Hell's Kitchen: Episode 4.5 Recap
Last week on Hell's Kitchen, the restaurant opened for its first family dinner night.  Believe it or not, the chefs actually succeeded in getting out enough hamburgers and wings to complete the service, though not everyone had a great night.  Vanessa melted her hand with hot oil, Matt attempted to serve raw chicken, and Ben tried to get limp onion rings past Gordon Ramsay.  In the end, Ramsay decided to send Craig home for being a complete failure and having a bad attitude.

Tonight's episode is all about a dish I have had many long, fulfilling nights with: pizza.  The chefs can't possibly screw this one up, right?

Chef Ramsay announces this week's first challenge: each team has to present their version of a fine dining pizza.  Each chef gets to create a pizza by choosing from over 130 ingredients, then the team will decide which pizza to present to Ramsay.  Let's hope Matt doesn't get the bright idea to combine caviar and white chocolate again.

The women decide to present Jen's pizza, which is topped with prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fried basil.  The men decide that Ben's duck confit pizza is the highest quality.   Ramsay takes a bite of both, and surprisingly doesn't spit Ben's across the room while calling him a donkey.  He says that both pizzas are excellent, but the women are deemed the winners since Ben's mushrooms had some grit on them.  Come on Ben, how hard is it to properly clean a mushroom?

For winning this week's challenge, the ladies get to go to a restaurant that serves $90 hamburgers.  That's fairly insane, but I guess rich people have to waste their money somehow.  As usual, the men have to prep for dinner service as a punishment for those gritty mushrooms.  The men are also losing confidence after failing to win any challenges in the past couple weeks.  Ben claims that Louross, who isn't taking the loss particularly well, is walking around acting like "a whiny little punk bitch."

While the ladies eat their $90 hamburgers, the men eat cheap beef patties that make McDonald's burgers look like gourmet cuisine.  They're also starting to turn on each other, and seem completely incapable of acting as a team.  Is there any chance that one of the men will make it to the finals in this competition?  I don't think so.

Vanessa decides to talk to Chef Ramsay about her melted hand.  She can't even pick up a knife, and she doesn't like being in the kitchen when she can't give it her all.  Ramsay tells her that it's her choice if she wants to leave, and she decides to quit the competition.  Ramsay is disappointed.  I don't know how much pain she was going through, but throwing in the towel seems a little weak.

Tonight's dinner service is going to be a little different than usual.  The chefs will still be making the expected dishes for the Hell's Kitchen crowd, but the men will also be delivering pizzas to customers outside the restaurant using the HK Pizza Mobile.

Dinner service begins, and Jen immediately impresses by getting her appetizers out in record time.  The men, of course, disappoint.  Ramsay claims that Matt's eggs feel like Pamela Anderson's shoddy implants. Ben is the first chef to play the role of delivery boy, and though he's not familiar with Los Angeles, he succeeds in getting the dish there on time.  Unfortunately this is the only pizza delivery that we'll see tonight, which is a bit anticlimactic.  I wanted to see the guys getting terribly lost while driving around L.A. in a go-kart.

Rosann is on the vegetable station tonight, and she's riling Ramsay up by being slow and serving up unseasoned crap.  She was doing well just a couple weeks ago, but each night in Hell's Kitchen presents a new challenge.  Jen comes to her rescue and saves the day once again.  Meanwhile, the men's team struggles as Ramsay figures out that Louross can't cook a proper steak.  Petrozza helps him out, and soon most of the diners have received their entrées.

Jen was supposed to help Christina with desserts, but since she had to save the vegetable station, Corey is called in instead.  Corey has no desire to help out her teammate, but she does it anyway.  Soon souflees are flying out of the kitchen at a rapid pace, and dinner service is over.  Ramsay hasn't had to "SHUT! IT! DOWN!" for two weeks now.  Maybe these chefs are improving after all.

Ramsay must be getting soft in his old age, because he decides that there's no losing team tonight.  However, each team still has to nominate one person for elimination.  The women's team throws Christina to the wolves for no good reason, and the men put up Louross for his weak culinary skills.  Ramsay doesn't think that Christina deserves to be nominated, and he makes sure to let the women's team know it.

Ramsay asks the nominees who they think the weakest chefs are on their respective teams.  Louross says that it's Matt, while Christina says Rosann.  Ramsay decides that no one is going home tonight.  Well, no one but Vanessa anyway, who is off to nurse her mangled hand.

Next week on Hell's Kitchen, the chefs cook for a super sweet 16 party!

- Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)