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For the past two weeks I have been indulging in the natural beauty of the Mediterranean. Marveling at the work of the Renaissance masters, visiting the birthplace of modern culture and democracy…
I battled a couple of Italian beats, too…
And I’m back. And I’m ready to face down another challenge, recaps of Hell’s Kitchen, season 8.
I missed the first two episodes of the season (and let me tell you, I shed a couple tears into my Chianti Classico about it), but as I have wasted countless hours in front of this series in the past, so I’m going to go ahead and take a guess about what happened in the last two episodes:
Several people who are more useless that the film on a chum bucket have been ejected from the kitchen as Gordon Ramsay’s brow lines continue to grow deeper than the San Andres fault.
Seriously, his forehead may be the site of the tectonic plate shifts that initiate the apocalypse of 2012.
So as Hulu.com reports, in episode three 13 chefs remain.
I learned from the week two recap that preceded episode three, that the cows and donkeys of season eight are even more ridiculous and pathetic than the year prior. Raj, a pledge from the Delta house at Three Stooges University seems to be the most interesting character.
The over confident, under cooked Flounder is the bane of the men’s team and the women were able to pull out a win in episode two — even though their team looks more like the kitchen staff at San Quentin than at a property of Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
As in several of the prior seasons, Ramsay isn’t risking his own restaurant as the prize. The winner of this season will win the position as head chef at an IHOP in Detroit. I’m sorry, that’s what they’re QUALIFIED for, contractually they’ll be head chef at LA MARKET restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles, as well as have an opportunity to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines.
In other words, as far away from Ramsay’s corporation as he can push them… I’m supposed to be putting together a corporate dinner later this year at The London, I don’t need these idiots tainting the food like they’ve tainted Ramsay’s professional legacy.
Episode three opens with the conclusion of episode two, when Curtis the Cableguy has been ejected from the game and the men’s team is disappointed they’re stuck with Delta House’s Raj for another week.
Raj punctuates the men’s grumbling by bursting out a fit of Curly-inspired shrieks. He’s squealing like Dave Coulier on crack, and yapping about his predestined domination. Since he wasn’t eliminated early on, he’s now convinced he will win the game.
Wrath of Raj
Raj begins to tell Un Petit Jumpstreet (Chef Vinny and his 1990’s Johnny Depp hair) that, “I don’t have evil designs, I don’t lie…” The greasy haired munchkin was busted in episode two for “highly recommending” to the restaurant guests that they skip the side dishes, because they are Raj’s responsibility.
Over on the women’s side of the dorms, red-haired, black-eye browed Jillian is telling the men that the women’s team is strong — except for Emily. “She needs to go back and work in the nursing home where she came from.”
And where the 97 year old women have more precision makeup application.
Apparently Emily’s title is shown at “Nursing Home Chef.” As in, she hits the “reheat” button on the microwave when it’s time to warm the applesauce…?
I’m sorry, I’m sure she’s in charge of the Alka-Seltzer too.
Hell’s Kitchen has the distinction among culinary shows not show the range of culinary styles (like on Top Chef), but the wide range of penitentiaries and structured institutions that require a chef. In past seasons there have been prison chefs and banquet hall chefs, this season, they’ve topped themselves by recruiting a camp chef, a law firm chef and a nursing home chef. Why bother with a chef who received a Michelin Star when you can get a chef from the Michelin tire factory? Maybe that’s what the have in store for season 9.
Back on the blue team, Flounder still hasn’t run out of breath. He is dancing and fist pumping in delight. He feels that his teammates are threatened by him and their actions thus far have just been attempts to sabotage him, as he is the greatest threat in the house.
Meanwhile the men are in quiet discussion. Pointdexter (Chef Trev) appoints himself ambassador the Raj Mahal. He hasn’t yelled or screamed at him yet, so he thinks that Raj will listen to him if he tries to talk some sense into him.
If common sense doesn’t work, I’ll try Klingon.
The contestants settle into bed around 3am, but by 5am the sirens are blaring and several teams of EMTs storm the HK dorms. They wake up the contestants and perform basic examinations on the fools.
Yep, just what I suspected. Functionally retarded.
Raj is pulled from his dreams of chef stardom, and also from a set of pajamas, as an EMT asks him if he knows where he is. A: Not a chubby chaser convention, so put on pants before the cameras roll. Love, the audience.
Body fat analysis is performed, blech, and shown, double blech…
That’s a sad situation.
…and the contestants are ushered out of their bedrooms and back to the kitchen where Ramsay is poised with his next “twist”.
The chefs line up to learn that Gordo has asked the EMTs to examine the contestants because he was concerned by their slothlike pace at the last dinner service. But as the test results show, there is nothing physically wrong with the contestants, they must be suffering from a mental set back. Set WAY back.
Their challenge this morning will to be to serve breakfast to a dining room full of EMTs. They will have to perform a very basic breakfast service, first team to finish will win.
I hope they have a couple straight jackets in the ambulance.
The first menu item is fruit salad. SERIOUS. Was cereal too complicated? But no challenge is too simple for the contestants of Hell’s Kitchen to bungle, so they go about screwing up the fruit salad.
Ramsay stands over the two teams and announces that the fruit salad *has* to go out first, “so naturally you should have 2 or 3 chefs on it.” IT HAS TO.
The women have an assembly line going, but the men have only allocated one team member to prep all the fruit necessary for fruit salad. Even this season’s camp chef should know that come snack time it takes more than one set of hands to open 50 fruit cups.
The women get a couple bowls of salad out, while the men’s team gets theirs sent back, because the one and only chef working on the salad has omitted the pineapple.
It also HAS to have all the fruit in it. HAS TO.
The dinners are then able to choose between French toast and an egg-white omelet for their main plate. The women’s team has several tables served while the men are burning the eggs and trying to cover the burnt bits in the fold.
The women are being semi-productive until NaughtyChef (Sabrina) finds a reason to start screaming at Emily, the Nursing Home Chef. She screams about bacon and runs to the oven. Apparently ApplesauceChef has burned the bacon.
Six hundred degrees of f@*%ing bacon.
The women all roll their eyes at ApplesauceChef and start to cook bacon on the stove top, while repeating “bacon” more than the puppy puppet in a doggie treat commercial.
Aside from the meat-meltdown the woman are on schedule. The men are not. Raj has brought up a pan full of scrambled eggs without any seasoning. Raj has some sass to throw Ramsay’s way, but Gordo isn’t about to take flack from Flounder and he gets in Raj’s face, “these men save lives for living and you’re about to f@$# up their breakfast.”
You’re not fit to open their fruit cups.
Flounder appears to soil himself, and in order to regroup, he goes into the supply room to stick his head in the freezer.
The men attempt to rally, but just only succeed in starting a grease fire.
Better invite the Fire Department for lunch.
The women are on their last table and are so proud of themselves for the win that they gather for a group hug.
IHOP completes breakfast service every day. Just a little perspective for you.
Ramsay congratulates the red team before he sends them into the blue kitchen to supervise the men. The women’s team has earned themselves a day poolside at a Santa Monica hotel.
Ramsay turns to the men’s team and starts to lecture them about teamwork. Trev speaks up to say there is no communication, when Raj interrupts to defend himself, “I tried to but everyone just went ahead and…”
Pointdexter Trev has had enough and screams at Raj. Ramsay wants a team and pointing fingers is no way to bond with the team, he says.
The men’s punishment will be to prepare the stemware for tomorrow’s dinner service, in addition to cleaning the kitchens.
The women put on their Sears best and head out to the Santa Monica Pier where they’re surprised to find they will be attending trapeze school.
The best skill you can have to finally land yourself a carnie!
Back at HK, Raj is pacing around the stemware, but does not appear to be polishing any of it. Trev turns and tells Raj that he’s the one guy that had his back and he’s pissing Pointdexter off. Raj thinks that Trev is not a nice guy, “in fact he is a very mean guy,” he tells the camera. He knows he’s a professional and it’s going to have to be him versus the rest of his team. They’re harassing him and he has to stand his ground.
The women arrive at the hotel where they can spend a day relaxing. Ramsay has met them at the Viceroy, and Nona NoNeck feels like a superstar… until she gets champagne dumped down her back.
Then less so.
She’s happy to have Ramsay nearby to pat her down. Take two, the woman have a champagne and toast to their continued domination.
Back in the land of the dominated… the men are ragging on Raj, who in a very professional and chef like manner has abandoned his tasks half way through.
Flounder has had enough and he lashes out at his team, “you guys are targeting me in a vicious fashion,” he tells the blue team.
“Go home and stuff yourself with Twinkies so you have a f%#& heart attack in your recliner,” Trev (“On Your Side”) Pointdexter tells Raj. I’m sorry Nationwide insurance thought of that jingle first, because that should be Pointdexter’s theme music. Trev continues to yell at Raj, “trying” to find out what’s he’s good for besides ratings, but Raj has hit his breaking point and gets in Pointdexter’s face.
Raj and Trev are separated by the other members of the blue team, but Raj isn’t finished. He continues to call his teammates snakes before team member Boris pulls him aside to ask him to calm down.
The next morning the men are back in the kitchen staring down Raj, while the women are looking for MIA Sabrina, the NaughtyChef. Sabrina’s not into the whole “prep” thing.
“I just don’t think Chef Ramsay is looking for a f@#$king strong prep cook,” she tells the camera. I think she’s right, Ramsay’s looking for a leader and a leader knows what steps can be skipped, like prep. All of it. Cut it.
Sabrina has either not completed her prep list or has just decided the food doesn’t need to be washed, chopped, or seasoned. NaughtyChef barely responds to her teammate when she’s asked about her prep list… she’s had it when she’s asked about the status of her risotto.
Then less so.
Instead she returns to her room to reapply her liquid liner and adjust her fishnets.
We return to the kitchen when the announcer reminds the audience that this year’s men’s team has had the worst start ever. Ever. EVER on Hell’s Kitchen. Ramsay’s assembled the two teams to inform them that for this dinner service they will participating in a “trend” and serving cocktails with dinner. I can’t wait until he introduces the “trend” of serving the three courses all in one sitting… the dining room is going to go nuts.
NaughtyChef and Pointdexter are selected to be the “Mixologists” for tonight’s dinner service. Ramsay’s able to force out a couple words of encouragement. “Three services, three times lucky,” he’s able to say without his nose growing to the size of the unprepped squash.
The men scramble to their stations, ready to receive the new assholes that Ramsay will be delivering them tonight.
JP has been replaced by the less alluring “James” and he’s ready to open HK.
The mixologists are meeting the tables and taking drink orders. Meanwhile on the blue side, orders for appetizers are arriving. Vinny (PetitJumpstreet) is working with Raj to get appetizers out. Raj is busy telling himself what an accomplished poissonnier he is in Neverland, but he has not timed his scallops properly.
Poisson-shit is more like it.
They’re ready too soon, and as Camp Chef UgLouis, comes on to tell us, scallops can’t be left sitting around. When they’re ready, they have to go out. So Raj has to put a new set of scallops in the pan.
On the red side, Brows asks ApplesauceChef to taste a dish for her because she doesn’t like tomatoes. AC tells her to add more salt — and again more salt and again more salt. AC is really frustrated that Brows can’t season food properly, and as barely finished rolling her eyes when the plate is returned, it’s too salty.
Brows reapplies her Wet ‘n Wild higher on her head to show her surprise…
Through their bitching, NaughtyChef and Pointdexter are able to gets some cocktails out to the patrons of Hell’s Kitchen.
Does not work well with others.
The good thing about being the mixologist is that as long as the diners keep (at least) trying their drinks, the better they taste… not true with the food. The blue team has moved on to entrees, where Raj is supposed to be grilling the salmon. He’s decided to apply his “personal techniques and opinions” and apply a sauce to the salmon. Ramsay is disgusted.
On Team Red, Melissa has overcooked the fish and gets it from Ramsay, “it looks like Gandhi’s flip flop.”
Brows tell us that Ramsay has lost it, because “Gandhi lived in the jungle, I don’t even think the dude had shoes…” Apparently she thinks Tarzan’s alter ego was named Gandhi, and she’s obviously not a super-fan of Sir Ben Kingsley. Why am I not shocked?
Gandhi, Gandhi, Gandhi of the Jungle, watch out for that treeeeeeee!
It’s now 90 minutes into dinner service and on the men’s side Raj has presented Chef Ramsay with raw fish. In a delicate display of professional courtesy, Ramsay smashes the fish it was a contestant’s ego. Raj isn’t done yet, and he wants to stop cooking so that he can debate the merits of the flattened fillet.
“You know the salmon I gave you? That you smashed?” Raj starts, as he runs up to Ramsay. His teammates beg him to drop the argument and return to his station, but Raj is confident in not only his cooking abilities, but also his powers of persuasion.
“What do you think this is? A talk show? Cook your f*$%ing dish,” Ramsay retorts. Eventually LePetitJumpStreet steps in and cooks the salmon.
A more communicative clusterf$%# is playing out on the women’s side as Applesauce offers to help NoNeck cook the gratin. When Nona asks if AC has the gratin several minutes later, AC responds with, “I do not.”
If it’s not available from Mott’s Emily can’t prepare it. Lesson learned.
NoNeck is able to rally quickly before the rising red color reaches the highest ridge in Ramsay’s forehead.
In the blue kitchen, Boris prepares raw meat, but wisely doesn’t try to pass it off as acceptable to Chef RamRod. He has slowed the kitchen down, but Raj quickly pulls Ramsay’s wrath away from the meat station.
Blue’s bloated brick is violating kitchen etiquette by clearing away the unserved food, by eating it. All of it.
One for you, two for me…
As he continues to stuff portions of fish into his cheeks like a epicurean squirrel, Ramsay is ready to blow. So when in the red kitchen Gail pauses to admire the beauty of the dining room and doesn’t respond when her rib eye is set aflame…
Ramsay is pissed.
Gail succeeds with her next piece of meat, Raj is not as successful. His years of experience have taught him to pre-cook three more sole specials than needed. He wanted to be ahead of the game. Not does this violate HK protocol (and common sense), but it also leaves the blue team with no more portions of the sole special, although three are on order.
Ramsay sends Raj out to the dining room to apologize. Raj doesn’t wanted to be seen as a mess and doesn’t want to go out there in his chef’s jacket.
Ramsay diplomatically explains, “I don’t care if you have a thong up your fat crack, f%#$ off out there.”
Raj emerges on to the floor and at first feels like he’s a star, but quick burns out into a fat black dwarf when he has to apologize.
Moving Raj out of the kitchen helps the blue teams astronomically and both teams finish service.
Ramsay is unable to pick a winner, so he goes to the comment cards. Red loses with 50% of the diner scoring them above average (vs. 54%), they have to nominate two people for elimination. In a unanimous decision Applesauce is nominated and deliberation about the second candidate commences. The decision is split between Sabrina for her lack of prep and Melissa because she screwed the fish. Sabrina doesn’t think it’s fair that she’s being targeted because, “I don’t step up in prep, I have an attitude, I’ve only been doing this for six months.”
Those are all great reasons, you’re it.
At the elimination ceremony Ramsay isn’t even able to contain his disgust long enough to properly torture the women, even when Sabrina melts into a full on hissyfit..
Ramsay wants Raj out. Ramsay’s sick of him, and the frat house doesn’t want him back.
So what good bits have I missed in the the first two episodes? Is anyone still invested in this show? Do any of these chefs have what it takes to run a lunch cart?
Episode 4 coming soon!