Hell's Kitchen: Episode 4.1 Gourmet or No Way?
Hell's Kitchen is back and last night, we met our first 15 new contestants willing to subject themselves to Gordon Ramsay's abuse for a shot at becoming an Executive Chef at one of his restaurants.

Once again, Fox has seemed to choose some of their contestants solely based on their personalities (or likelihood to be a good target for Ramsay's abuse) rather than on the chance that they could actually realistically win the Hell's Kitchen 4 competition.

Or that they would even want to, come to think of it.

Take Dominic, the stay-at-home dad. He is probably an amazing home cook. But home cooking and restaurant cooking are two wildly different things. He might have cooked in a professional kitchen in the past; his Hell's Kitchen 4 bio doesn't mention it, but he said something during the show that made it sound like he might have had some professional experience about ten years ago. If he's stayed out of the kitchen for ten years, does he even really want to go back?

Well, it's no longer an option for him. With the other chefs, they all had their first shot at impressing Ramsay in the kitchen, but no one really did a stand out job.

For most of the series, mastering the Hell's Kitchen recipes and doing an excellent job at delivering a quality and consistent product will be the biggest challenge for the chefs, but this first episode, the chefs did get a chance to show Ramsay their creativity as they created their signature dishes. So whose individual dishes were tops (Gourmet!) and whose were not (No Way!)


Gourmet might be a stretch since the strongest praise Ramsay could muster up was that their dishes were properly seasoned, but considering the other ones, I guess that's saying something at least. So Rosann for her seafood soup and Vanessa for her halibut make it into the top category.




Venison, scallops, white chocolate, capers and caviar? Why stop there? Why not add some kimchi, gorgonzola and that mysterious Tupperware full of month-old leftovers that has turned into a pile of green fuzz? I'm a pretty open-minded eater and I love bold flavors and interesting combinations, but why Matt felt compelled to shove a bunch of strong and/or disparate flavors into one dish is completely beyond me. Sometimes, if something hasn't been done before, there's a good reason for it.

Since it appeared that he did not season things properly based on Ramsay's feedback, Petrozza's “hen in a pumpkin” dish was a gimmick without substance. Even if it had tasted good, the idea of plating it tableside, when it was so awkward to handle and unattractive once disassembled, was questionable.

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist

(Image courtesy of Fox)