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Other Great Reality Shows => Other Reality TV Shows & News => Topic started by: TexasLady on April 29, 2010, 08:08:08 PM

Title: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on April 29, 2010, 08:08:08 PM
Starting June 1, Tuesday, at 8pm, a new season of Hell's Kitchen  :wohoo:

Fox Sets New Premiere Date for 'Hell's Kitchen' Season 7
Monday, April 19, 2010

In a schedule tussle that pushed So You Think You Can Dance to different days, Fox has moved the date of the season 7 premiere of Hell's Kitchen from the original schedule of Thursday, June 10.

The Gordon Ramsay-led series will instead kick off on June 1, Tuesday, at 8pm, paired with the last two episodes of Glee. Two-hour installments will then follow until July 27, when another culinary-themed series MasterChef premieres and Hell's Kitchen goes back to one-hour shows.

Starting July 27, Tuesdays are food and Gordon Ramsay nights on Fox as MasterChef is also produced by the ill-tempered Brit. The series gives amateur cooks a chance to work with professionals, including Ramsay, as they compete for the MasterChef title.

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on April 30, 2010, 03:25:22 PM
Wow, that is very interesting. That means there will be 9 hours of Hell's Kitchen 7 in June and another 7 hours in July. At a total of 16 hours, this almost certainly means that the episodes will be longer than 1 hour, as they are unlikely to have a minimum of 16 one-hour episodes.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on April 30, 2010, 06:09:31 PM
It is interesting! When they put up the cast and bio's, I'll post them.  :tup:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on May 10, 2010, 01:16:06 PM
The supervision:
Gordon Ramsay
Sous chef Scott Liebfried
New Sous chef Andi van Willigan,  currently the executive chef at the Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, NY

The Blue Team cast is:
Executive Chef Scott Hawley from New York, NY
Pizzeria Chef Salvatore Coppola from Laurel Springs, New Jersey
Line Cook Mikey Termini from Kihei, Hawaii
Executive Chef Jay Santos from Medford, Massachusetts
Personal Chef Jason Ellis from Suwanee, Georgia
High School Cooking Teacher Ed Battaglia from Edgewater Park, New Jersey
Culinary Instructor Benjamin Knack from Malden, Massachusetts
Farmer Andrew Forester from Wake Forest, North Carolina

The Red Team cast is:
Personal Chef Autumn Lewis from North Hollywood, California
Catering Chef Fran Klier from Rockville Centre, New York
Banquet Chef Holli Ugalde from San Bernardino, California
Sous-Chef Jamie Bisoulis from Chicago, Illinois
Kitchen Supervisor Maria Torrisi from Scranton, Pennsylvania
Line Cook Nilka Hendricks from West Hempstead, New York
Pub Executive Chef Siobhan Allgood from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Private Chef Stacey Slichta from Studio City, California

The word from FOX is that "Chef Gordon Ramsay welcomes the nation's most talented and trained chefs yet to a seventh course of his unscripted series HELL'S KITCHEN". What rubbish!  The most talented and trained chefs are on Top Chef Masters, some up-and-comers are on Top Chef and only those willing to put up with Ramsay are on Hell's Kitchen. Those are definitely not the "most talented and trained chefs."
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on May 10, 2010, 06:12:11 PM
Thanks for the team information Apskip!  :tup:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: chefholli on May 11, 2010, 04:21:38 PM
I dont know about the other chefs, but Chef Holli is incredibly talented. I have known her a long time and she has the skills of any Top Chef. Make sure and watch her on the show starting June 1st on Fox! Also check out @chefholli on Twitter and for info about the premier party in Palm Springs -> Everyone is invited!!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on May 12, 2010, 02:08:33 PM
Welcome to RFF chefholli! We are anxiously waiting for the premiere on June 1st!!

 :hello2: :bigwelcome :hello2:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on May 12, 2010, 02:12:08 PM
Cast photos so we can get to know our chefs!    :hellkitchen


Images courtesy of Fox Broadcasting.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on May 12, 2010, 03:32:22 PM
I feel somewhat sorry for the farmer and high school teacher. Do they know how to work a line?
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on May 25, 2010, 01:35:55 PM
It's down to 1 day before the next season of Hell's Kitchen (#7) starts.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on June 01, 2010, 02:19:56 PM
Tonight is the night!!!  :hellkitchen

  :wohoo: :jumpy: :wohoo:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: redwings8831 on June 01, 2010, 07:45:29 PM
This first dinner service is a disaster. Seven of the 16 chefs have been thrown out so far, but the remaining nine were able to finish it.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on June 01, 2010, 09:37:35 PM
You can really see the stronger players already. Wow! What a first service.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: ugot2bekidinmeny on June 02, 2010, 03:00:20 PM
That was insanity!!   :ascared    get out.. get out.. get out.. LOL one after the other!! :lol:

I tell you what.. he had me for a second when his wife was impersonating a contestant! but then i knew it was her from  watching him on his BBC series "The F Word".

i'm not gonna say who i like so far.. they are all NUTS!!!   :yess:  everyone's going DOWN!! :meow:

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 02, 2010, 03:05:55 PM
HK7 Ep.1

This episode really opens when Gordon Ramsay at a press conference guarantees that the first dinner service will be completed by these fine chefs. How can he make such a bold prediction when no first-night dinner service has ever been close to completion in 6 prior seasons? I don’t know, but it sets the bar quite high for this season.

We have been introduced to the 16 new denizens of Hell’s Kitchen. Several of them brag to the camera about how they are the best and will undoubtedly win this competition. Overconfidence and braggadocio may have their place somewhere, but Hell’s Kitchen is not a good place to express them on camera.  One thing we can be sure of is that Ramsay will remove all overconfidence from remaining chefs as the others drop out episode by episode.

Ramsay starts it off fast with a signature dish competition that serves as the first challenge between the Blue team (men) and Red team (women). Teams know from watching past competitions that you never want to lose a challenge, as the losers get some onerous labor and the winners a nice reward that in the midst of the chaos of the kitchen can be a pleasant respite. However, Ramsay has a trick up his sleeve first. Some of the cheftestants have hairdos that express their personal style in a flamboyant way and Salvatore has the world’s thickest Italian-American accent like he’s just off the boat from Sicily, which did happen only 21 years ago. He says that the super-thick accent attracts females, which is why he retains it. Ramsay calls on a mousy woman who claims to be a mother and cookbook author (both quite true). Ramsay tastes her veal dish and proclaims it fabulous, then starts kissing her. It turns out be me Ramsay’s wife in a mask and wig. Maybe she just needed FOX to pay for a vacation away from their kids, who knows. Ramsay used this incident to make the point that it does not matter what your tastes are; all that matters is how tasty the food you cook is.

The actual competition was pretty low-key after that opening. The men scored points from Jason’s grits, Mikey’s brie-stuffed lobster (Ramsay asked him if he fell in a vat of wax to get that much on his hair but he redeemed himself by having a huge Hell’s Kitchen logo tattoo on his chest), Benjamin’s lobster rigatoni and Jay’s seasoned steak. The women scored on Autumn’s heavenly chicken, Siobhan’s ahi tuna wrapped in mint leaves and Stacey’s unidentified dish. The most interesting development was that Salvatore did not make his own bucatini pasta and he was originally from Naples; Ramsay pronounces this as shocking as well as overcooked! The second most interesting was farmer Andrew, who presents steak tartare inspired by raising and butchering his own animals yet liking to eat them raw; Ramsay asks if he is some sort of Hell’s Kitchen Hannibal Lecter. Nilka started off with spicy chicken wings. She used a half bottle of Tabasco sauce, which is several times the maximum appropriate even for nuclear wings. The Blue team won 4 to 3. The punishment and reward are not announced yet. 

Ramsay does state that the winner will be head chef at a Ramsay restaurant in the London Savoy Hotel. What he does not say is that that is about 4th level down in the hierarchy of chefs there. He also does not say that the winner will be receiving a salary of $250,000. Those type of salaries were revving up competition for chefs to be on this show, but it was not real. It was way out of line for chef salaries and effectively was just a one-time bonus for winning past Hell’s Kitchen seasons.

The teams go to their dorms to study and receive the menus, recipe books to study, a set of Henckel knives with a cleaver and a Hell’s Kitchen jacket of the appropriate color. They get one video lesson from Ramsay on how to make lobster risotto:

1.cook rice (no mention that it is arborial rice and has to be slowly stirred for about 25 minutes)
2. add shallots
3. add mascarpone cheese
4. add garlic
5. add lobster stock (no mention on how to make this in advance from lobster shells)
6. add white wine

Throughout the night, the fire alarm goes off to announce a new Ramsay video to study about every 15 minutes until 219am. The second is on Filet of Beef. The third is on Scallops. Sous Chef Andi wakes the women up at 619 am to have them prepare and serve breakfast for the Blue team in bed. The Blue team sleeps until about 8am.

The teams spend the day prepping Hell’s Kitchen for its Grand Reopening with the usual FOX extras as diners filling all tables. Scott the team member takes charge of the Blue team with his mouth, but not with his deeds. The menu includes Lamb Wellington and Lobster Risotto as entrees and Scallops and Capellini as appetizers. Jay and Nilka are assigned to do tableside preparation.

Dinner service opens with Stacey showing difficulty by not seasoning scallops properly with salt or with curry powder. Also, her sautéed scallops were raw in the center. Although Ramsay does not state it, clearly she did not taste her food, a major lesson that Ramsay is teaching to all the competitors if they haven’t learned it previously.  Salvatore burned the capellini add-ins not once but twice in a row. Fran has problems cooking potatoes and is buckling under the pressure of the first night service. How is she going to make it through 15 or so such nights? Autumn, who is on the Garnish station and has spare time on her hands while the dishes are not reaching her, glibly attempts to rally her Red troops by telling them to just reset their minds to begin anew. I think she would have gotten more long-term value by just pitching in and helping her colleagues than by giving them a pious speech. Benjamin is making a sauce for pasta but unthinkingly puts his tasting spoon back into the pot, contaminating it. Ramsay rightly reams him out. Fran then puts crab instead of lobster in with the risotto.

Jaime undercooks something and Fran laughed at this, followed by Maria. I believe they were displaying a nervous laugh and not a ha-ha laugh. Ramsay is so pissed off that he banishes them from the kitchen along with the hapless Jamie. He asked Jean Phillippe to bring Nilka back from tableside service to enable Red to cover their stations.

Scott is on the Garnish station. Mikey presents raw halibut. Benjamin and Salvatore are on the Blue Appetizers station. Benjamin made the mistake of putting the rice for risotto in after the stock. Salvatore was found putting a cold sauce on hot steak. They were both sent to Siberia (the dorms) as punishment. Stacey said she needed 5 minutes for her salmon to cook. Immediately she changed that to 3 minutes, which caused Ramsay to question her and conclude that she does not know how long to cook salmon, a MAJOR mistake. Stacey is the 4th Red team member to get banned from the kitchen. Mikey does the raw halibut trick a second time, so he is banished.  It is 2.5 hours into dinner service. A customer claims that she is glad she ate before coming. That is the ultimate insult!

Ramsay sends the 3 remaining Red team members to join the 4 remaining Blue team members and finish the dinner service. They are told to work hard and double up on stations to get all the food out quickly.  Ramsay stated in very plain English that he will not shut the kitchen down. Is this a sinking ship? I think not, as the wheat (those remaining in the kitchen) and chaff (those sent to the dorms) have been separated. Ed takes control of the temporarily consolidated team and did a fine job of leading it to task completion.

Ramsay did not beat around the bush after all team members are returned for the post-mortem. He judged that the Red team lost, so they had to nominate their 2 worst members for him to consider for elimination. They nominated Fran and Stacey despite Fran’s attempt to sell the idea that Autumn had not helped the others (which I will make a hunch is a theme we will see again in later episodes). Fran defended herself by saying that she was a Jewish chef and she’s learning, asking for the time to do so. Stacey says she is a team player and that she screwed up. Ramsay took Stacey at her word and eliminated her. He stated that it’s a good thing she was a personal chef, as he had no confidence in ability to cook for the public.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 07, 2010, 08:07:00 PM
Here is the latest from the FOX Network on Hell's Kitchen's changing time slot:

Tuesday, June 8
8:00/7:00c - "Hell's Kitchen"

Tuesdays (June 15-July 20)*
8:00/7:00c - "Hell's Kitchen" (Two-Hours)

Tuesdays (July 27-August 10)
8:00/7:00c - "Hell's Kitchen"

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 10, 2010, 08:34:36 PM
HK7, ep. 2

This episode begins as usual with a reprise of the major points from the prior episode. Ramsay found the behavior of Fran, Maria and Jaime inappropriate and he banished them from the Red kitchen early in the dinner service. He found Mikey and Andrew just strange. The body count piles up on both sides including Stacey who laughed at a bad time, but those left appear to be pretty competent and they fulfilled Ramsay’s guarantee of a completed dinner service. Stacey was selected by Ramsay as the eliminee.

Autumn attempted to lecture her Red teammates on proper procedures for deciding whether to send food up to the pass or not, which was “when in doubt, don’t.” I am not sure Ramsay would agree with that, as it can be situational depending on how serious the need is. At 456am, a giant alarm clock rings to wake all Hell’s Kitchen chefs up and Scott directs them to the kitchen where Ramsay poses a Challenge. It is Eggs 4 Ways which will be done by teams of 2 except Siobhan is chosen to do it herself. Eggs are cooked softboiled, scrambled, sunnyside up and poached in 5 minutes. Here are the results:

NIlka/Maria – 4 points
Salvatore/Mikey – 2
Siobhan, who accepted Autumn’s off to do two styles of egg for her if she did one for Autumn’s team – 1
Ed/Jay – 3 with the question from Ramsay “does it bounce?” on the 4th one
Fran/Autumn – using only the ones they did by themselves, 1
Scott/Andrew – 3
Jamie/Holli – 4 including the best scrambled eggs of the competition
Jason/Benjamin – 3

Blue team wins 11 to 10 in the usual FOX cliffhanger style. Its reward is a helicopter ride over Los Angeles with Ramsay, including champagne with Jean Phillippe and lunch with both. The red team’s punishment is to unload a huge tuna (they are usually about 300 pounds and this one looked about that heavy), clean, gut and fillet it. Siobhan stated that she was never again going to be the fall guy by accepting the guidance of others on her team when she did not personally agree with it.

On short notice, Ramsay adds tableside-served tuna tartare to the menu for this evening. What did you think they were going to do with the fresh tuna? Fran and Scott are chosen to do the tableside service. That takes some of the pressure off the kitchen and maximizes the probability that they will complete the dinner service about to begin. Hell’s Kitchen is open.
Mikey’s risotto is undercooked, as he did not want it to be mushy and went too far the other way. Autumn is trying to help her teammates too much. They do not buy her advice, in particular Siobhan doesn’t. She is getting advice she does not want and she will not just ignore Autumn in silence. Fran on tableside screws up on which tables are Red tables and was talking to a Blue table by mistake. Jean Phillippe shows her the map of the dining room and tells her to adhere strictly to it. The first appetizer for Red goes out after 43 minutes and soon is returned for being undercooked.  Ramsay tells them to hurry up and replace it. Red finally starts to hit a groove. Ramsay tells them they must coordinate among themselves much better on timing of how things come together. Nilka is on the Garnish station.

Ramsay termed the first Wellington from Salvatore as “perfect.” Jason undercooks chicken by rushing but asks for 2 minutes to finish cooking it correctly. It’s 1.5 hours into the dinner service and there is a steady flow of entrees out of the Red kitchen. Jamie on the Fish station screws up on Salmon. Ramsay indicated that Red is having serious communications problems again.

Andrew started acting literally nuts on the Garnish station. Ramsay ordered him out of the kitchen with:”You’re doing nothing right. You don’t care. You don’t have any respect. You’re a joke.”   Andrew does as ordered, but Jean Phillippe tells him to stick around because Ramsay is known to change his mind and come looking for those he banishes. Andrew’s pride does not allow him to. The voiceover announcer stated that this is the second time in 7 years that a chef from Hell’s Kitchen abandons the kitchen.

Dinner service is completed for both the Red and Blue teams, but Ramsay is dissatisfied enough that neither team is deemed the winner. Both teams must nominate one individual who is the weakest on their team. Red nominates Autumn and Blue Jason. Autumn claimed (rightfully so) that she is not close to the worst and her team is forced by Ramsay to indicate that is true. Autumn says it is a personal issue, not anything related to her competence as a chef that caused her teammates to nominate her. Ramsay forced the issue and had Red nominate someone else, so Jamie is selected. Jason gets his chance to argue that he is not the weakest on his team. Ramsay then makes his decision and eliminates Mikey. He stated that “Mikey was all about appearance. Unfortunately for him it didn’t appear that he could cook.

It’s only the second episode and 3 chefs are gone. I did not find this a very satisfying episode. We continue to get to know the players. Only Ed on the Blue team has emerged as a winner. Nobody on the Red team has stuck out positively. We’ll see what develops.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: Pedaler on June 12, 2010, 09:34:42 PM
I agree apskip about the unsatisfying episode.

I still miss Lacey.   :hearts:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: KitKat on June 16, 2010, 08:21:31 PM
I dvr'd last nights hell's kitchen, but apparently the president was on so I didnt get to see who was eliminated in the 2nd half of the show. I know that autumn and scott were put on the chopping block but who went home?
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: chill_sd on June 16, 2010, 10:00:53 PM
I dvr'd last nights hell's kitchen, but apparently the president was on so I didnt get to see who was eliminated in the 2nd half of the show. I know that autumn and scott were put on the chopping block but who went home?

I just got finished watching it at (if you have a fast enough connection it's a good way to watch shows).

Anyway, highlight below if you want to see the outcome.

Ramsey sent Scott to the Red team and Autumn to the Blue team.  Since both kitchens had a good service, he decided to give them another chance.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on June 16, 2010, 10:30:48 PM
Thanks Chill!

I believe he made the decision because Andrew chose to walk out leaving a chef short in the kitchen.

Missing Lacey!  :lol3:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 17, 2010, 08:27:33 AM
I am not missing Lacey, but i will second the TexasLady's hypothesis about why Ramsay could afford to eliminate nobody. The unexpected departure of Andrew combined with the elimination of Mikey made a week available for no eliminations. I am surprised they used that so quickly to not eliminate anyone, but I did agree with Ramsay's decision that Autumn for her own sanity and opportunity needed to be switched to the Blue team. After that move, then it became necessary to bring someone the other way; it could have been anyone but Scott had already been nominated for elimination by his team so he was a logical choice.

I will have a recap of this episode up sometime today.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 19, 2010, 09:33:09 AM
HK7, ep. 3

As usual, a recap of episode 2 starts this off. Ramsay stated that several chefs failed that night. Autumn pushed around Siobhan in the challenge, which was won by the Blue team probably because of it. Autumn then took over some cooking from Siobhan over her objections. Jaime failed on the Red fish station. Mikey was also a disaster on the Blue fish station.  Jason choked on chicken. Andrew’s inner rage led him to withdraw altogether from HK7 in the middle of dinner service, something that has only happened twice in the history of Hell’s Kitchen. Jaime and Jason were nominated by their teams for their poor performance, but it was Mikey who was eliminated.

Ramsay commented on the bad dinner service performance of both teams, citing lack of teamwork due to lack of camaraderie, silence and no communications the symptoms as critical. He oriented the challenge to build teamwork and demonstrate efficiency. The challenge is a special abbreviated casual lunch menu, with just French fries, burgers, chicken sandwiches and salads to be made in 30 minutes. The first team to finish wins.  Jason decided to be a team player. The customers are 100 members of the University of southern California  Marching Band and cheerleaders, with each team serving half the dining room.  These customers are there because they demonstrate the importance of precision, timing and teamwork.

On the salads, Fran and Autumn made them and served them in large bowls for a table while Jason was responsible solo on the Blue team apparently with individual servings. Nilka showed her team spirit by shouting (is that really spirit or just BS?). Jason performed well and the Blue team is impressed by his contributions to their team. Scott sent up a raw burger, while Maria did well on burgers.  As usual it comes down to one serving for each team and in the chaos the Red team got its first challenge win. Ed said they were faster even though maybe not better. The men are given the opportunity to clean up the Los Angeles River for Heal the Bay in yellow jump suits for part of the day. They are put in an old bus that did not look that bad to me. What do they expect for a punishment? There was debris, trash and plastic bags and they did a fine job of cleaning up. At the end, they agreed that they had achieved something important Jason summarized what they learned from this experience:  “America, stop littering.” Excellent Advice!

The women get the reward of going to the Mailibu Beach Inn in Malibu. They were driven in authentic Woodie station wagons from about 1950. They are invited to the beach by Ramsay and Holli says “Chef Ramsay is cute. He looks like a real person.” Ramsay introduced Team Ramsay: his children Megan, Jack, Holly, Matilda and his wife Tana. They challenged the Read team to a game of soccer (Ramsay had played youth soccer in England but was injured multiple times and had to stop playing). Despite that Team Ramsay easily won 3 to 0. The women then enjoyed a meal and drinks.

Dinner service began. Holli and Salvatore were placed in the job of Assistant Maitre D’s helping Jean Phillippe so they can learn the impact that being front of the house has on their kitchens. Holli’s fist order was “in Japanese.” Salvatore’s was worse and he required help from Jean Phillippe to translate it for the blue team to be able to fill that order. Ramsay said “they’re here for dinner, not breakfast.” Maria’s first appetizer was rejected by Ramsay at the pass for not enough lobster, cheese or seasoning. Nilka helped Maria to get her appetizers better and Ramsay praised that.  Scott in on the Blue Appetizers station, but his first effort on potatoes is abysmal.  Benjamin is praised by Ramsay for his meat being cooked perfectly. Salvatore told a table that “my teammates are putting extra love into the salmon,” but he made a mistake on a chicken order. He claimed that he was quitting but Jean Phillippe talked him out of it. It doesn’t matter because he will not last long in this competition anyway. Holli brought back a steak that was medium rare instead of medium. Fran fought through a burn from hand in the oven and then produced a steak rare that should have been medium. As Autumn stated, Fran was undercooking and overcooking, with no control over which what the outcome would be. Scott tried to help Jason even though Jason knew what he needed to do. Holli is stalling a table with an offer of even more bread (she said just kidding when challenged, but it was obvious that she was just trying to buy time for her team to get it together) after 3 hours of not getting their entrees. Jamie was burning carrots on the Garnish. Siobhan on the fish station attempted to help Jamie by leaving her station. Siobhan then had two raw halibut, which Ramsay regarded as a major mistake. Benjamin fended off Scott’s attempts to help him on Meat and Ramsay loved his results. Fran cooked another steak rare instead of medium. Ramsay said “overcooked undercooked, let’s get it together.” Fran was forced by Ramsay to go and see the medic because of her burned hand, but she told the medic to just wrap it up so she could finish that dinner service.

It is almost 4 hours from opening, so it’s clear that Ramsay’s past policies to shut the kitchen down when major mistakes were made has been replaced by a desire to push through and finish it. Ramsay asked if it had to be so painful. The winning team is Blue because of Benjamin’s excellent work. The Red team has to nominate 2 for potential elimination. Fran was going to be one because of refires and losing composure; the second was Jamie due to her burning mashed potatoes and carrots. Ramsay indicated that Fran may be “an old dog unable to be taught new tricks.” Ramsay said he believed Fran can fight back as promise3d, so Jaime is eliminated. Ramsay said as his parting words on Jamie that she had passion but no creativity or leadership qualities.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 19, 2010, 12:26:59 PM
HK7 ep. 4

The prior episode challenge was to serve lunch to the USC Band and cheerleaders. The women won their first challenge. For the Red team, Nilka screwed up appetizers, Jamie burned garnishes and Fran was terrible on meat. For the Blue team, Benjamin was excellent on meat, Scott tried to help others but was rejected and Salvatore was judged by Ramsay to be hapless and decided to follow Andrew out the door, but Jean Phillippe convinced him to stay by telling him to just fight back. The nominees for elimination by the women were Fran and Jaime. Jaime was Ramsay’s choice to leave as he thought Franc could be taught “new tricks.”

Ramsay told Salvatore that he must bounce and fight back as Ramsay had not given up on him. Ramsay had another challenge, to be under maximum pressure by rolling the dice for ingredients to prepare a meal. Each member rolls the dice and must name one of 6 ingredients that will work well together. The Men choose Halibut, Endive, Salsify, Crab, Peas, Bacon. The women choose Beets, Shallots, Mango, Ham, Turnips, Duck. Autumn told her teammates that they should save the duck fat to be put into the turnips and to not forget to score the ducks. Salvatore wants to help out, but due to his limited experience only Ed wanted his minimal help and was willing to take time to teach him some things. I am really impressed by that and I bet Ramsay was too. This should give Ed a leg up on the others temporarily for his leadership. Autumn wanted to plate the duck early, but Ramsay advised the Nilka they not to. Autumn was on the nerves of her teammates for unwanted advice.

The men presented Pan Roasted Halibut with Salsify Puree, Bacon, Pea and Crab Ragout, salad of Crab and Endive. Ramsay said this dish is quite tasty, endive is clean, peas sweet and everything cooked perfectly. Salsify taste was unsatisfactory due to being fried unnecessarily.

The women presented Mango Glazed Pan-Seared Duck w/ turnips in Duck Fat, Ham, Mangos, Beets. Ramsay said the turnips look boring but should taste delicious. He said that turnips in duck fat was a good idea and NIlka’s duck with too much fat on it was a problem.

Ramsay says that by a fraction the winning dish is the men. The women’s punishment included cleaning the entrance hall of dust, sweeping the hall, washing the carpet and then prepping both kitchens. The blue team is going skydiving. Jason is not willing to do it because “do I look like a bird?” It actually was a wind tube at I Fly that Jason found OK. Jean Phillippe gave the Red team work the white glove test. He said there was dust on the frames. Benjamin rated the skydiving reward as “awesome.”  Sous chef Andi told the women that they were losing their prep technique and needed to improve very fast. Maria was negatively impacted by the stress of the double prep.

Ramsay explained that chef tables in the kitchen were a new feature. Red will have the host of ET Kenneth Frasier and his wife. Blue hosts Debbie Mazar from Entourage and her husband, who is a chef. Ramsay opened Hell’s Kitchen.

Scott attempted to help Jason, who he thinks is the worst chef in the Blue kitchen. Jason resented this and Jay said he would beat Scott up if given the chance. Jason’s cappellini is “cooked perfectly” as a result of Scott’s help. Siobhan had lobster in the cappellini instead of crab. Salvatore cooked raw snapper, not the pink 30 seconds Snapper appetizer requested. Siobhan pulled it from the crab bowl, but it was really lobster so she took heat from Ramsay. Salvatore is told that his snapper is cooked perfectly. Nilka is responsible for the Red team’s first entrees. Autumn is talking incessantly, but Ramsay regards this as positive. It really wasn’t. Anyway, Nilka delivered. Salvatore cooked salmon perfectly. Ed on the Garnish had rock hard potatoes. Autumn on fish sent up salmon that was picked up with food tongs when it should have been a fish spatula used. Scott delivered beef rare when it should have been medium. Kevin Frasier and wife were waiting for their entrees. Nilka cooked great Wellingtons, so Fran said that “she had it all under control.” Scott cooked the Wellingtons raw when it should have been rare. His second try got “perfectly cooked “feedback from Ramsay. Salvatore got nicely cooked halibut and got to deliver it to Mazar and husband and talk Italian with them.  Both teams finish in 2 ¼ hours. It must have been a less than full dining room but still that is exceptionally good performance..

Ramsay is amazed how good they were. He told Salvatore “you can cook” and  Nilka “in fine dining, you cooked the meat great.” Each one is asked to nominate one person each for elimination. NIlka misunderstood that her role was not to decide, just to nominate. Nilka focused on Autumn, but Autumn said that her non-use of a fish spatula was not sufficient to warrant her elimination. Siobhan is worried due to her crab vs. lobster incidents. Ed was not humbled by his mistakes. Scott said that he was trying too much to help others. Salvatore acknowledged that Scott had helped him a lot, so I don’t expect him to be nominating Scott. Nilka chose Autumn because she did not perform to “her full potential.” What utter crap, as it was clearly a personality conflict based on her bossiness that got Autumn in hot water with her teammates, not anything to do with her actual performance. Salvatore nominated Scott in spite of his help. Ramsay said that Autumn was not appreciated by the Red team. Ramsay told her that she is soulless, but she defended herself. Ramsay said that Scott did not cook at all tonight.  Scott promised to mind his on business; I’m sure he won’t be spending his time helping Salvatore.  Ramsay told him to pipe down and be more humble. Ramsay asked both to take their jackets off, but he then pulled switcheroo by sending Autumn to the Blue team and Scott to the Red team. Autumn clearly had to be moved and somebody had to be switched to replace her.  Autumn said that the Red team “will be sorry they let her go.” Scott said “now he will come out to play   Ramsay stated that the best service yet demanded no eliminations, but they need to both better excel or they will be gone. I agree that ir was a good time for him to use the flexibility obtained by the unexpected departure of Andrew since the performance of both teams warranted no eliminations.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on June 22, 2010, 01:16:39 PM
Four episodes, does anyone stand out? Only a few for me. Some are staying under the radar so we don't know how they will react to Ramsay's pressure.  Salvatore redeemed himself by not walking out and Ramsay praised him for doing a good job. (Ramsay can be motivational and uplifting at times, we just don't see it much on Hell's Kitchen.)

Nilke and Autumn, both seem to be able to be leaders in the kitchen, Autumn more so than Nilke but I don't believe either one can win unless they step it up even more.  

I just don't have a good feel for anyone on the Blue Team, I thought Jason would do better but he can't really take the pressure. Anyone see a leader on the men's team?  

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 23, 2010, 04:25:17 PM
OK. Texas Lady, I will go through the Blue team one by one with my observations:

Scott (departed to the Red team) -has shown none of the potential that any executive chef should have, but he has mentored Salvatore a bit
Jay - he's lying in the weeds and has not distinguished himself at all
Jason - he won't last very long because he doesn't seem to know much
Salvatore-  the unexpected surprise of the Blue team so far, but his lack of formal culinary training will hurt him before HK7 is over
Ed - another one in the weeds, but he was a leader in one early episode and has also mentored Salvatore
Benjamin - the highest performer on the Blue team so far

So, my conclusion for the men is that Benjamin is the best and will go farthest.

Of the women, I think Autumn has been a clear winner although she was not able to translate her superior knowledge (how did she get that as a personal chef?) into leadership because she  pissed the weaker Red team members off. Siobhan and Holli  have stayed in the weeds but I think they can do well.  Nilka is in the middle in performance. Fran and Maria will not remain on HK7 long in my opinion.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on June 25, 2010, 10:41:51 PM
HK7, ep. 5

The summary of the prior episode starts with Nilka doing a fine job on getting entrees out.Siobhan gets too much unwanted advice from Autumn and Autumn later even took over her station before Ramsay ordered her back to her own. Dinner service turned out unbelievably well. Nilka and Salvatore as best of their teams got to nominate one individual each. She nominated Autumn and he nominated Scott. Autumn called it a personal vendetta and was correct. Ramsay agreed with that analysis, so he decided to keep them both and used up the one week of normal-schedule flexibility (gained from Andrew's unexpected departure).

The challenge took place at a local pig farm. Each team had to have each of its members catch 3 pigs with pork products labeled on them and 3 pigs with other ingredients labeled. The Red team started behind but went ahead and finished slightly ahead. The next step was for 3 sub-teams of 2 for each teams would cook a dish using two of the ingredients and other pantry items. The resulting combinations set up by Ramsay assigning the pairs of sub-team to compete were:

Fran/Nilka (blood sausage w/ prunes, quite an unusual combination that's unlikely to do well) vs. Benjamin/Ed (pan roasted pork loin w/ bok choy) - Blue 1 Red 0; note that Nilka did not know that blood sausage needed to be pricked before heating to give the juices an escape route. Scott knew this but failed to want her.
Holli Siobhan (fennel-crusted pork tenderloin with sweet and sour apple and mustard sauce) vs. Autumn/Jason (honey/mustard dish with glazed bacon and honey slaw which lacked the mustard Autumn had wanted to use but was overruled by stupid Jason) Blue 0 Red 1
Scott/Maria (Sweet potato soup and ham hock garnish) vs. Jay/Salvatore (Latin rubbed pork loin chop served over pinto beans) Blue 1 Red 0 after the usual cliffhanger before a commercial break; note that Ramsay criticized Maria for not following directions and making a pork dish. What happened to her teammate Scott when this critique was applied?

The total is Blue 2 Red 1, so Blue won this challenge. Their reward is a trip to Glen Ivy Hot Springs for an afternoon of pampering. They got to swim in mud, shower, swim in a warm water pool and ogle the beautiful (whether in a bikini like here or anywhere else) Autumn. If looks alone could win TC7, then they could give all the rewards to autumn right now. I suspect she wants to earn them based on her culinary ability and she rightfully expects to do well.

Punishment for the women is catching these squealing pigs again and then cleaning them. I think they are going to become a Menu item, if not that night then soon. They then had to prep both kitchens. Ramsay announced with 3 hours to go in prep that he was doing a new menu, for the first time ever a fine dining Barbecue with barbecue, corn on the cob, fried chicken, kabobs and beef burgers among the items added to the menu. The Red team would cook for 2 hours beginning at 5pm first service and Blue would wait and serve. There was an unstated one hour break to clean and reset the dining room, then Blue got to cook for 2 hours while Red waited and served.

At about the same time frame (3 hours before 5pm), Nilka had started frying chicken and had a large amount of it already cooked. Ramsay was aghast at her lack of knowledge, stating that even fast food joints do not cook their fried chicken that far ahead. he reminded her that Hell's Kitchen is a fine dining mecca. Another interesting tidbit is that Ramsay learned that Salvatore never took the opportunity to go to school when he should have. Salvatore has built up his "street smarts" and culinary education without any formal education. I find that impressive and I hypothesize that Ramsay did too. He pitched once again the value of teamwork.

Dinner service started and the first major mistake was by Maria with raw crab. Fran was alone of Appetizers for Red but doing a fine job. Scott's fried chicken was burned, so he had to redo it ASAP to avoid the other items ordered by that table from getting out of time sync. Autumn in the dining room was doing her best to encourage diners to send as much food back as possible, but those diners as FOX extras were trained in what to do in that situation, which is that a few do allow it and most firmly reject Autumn's encouragement. Autumn's attempts to sabotage the Red team mostly failed. Red made a concerted push to get all their orders out by the close of their kitchen at 7pm, but they failed by a small amount.  I want to interject here that Siobhan criticized Autumn's unwanted bossiness, with Ramsay supporting Siobhan and sending Autumn back to her station. Fran criticized Autumn too.

Hell's Kitchen reopened with the Blue team cooking. The Red team did not have much experience with front of the house functions, primarily as servers and were having trouble writing orders and doing their job right. Holli and Fran both attempt to handle table 33, resulting in a double order that had to be taken out of the cooking flow. Diners next were getting food other that that which they had ordered. the chaos of the Red team has to be brought under control. Jean Phillippe did his best to accomplish that.  Autumn's first ribs go to the pass ice-cold. She has to refire them. Maria screwed up again. Jason had problems with cooking chickens. with 1 minute left he asked for 3 minutes to finish cooking them. Ramsay is a vigorous in ignoring him and closing Hell's Kitchen. Since expectations have risen with the really good performance in the prior episode, Ramsay is not shy about classifying it as "the worst service" (I'm sure he meant for season 7 and not the entirety of Hell's Kitchen.  The red team's poorer performance earned them the loss, with Fran as Best of the worst to nominate two individuals for potential elimination. she picked Maria (the obvious and correct choice) and Nilka (a ridiculous political choice since NIlka got no criticism the entire night. It is clear that Scott's logic has been accepted and caused her to make it Nilka and not him. Ramsay, however, is having none of that. He ordered Scott to some up to join  the other 2. My, how quickly Scott has dropped i the overall esteem for HK7 chefs. He will be fighting to stay in this competition for the rest of the episodes. NIlka is judged not a s bad as the other two and got sent back into the lineup. Ramsay tells Maria she lacks pride, dignity and passion. Maria got the boot and Scott barely escaped. Ramsay told Fran to just follow her instinct to get the nomination decision right (which she had not achieved).

The elimination of hapless Maria was the right decision by Ramsay. He said that she had failed to handle the Garnish station. Scott may become a Phoenix rising from the dead.

HK7, ep.6

The usual reprise of the prior episode starts us off. The Creative Pork challenge was grabbing pigs to get a favorable mix of 3 pork-based ingredients with 3 side ingredients to pair up into one from each category to compete with a sub-team of 2 from the other side to cook one dish each. Red lost this. During Barbecue dinner service, the women were disorganized and acting as if they hated each other.
Ramsay asked 5 chefs to name one of the five “mother sauces”. The respond with Hollandaise, tomato, béchamel, demi-glaze and veloute. Now, my information on mother sauces are that they are not primarily to be served as=is, but they are to combine with other ingredients to make specialized sauces for specific purposes. However, my source says that the 5 are white sauce Béchamel, the light stock-based Velouté, the brown stock-based Espagnole; the two basic emulsified sauces, Hollandaise and Mayonnaise; and the oil and vinegar-based Vinaigrette, with tomato frequently recognized as a 6th mother sauce. Who is right? Do we care, as all these sauces are great to eat except maybe for mayonnaise where its health implications could outweigh its fabulous taste.

The Challenge is for each team to prepare 5 dishes using one each of his list of mother sauces and combine them with 20 ingredients with all used and used only once by a team. They have 30 minutes. Ed and Autumn work together. Autumn says that there is a camaraderie that male chefs have and if they let you in on it, it’s special. He asked two people with a great influence at the Savoy, his wife Helen and his wife Tana, to judge.

Tomato – Fran (fettucine fra diavolo w/ oysters and lemon) vs. Salvatore (squab, eggplant, red peppers) – Ramsay calls Fran brilliant and clever for her risky use of the oysters successfully; Tana called blue overcooked and gave the point to Red
Hollandaise – Siobhan (butterfly Cornish hen - Ramsay corrected her that it is a pigeon and the blood all, over it makes it raw and untastable); Ed (pan-seared duck breast); Tana said duck raw and his sauce bland; No points was awarded, which annoyed Ed because :I had the better dish of the two)

Veloute – Holli (she said halibut; Ramsay corrected her to tuna); Ed/Autumn (pan-roasted sea bass with mushroom) – both are judged very good; the point goes to Holli although she undoubtedly lost points with Ramsay due to her lack of knowledge of fish.
Demi-Glace – Nilka (pan-seared steak w/black pepper and mushroom) – Helen called it first-class vs. Jason (strip steak w/ rosemary and potatoes)but again the Red team won and led 2 to 1.

Béchamel - Benjamin (John D’ory in lemon w/ roasted potatoes) – Tana said a little dry and lacked a little seasoning vs. Scott (roasted duck breast on bed of sweet potatoes and eggplant) – Helen hated it; Blue wins this and ties the score at 2 to 2.
Holli accused Scott of being “the worst cook in Hell’s kitchen and so ***** cocky. Ramsay decided to break the tie with a special dish of this competition. That was Jason’s because it would have won against any dish except Nilka’s and so the Blue  team won as a result. The Red team got to clean up the kitchen floor, the ovens, the burners and both kitchens before prepping both kitchens. Scott claimed to have prepped enough potatoes but he is challenged on that. Do I anticipate a problem which will happen during dinner service? You bet. The Blue team got to ride a Red double-decker bus to a British-style pub, Ye Olde King’s Head. They had lager from the tap and pub food. There was a strategically placed photo of Ramsay before he broke his leg in his soccer-playing days on display on a wall. There is a prize for closest to the mark in a darts competition, which was Autumn, and also the same Demeyere cookware for every member of the blue team.  Siobhan was allergic to some of the cleaning chemicals and had to visit the medic. They had to cut her cleaning uniform off of her.

With 3 hours left before the opening of Hell’s Kitchen Ramsay announced that it would be Family Night with a special children’s menu of Caesar salad, fish fingers, spaghetti and French fries. Ramsay told teams that she must not embarrass him by forcing him to chew them out in hearing of the kids in the dining room. Ramsay asked who is cooking the spaghetti and reluctantly Siobhan and Scott admitted it was them. Ramsay told Siobhan that the basic of cooking pasta are to use boiling water. Savatore made a mistake by lying about the risotto, bringing the wrath of Ramsay, who criticized him: “how dare you?” Nilka is also criticized that her risotto has insufficient lobster in it. Jean Phillippe told some of his kid customers that they need to appreciate that some of the words that Chef Ramsay uses in public are not repeatable. Ramsay told Ramsay that her scallops were rubber. Jason undercooked chicken and upset Ramsay. Scott did not have more than one beef and Wellingtons ready because he had not prepped them. Ramsay went beserk that the Wellington was raw and stone-cold in the middle. Benjamin proved that he was the leader of the Blue team. Ramsay brought chicken and beef for the Red team to touch, because it was done so badly that there was no hope. He ordered the entire Red team to “get out.” Ramsay, Andi and sous chef Scott complete the Red team’s service. Scott is accused by his team for beginning it down. All Blue entries are served within one hour from that point. Ramsay called the red team back to do desserts since all entrees had been served.

The Red team lost and the Red team had the most disorganized service ever. He asked for 2 nominees. You know that the knives were out for Scott, who had many  mistakes. He claimed that he had lots of experience and was “Mr. Know-It-All” but could not perform for the Red team after basically getting booted off Blue. Scott was nominated for his 2 bad dinner services and “a lot of talk by no results.” Fran was the second nominee but she said it should be Siobhan. Ramsay asked Nilka to explain. He asked “who is the best chef on the Red team?” Scott said it was himself, but the others on his team totally scoff at that. Nobody ended up answering that question but I think it’s Holli.

Ramsay tells Scott, Siobhan and Scott to all step forward. Scott said “this isn’t culinary school. There is a lot of knowledge and experience needed to succeed.” He goes on to claim he is not only the best cook on the team but also the best leader. Ramsay said he kept waiting but it did not happen. “Scott had the credentials but no performance. If Scott could cook as well as he talked, then he would win Hell’s Kitchen; however, he can’t perform.” It appears that Scott's Phoenix has been burned on a Hell's Kitchen jacket hook.

Ramsay then made a surprise move to send Benjamin to the Red team to avoid the blue team having 2 more members. Ramsay charged Benjamin with “run it and get it to perform.”
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: Pedaler on June 27, 2010, 09:02:36 PM
Thanks TexasLady and apskip for your insights on who may have actual culinary talent.  I'm having a hard time identifying the talent.  Nevertheless,  I still enjoy this show a lot for some unknown reason  :duno:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: ugot2bekidinmeny on June 30, 2010, 08:14:25 PM
watch out Ramsey!! Ben's coming for your job!! :knuckles:

his words : "I would have kicked her out of the kitchen if ramsey didn't"  refering to siobhan.  :meow:  :groan:

granted she was a mess but  WHOAAAA such a big HUGE egooooooo for such a tiny pitiful know it all! :ugot
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 01, 2010, 07:11:37 PM
Thanks TexasLady and apskip for your insights on who may have actual culinary talent.  I'm having a hard time identifying the talent.  Nevertheless,  I still enjoy this show a lot for some unknown reason  :duno:

Sometimes I feel the same way. I enjoy this show for some unknown reason.  :lol:

I still do not see a genuine leader emerging. I see a few that we don't see much because they are nearly invisible. Autumn showed weakness and so did Ed. It's possible that neither one drink much and really got plastered.  :keeta:

Apskip mentioned that Ed and Jay are hiding in the weeds and they are, Jay is trying to pick up his game, we'll see how that works out. Holly, Nilka are the only two women left who have potential, Fran has been in the bottom nearly every time, I can't see that changing now.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 02, 2010, 10:15:11 AM
watch out Ramsey!! Ben's coming for your job!! :knuckles:

his words : "I would have kicked her out of the kitchen if ramsey didn't"  refering to siobhan.  :meow:  :groan:

granted she was a mess but  WHOAAAA such a big HUGE egooooooo for such a tiny pitiful know it all! :ugot

I predict that Ramsay will start focusing on Ben and we'll see if Ben can survive the onslaught. Chef Ramsay did not miss Ben's actions and it looks as if Ben shoves Nilka away from her station in the next episode.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 07, 2010, 12:22:45 PM
HK7, ep. 7

As usual, this episode opened with a summary of the prior one. The Red team lost their third consecutive challenge. At the start of dinner service for Family Night, Nilka was in a rut and Siobhan messed up several appetizers, Fran overcooked fish and Scott was a mess on meat. Ramsay sent the Red team out of the kitchen to get their heads back on straight. Salvatore screwed up, but the rest of the Blue team rallied around Benjamin’s leadership. Scott and Fran were nominated for elimination, but Fran argued that Scott should have been the nominee instead of her. Ramsay agreed and fired Scott for consistently underperforming. He also sent Benjamin to the Red team to balance the teams at 5 each.

The challenge starts with the 50th Wedding anniversary of Sal and Marcy Locastro, whose wedding menu was trout almandine, steak Diane and chicken Kiev. The chefs have to update these 3 classic dishes with a modern twist, testing their creativity and innovativeness. They have 45 minutes to create and cook, with the anniversary couple judging the results in the traditional FOX/Hell’s Kitchen cliffhanger style.

The dishes offered are:
Steak Diane – Nilka (crab and mushroom reduction w/ chervil and parsley – note non-classic, as Ramsay pointed out no cream, cognac or mustard) vs. Ed (crabcake, quenelle of mushrooms) –Sal of the couple says too much alcohol taste in Nilka’s dish; Marcy does not like the mushrooms; However, the point goes to Blue

 Chicken Kiev - Autumn/Salvatore (chicken meatballs which were raw with minutes to go and she claims is the dish inside out) vs. Holli (panko crusted chicken w/ roasted garlic, lemon, parsley butter) – Ramsay said one of 2 balls where slightly pink and undercooked; the point goes to Red

Trout Almandine – Jay (pan-seared golden trout w/ lemon and fennel leaves w/ almond  streussel) vs. Ben (puree of almond chanterelles w/ vanilla) – Marcy likes Jay’s dish, Sal likes Ben’s so Ramsay breaks the tie by stating that both are really good but it’s Red by a whisker, which is probably his way of giving them a victory sorely needed for their morale even though their performance was essentially the same as the blue team. Isn’t it amazing how Ramsay gets positioned so he can break the tie the way he wants to?

The Blue team get to lay a dance floor (Ed is a an expert from prior country club experience), decorate the dining room, lay the tablecloths, put out the flowers, blow up balloons and make a 3-tiered wedding cake. The rest of the Blue team want to avoid Autumn’s mouth.  Jay says “They win once and all of a sudden they are Michelin star chefs”. The Red team gets to ride in 1950s Chevrolet classic convertibles. They go to the Frisco’s Carhops, which has servers on roller skates who invite the Red team to dance, burgers and shakes, then a hula hoop competition which Siobhan won easily (she said because she was a ballerina) and earned a nice trophy. Ed had to wrap 100  party favor boxes, which was impossible until he got help from the rest of the Blue team.

The menu includes Ben’s challenge-winning trout almandine. Both teams prep and Jay cut himself, but it doesn’t take him out of dinner service. Ramsay wants the teams to appreciate the gravity of the situation. He stated that Steak Dianes will be served tableside by Ed and Nilka just like they were in the 1950s. Jean Phillippe taught Nilka how to make proper Steak Diane. Ramsay opened Hell’s Kitchen to the family and friends of the guest of honor, real people and a marked contrast to the beautiful people who usually show up. Autumn is on Appetizers and is praised for her crabcakes. You will not hear about any dishes being returned at this dinner service! The wedding cake looked like the leaning tower of Pisa, so Jay and Ed adjusted it. Ben sent crab appetizers up which are stone cold in the middle. Ramsay told him he needed more oil in the pan. Siobhan was also on appetizers. Fran tried to help Benjamin, but he cursed her for trying to help, not exactly the team-building spirit that she was trying to reciprocate. Benjamin burned the crabcakes on his second try.

Coordinating the Steak Diane with the other entrees for the host table is a challenge but the Red team succeeded. Salvatore was on Garnish, but he was screwing up. Jay on   Meat said that Salvatore has “mashed potatoes between his ears.” He apparently froze when under big pressure as Ramsay yelled at him. Salvatore and Jason struggled to catch up on Garnish. Holli was told by Ramsay that the duck is overcooked and chicken raw. Jean Phillippe asked Nilka where the Dijon mustard and cognac come from. Nilka can’t really answer. Benjamin was on the Fish station. Fran mishandled a hot pan, so Ramsay criticized her sharply for safety problems. Ramsay asked Salvatore where the garnish for the 2 chickens was. Both teams finish the entrees at about the same time. Desserts are easily served. One of his teammates said that Blue finished first, but Salvatore sucked.

Ramsay gave feedback. Fran was told she should know how to drain potatoes. He asked Salvatore to rate his own performance, so he responded 4 to 5 out of 10 but Ramsay corrected that to 1 to 2. Holli had overcooked duck and undercooked chicken.
Red team loses and must nominate 2 for elimination. It appears that Fran and Holli would be those two and that Salvatore was off the hook. The actual nominees are Siobhan and Fran. Ramsay asked Siobhan and Fran to step forward as the nominees must do. He questioned them but then surprisingly sent them back into the line. He gave as his reason that there was another chef who far exceeded them in poor performance. That was Salvatore, who is eliminated. Ramsay said that Salvatore had only one good service out of 7 and his time had run out. He continued “Salvatore had a big heart; too bad he couldn’t cook with it.” Benjamin stated that “the garbage can can cook better than Siobhan and Fran.” Is her right?
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 07, 2010, 05:51:25 PM
I think the time has come for me to project the final 3 and how eliminations will proceed to get there. The 3 most competent chefs in HK7 are Holli, Jay and Ed. I expect that one of them will win HK7. At this time the most probable eliminations are Siobhan and Fran. After that I think Jason and Nilka are close behind them. The more difficult eliminations will be of Benjamin, leaving the three above. I think Ed is inferior to Jay and to Holli, so the final two will be Jay and Holli. For right now, that's too close to call.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 07, 2010, 10:16:53 PM
HK7, ep. 8

You know that Ramsay had to make up for robbing the Blue team of a member they were traditionally entitled to with the departure of Salvatore, so elimination of somebody from Red is highly probable in this episode.

The prior episode highlighted Benjamin as the leader of the Red team, which won the
Challenge.   At dinner service, Benjamin screwed up the crabcakes and was cocky. Salvatore was lost doing Garnish for Blue. Red lost and nominated Fran and Siobhan, but Ramsay chose to eliminate Salvatore. Benjamin predicts that Siobhan will be out soon as a result of limited skills.

Ramsay had Scott wake the chefs to go to a French restaurant. Phillipe’s French dip originated at Phillippe’s. The chefs sample French dip sandwiches. Ramsay gives each of them 30 minutes back at Hell’s Kitchen to create an original gourmet sandwich. There is a vast list of ingredients. The ability to be innovative will be tested. Siobhan asked for the challah bread (c pronounced) while Benjamin corrects her to silence the “c”.

Red team had 30 seconds to decide which sandwich to drop. Siobhan’s sandwich was voted down by her teammates.

Benjamin (pan-seared ahi tuna w/ salad of watercress and spiced olives w/ lemon juice on chabbat) vs. Ed (grilled ahi open-face on sesame bread, was abi mayo, fresh mint, chives) – Ramsay said Ben’s was cooked very nicely; he also liked Ed’s; each won 1 point

Holli (pumpernickel bread, smoked duck breast, caramelized onions, prosciutto) vs. Jason (lobster cole slaw sloppy joe)  - Ramsay liked them both so each won a point

Fran (balsamic chicken, roasted peppers) vs. Jay (country pork pate w/ foie gras fat, slaw of Viet ingredients) – Ramsay said that Fran’s bread was soggy so only Jay got 1 point

Nilka (roasted pork, arugula, red onions, truffle mayo) vs. Autumn (roasted pork loin w/ sautéed vegetables + balsamic reduction) – Ramsay said presentation was shocking, typical of a first-year culinary student

Ramsay said he is going to break the tie by sampling Siobhan’s sandwich. Hers was ahi tuna on challah bread w/ San Andrea cheese and oranges. Ramsay told Red team that they should have selected Siobhan’s dish instead of Fran’s, so Red loses.

For next night’s dinner there will be an amuse bouche of peanut butter and jelly requiring shelling thousands of peanuts. That is the punishment for the Red team. The Blue team gets to go to the Rosemount Estate vineyards in central California for wine sampling and since it is 4 hours away they will take a private jet. Ramsay asked Blue to not get drunk before getting to the vineyards. Matthew Lane there teaches some simple information about the wines and how to pair them with food. All of the Blue team get drunk at the vineyards but continued to drink on the flight home. They are totally plastered on arrival back at Hell’s Kitchen. Ed and Holli were playing around in the hot tub and then Siobhan joined them and Ed decided to show off his naked body to them (although there was a piece of furniture artfully in the line of sight from the camera) .

The Red team has prepped for an hour before Blue even shows up in the kitchen.
After the uneventful prep, Ramsay issued the command “Jean Phillippe, open Hell’s Kitchen.”

Fran on appetizers is worried about risotto, which she has never made, but she did it fine. Jay is on Appetizers for Blue. Jason on Fish has undercooked rubbery scallops and Jay’s dish needs more salt. Ramsay criticized Fran for rice crunchy, not enough seasoning and it’s watery. Autumn on the Garnish station is slow on potatoes and then they are too salty. Ramsay ordered her to start tasting her food. Ramsay is waiting on Siobhan for scallops. She said they are golden brown (they looked OK to me), but Ramsay did not agree and called her a donkey, telling her to “get out” to go to the bar to eat her mistakes. Benjamin took over the Fish station. Siobhan on her return threw out some of Ben’s bad-looking scallops, drawing his extreme ire.  An actor played his role to pretend to be a disgruntled customer complaining about tartare; Ramsay sent him packing. Somehow I doubt that the approach he used is what he really uses in his fine dining establishments around the globe. Word of that type of behavior gets round and I have heard plenty of criticisms of Ramsay but not for mistreating complaining customers, who deserve more diplomacy. Ramsay said that Nilka sent up raw chicken. Ramsay asked “beef, where is it?” Autumn was out to lunch and not communicating. Ramsay now asked “where’s the duck?” Ed sliced it but it was raw. He ordered the Blue team out of the kitchen. Jay lectured his team about the importance of communications and timing. Fran is behind on risotto and Ramsay tells her the rice is cooked “up and down.”  He kicked out the Red team, so Hell’s Kitchen was shut down.

Ramsay asked for comment on what went wrong. Several volunteered some ideas. Each team will nominate 2 individuals. Red nominated Fran and Siobhan. Blue nominated Autumn and Ed.  Ramsay elected to eliminate Siobhan because she did not have enough experience to stay any longer. Ramsay said Siobhan got pushed around a lot in Hell’s Kitchen so it was up to him to finally push her out. As predicted Red took the fall to even the score on eliminations where neither team was the winner.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 07, 2010, 10:18:04 PM
HK7, ep. 9

The prior episode features the Blue team winning the challenge, then overindulging in wine and getting a bit inebriated, Fran struggling with scallops and Siobhan making a mess of her risotto, Autumn failing on garnish and Ed attempting to serve raw duck. Ramsay could not take the mistakes and termed it the worst dinner service yet. Neither team won, so both had to nominate 2 for elimination. Red nominated Siobhan and Fran; Blue nominated Autumn and Ed.  Siobhan was eliminated.

Ramsay assembled the teams the next morning to serve them a breakfast dish of a frozen Chicken Gorgonzola dinner which they raved about. The Challenge is to rely on their taste buds. It’s time for the Blind Taste Test that is a Ramsay favorite for good reason. Fran claimed to have a great palate and so claimed Autumn.  Each chef tries to identify 4 foods.

Brussels Sprouts – Autumn and Fran both miss with white cabbage
Pork Tenderloin – Autumn said turkey and Fran roast beef
Sweet Potatoes – Autumn said carrots, Fran parsnips
Coconut – Autumn gets it right for the only point to Blue and Fran missed with potato

Ricotta Cheese – Ed and Holli both said polenta
Chick Pea – Ed said turnips, Holli said lima beans
Hearts of Palm- Ed said artichokes, Holli said pickled cabbage
Trout – Ed said canned tuna, Holli got it right for 1 Red point

Fennel – Ben got it right for 1 point and so did Jason for 1 point
Kidney Beans – Ben said overcooked white beans, Jason said black eyed peas
Butter Lettuce – Ben said spinach, Jason arugula
Mussels – Ben said clams, Jason said oysters

Kobe Beef – Jay said corned beef, Nilka turkey
Cashew Nuts – Jay said almonds, Nilka pistachios
Cilantro – they both got this right for one point each
Eggplant – Jay got it right for the deciding point, Nilka said prunes.

Blue won 4 points to 3, but the total was less than one right on average for Red and only one for Blue. Blue’s reward is a trip to Sea World to swim with dolphins, see dancing whales, and seals. Red’s punishment is unloading trucks quickly all day long, ice first then wine, then return the wine because a trick was played on the Red team for not checking carefully the invoice for delivery point (which was Ramsay’s restaurant in London), plus special packages for Red and Blue. Both teams get to open the mystery packages, which are items to help them create their own menus.

Each team creates their own menu of 4 appetizers, 4 entrees and 4 desserts. Jay said that keeping the menu simple was important. Blue came together around that concept with each one suggesting their favorite dishes. Red had more dissension. Both teams prepped their kitchen and prepared samples for Ramsay’s inspection.

Red – seared ahi tuna (Ramsay called bland with no seasoning); salad of arugula, sunchokes and sherry vinaigrette; herb-roasted breast of chicken w/ asparagus (Ramsay wanted foie gras added) ; coffee mousse w/ ganache, pannacotta w/ rum glaze.   All desserts were made by Holli, who got rave reviews from Ramsay.

Blue – baby spinach salad w/ goat cheese and strawberries (Ramsay called it a bad joke); Hawaiian salad w/ tuna tartare (Ramsay – bland and boring); pan-seared filet mignon, sweet potatoes, onions (Ramsay dismissed it as a steak); fruit compote w/ thyme whipped cream (Ramsay said it’s one of the worst desserts I’ve ever been served). Ramsay’s overall critique of their menu was “too easy,” not using any creativity and attempting to play it safe.

Dinner service began. Each customer has the choice of Red or Blue menus. The kitchens must coordinate the flow of food to the pass and communicate with the other team. Appetizers get out to the diners, but Benjamin has undercooked shrimp and undercooked pasta. Fran was on Meat (a harbinger that she will underperform and be axed in this episode), Nilka on Garnishes and Benjamin on Appetizers. Benjamin really did not want any help from Nilka but when Ramsay intervened he was force to accept it. Ramsay stated to Benjamin: “You may not like your team (that’s exactly the way Ben feels), but that does not stop you from talking to them.” Jason is on Meat and Jay on Garnishes.

The Blue team’s menu adjustments appear to be paying off as it is being selected by most diners. Blue pushed out many more appetizers than Red. Holli is trying to get her team to work with her on timing. Jay had a hard time keeping up with the heavy load on entrees. Fran was missing half the chicken through improper slicing of the meat from the carcass. Ramsay accused her of robbing the customers of their portions. Autumn’s pork was raw coming to the pass. Ramsay’s makes a pun on the traditional phrase by shouting “Where’s The Pork?” and is so pissed that she gets sent to the dining room to explain this to the relevant table and “out of my kitchen.” Nilka adjusted the menu because she cannot grill asparagus decently to avoid watered asparagus.  Ramsay accused her of doing “cafeteria food.” Jason burned bacon, then he screwed up sides for the pork. Holli is trying to act as a communications leader, but nobody seemed to be listening. Fran objected to Benjamin being in her way in the kitchen and then she served unacceptable beef. Ramsay accused Autumn of not caring with a laid-back attitude. Ramsay was asking her “where’s the beef?” Autumn is exiled to doing desserts.

Ramsay called Fran into the chill room. Ramsay tells her raw chicken is followed by raw chicken and that is unacceptable if she wants to stay. Entrees are finished, so now it’s a desserts competition. Blue finished first but Ramsay declared both teams lose. Each must nominate one person. On Red the women go after each other and Benjamin waited quietly to pounce. Blue team nominee was Autumn, who had a bad night on meat. Red team nominee was Fran for her service being a mess. Autumn said she cooked a lot of good food. Ramsay said she had become an embarrassment for the Blue team. Fran questioned Red team communications which to an outside are poor. Nilka undercut her.

Ramsay fired Fran, but Autumn had to take off her jacket so she could be sent back to the Red team. That leaves Blue with 3 vs. Red with 4 members, which will put the pressure on Blue to really hustle. Ramsay said the only thing the Red team agreed on was that Fran should go.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 08, 2010, 10:58:37 AM
Down to the final six and still no one is really standing apart from the others but as apskip says, we are beginning to seen the chefs who will make it to the end. Holli and Jay have been flying under the radar but we're beginning to see that they do have talent. Ed had a bad night along with Autumn but they still could emerge. Jason is probably an excellent chef but he gets frazzled and so far he's not done well with the pressure from Ramsay.

I'm so over Ben. He's a self-aggrandizing bully in the kitchen. He certainly can take over in the kitchen but he's not a true leader because he makes bad decisions then blames it on his teammates. He thinks he is superior to everyone else but his teammates see him for what he is and Chef Ramsay sees it as well. I can't wait for Ramsay to unload on Ben to see if he can take the pressure.  :snicker:

I was sorry to see Nilka go, it broke my heart to see her begging not to be cut and it was heartwarming to see Ramsay meet her outside as she was leaving to tell her she was good and to be proud of herself. She was a worker in the kitchen and certainly not the worst one there. Fran tried hard, anyone would be proud to have her in their kitchen, she just doesn't have the skills to be a head chef.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 11, 2010, 01:26:02 PM
HK7, ep. 10

In the prior episode summary, Blue won a close blind taste testing challenge. Nilka had problems with grilling asparagus and with talking back to Ramsay. Benjamin was a disappointment on appetizers. Fran was lost on meat, with Ramsay accusing her of “robbing the customers of their portions” by slicing duck badly. Blue nominated Autumn, but Fran on Red was fired. Autumn was sent from Blue back to Red because “you may not have been liked, but you had your best performances there.”

Benjamin stated that it was definitely a step up by replacing Fran with Autumn. The challenge was based on 10 pound lobsters, which Ramsay stated was one of the most expensive ingredients (what about truffles or Kobe beef? The hyperbole in HK is a bit absurd; why do they bother to make ridiculous remarks inimical to the knowledge base).
The task is for each team to decide how to how to take the meat out of the shell and the cooking method to be used. Nilka’s dish was chosen by Red’s taste tests to not be presented.

Ramsay invited Michelin starred chefs to be the judges: Josiah Citron of Restaurant Melisse (2 *), Michael Cimarusti of Providence (2*), David Lefevre of the Water Grill (1*).

Holli (butter poached lobster w/ ginger lobster sauce and) vs. Ed (poached and grilled lobster medallions over vegetable puree) – Ed was too rubbery and more creative, but Red team better execution. Red 1 Blue 0

Autumn (lobster dauphin w/ cilantro basil chervil) vs. Jason (huge lobster tail stuffed for family style dining w/saffron cilantro, rainbow carrots and asparagus) – Blue 1 Red 0

Benjamin (lobster tail poached in butter w/ parsnip puree) vs. Jay (lobster knuckle and black truffle cappuccino w/ cream fraiche) - Red presentation sloppy, Blue had classical ingredients but raw lobster; no points

Ramsay awarded the tie-breaking point to the person with the best overall dish. That proved to be Holli. Red team gets to experience the life of the rich and famous: Caviar House lunch w/ $1000 to blow on shopping. Blue’s punishment is to clean the dorms’ bathroom, floors and furniture, then prep both kitchens. Jason said “Hell’s Kitchen chef/maid service, it sucks.” Holli said caviar is an aphrodisiac (but she doesn’t need one after life in the dorms), Autumn is classy about it and Nilka has never had caviar before (but wants to go back to burgers and fries). As they return to the kitchen, Holli says “Hey, Jay” with a huge smile and Jay said that “Holli could easily talk my pants right off, no alcohol needed.” I’m sure he’s right about Holli’s charm (it’s right up there with Autumn’s pure beauty), but how did that remark get past the FOX self-censorship? The Blue team bemoaned the fact that their total list of things to do exceeded their available time, so the prepping of their kitchen was incomplete.

Ramsay stated that it’s time for a merger of the kitchens, so he invited the 3 remaining Blue team members to the Red kitchen. Holli’s reward is to serve Caviar on blinis with sour cream tableside; she is a bit too effervescent for me. There is a time limit of 2.5 hours for dinner service so that theater goers will be on time. Nilka on the Fish station started off with raw scallops. Autumn on Appetizers did a decent although slow job. Jason has the Meat station. Nilka’s turbot is raw. Nilka dropped a tray of 2 lobsters when it was needed urgently. Next she put the strong sauce on it. Ramsay tells her to “get a grip, because if you can’t hack it, you’re out.” It appears to me that with her accumulated mistakes and everybody else performing well, that will happen whether she makes a recovery or not. Jay is also on Appetizers. Ed burned the asparagus through inattention and was trying to get his act together on Garnish. Jason is criticized for not communicating enough, but his Beef Wellingtons are perfectly cooked. Nilka sent raw lobster to the pass. Ramsay sent Nilka out of the kitchen and asked her to take her jacket off. She was upset, but what did she expect? Her performance was a sore thumb versus the rest of the combined team. Benjamin replaced her on Fish. Nilka was reminded that Ramsay had written her off and he had to tell the others to make her leave. Who cares what she wanted? Ramsay met her in the parking lot and explained that she had done very well and thanked her for her progress in Hell’s Kitchen, but he insisted that she give him back that jacket.

Ramsay said that was their best service ever. Ed was told he fought back. Jason was told he did Meat perfectly. Ramsay said that 2 individuals must still be nominated. With Nilka gone, I cannot believe that he will actually eliminate anyone. I expect that he is just trying to fake them out. The first nominee is Ed because he needed help on his station.  The second nominee is Autumn because she is the weakest chef on the team. Ed is told to take his jacket off and given a Black jacket. Autumn is told to take off her Red jacket and do the same thing, as are the other 4. Ramsay tells Ed “gotcha”. Ramsay’s final comment on Nilka was “she was clearly out of her depth.”
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: redwings8831 on July 13, 2010, 11:18:02 AM
No HK tonight because of the MLB All Star Game.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 13, 2010, 02:30:12 PM
No HK tonight because of the MLB All Star Game.

Thanks for posting this! I didn't realize it wouldn't be on. I'm sure there will be a lot of eulogies for George Steinbrenner since this is such a huge game. 

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 21, 2010, 02:30:46 PM
HK7, ep. 11

Holli won the challenge for the Red team. The teams were dissolved into one team.  Ed lost his focus. Jason wasn’t communicating. Nilka had raw lobster twice and got banished from the kitchen, then asked to take off her jacket. The nominees were Ed and Autumn, but both had performed well and deserved to stay. Ramsay asked them to take off their jackets and congratulated them with black jackets (which he had conveniently forgot to give them earlier).

The first individual challenge of HK7 focuses on presentation. They are to create a dish for presentation value, as it will be photographed by food photographer Alex Vasilescu. Autumn’s dish – ahi tuna saltimbocca w/ sweet and sour prosciutto sauce
Jason’s dish – not identified
Jay’s dish – modern style beet and goat cheese salad
Holli’s dish – not identified

The judges were culinary students from local Los Angeles area schools. The top two dishes will move on to the tasting portion of the competition. The immediate losers were Holli (6th place), Jay (5th place), Jason (4th place) and Autumn (3rd place). That means it’s Benjamin vs. Ed. Tanya Seals, editor-in-chief of, is the final judge. Ed’s dish is revealed to be pan-seared striped bass with celeriac puree, mango salsa and cilantro oil, with broccoli on top. Benjamin had pan-seared halibut, component of bouillabaisse (fennel, tomatoes, olive oil, basil). She said they were both spectacular, but being forced to choose it was Benjamin winning. His reward was to have a photo of him and his dish on, with a makeover beforehand. Jay kids “it’s going to take all day to make him look better.” Benjamin comes away with spiky hair, teased eyebrows, pedicure and manicure plus new clothes. Tanya stated that he looked like a rock star when the makeover is done. I love the picture with her with her arm around his neck. The losers have to clean the kitchen under Jean Phillippe’s close supervision.

Scott announced that there are changes on the menu. The lobster dish is off and Benamin’s dish replaced it. The potatoes are to be done in a different style. Benjamin’s dish was extremely complicated with many components. Ramsay announced that there would be a special guest eating at the chef’s table in the kitchen. Then he told Jean Phillippe to “open Hell’s Kitchen.” The halibut is a popular choice by the diners.

Ed was on the fish Station and his first dish was underdone. Jason’s cappellini needed more seasoning from the Hot Appetizers station.   Ramsay was on Jason’s back for improved communications once again. Holli was on the Cold Appetizers.  Benjamin on Meat was lambasted to not communicating with Autumn. Autumn appeared to be a rover on Fish and Meat because her assignment was Desserts. There were an unusual number of NBC censorship bleeps for the language used in this part of the telecast.  Benjamin slipped and fell, but he was OK. Ed was cooking lots of halibut raw, which will cause him to be eliminated unless he turns it around fast. Ramsay orders the rest of the dishes for that table (duck) sent to the diners. Jay on Garnish station now suffered a ripple effect of the halibut problems, with impact on 14 items. Ed found that so many halibut, which cooked slow, were a problem. Benjamin is helping him, then Holli and Autumn also. Benjamin was now criticized for the fallout of having his beef get cold waiting for the halibut. Ramsay called Benjamin a good cook but not a leader.
Ed then burned scallops. Ramsay finally ordered Ed and Benjamin out of the kitchen and reorganized. Jason goes to Fish, Autumn to Meat and Holli to Desserts. Jason’s first scallops are nicely cooked. 

The VIP guests finally arrive. It’s Whoopi Goldberg with 3 friends. “Holli, Autumn, Jason and Jay work together effectively to finish Dinner Service” as the Announcer stated. Ramsay gave this overview of Dinner Service: Pathetic. He told Ed that he could not cook halibut after this many episodes. Benjamin was told he had no leadership skills because he failed to communicate. Ramsay told the teams to nominate 2 individuals, but I think it has to be Ed and Benjamin. Irrespective of that, all team members were put through an intense evaluation. I think Holli was exempt form this due to few mistakes earlier in the competition. Jason has improved recently and Jay is a steady performer. The actual nominees are Ed and Autumn, but I think it will be Benjamin eliminated. Ramsay counted up 5 times she had been nominated. However, it was Ed that was eliminated. Ramsay’s final word was “the strong get stronger and the weak get exposed.” He also stated, “it’s not how we start, it’s how we finish.”
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 21, 2010, 02:32:26 PM
HK7, ep. 12

This episode started with the usual reprise of the previous episode. Jay was overconfident about his presentation skills, as he finished low in the challenge. Benjamin won that challenge and his dish would be featured in as Pan-Seared halibut with Braised Fennel and Tomatoes along with him given a makeover prior to photographing him and the Epicurious editor calling him a “rock star”.  Jay got flustered on Garnish. Ed continuously botched halibut and Benjamin was not able to help him and refused to communicate with the rest of his team (why is this so is hard to figure out, as rock stars do not do well as head chefs). Afterward, the male chefs are critical of Autumn’s limited skills while Autumn and Holli are chatting while smoking.

Ramsay gave out $10 for each chef to buy local produce and seafood at a local market to make a special dish. Benjamin chose a small lamb chop and an array of different vegetables. Jay chose a small lamb chop. Autumn chose veal for value. Jason chose tilapia, shrimp and frozen ravioli. Holli chose kumquats, tuna and asparagus. Ramsay invited Joaquim Splichal,(owner of 28 West Coast restaurants), Dana Bowen (editor, Saveur magazine) and Vern Lakusta (General Manager, Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood). They are giving the highest price they are wiling to pay for that dish. The winner will have the highest average of their prices.

Jay – lamb with crusted and spiced pita bread, salad of fenugreek, olives, tomatoes
Jason – pan-seared tilapia w/ shrimp, store-bought ravioli, sauce
Holli – 5 spice ahi tuna, w bacon and potatoes, parsnip puree w/ kumquats
Autumn - veal, saffron crisp potatoes, roasted corn, horseradish mustard glaze
Benjamin – seared lamb loin chop, fondant potatoes, w/ spinach, artichokes, red wine vinaigrette and Provençal (he pronounced the final syllable with a “k” and not the “s” which is correct even if it was missing the French accent cedilla) vegetables
                                        Splichal        Bowen   Lakusta    Average
The pricing results are:
Jay –                                   $28               $30         $28         $26.67   
Jason –                               $15               $15         $18         $16
Holli –                                 $ 30               $32         $27         $29.66   
Autumn –                            $26               $29          $27         $27.33
Benjamin -                          $25               $25          $25         $25 his vegetables should have been ratatouille style and were undercooked.

Holli won a day at the Peninsula Hotel in Hollywood at a private poolside cabana with Jean Phillippe plus $1000 in cash to spend at a kitchen supply store. She also got to take one teammate with her and chose Jay. The losers get to do laundry, all the linens plus uniforms. Holli, Jay and Jean Phillippe were personally served a gourmet lunch by Executive Chef James Overbaugh. The losers get spam sandwiches with light mayo. Holli and Jay got into the hot tub on return after spending the kitchen supply money together. Autumn hustled to finish so she could get to the hot tub and disrupt whatever was going on.

During prep Jason was slower than the rest and he asked a lot of questions. Each chef will switch stations throughout dinner service whenever Ramsay commands “Switch!”  This was designed to force communications (which have been insufficient between the chefs) and test their adaptability. Holli’s dish is going on the menu for the evening. Ramsay then instructed Jean Phillippe to “Open Hell’s Kitchen.”  Those rich and famous (NOT) FOX extras came flooding onto the seen. I love the striking music which accompanies that magic phrase.

Jason produced one of something for which two were needed. The Switch was a counterclockwise rotation. Jason’s Wellington were supposed to be cooked for 18 minutes, but they were not ready. Benjamin was supposed to do Holli’s tuna raw on the inside, but he overcooked the inside of them. Jay overcooked two Dorys.  He then failed to communicate when directed to by Ramsay. Then Jay was not listening to the order, which was tuna and not halibut. Autumn’s communications were attempting to fix the problems. There was a Wellington refire which took 14 minutes, but Holli did not know that a refire was needed so she was not ready. Jason got the blame for not communicating. Ramsay switched the stations again. Autumn had little idea of the status of the meat cooking on her inherited station, but her first Wellingtons were “cooked beautifully” in spite of that. Holli got a “nicely roasted” accolade from Ramsay on scallops.  Benjamin volunteered without any need for his help to help Holli and his scallops were rubbery and had no color. There was another switch. Jason overcooked
what looked like a Dory and came back from the diner. Ramsay left the kitchen but Sous Chef Scott took over. Benjamin used this time period to try to act like a leader and run the pass, but Scott was severely unimpressed and critical. He was even more vociferous than Ramsay in that criticism. Jason called it a wrap as Ramsay said to shut down.

Jason accused Benjamin and Jay of performing poorly. Jay is upset that he is accused by Jason of “getting quiet.” Benjamin’s nomination was Autumn but that would not wash. Holli stated that she wished Autumn had screwed up but that was not true. It had to be Benjamin, who is supremely confident that his mistakes have not earned him a trip home. The second nominee was Jason. Ramsay said that Benjamin clams up when he overthinks, but Ramsay fired Jason.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 22, 2010, 05:36:55 PM
I just don't know, Ben clearly cannot win this, he isn't a team player, he doesn't look after his fellow co-workers. If he wins I will be extremely upset. (The haircut seems to have been a downfall for him.)  :lol:

Jay clearly is a good cook. Is he a leader? Not much really and apparently he is distracted by Holli. If Jay can't take charge in the new few challenges I don't see how he can win either.

Autumn is a good possibility for final 2, she can lead, we've seen her do it and again with the swapping of stations, I thought she more than held up her end. Ben should have been up for elimination and it shouldn't have been Autumn.

Holli, can she lead? I want to see her take charge of the kitchen. We've seen that she can win challenges.

It's going to be interesting!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 22, 2010, 06:03:57 PM
Texas Lady,

I agree with your overall assessments of each of the remaining HK7 chefs.  Benjamin is a skilled technician but his ability to communicate is woeful and his leadership nonexistent. I expect he will be the next chef to bite the dust.

Autumn has good leadership instincts, but her propensity to shoot off her mouth plus her lesser chef experience makes her the probably next to depart. She has been on the bubble 5 times.

Ed has survived despite his several times on the bubble. I think his technical chef skill limitations will catch up with him before the final 2.

Holli is the strongest overall chef, but her leadership has not really been tested yet.

Jay has done well throughout, with no serious attempts to get rid of him.

I think it should be a Holli vs. Jay final. This has probably been foreshadowed by their "showmance." There is no way Holli was going to let anything happen to be filmed on national TV with young children and a husband watching. I view it as sheer FOX puffery. Also, did you notice how quickly a female chef in the hot tub gets a visit from another female chef?  It happened in ep. 11 with Autumn finishing her prep early so she could "rescue" Holli in the hot tub. I think the female chefs have an understanding between themselves.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 22, 2010, 07:37:50 PM
Good points apskip. I do expect Holli to be in the final 2. I hadn't thought about Autumn joining them in the hot tub but I bet you are correct, the girls had an agreement to protect each other.

I expect Ben to leave next as well. He was lucky last service.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: KitKat on July 28, 2010, 08:44:26 AM
Well I finally watched last nights episode and hmmm next week 2 chefs leave hells guess F2 will be Jay and Ben or Jay and Holli. Ramsay is leading us to believe that Ben is gonna bow out because of his health but I would be shocked if that happened....but we will see! Definitely Jay will be part of the F2.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 28, 2010, 09:34:43 AM
We don't know what the reason is that Ben might leave. (Probably won't.) I agree, Jay and Holli or Jay/Ben, final 2.

I have to give a lot of credit to Autumn, she's been up every week for awhile and she hasn't been the weakest in the kitchen. Ben can not communicate when he is stressed and this is a huge problem. Autumn can lead, we've seen her do it early on but she must lack social skills because of the constant choice of being chosen to leave the kitchen.

I also don't like Ben being so arrogant about his abilities and diverting his kitchen blunders to put the focus on Autumn but that said, it was nice to see his family and how much he cares about them.

Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: Pedaler on July 29, 2010, 08:07:25 AM
Unlike other seasons, no chef really stands out for me.

But that's OK.  For some unknown reason I still enjoy the show a whole bunch.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 29, 2010, 08:36:18 PM
HK7, ep. 13

We now have only Jay, Benjamin, Holli and Autumn remaining.  The summary of the prior episode was:
1. Final 5 challenged to make a fine dining dish on $10; Holli won
2. Holli chose to bring with her to the reward, which was like a date chaperoned by Jean Phillippe
3. Dinner Service had them switch sections to force communications
4. Jay had problems on fish, Ben had serious communications issues, Holli was on a hot streak and Autumn had her best dinner service yet
5. Ben and Jason were nominated by Holli and Jason was eliminated

Ramsay demonstrated how the monkfish should be done:
1.   hot pan and good sear
2.   2. take off ends carefully and let the knife do the work
3.   3. let it rest on top with capers and peppers

Ramsay stated that to be a great chef it is essential to be a great teacher. This individual challenge was to discover who could teach one of 4 bachelors who had no prior culinary skills how to demonstrate good cook skills. Verbal instructions only by the chefs are permitted; there must be no hands-on instruction. Ben was full of questions about what would happen. All student/teacher pairs had 30 minutes to prepare and cook monkfish, a fairly difficult fish to get right. Here are the results:
Autumn and her student Neil, who made monkfish salted/peppered with capers, potatoes, salad – Ramsay asked where is the monkfish?; it was shredded, potatoes salty
Jay and his student Rick, who made pan-seared monkfish with pancetta, olives, capers – perfectly cooked and presentation superb
Benjamin and his student Steve, pan-roasted monkfish with pancetta, olive oil, coriander, Nicoise olives, microbasil –  peppers raw and pancetta burned
Holli and her student Chris, who made monkfish with potatoes and peppers with LOVE – tastes delicious, potato perfect but monkfish a bit hashed
Based on Ramsay’s comments it would be either Jay or Holli who wins this challenge. The winner was Jay because that dish was cooked perfectly and presented perfectly. The bachelors got a copy of Ramsay’s latest book. Jay’s victory gave him 30 seconds to choose which chef he would like to accompany him on the reward trip. That was a no-brainer as he chose Holli. That reward was a ride for just the two of them on the Goodyear Blimp. I did this once as part of a group of 8 in New Orleans and it was a thrill I will remember to my dying day. Benjamin predicted they will make it into the half-mile high club. Benjamin said he was being given double punishment because being with Autumn was punishment enough, but their task was maintenance day plus cleaning the parking lot. They flew over Hell’s Kitchen and Jean Phillippe forced Autumn and Benjamin to see the blimp and its sign. Holli told Ramsay she wanted to look for a house in London (for her new job, which at this point she had only a 25% statistical chance of winning). She was really flirty on the reward trip.

The chefs got to pick where they will be assigned for that evening’s dinner service. Holli chose Fish, Autumn Garnish, Benjamin Meat and Jay Appetizers. He had never done that before in any season of Hell’s Kitchen and each chef chose the station at which they felt they were best. Ramsay wanted to know where the energy from the group was.  As dinner service began, Ramsay commented that Holli’s first fish dish, a John Dory, was late and then one raw due to Autumn taking it out early. Jay’s risotto was bland due to his underseasoning it and his second one was too salty, but after that Jay’s appetizers just flowed out from the kitchen. Holli’s second Dory was cooked perfectly but the next was undercooked. Ramsay told Holli “You may be down but you are not out.” Jay sent potatoes to the pass that were not ordered. Benjamin was criticized severely by Ramsay for his silence and inability to communicate with his teammates. Why this happens despite Benjamin’s stated desire to communicate with them is anyone’s guess. Ramsay told him “You have got to do it (talk to your team)! Time is running out for you.” Autumn sent cold and greasy spinach to the pass and then cold a second time. Ramsay told Holli she was scorching the Dory. Autumn was next unable to acknowledge and then successfully repeat an order Ramsay had just called out. Benjamin had Wellingtons fall apart on him and then sent a raw one to the pass. Jay took leadership for coordination among the chefs and got things settled down into a steady fast rhythm of quality output. The best indication of superb performance was no dishes returned from the dining room. As Holli stated, “That’s pretty amazing.”

Ramsay acknowledged that this was the most successful service of HK7 and told them “Well done.” After a rocky start for some, all excelled under the high pressure environment. He named Jay the best of that dinner service and asked him to nominate two of his colleagues. Autumn was an obvious first choice, but then his relationship with Holli conflicted with his long-standing friendship with Benjamin. He ended up nominating Benjamin for the second spot, which Benjamin referred to as “the lesser of two evils.” Autumn acknowledged that she had earned the right to be there despite starting with less experience than the other 3. Ramsay called on Autumn and Benjamin to step forward. He told Autumn to get back in line, then he told Benjamin to get back in line. He was not going to eliminate anybody tonight with the special performance shown by all, but he stated that he would have to eliminate 2 at the end of the next episode. He then had a surprise for each chef:

Autumn – her boyfriend and best friend
Jay – his parents
Holli – her 4 year old son and husband
Benjamin – his wife and 1 year old daughter

So there are occasional happy endings in Hell’s Kitchen, but this was only a temporary reprieve. In order to start the finale in the episode after next, Ramsay must halve the remaining chef group to 2. Who will they be?
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on July 30, 2010, 09:10:07 AM
There will definitely be no recap from me for weeks for episode 14, when 2 of Jay, Holli, Benjamin and Autumn (probably the last two) will be eliminated. Also, do not expect any recap from me for episode 15 showing  August 10. I should be back around August 17 for the finale part 2 episode 16 recap and to do the delayed ones for ep. 14 and 15.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on July 31, 2010, 11:47:25 AM
We'll miss you apskip!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on August 04, 2010, 07:54:58 AM

Two locals in 'Hell's Kitchen' final four

By Matt Byrne, Your Town Correspondent

Two local chefs have been catapulted into the limelight as contestants on the seventh season of "Hell’s Kitchen," a competitive cooking show on Fox that offers the winner an executive chef position worth $250,000 in London.

Melrose native Jason Santos, 34, a chef at Gargoyle’s on the Square in Somerville, and New York native Benjamin Knack, 35, of Malden, a chef at Sel de La Terre in Boston, are two of four contestants left on the prime-time competition, set to air Tuesday at 8 p.m. on FOX.

The show is a popular entry in a growing sub-genre of reality television that focuses on fine dining, high-pressure cooking, and the dramatic entanglements found in a professional kitchen. On "Hell’s Kitchen," Santos said, drama is king.

Four hours of sleep every night, “impossible” challenges, and expectations raised as high as the volume of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s voice became the daily routine for the contestants during the two-month taping that began in February 2009.

“I didn’t even have to cook to get on the show,” Santos said. “Day one, I knew it was a television show, not about cooking. I totally get how grown men cry on the show, I get it that it’s possible to mess up something so simple. Put James Beard [considered the father of  American-style gourmet cooking] himself in that kitchen and he wouldn’t be able to pull it off.”

Santos, who graduated from Melrose High School and attended culinary school at Newbury College in Brookline, said he has never experienced pressure like televised competitive cooking.

“It couldn’t be more unrealistic,” he said. “It is what it is. … It’s nothing like a real kitchen.”

The pair, who have survived 12 episodes and the subsequent eliminations, said they were honored to participate in the show, even if it has meant adjusting to reality television and the glimpses of fame it has brought since the season began airing.

Santos and Knack both lamented notoriety’s double edge, saying that although their appearance on the show has opened many career doors, it doesn’t help when they’re out trying to do grocery shopping or work out at the gym. 

“There are all these people who want to come meet me, which I don’t understand,” Santos said. “I don’t even want to meet me.”

Ramsay, whose brash and profane style is a hallmark of the show, was a frequent topic of conversation for both contestants, who said that one of the questions asked most often by fans who approach them on the street is whether Ramsay is as mean in person as he is on the show.

Continue reading here  (
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: KitKat on August 04, 2010, 12:44:13 PM
If you havent watched last night's show do not continue to read this post!

I am so happy that Holli and Jay are the F2. After Ben pulled that my back is hurt deal and let Autumn Jay and Holli do all the prep work, I think it was fitting that he be sent home. I am pulling for Holli to win but I really like Jay and no doubt he can cook. With that said my prediction is that Jay will win Hell's Kitchen!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on August 10, 2010, 04:55:11 PM
I can't wait!   :jumpy:  I'm happy as well Kat, that Jay and Holli made it to the final 2! They both have their strengths. It griped me no end that Ben was so wimpy, my back, I can't pick anything up. I'm quitting, I'm done! Then got a chiro adjustment, laid around until he had his talk with Ramsay and completely left his teammates to do all the work. He should have had to give up his coat before Autumn.  :knuckles:  

Who will win? Jay or Holli!  :hellkitchen
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on August 11, 2010, 01:58:35 PM
HK7, ep. 14 and 15 Finale parts 1 and 2

Ramsay presented a dish and had the chefs taste it. In a "taste it, make it" individual challenge, they then had to recreate that dish in 45 minutes without knowing the ingredients. The correct ingredients were pear puree, pancetta and venison. Jay missed the venison and was knocked it. It was Holli versus Benjamin with Holli winning this challenge because Ben’s sauce was watery and it should have been a glaze, not a sauce.  Holli’s reward was to spend a few hours with her family on a yacht. Autumn, Benjamin and Jay had the punishment of cleaning the dorms, including removing the old pots and pans. This resulted in Benjamin suffering lower back and shoulder pains. While the remaining three prepped the kitchens, Benjamin talked to Ramsay about his pain and had to choose between leaving and staying in the competition. He decided to stay in it.
Ramsay gave each chef an opportunity to run the pass, including transmittal of the orders coming in form the wait staff. The first person up on the pass was Jay, who had both a strong start and finish. During the chefs' time on the pass, they had to complete quality control checks, including sous-chef Scott sabotaging the food and Jean-Philippe leaving out an entree from an order. Scott substituted lobster for crab in a capellini, which Jay caught, and then crab in lobster risotto, which Jay also caught. The second chef to the pass was Holli, who had a nervous start and failed the first quality control checks (5 orders on a ticket from a table for 6 and), but caught the second one (scallops only on one side). She then settled into the responsibility properly. The next chef was Benjamin, who failed his first quality check by not noticing he had been given venison wellingtons rather than lamb wellingtons. However, he proved to be a strong leader and caught Scott bringing up the wrong cut of meat for a dish. Then he sent back Autumn’s mashed potatoes for being too salty, which Ramsay taste-tested and admitted Ben was right about the salt level in those potatoes. Autumn was the final chef to take charge of the pass. She caught a missing order on a ticket, but failed to notice Scott had parsnip for salsify and then angered Ramsay by not taking her mistake seriously. She became excessively nitpicky and started sending back dishes which the other chefs and even Scott thought were cooked correctly. Ramsay took over again for the end of the service, which the chefs completed successfully.

Instead of asking the chefs who should be nominated for elimination, Ramsay told the chefs to each say why they should stay and compete in the finals. He got the usual self-serving rubbish, so why did he bother? Autumn was the first chef to be eliminated although he profusely praised her performance throughout HK7.  Benjamin followed her out the door with the admonition from Ramsay to never quit. Holli and Jay advanced to the finals.

We have our answer to who the winner of HK7 is, but not why. I will provide my usual recap so that you may be able to figure it out. If you do, then please share it here.

The review episodes of the 13 prior ones and elimination of all but 2 of the 16 initial competitors of HK7 will have to be added later, as my mouth was quicker than the pen. The beginning of this compressed (by past HK season standards) season finale is when Ramsay invited 5  top chefs from his dining establishments around to taste, rate and vote for Jay's special or Holli's. I only for sure I recognized was British master chef Stuart Gillies. So in typical HK fashion they took it to the wire in a cliffhanger 3 to 2 in favor of Jay. The  reward will be significant as it is first, 3rd, 5th, and 7th pick for his team (vs. 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th). The next effect is usually to give the worst player to the loser. So Holli is stuck with Siobhan, Nilke and Autumn.  Jay has Benjamin, Jason and Fran. Both teams organize a Fish Station, Meat Station and fish and Garnish (vegetable) Station. Both Jay and Holli have won the usual "come visit my in London and see how it's done."

The review of the entirety of HK7's epsiodes was not as comprehensive as usual. The ep. 1 dinner service tok 4.5 hours as Ramsay had guaranteed thast is would be completed (for the first time ever). the next 3 dinner services were difficult but all were completed. Is this a new Hell's Kitchen? However, there were some serious conflicts in using that approach:
Siobhan vs. Nilke
Siobhan vs, Benjamin
Jason vs. Jay
Benjamin vs. the Red Team (all female) and an ongoing  battle.

The interpersonal conflict summarized was Maria, Scott, Nilke (who then refused to stay fired and came back in and be escorted out of second time.

The truly skilled leaders emerged out of the group were:

Benjamin - the low interpersonal skills executive chef
Jay - the experienced executive chef, or
Holli - the banquet manager single mom

Siobhan opened appetizers with screwups, so Autumn jumped in to help her. Ramsay commented that the brioches coming from the Red team were first-class. Jay plated lamb too early so it was raw. Jay's leadership has resulted almost half of their entrees had been served. There is major dissension is the Red kitchen. Autumn's nose was out of joint as well as Fran's. It was a difficult situation but Holli was instrumental in defusing it.

Dinner service finished. Ramsay went to learn from the comment cards and make a decision on the winner. He made it and set Holli and Jay before the door whose lock turns and the one whose not. I don't hear any real rationalization of why Holli won.                                                              
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: ugot2bekidinmeny on August 12, 2010, 04:53:19 PM
WAY TO GO HOLLI!! :jumpy:
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: TexasLady on August 12, 2010, 05:25:46 PM
Holli did GREAT! It must have been subjective on Ramsay's part because it didn't seem like either one had a bad service. For once neither chef had someone who tried to sabotage them unlike other seasons.

Congratulations Chef Holli!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: KitKat on August 17, 2010, 01:06:16 PM
This was a weird season the chefs didnt get to design their own dining room and they didnt get a larger selection of evicted chefs to choose was just a little weird and ramsay didnt seem to enthused at the finale either...Jay had a great attitude about losing to Holli though!
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: apskip on August 20, 2010, 05:37:07 PM
This was a weird season the chefs didnt get to design their own dining room and they didnt get a larger selection of evicted chefs to choose was just a little weird and ramsay didnt seem to enthused at the finale either...Jay had a great attitude about losing to Holli though!

I think that designing your own dining room in less than 48 hours and designing servers uniforms, etc. is totally superfluous. The focus should be on desinging and executing a very good fine dining menu that holds up under difficult and unexpected conditions. That is what the finale should focus on.
Title: Re: Hell's Kitchen Season 7
Post by: lengvet on September 25, 2010, 02:23:04 AM
It doesn't surprise me that he's left. He got treated horribly on the show which made him out to be little more than a snivelling yes-man for Gordon, while being forced to bow and caper about the dining room apologizing to the diners for the horrible performances by the contestants in the kitchen.