This week, they spend the first twelve minutes of the show recapping the entire season of Hell’s Kitchen so far. TWELVE MINUTES!! I never understand this. Does anyone ever just start watching a show the episode before the finale?? Do they really think we can’t remember the season we just watched?!?
I’m not this guy for Chrissake!
Well, I’m not recapping their recap. If you’ve forgotten anything and need a refresher, you should go back and reread my recaps.
On with the show!
Paula and Danny are still in the dining room. Chef Ramsay tells them, “Bloody well done, the both of you. You are the final two.” But their biggest test begins right now. With that, two giant banners drop from the ceiling. They will be used to show which side of the restaurant will be designated for which chef.
Paula says it’s an amazing feeling just to still be here, and Danny thinks the journey has been incredible, but this is what he came here for. Chef Ramsay wants them to start becoming seriously creative. (What? As opposed to jokingly creative? I hate it when he doesn’t make sense.) “You’ve got a hell of a lot of work to do tonight, so upstairs and start creating. Now, piss off.”
And off they go to the dorms. Danny thinks this is unbelievable. “Who would have thought that out of sixteen people Chef Ramsay would see enough in my punk ass to put me in the final two?” Paula can’t even describe how she feels. But it’s a great feeling.
Ramsay has given them snazzy notebooks to write down all their ideas, and he’s also left a bottle of champagne, which they immediately decide to pop open. Paula says she’s not worried about anything right now. She’s going to leave it all for tomorrow.
Don’t do it, Paula! Champagne is the devil’s juice!
We’re shown when they start drinking, which is at 11:37 pm. Paula says they had to celebrate. “It’s hard to calm yourself when you’re that pumped up.” Too true. At 12:19 am, they pop open another bottle. Paula is hoping that she can drink enough champagne tonight where she just goes to bed and wakes up refreshed in the morning. Ha! Has that ever happened? Especially drinking champagne?!? Danny toasts to the final two again at 1:04 am, and at 1:43 am they are STILL drinking!! Danny says he just floating right now. Uhh, it’s called being drunk, Danny.
Heeheehee… I can’t find the ashtray…. heeheehee……let’s prank call, Chef, or maybe make out. Wadda ya fink?….heeeheeheee
Paula’s now hoping that she drinks enough to just pass out. WHAT? That is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. “I’ve had my days of partying and drinking and I can pretty much handle my own, so this definitely works to my advantage.”
They finally go to bed, though we’re not shown exactly when, and before they know it, morning has arrived. Danny feels like crap. Durrrr. Paula doesn’t look like she’s feeling too great herself.
She says she’s feeling a little rough, but she tells us she’s a pro and this is nothing. She’s true to her word, and has gotten dressed, and is now sitting with her notebook, writing down some ideas. Danny is not looking so good. He tells us he feels like an idiot now for getting drunk. Hey! I tried to warn you!
C&A: “After a long night of celebrating, Danny and Paula will now begin their most important assignment since entering Hell’s Kitchen.”
Paula tells us she came into this thinking she was going to win. She is ready to start creating this restaurant. Danny’s a little nervous. He’s been confident throughout the entire competition, but now he’s feeling the pressure.
They’ll begin their day by meeting with John Janavs, the architect and designer of Hell’s Kitchen. He meets with Paula first and wants to know if she prefers booths or tables. She likes both. What she really really wants him to know is that she doesn’t like froo froo things.
Danny wants one big long bench along the center wall. John asks if he’d be willing to use it in a more dimensional way. “Potentially.” Danny tells us he had no idea what John was talking about. “It’s hard to follow.” John, I think you lost him at dimensional.
Paula likes candles! I wonder if she also likes walking on the beach in the moonlight. She imagines her restaurant being warm and cozy. She does not like the fake candles, however. Danny tells John he’ll be serving a lot of seafood. So he’d like to try and work in mounted fish somewhere.
Dream on. There is no fucking way I’m doing that.
John tells him, “You don’t want to be the head chef of Bob’s Bait Shop.” Hahahaha. That was a good one, John. He wants him to remember they’re going for a top end, classy restaurant. Danny thinks a big mounted marlin could still be elegant.
John asks Paula what the name of her restaurant will be. Sunergy. Synergy? No, Sunergy. Sounds like a hippie granola shop. No thanks Paula, I don’t drink wheatgrass, and eat soybeans and sunshine. Danny’s restaurant name? Well, he’s thinking of calling it The Velvet Hammer. What The Fuck?!?!? That sounds like a gay strip club. Danny tells us velvet hammer was his nickname in high school. “Because I was always the smooth one, you know, but could always lay the hammer, you know, on the uh ladies.” Ewwwww. That is just so gross on so many levels. Please tell us you have another name. He does. Susan Marie. It was his mom’s name. She died a few years ago. John thinks it will make for a nice tribute. I agree. Much, much better.
C&A: “While the design work begins on the dining rooms, Danny and Paula are now ready for their most important task. Creating their menus.”
Danny will be meeting with Sous Chef Scott, Paula with Sous Chef Gloria. Scott tells Danny he doesn’t think he’s seen him smile this much. Paula tells Gloria she doesn’t want to go nuts. She just wants to make sure that it’s going to be simple and tasty. “I’m definitely keeping my staff in mind because it would do nothing if I have this crazy extravagant menu, but then I can’t deliver on execution.” Gloria thinks that’s a smart way to approach it. I totally agree.
Danny’s got a Caribbean jerk lobster on his menu. He says it’s one of his signature dishes back home; he’s apparently won some awards for it. Paula’s signature dish is going to be a warm wild mushroom salad.
As they warp up their menu meetings, Chef Ramsay arrives. He asks how they are, and if they enjoyed the champagne. Do you think someone told him they were up all night drinking? He tells them that this next twenty four hours is absolutely crucial. They’ve got a busy day ahead of them because they are off to Atlantic City!
But there’s a snag. They can’t afford to leave the restaurants unattended. So he’s brought in some very special advisors. “Whilst we’re in Atlantic City, they will be your eyes and ears here for both of your restaurants.” Danny does not look like he approves of that idea.
I really thought it was going to be the booted off contestants. How much would that suck? But Ramsay isn’t that cruel. He’s brought back their families. So for Paula, it’s her sister and mom, and Danny’s got his dad and girlfriend. I don’t know why they insist on doing this anyway. There’ll be some lame ass problem, maybe some drama will ensue, but really, the dining room decor has never really played a role in who has won.
Paula says she couldn’t pick a better team. Danny thinks this gives him an advantage because his dad has been building houses forever and his
girlfriend chick knows his style. Ramsay says they’ll be making the decisions while Paula and Danny are gone, so they need to make sure they are up to speed on what each wants. You have five minutes!
Danny loses me right away as he starts to tell them about a bunch of boxes coming out from the wall. His girlfriend wants to know if there will be lights coming out from the boxes, and where will the lights be. She’s really trying to get an understanding of exactly what he’s looking for.
Dance of the Box Lights
Paula’s one thing that she wants to make very clear is that she doesn’t want anything froo froo. She doesn’t want pink, she doesn’t want pastels, she doesn’t want purples. “My mother, when I was little, made my whole room pink. Like, everything was pink. I fucking hate pink.”
Are you sure you’re not adopted?
And stop! Time to go. Danny and Paula say good-bye and head upstairs to get changed for their trip to AC. On the plane, Ramsay toasts the final two. “What a journey. Well done, yeah.” They reminisce about Danny’s signature dish of Mahi Gone Bananas. “People like it. Not you though, Chef.” He wants to know if they were eyeing each other up. Did they spot each other’s potential? Yep. Danny says he and Paula have been head to head in a lot of the challenges. I had forgotten just how many times they were paired up with each other.
Let’s see what’s going on in the Land of Fake Drama. The fire marshal has said no to Paula’s candles. GASP! The whole restaurant is ruined now. John wants to know if they think she’d be okay with fake candles instead. She did tell us she doesn’t like them, but I can’t see this as being that big of a deal. Her sister gives the thumbs up.
C&A: “Meanwhile, Danny’s girlfriend is having no problem making her opinions known.” She thinks it would be nice if they could somehow incorporate water. The benches need a higher back. John says he talked to Danny about doing the benches like a v-shape. “That’s like, not at all what he had showed us.”
Don’t even think about fucking around. I will cut you!
In AC, Paula and Danny are checking into their suite. Danny makes sure to say there are two gigantic bedrooms. Seriously. I wouldn’t want to be him watching this with his girlfriend if there was even an iota of a possibility that something could have happened. She looks like she would fuck up his world.
Chef Ramsay has provided a laptop with a webcam so that they can talk to their families and find out the drama that has been
manufactured going on. Danny’s first. His dad tells him that John has asked them to make a lot of compromises. His girlfriend rats out John about the benches, and Danny reiterates what he wants. Which is what she said he wanted. He also wants a real high back on it. Another point for the girlfriend! She does have some good news: they have fish. Not the stuffed marlin, just some plain old silver ones. Danny likey.
Paula’s sister tells her that they’re working hard. She lets her know about the candle issue, but Paula seems unconcerned about that. She wants to know what’s going on with the back wall. Her sister is confused about that. Paula says she showed her, but I don’t know if that’s true or not since we didn’t see it. She says they have a lot of work left to do and she’s a little nervous.
The next morning Marketing Michael shows up at their door to bring them to a meeting that Chef Ramsay has organized for them. He delivers them to a room of
captive excited Borgata employees. They all cheer and clap as if they really give a crap about these people they’ve never seen before (and probably never will again).
Uuhhh, Lady? They did tell you that you’re not getting paid for this, right? Oh! Also? You have to stay late with no pay to make up for the work you’re not getting done now. Woo!
Ramsay introduces Paula and Danny to the crowd, and asks them to say a few words to their new co-workers. Paula talks about what a crazy journey it’s been, and she just couldn’t be happier to be there.
How much longer do I have to stand here? I’ve got shit to do!
Danny says he feels good. “It’s just been insane, the amount of stress that we’re put through. I mean Chef Ramsay is not a cupcake in the kitchen.” Ramsay laughs and says that it’s called pressure. Cue another round of applause.
Now there’s someone else they need to meet. COO of the Borgata, Larry Mullin. Ramsay introduces him to Paula and Danny, and then shows him each of their menus. “If you were a customer, which dish would you choose from Paula’s menu?” He would pick the warm wild mushroom salad (natch), the Maine mussels, clams and shrimp, and for his entree, the roasted black bass. What about from Danny’s menu? Of course he picks the signature dish, plus the crispy duck salad and the pan-seared filet.
Their next challenge is to cook those dishes. No one is surprised by that, are they? Well it seems that Paula is. She was looking forward to just hanging out and drinking some cocktails. Sorry to disappoint you Lushie! So I’m going to go out on a limb here and say they will each win one of the first two rounds with the entree being the deciding factor.
Before they go, Ramsay tells them if they’re going in there to cook these dishes, they have to look like executive chefs. And out come Scott and Gloria with an executive chef’s jacket for each of them. You have forty five minutes. Now GO!
Danny thinks forty five minutes to cook all three dishes is crazy. I gotta say, I agree with him. They have to get changed, get acclimated to a new kitchen that they’ve never been in before. Even rushing, that’s going to be eating up some time.
They get changed and get to work preparing their dishes. Danny starts on his Caribbean jerk lobster tail. “Who the hell would think to jerk a lobster tail but me?”
Oh yeah, baby!
He thinks it shows his style and flair. “I have a really crisp identity to my style, but Paula’s a strong competitor in that she’s done great on challenges.” Paula thinks she is a much more well-seasoned and well-rounded chef than Danny. “My culinary background is a little bit more experienced than his.” And time!
Executive Chef Michael Shulson will be judging their first dishes. Paula’s reaction? “Holy Shit. When you’re cooking for chefs, it’s different. They know great food; they know what everything should be on the plate.” It definitely made her a little bit more nervous.
Paula’s dish is the warm wild mushroom salad with hearts of palm, arugula, and a sherry mustard vinaigrette. Looks tasty. He likes the flavor, but he thought it was a little too dressed. Danny has his Caribbean jerk lobster tail with a chile lime tomatillo salsa and some fried wontons. Shulson likes the idea of the dish and it’s got a nice balance of flavor, but he doesn’t taste lobster in it at all. Paula wins the first point.
For the next round, Executive Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is judging. Paula’s up first again. She has prepared a chile cilantro broth with mussels, clams, and a little bit of shrimp. Geoff thinks the fish is cooked well, and he thinks the chile is interesting in there. Danny’s made a baby arugula salad with a crispy skin duck breast, a little bit of sliced fresh fennel, and a ginger vinaigrette. Geoff’s reaction is, “That’s yummy.”
So, of course, Danny wins this round, and it all comes down to the entrees. Who would have thought? COO Larry Mullin is back to cast the winning vote. Paula has prepared a roasted black sea bass with parsnip puree, kale, pearl onions, and a minted pea sauce. He thinks it’s good. Danny has prepared a pan seared filet of beef with a twice baked potato, and a tempura fried spring onion with a little goat cheese and proscuitto. Larry thinks the meat’s done very well. Ramsay tells him it’s time to decide. “Is it going to be Paula’s fish, or Danny’s beef?” When did this show start getting so dirty?
And the winner is…….Danny! Danny tells us it feels good to finally get a win. What? Dude. You won the challenge a couple of weeks ago. Don’t try to pretend like you never win anything. Poor Paula, I think the parsnips may have been your downfall. They are yuck. This really could end up working out in her favor. With the exception of Michael in the first season, the chef that wins the taste challenge does NOT win the grand prize.
Don’t be sad, Paula. History’s on your side!
Danny will find out what his reward is later. We all know he’ll get to pick first when they have to choose from the loser lottery. But right now it’s time to head back to Hell’s Kitchen to see what’s been done on their restaurants. Bye!
They return with nineteen hours left before open. Paula thinks her side looks great. She’s just happy there’s no pinks, purples or pastel colors. John asks her what she thinks of the fake candles, hoping to stir up some drama no doubt. She seems fine with it. “My focus should remain in the kitchen, not in the dining room. I just want to make sure I put out good food, and that’s going to determine the winner.” She’s absolutely right.
LOL, cattyfan! You were right!
Danny really likes the fish, which have now been painted red and yellow. Tres classy! John talks to him about the booth, saying he knows Danny would rather go along the wall, and Danny puts his foot down about it. Against the wall! There’s also an issue with the pillars. They’ve run out of the stained oak, so they are going to have to paint them. Danny’s very nervous to see what the dining room is going to look like in the morning. Let it go, dude. You have more important things to worry about.
Danny and Paula hug their families, say their good-byes (until the winner announcement), and head off to bed. There is no drinking of champagne tonight, just lights out.
The next morning, they head downstairs to meet with Chef Ramsay. As they enter the dining room, Ramsay, Scott and Gloria are all standing behind a table displaying six silver domed plates. Hmmmmm. I wonder whatever could be hiding under them.
Ramsay tells them, “Tonight will be the most important night of your entire life. Underneath these domes are key ingredients that both you need. Are you ready?” It’s the booted chefs, here to serve as the brigade for each of them. Was anyone surprised by this? At all? Oh. Paula was. She thought it looked like something out of a horror show. “It was a freaky sight.”
Danny has noticed PrettyGirl is there. “I hope I don’t get her.” Oh, you won’t. You’ll get to pick first, so you can stick her with Paula. They head into the kitchen to start picking teams. Chef Ramsay welcomes the losers back. He asks Andrea how she’s doing. Amazing. Blarf.
In case you were wondering, I still hate her.
He asks LA if she’s well rested. Ha. She is. Ben is ready to roll. Shut up Ben. He tells PrettyGirl it’s good to see her. “Hi! I’m back bitches! They’re probably like ‘Oh shit. I gotta work with her.’”
So nice to see that she’s matured since her last time here.
Ramsay tells Carol it’s nice to see that smile still beaming. “It’s never going off Chef.” What she fails to mention to him is that she is grinding her teeth into a fine dust to keep that smile on her face. He asks Gio how he is. Fine. “I got one more day of hell. Hopefully Chef will stay the fuck away from me, and I’ll be fine.”
Ramsay tells Danny what we’ve all known for some time. He gets to pick first. He chooses Ben. Paula, of course, chooses her girl Andrea. Paula says she wants her because she works her ass off and she never gives up. Whatever. Danny’s next choice is Gio. Paula’s next choice? LA because she is strong on the line. Carol cannot believe that LA was picked over her. She’s shocked. She thought it was going to be her and then Andrea. She doesn’t even know what to say.
PrettyGirl thinks she’s going to be the last kid left in gym class. Yeah, I think you’re right, PrettyGirl. Maybe it has something to do with all the times you quit during punishments. Regretting that at all? Danny picks Bitter Betty for his last brigade member. I gotta say, I think she could end up being worse than PrettyGirl. Depending on just how bitter she is, she could really fuck this up for him.
That leaves Paula with PrettyGirl. Danny pretends to be sorry about that. As she makes her way over to join the rest of Paula’s team, Andrea is saying to her, “Keep it up. Positive, positive.” Ugh. She is so fucking annoying.
Shut your fucking piehole!
Andrea tells us, “I swear to you, if she so much as thinks about giving attitude today, I’m going to come at her like a fucking tornado.” I would hope she crashes and burns in a really big way, but I like Paula, so I’m trying to control my instant irritation at everything Andrea says.
Chef Ramsay wants them to take their teams to the dorms, go through the menus, and start coming together as a team. Danny says, “I am the chef, they are the brigade, and it’s definitely get them in the mind frame that Danny is no longer a co-worker, he’s the boss.” Yikes. That could backfire.
Paula thinks, “The challenge is just keeping a watchful eye over everybody, and definitely PrettyGirl is the weaker one out of the three. I’m just gonna really have to keep pushing her as hard as I can.” Don’t push too hard. You don’t want her to spiral down into the pity pit.
And with that, Chef Ramsay sends them on their way.
Wow. This could end up being a really exciting finale. They are both really strong, and I’m thinking it’ll be very close. Which means more than ever before, their team could really fuck the whole thing up for them. I’m really looking forward to watching this play out.
Next week….the season finale of Hell’s Kitchen! Who will win? Will PrettyGirl quit again? Will Andrea ever shut the fuck up? Get ready for a roller coaster dinner service; it’s the most suspenseful finale ever! You know, for once, I think I might actually believe that.
See you at the finish line! Be sure to bring the bubbly.