Last time on Hell’s Kitchen: Dinner service was disaster service. Seth got the boot, and Lacey was moved to the Men’s team… with much rejoicing from the Women’s side.
Tonight on Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay tests the 12 remaining chefs to create three Asian-fusion dishes utilizing poultry, seafood and beef. The teams then present their dishes for judging by Chef Ramsay and Tanya Steel, Editor-in-Chief of Epicurious.com
The women hug and laugh and almost cry out of the joy of being rid of Lacey. The men group up and tell Lacey that they don’t want another Seth. She says if she sucks, they should put her up for elimination. They say they won’t hesitate. Lacey’s happy to be away from the “drama” of the women’s team (which all revolved around her).
The next day, Ramsay has the chefs on the road to the Asian market. J sounds confident about his Asian cooking skills. Ramsay collects the chefs and explains the “fusion” challenge: each team has 25 minutes and $100 to buy ingredients for 1 poultry, 1 seafood, and 1 beef Asian-inspired dishes. Andrea once again takes charge of the Red team, yelling out orders, but Carol is skeptical if being loud means being a leader.
The Blue team takes a looser approach, piecing their dishes together as they run down the aisles. The men ignore Lacey’s contributions and don’t take her seriously as a teammember. Both teams make it to the checkout on time and on budget.
They have one hour to complete their dishes, and split up into pairs. Ben takes Lacey “under his wing,” and Lacey already shows resentment when he tells her what to do. Robert and Danny team up to make a “Fatman Slim’s Asian BBQ” dish. Ramsay checks on the women and worries that their tuna dish seems too boring and too Asian. Paula collects the team to rethink the dish. Lacey is largely being ignored by the team, and the men put her on the easiest jobs.
She barely contributes to the dishes. Ramsay introduces Tanya Steel of Epicurious.com to help him judge. He tells them that the winning team will have their dishes featured on the site. The teams will face off dish by dish.
First up are Robert and Carol to present their poultry dishes. The women’s chicken is dry, but has good flavors, says Tanya. But the men’s delicious BBQ chicken dish trumps and wins the face off. Second, Paula presents her altered tuna tempura with aioli, and the chefs agree it is perfectly cooked. Ben’s pan-seared scallops with sea urchin caviar sauce doesn’t stand up, and both chefs choose the women’s dish. The teams are now tied. For the last dish, Andrea presents kobe beef sashimi with a spicy Korean sauce. The chefs agree that the beef is good, but the seasoning is clumsy. J blanks on the name of his dish, which Giovanni pipes in is a beef pizzaiola with undercooked rice. Ramsay leaves it up to Tanya to decide, and she picks the women, who win the challenge.
The women’s reward: a day “packed with surprises with a big Asian influence.” The gentlemen’s (and Lacey) punishment is to make homemade fortune cookies and decorate the whole restaurant with origami. Lacey is about to crack under her constant failure. She tells her team she’s going to go home, and the men get frustrated about her self-defeating negativity. Ben asks Lacey to be more motivated and to have more urgency in the kitchen. Ben tells Lacey that they need her. Even though she recognizes that he’s blowing smoke up her ass, I think Ben’s a good teammate for giving the pep talk.
The women chat in their limo, happy to be rid of Lacey. Back in the kitchen, Robert gets increasingly frustrated with Lacey’s immature antics. We catch up with the women at a martial arts studio, and reveal Chef Ramsay in a sumo fat suit. That image will never leave my memory. Another sumo wrestler appears: Jean-Phillipe. He is not too happy to be in a different sort of suit. The men throw each other around in the ring, and Ramsay trounces Jean-Phillipe. The women get their turns in the massive fat suits. (It’s even more fun than it looks! If you’ve never worn a sumo suit, I highly recommend it.)
Back in the kitchen, the men finish the cookies and start on the origami. Lacey shows that she’s actually good at something, and the men watch for her guidance making swans. She is finally happy to be needed—unfortunately, it has nothing to do with cooking. The men are also pleased to be more united.
The women sit down for some serious sake shots, and the giggling around the table shows they’re all… well, drunk. Lacey’s happiness about being useful is short-lived as the tipsy women’s team returns to the kitchen, and flaunt their day of fun in front of the Blue Team.
The teams, clearly bonded and determined to win, begin prepping for dinner service. The women are excited to show their stuff without Lacey. Ramsay collects the team and tells Paula that her tuna dish was one of the best he’s ever tasted, and he’s putting it on the menu tonight. He opens Hell’s Kitchen for service. After the last service, we hope it’s a come-back night for the cheftestants.
Giovanni’s on appetizers (uh oh, risotto)… but actually impresses Ramsay with his dishes. As does LA. Both chefs enjoy a rare compliment. The appetizers are flying out, when a big twist comes in: a table of massive sumo wrestlers come in and order the entire menu, each. Ramsay splits the order between the teams. Lacey (surprise of the day) shows lots of motivation and leadership on the Blue side. Andrea burns some Wellingtons, delaying the Red team’s big orders. J has the opposite problem with rare Wellingtons. Ramsay once again lays into Colleen for leaving the oven door open. Ramsay discovers Andrea three burnt Wellingtons that she hid, and throws a fit. Ramsay calls Robert “Bobby,” and Robert does NOT like that nickname (something to do with his father and a rough childhood). Robert quickly shuts down, doesn’t answer Chef’s questions about the entrees. Ramsay gets fed up with his mistakes and attitude, and Robert holds back his anger. In the confessional, he gets it out and moons the camera.
Andrea’s still off on her timing, and throwing off the entire team’s dishes. The service is at a standstill, and not getting better. J messes up everything he’s working on, and starts to buckle and forget dishes. The women send out a frozen dessert, completely raw—thanks to Colleen. The rest of the team can’t believe that the dish went out. Ramsay is now at the end of his rope (sound familiar?) and shuts down service, calling it their worst so far. He tells Andrea she was useless, and then tells everyone to (here comes one of my favorite Ramsayisms) SHUT IT OFF!
Ramsay asks Robert why he won’t look at him when he talks, and Robert says he’d like to discuss it in private. Ramsay tells the teams that the meat sections on both sides were “horrific.” He commends Giovanni and LA for their performance, and asks each to nominate one chef from their teams.
The teams go back to the house, and Ramsay calls in Robert to talk about their incident during service. Robert tells Ramsay that being called Bobby and being insulted brings back bad memories. Ramsay apologizes and respectfully promises to not do it again. LA says Andrea and Colleen are on her list to go up for elimination—but Andrea is a good chef and Colleen is consistently bad. Giovanni has a toss-up between J and Robert.
LA puts up Andrea for elimination for her lack of cooking and communication during service. Giovanni puts up J for his all-around poor performance during service.
Ramsay asks each chef why (s)he should stay. J calls the service his worst performance in his career, but he has the talent and the drive to be there. Andrea wants to stay to be back on the meat station and nail it to prove she has what it takes.
Ramsay tells J and Andrea to both get back in line. Ramsay calls Colleen up, tells her that each of her services have been awful, and tells her to take off her jacket and leave Hell’s Kitchen. Colleen stays positive after leaving, and Ramsay commends her fight, telling the rest of the chefs they need to develop fight inside them. Robert, J, and Andrea all count their blessings and vow not to mess up again. Ramsay ends the episode saying the Colleen needed to go back to teaching “because she certainly can’t cook.”
-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer
Image courtesy of FOX