Recap – Hell’s Kitchen 6.12 “5 Chefs Compete”

Gordon-Ramsay-hells-kitchenIn what seems like the directors extended cut of the ‘Previously On’segment, we pay extra attention to Van’s temper tantrums and Chef’s ‘unthinkable’dramatic walkout. With emotions high, the remaining five tramp off and Dave starts in on Tennille about switching her choice to Van. He felt it made him look stupid. In an interview, he says he doesn’t trust Tennille and calls her a B. Meanwhile Suzanne and Ariel are sweating their close calls. Ariel feels frustrated she had such a bad service. Kevin loves the self destructive tension.

First individual challenge focuses purely on the visual. The editorial staff of Bon Appetit, including editor-in-chief Barbara Fairchild, file in. The rules of this challenge are that the editorial staff will whittle down the five dishes to two based just on presentation and then Barbara and Gordon will taste those two and declare a winner.

Kevin makes a Caribbean style sea bass with oranges and papaya. Suzanne makes a calamari salad that she calls ‘a piece of art.’Dave makes a rack of lamb with fingerling potatoes and a variety of tomatoes. Ariel has a prosciutto wrapped John Dory (which, it took me about four seasons to find this out, is a type of fish. For the longest time I thought it was the name of a way of cooking something, like a Wellington or Shepherd’s Pie. Thanks Wikipedia!) Tennille makes an Asian-inspired red snapper. It broke into pieces and she had no time to redo it so she piled sauteed mushrooms on top as a disguise.

During the presentation they have to explain their dish to the staff. Of course, they all try to sexy up the dishes with their descriptions, like when Suzanne explains her salad is ‘French meets Italy,’whatever that means. Dave, as it turns out, is ridiculously shy. It was like he’d never seen food before the way he tried to explain what he had. The producers get a lot of mileage out of this bit. He stammers and blanks on the ingredients. I’m sure editing helped make him sound worse. They end the bit with him stuttering out that he has a rack of lamb with some other stuff and then asks the editor, ‘Any questions?’to her wild eyed disbelief.

"Maybe if I stand perfectly still, I won't do any more damage to my arm!"

"Maybe if I stand perfectly still, I won't do any more damage to my arm!"

The results are in and last place goes to Tennille. Dave makes an unnecessary and seemingly uncharacteristic snipe at her in an interview, saying ‘Who does she think she is, putting garbage up like that?’Suzanne’s ‘art’gets 4th place. They next announce that the number one dish belongs to the egomaniacal Kevin. Second place goes to Ariel. Dave looks heartbroken. This may be why he’s so bitter about everyone else.

Kevin and Ariel’s dishes are tasted. Barbara thinks the sage and prosciutto complemented the John Dory, and Chef thinks the cranberries she added were edgy and dangerous but worked nicely. Kevin’s sea bass really brings out the beach for Barbara. Chef comments that he’s never seen so much fruit go so well with a fish ‘in his life.’They can’t pick a best so both dishes win, which is either a cop-out or the original secret plan, if you ask me.

They go to Shutters on the Beach Restaurant in Santa Monica for a photo shoot. Bon Appetit will feature both recipes. That’s pretty much the most exciting thing one can say about this prize. They drink champagne and toast each other while the camera snaps. Kevin says in an interview that this is what life will be like when he wins. Has he checked with Heather about that?

Continuing the presentation theme, the losers have to clean up a street in LA. Dave deadpans that if he has to hear Tennille whining all day he’ll lose his mind. Which she does. Over and over. They have to wear orange jumpsuits and travel in a prison bus and Tennille takes it personally. They show her saying ‘this just ain’t right’at least six times. What’s worse, the shouting or the repetitiveness? It’s hard to say. My five year old repeats things over and over too, and it’s highly annoying. But, as I said he’s five. What’s her excuse?

The losers also have to clean up the outside of the restaurant. Ariel and Kevin arrive back and walk on the newly steam cleaned carpet. Tennille is furious. I used to work a job where I had to wash the floor every day and I never once complained when people walked on it. You know why? Because that’s what floors are for. Dave tries to sweep and hurts his wrist again. Later, Kevin sees him in agony in the dorm and tries to convince him he needs to think of his wrist first. Not for safety’s sake, he confides to us, for the sake of Dave being a threat. But I agree that Dave is jinxed and should quit before he destroys that arm for good.

Prep time. Dave is struggling and asks for help during service. Kevin bosses everyone around. Suzanne of all people complains about that. Chef comes in for a pep talk and says he wants a complete service, for all chefs to be on top of their station and everything done perfectly. Then he says, ‘Yes we can’which they show Tennille emotionally repeat alone, then they all say it together. Ok, what the hell? I’m going to guess that maybe this was filmed within a month or two of the inauguration when it was still very inspiring and uplifting to repeat ‘Yes We Can’all the time, but to focus solely on the one black person in the group is either a coincidence into which I am reading to much, or a bit patronizing.

They have added the two winning dishes to the menu. Dave asks if they have added anything to the cold apps menu, and Tennille says, ‘No, what a [bleep]ing idiot.’To use Tennille’s phrase against her, that just ain’t right. Dave points out he can’t stand Tennille but he never brings conflict into the kitchen. Tennille goes on to screw Suzanne because she doesn’t tell her to drop the scallops in time. They are just tenuously working together when Tennille makes a mushy risotto. Ariel tries to warn her about it but Tennille insists it’s fine. Of course, it’s not and Chef sends it back. She tries to redo it and its still awful. They eventually figure out that the rice was precooked poorly to begin with, thanks to Kevin. Suzanne finds some back up rice, which is helpful! She gets no credit. Chef berates Kevin over and over. Tennille even says Chef was on Kevin like white on risotto. Ha! Kevin tries to be apologetic but Chef won’t let it go. He even yells at him when its perfect.

"There. It's finally happened. You have made my brain into mush. Now, see if you can make a winning dish out of it."

"There. It's finally happened. You have made my brain into mush. Now, see if you can make a winning dish out of it."

Meanwhile Suzanne burns scallops, Ariel undercooks chicken and Chef has to send out incomplete orders because of all the delays. Then Suzanne undercooks the new Dory dish. He makes them all touch it. He says something about the fish being hotter than something in a sushi bar. Which doesn’t make sense. They have turned him into a blathering fool. Kevin repeats that Suzanne sent up sushi and that the girls can’t cook. I think Kevin doesn’t know what sushi is. Back in the kitchen Chef yells at Suzanne about needing to baste the fish, and I think he’s starting to cry. They’ve finally broken his brain. JP has to apologize to a table that has only some of their appetizers. They show the obligatory scene of diners complaining that their free meal that gets them on TV is late. Chef is screaming for the lamb to get up there immediately before the whole pooch is screwed, so Ariel rushes it up there. Then he says the lamb is too raggedy and drags her out to the dining room to berate her. He goes back to the kitchen and calls them up to the pass. They edit it like he’s told someone, or maybe everyone to [bleep] off home.

Back from commercial we see what he really said was that if they don’t get it together then he’ll shut it down. They do actually complete the service, which is borderline miraculous. Ramsey is pissed because they started out well he says, but collapsed like, I kid you not, a giant souffle.

In the dorm, they take a vote. Suzanne thinks Ariel, of course, and Tennille because he was screaming at her all night. Tennille figures Suzanne only had three things to cook all night so the ratio of being-yelled-at time is not a fair gauge. Suzanne boasts that she was on top of her game all night. And her [bleep] was tight and beautiful. Kevin, and everyone in my living room, LOLs at that. Ariel suggests Kevin and Tennille because of the risotto fiasco. Dave just sits off to the side with his hand over his face while the rest bicker.

They end up nominating Ariel because of ‘inconsistencies’such as the raw chicken and the raggedy lamb. They also put up Suzanne because, despite the raw fish and overcooked scallops that she deserved to be eliminated for, she felt she had a good service. So she’s up there for hubris? Suzanne, pleading her case for the fourth time, says she was focused on solid technique, standard of food and cooking to perfection. Chef points out she accomplished none of these. So then she thinks she should stay because she’s better than Ariel. Ariel says she knows and admits she screwed up but she’s better than Suzanne and wants another chance. Chef thinks they should both go. But he chooses Suzanne. He tells her he’s given her so many chances but she hasn’t pulled it off yet, and its only getting harder. No stupid pun this week, he just points out she had a red jacket, a blue jacket and a black jacket, and now: no jacket. Suzanne thinks her major flaw was distancing herself from her teammates, and that they are probably giggling like school girls that she’s gone.On the giggling, that’s a safe bet. And if her definition of “distancing” is “annoying, belittling and sabotaging” then she’s spot on there as well. Chef makes it a point to tell Tennille that she could have been up there. Chef leaves them with a pep talk for the final four. No one will get an easy ride. Coming next week: more shocking surprises never before seen on the show. Again. And Dave hur… you know what? I’ll just let you take a wild guess.


4 Comments

  1. Debula October 3, 2009
  2. Debula October 3, 2009
  3. Adelaide October 6, 2009
  4. Adelaide October 6, 2009

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