HK10, Ep. 19
Ramsay announced the two finalists as Christina and Justin. Dana was out. Christina and Justin got a brief period of time to celebrate and then had to develop a 5 course menu for the final dinner service. They were told they were going to Las Vegas for a little enjoyment before the last 24 hours started. They went to poolside cabanas to discuss their menu with the Sous Chefs (Scott with Justin and Andi with Christina). Then they got the surprise of their families waiting to greet them. Ramsay gave them tickets to the Penn and Teller Show. One of the early acts was Penn sawing teller in half. They showed how it was done, with 2 boxes each holding one person. Teller, 5’10” (I was shocked to learn this, since he appears tiny in contrast with Penn's 6'7") was in the part with the head showing. The feet in the other box were revealed to belong to Gordon Ramsay, who is 6’1” and must have been squeezed in there. Ramsay directed Christina and Justin to join him on stage and sent them off to prepare in 1 hour in the Paris Las Vegas kitchen 5 dishes to be served to 5 special judges back on the live stage of the Penn and Teller Show. Those dishes were:
Christina – wild asparagus, cheese crumble, fried egg salad
Justin – heirloom tomato, haricots verts, vinaigrette
The judge for the salad course was Francois Payard. He awarded the point to Justin.
Christina – ceviche, jalapeno, ginger, cilantro
Justin – Ecuadorian ceviche with shrimp poaching liquid + orange juice + ketchup
The judge for the appetizer course was Michel Richard. He awarded the point to Justin.
Christina – pan-seared halibut, potato puree, grilled spinach
Justin – Dover sole meuniere, wild asparagus
The judge for the seafood course was Julian Serrano. He chose Christina’s dish.
Christina – port wine ribeye
Justin – ribeye, onion rings, with creamed nettles
The judge for the ribeye course was Stuart Gillies, a long-time associate of Ramsay’s and Managing Director of Gordon Ramsay Holdings overseeing all of Gordon’s worldwide restaurants. He awarded the point to Christina.
Christina – filet mignon, haricots verts, Gorgonzola mashed potatoes
Justin – charred filet mignon, poached lobster, glazed carrots
The judge for the filet course was Wolfgang Puck. He chose Christina, which gave her overall victory.
What was that worth? First pick in the choice of eliminated chefs for the “brigade” of each finalist. That meant that Christina got from 8 choices to pick the numbers 1, 3, 5 and 7 chefs for her team. Her picks of Dana and Patrick while Justin picked Barbie and Brian had to be expected but then the picks got harder. Christina took Kimmie, Justin choose Royce (what was he doing there?; Tiffany must not have been available), Christina chose Robyn (although she did not want her) and Justin was left with Clemenza. Clemenza was pissy about being selected last.
That attitude boiled over as the finale competitors shared their menus with their brigades. Clemenza decided to walk out, leaving Justin one position short. Is that likely to last through dinner service the next evening? No, this is the daily manufactured drama of Hell’s Kitchen!
The menu was composed of 4 appetizers, 4 entrees and 3 desserts. Some of the items Christina presented to her brigade were:
Grilled peach salad with peppers
An unusual combination of scallops and a small portion of risotto
A 14 ounce veal portion
What Justin presented to his
12 ounce bone-in steak
Marmite? of ravioli