Remember the good old days when Hell’s Kitchen would focus on the food and not the drama? This year’s chefs have struggled from day one and I honestly have a hard time seeing many head chefs (much less five people) who can make it and get their black coats. So why are the chefs having so many problems? Here are the top five reasons for the trouble.

Yelling Doesn’t Get the Food Out

The Red (Ladies’) Team have loud mouths that don’t know when to talk and when to be quiet. When you are on a team, you need to encourage your team. This means calm discussion and not taking every opportunity to find fault. This year’s Red Team will yell and scream at anything. Someone wants something, the screams continue until the team either does what they want or a fight breaks out. They haven’t learned that lower voices are just as effective as screaming. A star chef isn’t based on volume but on the ability to communicate and even listen.

Ego Only Works If You Can Back It Up

If the Red Team has problems with screaming, the Blue (Men’s) Team has problems with their ego. The individuals have gone into this competition with the thought that their experience is what Ramsay wants. While this is what they hope, they need to learn that their skills and Ramsay’s desires are not the same. Unfortunately, the knowledge they have does not measure up to the standards that Ramsay expects. The Blue Team needs to look, listen, and learn. By over-thinking the dishes, their dishes fail. They need to work their station and seek perfection.

A Team Is a Team

Both teams need to learn that the team is only as strong as its weakest link. If the strong members of the team allow the weakest link to control the situation, all fail. If all members do not participate and do their best, the work doesn’t get done. Food can’t come out of the kitchen until Ramsay is happy with the taste. Both teams have prima donnas on them who want to shine. By working for yourself, you may shine but not in a positive way. You may prove to be the weakest link. Your work on all stations, whether you want to share a position with your co-worker or not, matters to the end result of the team.

Communication Is Good

The women know how to talk but they don’t know how to communicate. To them communication involves yelling. The men believe that calmness comes when there is a lack of sound and discussion. Neither works as it leads to misunderstandings as dishes head to the pass incomplete. To communicate, you don’t need to scream and you don’t need to talk quietly. You need to respect each other and treat each other as equals. This means speaking calmly and clearly so your teammates understand.

Remember That Standards Matter

Ramsay believes in properly prepared food being served to the diners. This is important because the food can make or break a restaurant’s reputation. By upholding high standards, the food is not only delicious but customers will return and spend money for a good meal. Meat, fish and chicken cannot be undercooked or overcooked. Risotto must have the right taste and ingredients. If the food has problems or the kitchen is a mess, health inspectors can close a restaurant and ruin the chef’s reputation.

These Chefs’ Future

So can these chefs learn? Ramsay has had some difficult contestants before on Hell’s Kitchen and always found a winner. Ramsay will test them and they must learn and be prepared. They must learn not to shout but communicate in a way that all in the kitchen understands. Chefs must always realize their reputation is based on the food they serve. Restaurants can’t rely on one person but the team– from the chef to the wait staff. It’s going to be a long and hard process, but maybe there is one person who can stand above the rest and shine.

Hell’s Kitchen airs Thursdays at 8pm on FOX. 

(Image courtesy of FOX) 

Linda Martindale

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV