Greetings, and welcome to what will be my last Hell’s Kitchen recap of this fine season. It’s been a crazy one, and I thank you all for following me throughout its zany run. After watching our big old cuddly Clemenza disappear last week in a haze of sweat and marinara, we are down to the Final Four: Barbie, Christina, Dana, and Justin. Gordon isn’t exactly thrilled with them after the disaster that was Italian Night, but he did send them a big surprise, which I’m sure we’ve all be waiting with bated breath to be revealed.
Reveal time: It’s their families! Christina’s mom and girlfriend, Dana’s parents, Barbie’s partner and kids, and Justin’s parents storm the dorm, and there’s hugging and tears and love galore. Christina practically follows her lady out to the car, and everyone calms down and seems much happier. Since this was immeditaly following elimination, I have to wonder if Clemenza’s family had been waiting in the wings, ready to pounce, and they had to shuffle them back on a plane once he was eliminated? Who knows. At least no one got inappropriately handsy, like Tommy did last season with his barely legal ladyfriend.
The next day, Gordon takes the Final Four to that really expensive gourmet grocery store and hands them $15 each. That’ll just about cover the tax on a radish. Their challenge is to make the $15 stretch as far as they can on a few choice, high-quality ingredients. Then they’ll return to the kitchen, where they’ll create the highest profit dish possible with that $15 of stuff. They dash off, and immediately Dana blows $10 on a 5 oz. cut of halibut. Hope you have a plan for that, hon. Barbie hits the pork counter, Justin is going for veggies and shrimp, and Christina gets swordfish. They all stay under budget except Justin, because men are no good at domestic tasks like shopping and basic arithmetic. Nah, just kidding. It’s only Justin that sucks at that. He has to put some stuff back, but that doesn’t take long, and soon they’re back in Hell’s Kitchen and cooking away.
Some not so happily, it seems.
Gordon brings in David Lefevre, the shockingly adorable Hugh Garvey, and Christian Phillipo. They’re there to taste the dishes and price them based on what they’d be willing to pay for them in high-end restaurants such as their own.
Justin is up first. He’s turned his colossal shrimp, white beans, jalepeno, mango, and corn into chili shrimp with a roasted salsa. They like it and it’s cooked well, but say it’s lacking that citrus burst so essential to a salsa. They price it at an average of $28.33, which Justin thinks is low. He always gets so frustrated when he falls short. It’s hilarious.
Barbie was able to find a cheapo pork chop, which she’s beefing (porking?) up with garlic sausage, parsnips, potatoes, sweet onion, cabbage, mustard. She knows how to budget shop for sure, but she’s worried that her pork isn’t going to price very high compared to all the seafood. She made pork and sauerkraut, and they all say the sausage was an unnecessary addition to the dish, yet price it way over Justin’s hoity toity shrimp at $33. He’s visibly pissed.