After a summer of being nice to the amateurs on Master Chef, Gordan Ramsay probably couldn’t wait to hand out abuse on Hell’s Kitchen Season 8 which premiered tonight on FOX. 16 professional chefs / cooks from different backgrounds came out to prove that they deserve to run one of Ramsay’s kitchens. The contestants showed up to a locked kitchen and to meet James, since apparently Jean Phillipe is no longer going to be on the show! Darn! He was always a funny character but maybe he got tired of dealing with Ramsay.
The Prize: A 250k head chef job at LA Market – a multi-million dollar restaurant in the LA Live Complex.
As usual, the contestants were split up into Men vs Women. During the “signature dish” challenge, Emily got called out for her boobs hanging out in an inappropriate top and Ramsay made her cover up with a table cloth! But he did like her food so hopefully that makes up for it. The first 2 dishes earned a point for each team, but Nona’s fried Chicken was something Ramsay couldn’t even swallow allowing the Men to pull ahead by 2-1.
Amanda’s Gumbo made Ramsay gag, things really aren’t looking well for the women and it’s only the beginning! Luckily Jillian’s dish won them a point while Rob’s dish was too raw to even try. 2-2! After flying through many disappointing dishes, the score was only at Men:3 vs Women:2. It was all up to Sabrina to tie it up, or Raj to win it for the Men. Sabrina seemed pretty ditzy but she still impressed Ramsay with her dish and tied the score at 3-3. However the Women lost in the end because Antonia’s Gumbo was the weakest dish of both teams.
Dinner Service: Antonia passed out on the floor in the diary room while the contestants were preparing for dinner service! She said her head was hurting and next thing you know, she hit the floor. The pressure got to her on day 1 and she was rushed off to the hospital. Perhaps this would actually HELP the women considering Antonia was their weakest link. Even with Lisa’s slowness on scallops, the women got a head start on appetizers while the men’s salad’s were falling behind due to Trev’s mistakes. New this season, the kitchens have pizza ovens which also meant there were more places for both the men and women to make mistakes with their pizzas.
When it came to Entrees, Sabrina jumped ahead on bringing up her dishes for the first table and didn’t wait for her teammates to finish their parts. Of course this didn’t go over well with Ramsay who believes in teamwork. She continued to act a little strange, and certainly had a distant personality. Two hours in, diners from both sides of the kitchen started leaving in droves because they were tired of waiting for any food to come out. Neither team won causing both teams to nominate who should go home.
The First to Go: Before nominations, Ramsay announced that Antonia would not be returning, but even so someone would still be going home. The Men nominated Raj and Trevor while the women nominated Lisa and Sabrina. Lisa gave herself a good defense but Sabrina told Chef Ramsay that Lisa was “spent” as in all washed up. 22 year old Sabrina thinks she’s the best thing since slice bread, but what an attitude! Lisa was the one sent home because her nerves got the best of her in the kitchen.
The Second Half: Apparently one hour of this show isn’t enough anymore as it is sticking to the 2-hour format this season. The contestants were woken up early for the next team challenge which involved recreating two sushi specialties. The team that made the most perfect pieces of sushi would win the challenge. Competing in pairs, both teams earned 15 points leaving it all down to one piece of sushi that could win it all for the men. The last perfect piece pulled the men ahead to win their second challenge in a row. The men took their prize trip to San Francisco for a wine tasting and dinner while the women had to spend the day preparing sushi for dinner service.
Dinner Service: Raj’s clumsy behavior left the men thinking he was clueless, he’s another weird one this season. Jillian and Vinny were sent out to assist James tonight in taking orders, unfortunately for the men this meant they had to wait 30 minutes for their first order. Regardless, Raj’s strange behavior made him the center of attention again as he ignored an order being called out and then couldn’t repeat it back to Ramsay when prompted. All of these problems gave them women a chance to get ahead, and luckily they took advantage with Gail producing great risotto and Sabrina making perfect sushi.
On to Entrees, the women were quite a bit ahead but Emily’s rare beef caused Nona to constantly restart her halibuts. The good news is that Ramsay recognized Nona’s perfect halibuts so at least that looks good for her. To help speed up the men’s team, Vinny convinced some diners NOT to order side dishes stating that it would slow down their order since Raj was cooking them. James tattled on Vinny and Vinny admitted that he had no faith in Raj. This did not make Ramsay happy and he sent Vinny out of the kitchen. What a stupid move! Vinny would have been better off letting the diners order what they wanted and then waiting for Raj to screw up (assuming he would). I can’t believe he thought he would get away with this trick!
Melissa brought up the wrong side at the wrong time causing Ramsay to send her out to wait on tables and bring Jillian in to help. Melissa was very embarrassed by her mistake, but I don’t think it would be enough to send her home. The men were continuing to go downhill, with Curtis being sent out of the kitchen, followed by Raj who was stacking up all his garnishes and acting even odder than odd. Soon ALL the men were kicked out leaving the women with the win!
Who’s Going Home: Even though Ramsay clearly had a problem with Vinny’s waiter service and Curtis’s sushi, Raj was the first person the men automatically nominated. Curtis was an easy choice as the second nomination but he was ready to fight for it and convinced some of them to change their vote to Boris. Raj and Boris were the nominees but Ramsay added Vinny to the list. He really didn’t like what Vinny did but decided to send Curtis home for his horrible job on sushi.
We are down to lucky number 13! Will the men pull it together? Tune in next week to find out!
~ Boris – 38 – Manalapan, NJ -Catering Chef
~ Emily – 29 – Chicago, IL – Executive Chef
~ Gail – 28 – Wantagh, NY – Executive Chef
~ Jillian – 28 – Pagosa Springs, CO – Sous Chef
~ Louis – 28 – Felton, CA – Children’s Camp Chef
~ Melissa – 31 – Glens Falls, NY – Executive Sous Chef
~ Nona – 29 – Loganville, GA – Sous Chef
~ Raj – 49 – Los Angeles, CA – Personal Chef
~ Rob – 36 – Brooklyn, NY – Law Firm Chef
~ Russell – 29 – Chicago, IL – Sous Chef
~ Sabrina – 22 – El Cajon, CA – Prep Chef
~ Trev – 30 – Chicago, IL – Line Cook / Bartender
~ Vinny – 29 – Las Vegas, NV – Line Cook
~ Antonia – 29 – North Hollywood, CA – Personal Chef
~ Lisa – 48 – Ft. Mills, SC – Corporate Food Director
~ Lewis Curtis – 26 – Cabot, AR – Executive Chef
Source: September 22nd Episode on Fox
For more information on the contestants or photos of the show, visit Fox’s Official Hell’s Kitchen Site