'Hell's Kitchen' Insider: A Bar Mitzvah To Remember
If you watch Hell's Kitchen, you already know that Christina Machamer overcame exceptional odds to win of the fourth season of the notorious show, becoming the executive sous chef at at the London West Hollywood Hotel. Check in each week as Christina "dishes up" her insights on Hell's Kitchen's fifth season, her notorious new boss, and life after reality TV stardom.

By Christina Machamer

It has been a busy birthday week for me, yet while I was jetsetting to Hawaii for a three-day reprieve, Max was celebrating his manhood in Hell's Kitchen. There seems to be a challenge like this in each season. There was been a wedding challenge, a Sweet 16 party from my season, and this year, our new hopefuls gave young Max a Bar Mitzvah to remember

The challenge was simple: translate Max's three favorite foods (burger, brisket, and chicken soup) into their fine dining versions. Both teams submitted their best, if ill-planned, attempts, and the Blue Team emerged victorious. The deciding factor in this challenge was the burger. Carol insisted on using bleu cheese, onions, and mushrooms, against her team's wishes. Don't get me wrong, this is a classic pairing, but why serve three things most kids hate to a 13-year-old?

It was due to Carol's poor judgement that the  “Blues Brothers” spent the rest of the day at a spa. This is a dangerous reward. By this time in Hell's Kitchen, stress and exhaustion begin to take their toll. You are bruised, beaten, battered, and broken. Any chance to escape the kitchen, and see the sun is like a blessing, let alone leaving for something rejuvenating. It helps to recharge batteries and spirits, and creates more formidable opponents.

Meanwhile, the Red Team was enjoying a special sparkle-licious form of purgatory named Francisco, the party planner. Francisco, who planned the wedding, Sweet 16, and now Max's Basketball Bar Mitzvah, is a wholly intolerable person. He swept in with his “totally tickled” attitude about the “fabulously twinkly” party, that is going to “go up, up and away with balloons.” Just the thought makes me want to wretch. During our punishment in my season with the Sweet 16, Francisco had us dress all of the tables with white linens, then black, then white, then half and half. It was like there was too much party and not enough plan. We became so disgruntled dealing with him that J.P. had to come out, share a few choice words with Francisco, and save us from the party pirate. I think that was when I gained a lot of respect for J.P.

In this last episode, as the decorating for the bar mitzvah commenced, so did the grumbling between Andrea and Carol that had begun during the challenge, and through thickening animosity the room was complete. The refreshed looking victors returned to gloat, and prepare for service.

After Max's grand entrance, the second part of the punishment began for our girls. They had to leave the kitchen, giving the Blue Team extra time to prepare, and support Max's chair during the hora dance. It seems this added advantage, along with Coi's inability to cook a burger caused the Red Team defeat. After the team, (with the exclusion of Paula), tried to oust Andrea, it was Coi who was chosen to leave. Now down to the final 10, it appears as if the feud between Andrea and Carol will ignite, and was that Giovanni I saw at the very end in a red jacket? Till next week eat well, and be well.

After graduating at the top of her class from The Culinary Institute of America and putting in decades of work in some of the country's top kitchens, Christina Machamer's hard work has been rewarded with a Hell's Kitchen triumph. Now settled into her new West Hollywood digs, she and her partner Cory Lemieux venture into the artisan spice trade with their online company bcbcblends.com. Look for Christina, as she travels the country, seeking out food shows, farmer's markets, and a possible location for her next culinary adventure.

Read more by Christina:
Hell's Kitchen Insider: A Bar Mitzvah To Remember
Hell's Kitchen Insider: V-C-I-T-O-R-Y?
Hell's Kitchen Insider: The Pressure Cooker
Hell's Kitchen Insider: Another One Gigabytes the Dust!
Hell's Kitchen Insider: Chef Ramsay Loves a Fighter
Hell's Kitchen Insider: First Impression