 26, Personal Chef, Hometown: Sun City, CA
Signature Dish: Eggplant Rollatini with Creamy Polenta   

Amanda Colello, Age: 26, Personal Chef, Hometown: Sun City, CA
Signature Dish: Eggplant Rollatini with Creamy Polenta   

Carrie Keep, Age: 31, Pantry Chef, Hometown: Dallas, TX
Signature Dish: Chicken-Fried Rib Eye w/ Yukon Mashed Potatoes, White Truffle Cream Gravy   

Gina Melcher, Age: 34, Restaurant Consultant, Hometown: Cape May, NJ
Signature Dish: Pistachio Scallops   

Jennifer Normant, Age: 34, Chef de Cuisine, Hometown: Boston, MA
Signature Dish: Special Secret Pork with Mashed Sweet Potatoes   

Krupa Patel, Age: 30, Private Chef, Hometown: Queens, NY
Signature Dish: Stuffed Naan with Cilantro Chutney   

Elise Wims, Age: 26, Line Cook, Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Signature Dish: Pesto Seared Scallops with Sauteed Escarole   

Chino Chang, Age: 39, Executive Chef, Hometown: Hatboro, PA
Signature Dish: Korean BBQ Beef   

Brendan Heavey, Age: 31, Head Chef, Hometown: Hoboken, NJ
Signature Dish: Salmon with Basil Cream Sauce   

Monterray Keys, Age: 34, Line Cook, Hometown: Darby, PA
Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Sea Bass   

Will Lustberg, Age: 31, Sous Chef, Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Signature Dish: Sheep’s Milk Ricotta Gnudi   

Paul Niedermann, Age: 26, Junior Sous Chef, Hometown: Davie, FL
Signature Dish: Eggplant Involtini   

Steven Paluba, Age: 44, Saute Chef, Hometown: Ridge, NY
Signature Dish: Seared Diver Scallops with Wild Mushroom Risotto   

Jonathon Plumley, Age: 34, Head Cook, Hometown: Memphis, TN
Signature Dish: Punch-Drunk Chicken   

Tommy Stevens, Age: 31, Line Cook, Hometown: Brewster, NY
Signature Dish: Toasted Coconut Crab Cake   

Jason Zepaltas, Age: 29, Line Cook, Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Pork Tacos   

Note that Jennifer as a Chef de Cuisine and Chino as an Executive chef have the most relevant experience. However, based on what I have seen in the first 3 episodes they are unlikely to survive to the midpoint of HK9.
« Last Edit: July 26, 2011, 04:41:46 PM by apskip »

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2011, 09:18:27 AM »
HK9, Ep. 4

Elise continued to keep yapping, mostly critical comments aimed at Carrie. Elise has no concept of what being a team player is. When paired with Elizabeth, she claimed that the dish they produced was all her idea. This will catch up to her without question; it is just how long the HK9 producers want to let her stay. Donald Trump usually lets such a controversial player stay in to about the midway point. I am guessing that Elise will be allowed to stay for about that long and when she has served her purpose of building ratings then she will be jettisoned as she deserves right now.

The challenge started with catching chickens for 5 minutes, with each one bringing to that team an ingredient to be used in creating 4 separate chicken dishes. Blue ended up with 11 ingredients and Red 9 ingredients, although the precise ones were not shown. Chicken will be cooked in teams of 2 or 1 by frying, grilling, sauteeing and roasting.

The faceoff between Red and Blue was based on dishes presented to People Magazine Senior Writer Jan Garcia and Entertainment Weekly Senior Editor Dave Kargas. Ramsay turned their feedback into a point system of scoring those dishes as follows:

Fried – Carrie/Gina – this is not cooked at all in the middle, so it is unacceptable      R 0
vs. Paul – with roasted corn, grits and gravy                                                                      B 1

Grilled -Jamie – with kale                                                                                                      R 1 
Monterray/Tommy – vegetables with minimal chicken due to accident in cutting it) B 0

Sauteed – Jennifer/Krupa – Chicken Cacciatore                                                              R1
Vs. Will/Jonathon – lemon chicken sautee                                                                         B1

Roasted – Elise/Elizabeth – butternut puree, swiss chard, sweated onions, garlic         R1             
Natalie/Chino – roasted chicken coconut soup                                                                                                                      B not rated, as Ramsay wanted to have a winner and not a tie; Red was better

Is that really so, that Red had superior dishes? If you have read my Hell’s Kitchen recaps for past seasons, one of the things you know is that the outcome of a challenge frequently can be predicted after-the-fact based on what the Reward is. In this case, the Reward was riding GoKarts around an inside track. I think the blue team would not have found that very exciting, while the Red team was thrilled to do it. Blue got making chicken stock as a punishment, but they also used their time to role play how to communicate effectively during a mock dinner service. Chino failed that exercise.

Dinner Service opens with VIPs at the Chef’s Tables. Red had volleyball Olympian Missy May Treanor and Jan Kessy while Blue had Olympic swimming legends Mark Spitz and Janet Evans. Ramsay was trying to spur Olympic-level cooking performance from the teams. Elise started with scallops that were rubbery. Her 2nd try produced good scallops. Tommy doused a Caesar salad for Janet with way too much dressing, so he had to do it over. Monterray was inept at handling fish, failing to use the special fish spatula. Sous Chef Scott jumped on him and Monterray gave him a lot of lip including “there’s nothing I can do.” Scott told him what he should have done. Jonathon and Monterray fought and Natalie and Will tried to intervene and get them back on track.         
           
 At 2 hours into the dinner service, Red had just completed its appetizers and was starting on entrees. Gina sliced into a NY Strip Steak and it was raw. Chino appeared to be inept on Meat. His Beef Wellington was raw. Elise brought 2 fish to the pass and one was overcooked and the other raw. Chino had a 2nd raw Beef Wellington.  Ramsay was pissed off at Blue’s performance throughout the evening, so he shut their kitchen down. A few minutes later he did the same for Red. He and sous chefs Andi and Scott did the meals for the Chef’s Tables. Who knows what happened to the other Hell’s Kitchen patrons, but presumably they all left partially fed.

In case either team had unrealistic visions, he clarified that neither team won and both would nominate 2 members whose departure would most improve their team. Blue made the obvious nominations of Chino and Monterray. After some major disagreements over what method should be used to determine them, Red nominated Carrie (totally unjustified since her performance was OK this episode) and Elise, who was not expecting that and had a very fixed stare on her face. Ramsay then went through his standard “why should you stay” question and got the usual pap. However, he then took the interesting approach of polling the Red team on whether Elise or Carrie should be excised. All but one of the 5 other Red team members said Elise and so did Natalie when Ramsay asked her.

It was decision time. It shouldn’t be either Carrie or Montserray (although he ought to watch his mouth around Scott, who looks pretty mean to me). So it should be Chino or Elise. Is Elise’s time up? Not yet, as Chino got the boot. Elise now had to face up to the negative consequences of wildly shooting her mouth off and the Carrie vs. Elise feud will continue.

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2011, 12:43:11 PM »
Apskip,

Just want to add something over your recap.
Ep 4: Ramsay asked the red team for a polling after Elise mentioned that all the red team members would prefer her over Carrie.

My thoughts after watching 4 episodes(sorry for not attempting on making the recaps..):
Jamie, Will, Krupa, Natalie could go really far. They show their capabilities.
As for Elise, I really thought that Autumn from 2 seasons ago was annoying. However, Elise is the most annoying contestant who I want to throw at although there's nothing I could do. *sigh* Hopefully Elise/Monterray/Carrie will really be the next 3 to be eliminated.



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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2011, 10:09:23 PM »
franxaverian,

I agree that Natalie, Krupa, Will and Jamie all have potential. I don't know whether Carrie does, but she might.  If you go back to HK2 Virginia came from a rough start and Bonnie from one in HK3 to be finalists. Elise is dead meat for sure because she does not have enough talent to offset her mouth. Jennifer and Montserray are my next 2 obvious picks for elimination.

I consider Gina, Tommy, Elizabeth, Paul and Jonathon to be nonentities who may barely make the second half of this competition.

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2011, 10:48:34 PM »
have to agree; usually the seemingly quiet ones tend to make it far in this competition.
"as long as you don't get your hopes up, you can take anything...you feel less pain" --> Squall
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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2011, 11:05:17 PM »
*hates double posting but thought of something worthy of a new comment*

For some reason Tommy looks/acts/talks like a modern day Jack Sparrow
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Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2011, 02:29:40 PM »
HK9, Ep. 5

It’s a new episode, so have the Red team members gotten their revenge on Elise for her verbal diarrhea and attempts at autocracy or will there be more? The teams started in what looked like a high school chemistry lab except that two chefs from Chicago restaurant Moto, Ben Roche and Homaro Cantu, come to show off their molecular gastronomy skills. They make orange sorbet using a special device plus liquid nitrogen in 45 seconds.  They will judge the Challenge of HK9 chefs after 45 minutes of creating and cooking using only fire and water, boiling, steaming or poaching. The Red team had two individuals cook the same dish and then had to pick the better one to submit. Carrie’s prawn dish lost out to Elizabeth’s prawn dish. As always in the first half of a season it is Red team vs. Blue team with judging based on the better of two competing dishes. Those dishes, based on one of 6 proteins, were:

Jennifer – beef in broth, both good tasting and pretty                                             R 1
Jonathon – beef, potatoes, and vegetable, tasted good but looked bad                     B 0

Elizabeth – prawns with spaghetti overseasoned                                                     R 0
Monterray – prawn Eggs Benedict very hard due to overcooking everything               B 0

Jamie – poached salmon (overcooked) with citrus jasmine rice                                 R 0
Will – salmon done nicely                                                                                      B 1       

Gina – Guinea hen with mushrooms                                                                        R 1
Tommy – poached guinea hen leg with breast                                                          B 0                                 

Elise – lobster poached I a broth but rubbery                                                           R 0         
Paul – lobster with citrus                                                                                        B 1

Krupa – veal in broth that tasted like beef stew turned out to be filet mignon             R 0   
Natalie – veal terrine wrapped in greens, not tasty or visually appealing                     B 0

So, the score is tied 2 to 2, but wait! Ramsay stated that the mistaken use of filet mignon was a huge error that nobody on the Red team caught. Also, he pointed out after sampling it that Carrie’s prawn dish was superior to Elizabeth’s and should have been submitted by the Red team. The net result was that the Blue team won the Challenge. Their reward was pampering at a Beverly Hills spa. The punishment for the Red team was to clean the hot tubs, the fountain in front and prep both kitchens for dinner service which would be that evening.

Dinner service begins with tableside sashimi by Jennifer and Natalie. Krupa made the first appetizer, a risotto which was “soupy”. She got the second one right to Ramsay’s satisfaction. Blue appetizers moved along and were done with 48 minutes gone. Jonathon got in trouble on Garnish, so Paul stepped in to help him out. Ramsay objected, as it looked like Paul was doing it rather than just helping. Krupa’s spaghetti was wrong the first 2 times. There was lack of synchronization and bad communication between Gina and Krupa. Monterray was on Meat and he undercooked his first Beef Wellington. At 1 hour Krupa was given the boot Tommy was on fish cooking cod, but he was not communicating at all and others around him needed him to do so. His lack of communication managed to ruin Monterray’s second attempt at Beef Wellington. Monterray then had 2 more Beef Wellington that he held waiting for Tommy, but it was like waiting for Godot and both ended up overcooked; so did Tommy’s cod. Gina screwed up with a raw sea bass. Gina and Elise were banished for not communicating properly, although it looked to me that this was primarily Gina’s problem. Ramsay decided that, to be fair, he needed to also banish Monterray and Tommy. We appear to have 5 candidates for nominations for the worst performers. Ramsay next shut down both kitchens.

The post-mortem was brief. The teams were each asked to nominate the 2 chefs who would most improve the team by their departure. It did not take long to do so. Blue put up Monterray and Tommy. Red had 3 to choose from and they left Gina out of that nomination, choosing the obvious Krupa and Elise, who despite supbar performance was not as terrible as others. Elise pleaded that case and said that she should not be there and Gina should. Ramsay agreed with her and fired Gina. I thought that was fair. Ramsay’s parting comment was that Gina’s talent matched her small size.

« Last Edit: August 02, 2011, 10:27:19 PM by apskip »

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #14 on: August 02, 2011, 07:58:43 PM »
Hi Apskip, just want to add/edit something

HK5, Ep. 9 HK 9, Ep. 5

We appear to have 5 candidates for nominations for the worst performers. Ramsay next shut down both kitchens after the remaining contestants on both teams finished their service.


I'm getting tired on hearing Elise....hopefully she's the one who's going this time

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Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #15 on: August 03, 2011, 11:06:29 AM »
HK9, Ep. 6

It’s time for the first high school reunion ever in Hell’s Kitchen. The Culver City Class of 1991was willing to be put on camera. Ramsay arranged for the reunion committee to come and talk to representatives of the Blue team (Paul) and Red team (Elizabeth) about what foods they wanted. That committee of spoke of their desire for a Hawaiian theme, including pork and scallops and one of them is a pescatarian who does not eat meat. Paul and Elizabeth were on the hook for listening carefully and communicating well back to their teams who were planning a tasting menu of 1 appetizer, 1 meat entrée and a seafood entrée. Ramsay told each team that the reunion committee would be the judges for this challenge. There would be one point each for head-to-head competition on each item and the winners would automatically be on the final menu for the evening. Elizabeth’s communication to the Red team made the committee requests to be for an Asian theme, not a Hawaiian one; Paul got it right for the Blue team.

Here were the dishes and results:
Natalie – ahi tuna and ohno  on crostini                                                                    B 1
Carrie – ahi tuna tartare w/ wonton and guacamole on top                                         R 0

Monterray – roasted poprk loin w/ mango pineapple chutney                                      B 1                                           
Krupa – nut-crusted pork loin w/ lentils, bok choy                                                     R 0     

Will – banana leaf wrapped steamed opa w/ coconut sauce                                         B 1
Elise – BBQ seared scallops w/ BBQ sauce, guavo chipotle, bacon lardon (against the pescatarian restriction which Elizabeth had failed to communicate.  R 0

So Blue made a clean sweep of the results (not so strangely, not controlled by Ramsay) and all 3 of their offerings were to be featured on the menu (which meant that the Red had to also learn how to cook them). Blue also won a yacht trip with a fine lunch and doubtless lots of alcohol. The Red team was left behind to clean, to move furniture in setup for the reunion and to make flower leis. As always after one of their challenge losses, they were pissed and looking for whom to blame. They did not look any further than Elizabeth, who was the culprit.   

Dinner service opened and Paul’s first Fish station appetizer was both cold and raw inside. However, he got it right on his second try. Red was having difficulty with appetizers and Ramsay chided them with “Who will lead them to victory?” Elise stepped up and not surprisingly said that she had the skills and desire to do this. She did a good job in the leadership role, being careful to not let her mouth run too much. Red got good pot stickers out. Monterray on Garnish made a mistake by putting broccolini into a cold pan. Ramsay admonished him for not using a hot pan because a cold one allows too much oil to attach and for then throwing the broccolini out. Carrie added old rice into her new rice and Ramsay caught her doing so. Paul was having a terrible day on the Fish station, so Ramsay asked Jonathon and Monterray to take over that station. Jonathan managed to make himself scarce, effectively leaving Monterray on his own (which is typically the case on any station so it should have been on big deal). However, Monterray got 3 consecutive fish dishes undercooked for the reunion committee. Ramsay was irate and shut the Blue kitchen down.  I thought this a bit harsh; just change the individual on the Fish station until you got it right; why not make Jonathon really do it? The Red team finished out the evening and won it.

Jonathon and Monterray were jawing about who was responsible for this debacle. The Blue team had 3 potential nominees for the worst: Monterray, Jonathan, Paul.  They put up Monterray and Paul, which was no contest with two useless chefs vs. one good one who had a bad night. Ramsay rightly thought Jonathan was missing from that group, so he called him up. Paul admitted that he had a terrible night but promised to do better. Monterray talked about his more lengthy experience. Jonathon said he was a better chef (which is not close to true) Ramsay had no trouble in making that decision. I felt that Paul should be retained and that Jonathon should be eliminated. Ramsay kept Paul and Jonathon and eliminated Monterray. His parting comment was that Monterray’s experience meant nothing if he could not perform in Hell’s Kitchen.   

So who were the real winners and losers in this episode, those in what I believe to be the top echelon? Natalie and Will continue to shine for the Blue team and Jonathan should not still be there. Elizabeth has sunk pretty low as a result of failure to communicate, Krupa just does not have the required skills and Carrie’s personality is hurting her due to desire to work on her own. Elise has pulled herself back into the top echelon to join Jamie.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2011, 06:03:54 AM by apskip »

Offline franxaverian

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #16 on: August 03, 2011, 08:54:54 PM »
Ramsay kept Paulo and Jonathon and eliminated Jonathon Monterray. His parting comment was that Monterray’s experience meant nothing if he could not perform in Hell’s Kitchen.   

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2011, 04:45:35 PM »
Hell’s Kitchen 9, Ep. 7

The chefs are shown a variety of fruit, grains and oils spread out on a table. Ramsay asked them what could bring all those diverse flavors together. Here are numerous good answers to that question, but his was beer. He invited two beer sommeliers to come out and judge the next challenge. It was to cook in 45 minutes any items on that table with beer to make a memorable dish. The Red team with one more member than Blue had to pick one dish (Krupa’s rabbit was elected due to being tough) to sit out and then each team has to rate its dishes from #5 up to #1. This allowed the teams to calibrate how their dishes were relative to own team other dishes rather than having Ramsay do it for them, so I applaud what he was allowing them to do. The dishes presented were:

1. Carrie vs. Paul – filet marinated in stout w/ raspberries ; mussels                                                                  Red 1 Blue 0
2. Elise vs. Jonathan – salmon cooked in Belgian white beer; chicken in raspberry lambic beer w/ the pineapples he loves                             Red 1 Blue 0
3. Jennifer vs. Natalie – beef and vegetable stew; chocolate stout filet                                                               Red 0 Blue 1
4. Elizabeth vs. Will – amber mussels and clams ; lambic-infused venison loin                                                    Red 0 Blue 1
5. Jamie vs. Tommy –duck Belgian light beer w/ shallots, garlic with glaze of raspberry beer reduction ; duck in raspberry beer w/ potatoes   Red 0 Blue 1

It’s another win for Blue. This could be predicted when you learn what the reward was, to drive Indy cars over 200 mph around a real test track. The punishment for the Red team was unloading 20 trucks for delivery day and cleaning the kitchen. They were not happy campers at the end of that. Dissension was enhanced by Elise acting as a princess because she claimed she was too small to handle heavy bags of ice and beer barrels. Her teammates were having none of that.

It was a special Beer Night in Hell’s Kitchen. There were 2 special dishes put on the menu exclusively for Beer Night, based on Belgian ale steamed mussels and stout spiced venison.  Special towers with beer were placed on each table. Elise tried to convince her team that she would be a team player for the first time.

HK opened and Elise had the first challenge, lobster spaghetti which satisfied Ramsay. Paul did a good risotto. However, the focus was mostly on Natalie, who had been a star performer previously. It became evident that the reason was because she had never been asked to cook fish before. She did not have the skills to do so. She screwed up plate after plate of scallops until there were 30 individual scallops unsuitable for serving, most rubbery. It took Will to take her aside and show her how to do it properly. Another underperformer in the Blue kitchen was Jonathon, the blowhard who wanted to throw someone else under the bus to compensate for his own incompetence. He had the balls to blame Tommy for not making the dough for Beef Wellingtons properly, when it was Jonathan’s responsibility to do it and to check anything anyone else prepared for him.  His teammates were furious at this behavior. Another incompetent chef was Krupa, who just could not cope with the Red meat station. Elise had water-logged salads and attempted to blame it on Carrie, but Ramsay was having none of that and pointed out that it was Elise’s responsibility. Ramsay decided that he had had enough of Natalie and Jonathan’s mistakes and banned them. Jonathan was irate (although he had certainly earned that) and Natalie was just apologetic. Paul, Tommy and Will were left to finish the dinner service and so did the entire Red team.

However, Ramsay was equally mad at both teams (and Red had an excess member that he had to think about). He declared both teams the loser and asked for the usual 2 nominations from each in those situations. Blue had no trouble with this, picking Natalie and Jonathon. Red had no trouble picking Krupa, but then it got tough. Some wanted to nominate Elise, others to nominate Jamie (who had done little wrong that I can remember) and Jamie was the nominee. It hardly mattered because Krupa was such an obvious target.  I was sure it would not be Natalie because of her past performance and I thought it could be Jonathan going home. When Ramsay asked for the nominees, Carrie expressed her own belief that it should have been Elise and not Jamie as the #2 nominee and I agree with her. Krupa got eliminated, which was fair, but now I have to watch Jonathon for at least one more episode.     
« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 09:18:09 AM by apskip »

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2011, 05:43:26 PM »
Thanks apskip for your recaps and franxaverian for your input as well. Sorry I haven't been keeping up with Hell's Kitchen.

I'm so over Elise. I'm surprised that Ramsay hasn't yelled at her for doing his job.  Elise does seem to have a talent for cooking and I think she could run a kitchen but she is lazy and certainly not a team player. I suspect her downfall is coming soon when Ramsay fixates on her as only he can.  :hellkitchen

I'm not super impressed with anyone so far. I thought Natalie was stepping up but she got frazzled last night, not a good sign.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 07:16:19 PM by TexasLady »
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Offline franxaverian

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2011, 08:07:40 PM »
Jamie had a rough night with the raw sea bass. But again, every HK cooks seems to have a hard time in fish station. If you excel in fish station then you must be one of the best ones in HK. Please oh please send Elise/Jonathon home quickly....hoping for double elimination  :lol:

Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #20 on: August 10, 2011, 07:19:49 AM »
franxaverian and TesxasLady,

I am with you on most points. Elise did a decent job of synchronizing the Red kitchen (somebody's got to do it) and she personally has more cooking knowledge than many of her teammates, so she will be around for awhile. A t this point I think she will last longer than Carrie, who is suspected by her teammates of being incompetent. However, once Carrie is gone Elise is dead meat.

Natalie's problems continue and my high regard for her after she emerged on Blue as a leader has faded a bit with her fish problems. 

I do not think that the fish station is the most difficult on Hell's Kitchen. In past seasons that is usually the Meat station (and Beef Wellingtons in particular because of the complexity of that dish). The chefs must not have been paying attention when the fish lessons were handed out.

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #21 on: August 10, 2011, 09:22:07 AM »
HK9, Ep. 8
The big question for me is how long will Jonathan last? He is such a jerk that I want him to disappear from my TV screen as soon as possible.

Ramsay started this episode by asking each team to nominate its best leader, which was Will for Blue and Jennifer (you’ve got to be kidding that it was not Jamie) for Red. Each of them was then asked to nominate their weakest teammate. Will nominated Tommy and Jennifer nominated Carrie. Ramsay then stated that the challenge would be led by Tommy and Carrie. It was to take one of 5 “American Classics” and update it in 30 minutes. Once the dishes were ready he introduced his mystery guest judge, who turned out to be Wolfgang Puck (wow!).

The dishes presented for this head-to-head Red versus Blue competition were:
Jamie – lambburger vs. Tommy – hamburger                                                                                                    Red 1 Blue 0
Elise – spaghetti and meatballs vs. Will – spaghetti and meatballs                                                                      Red 1 Blue 0
? Soup – Jennifer vs. Paul - Chicken Noodle soup                                                                                              Red 0 Blue 0
Cobb Salad – Elizabeth vs. Natalie - a strange salmon salad that was definitely not Cobb; despite this, Puck preferred Natalie’s salad and gave her the point    Red 0 Blue 1
Carrie – pizza (raw) vs. Jonathon (too ashamed to even bring this up) a total mess of a pizza with honey and truffle oil on it        Red 0 Blue 0

Red team won 2-1 and Carrie felt redeemed as a team leader even though her teammates did not agree. Red team got cheesy limousine rides down the Sunset Strip plus a very positive comedy break at the Laugh Factory. The comedienne there told some good Gordon Ramsay jokes. The Blue team was not used to losing challenges (or winning dinner services), so they all grumbled about cleaning and prepping both kitchens and cleaning both dorms. Jonathon felt that his neck ailments mandated reserving his energies for the dinner service, which provoked major resentment from his teammates who had to do all the work.   

Dinner service started with members of the U.S. Coast Guard at two tables and Ramsay using that as an excuse to get better performance from the teams. Carrie’s garlic bread burned and her pizza dough was not rolled out correctly. Jonathon put 4 spaghetti portions to boil simultaneously, so Ramsay had to correct him that only one is done at a time so it cooks properly. The simple procedure of mixing sauce with spaghetti in a warm pan is also something Jonathon had not mastered. Ramsay stated they could only be served “over my dead body.” Next to him, Natalie also on Blue appetizers cooked mussels too salty.  Jennifer helped Carrie to get out of a jam. Ramsay decided to confront Jonathon and find out what was wrong with him. Jonathan told him he was operating at only 50% but wanted to stay there to help his team. Ramsay told him to get his brain working properly. Tommy was having a bad night on the Meat station, then he laughed for no good reason and Ramsay was quite upset at this; he told Tommy to zip it immediately. Red continued its productive ways under Elise’s guidance and finished out its dinner service without serious problems.

It was obvious that the Red team had won this dinner service. Ramsay singled out Elise as having had an impressive dinner service performance. The only question was who would go from the Blue team. There was no question in my mind of the individual who deserved that. It was Jonathon without a doubt. Blue nominated Jonathon and Natalie. She promised she would not do it again and Ramsay told her that one more bad night and she was gone. Jonathon was given the well-deserved boot. Ramsay was finally tired of his constant excuses that no mistake was ever his fault, so Ramsay accepted the responsibility for sending Jonathon home a bit after he had overstayed his welcome.

Offline apskip

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2011, 12:05:03 PM »
Please note that if you have been depending on full episode videos from FOX, those will only be available after an 8 day delay after today as a result of a special exclusive deal the DISH Network cut with FOX.

We are now at the halfway point of HK9. I think it's worthwhile to take a look at who's left in this competition and who I think is likely to have staying power. The least talented chefs left are:

Carrie
Elizabeth
Jennifer
Tommy

The final 5 I expect to be:

Will
Natalie
Elise
Jamie
Paul

Editor's note - there's 2 wrong calls above. Jennifer has moved up as a culinary leader and Jamie is gone prematurely.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2011, 01:02:44 PM by apskip »

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2011, 01:05:21 PM »
HK9, Ep. 9

The challenge was to conceive, make and plate a sexy, delicious dessert in one hour. The judges for this were outstanding dessert chefs Jordan Khan and Waylan Lucas.  These dishes presented were awarded 1, 2 or 3 points by each judge (except Elise whose dish was judged worst by the Red team and had to sit out):

Carrie - blondie with butterscotch chips                                                                      2 points
Elizabeth – ricotta strawberry Napoleon                                                                      3
Jamie – croissant-fig bread pudding w/ a strawberry-champagne glaze                          3
Jennifer (who went last) - bananas foster w/ chocolate and bourbon flambee                 6
         
Tommy - toffee and Macedonian nut sticky bun                                                            2 points
Paul - banana polenta cake                                                                                        6
Will – cocoa something                                                                                              2
Natalie- chocolate espresso bread pudding                                                                  5

Of course the order of the judging had Jennifer (who I am sure Ramsay knew had a superior dish) going last and letting her snatch victory out of the jaws of defeat. By getting the maximum 6 points Jennifer saved the day for the Red team. Elise’s dessert was tasted by Ramsay after the judging was complete. He agreed it was a smart decision by Red to not offer her berry dish since it probably would have gotten 0 points due to high vinegar level.

Their reward was a trip to Las Vegas and stayed overnight in a high-roller suite at Caesar’s Palace, each of the 5 Red team members with their own bedroom and bathroom. The doorbell rang and they opened it to find Holly Madison. She brought in addition to her impressive personality tickets to her Las Vegas concert, books and also plane tickets and accommodations for each of the 5 Red team members to return to Las Vegas at a later date and enjoy it again.

The punishment for the Blue team was the usual prepping and the unusual ice carving. When the Red team arrived back the next morning, it would be DATE NIGHT for that evening’s dinner service and a lavish raw seafood bar prepped by the Blue team.

Dinner service began with Elise and Carrie at it again, Carrie trying to do her appetizers assignment properly and Elise deliberately not communicating. How can Ramsay and sous chef Andi miss this sabotage behavior? I don’t believe that they can, so they are deliberately looking the other way to keep this rivalry going and avoid having to get rid of Elise.

Tommy appeared asleep on his feet when required to cook scallops, followed by cooking 2 separate orders of scallops ahead. Tommy next started to cook sea bass ahead when the Blue team was nowhere near to finishing appetizers. Ramsay could not ignore this and banished Tommy out of the kitchen (but not upstairs, signaling that he would return). Tommy flirted with some pretty patrons and then went back. In the meantime, Will, Paul and Natalie were getting the appetizers out and later the entrees with that reduced staffing.

Carrie brought burned sea bass up and got banished upstairs despite vigorously arguing that he wanted to stay and finish out. Jamie was having a bad night, with one of her hairs found in a dish sent to the pass. She appeared listless and uncaring about what that would mean. She compounded that by burning zucchini yet presenting it to the pass. Paul had raw chicken. Always a cardinal sin, this caused him to be banished. Elise brought vegetarian capellini to the pass with lobster in it that also got her banished. Ramsay’s comment was “bon appetite, princess” to Elise. 

Ramsay declared the Blue team the winner. Red had to nominate 2 and the obvious candidates were Elise and Carrie. However, rather than breaking up that dynamic duo that is improving HK9 ratings, he elected to make a surprise move and eliminate Jamie instead. I could not see how she had earned that. He claimed that “she had given up,” always a serious sin in his book.         
           

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Re: Hell's Kitchen 9
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2011, 02:46:21 PM »
HK9, Ep. 10

This episode started with a blind taste test. The overall performance was sub-standard, but here are the details:
Item        Anchovies   Carrots   Egg Yolk   Mango                                         Blue 1
Tommy                                                                           OK                                            Red 1
Carrie                             OK

Item          Cauliflower Lobster    Pumpkin         Mushy Peas                           
Will                                           OK                            Blue 1                        
Elizabeth                                                                                                                          Red 0   

Item        Turkey          Asparagus    Pecans           Cheddar cheese                                                                                   
Paul                                  OK                                                                                            Blue 1   
Jennifer                                                                            OK                                            Red 1

So the Blue team led 3 to 2 going into the last pairing. Elise remained confident that her excellent palate can still lead to a Red victory:
Item         Filet Mignon Brussels Sprouts Coconut     Sour Cream                         Natalie                         OK                                                  Blue 1   
Elise               OK              OK           OK                                           Red 3

The final tally was Blue 4 Red 5 and Red was the winner. The Blue team had to prep both kitchens for that evening’s Steak Night, which was a two-seating operation due to high bookings. They also had to unload 200 pounds of grapes, then wash, deseed, peel and finally make grape jam out of them.  The reward for the Red team was horseback riding up a nearby peak overlooking Los Angeles, with lunch and too much grape-based product thrown in for good measure. The Red team can definitely thank Elise for her skilled palate, which Ramsay highly values. That alone could keep her in this competition when other factors indicate she should be out.

The Red team as winners chose to cook the later 90 minute seating, which put them as servers in the dining room for the first seating. The Blue team cooked first and served at the second seating. James told all servers that if a steak order was for medium rare there was no need to note that, but for any other doneness it needed to be specified on the ticket.

Natalie had problems cooking steaks and Tommy on fish was a disaster. Carrie appeared to enjoy her work as a server and have a natural affinity for it. Natalie’s problems with steak forced the blue team to close 5 tables short of completing their full service.  After the teams switched for the second half, Elise had a raw sea bass. Carrie’s garnishes were poorly cooked. One example appeared to be mashed potatoes that were hard (how could that be?) Elise’s sea bass problem recurred when she dropped one on the floor. Red wound up with a disastrous service even worse than Blue’s although neither was the winning team. Jennifer was really pissed that the opportunity to perform well had eluded the Red team and she let the rest of her team know that. Elise got into an epic battle by accusing Tommy of a poor job of scoring the Wellington pastry when she had done that herself. She was trying to deflect blame, but this backfired on his, as it exposed her as a total liar.

Jennifer got in the best line of the night by likening her teammates to Manny, Moe and Curly (the Three Stooges for those who might be familiar with them).

As dinner service finished Ramsay asked Red to nominate the one person they wanted to get rid of to improve their team and the same for Blue. For Red it was Carrie and for blue Tommy.  Ramsay stated that Carrie had a great future but not in the kitchen, as a server. He eliminated her.

Since at this point there were 4 Blue team members left and 3 Red team members, there is a really good chance that the next person eliminated would be on the Blue team, s Ramsay does not like to disrupt the team chemistry any more than the minimum necessary.


 

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