Previously on Hell’s Kitchen, our cheftestants had to know how to spell as well as cook. (Sure, the term “cheftestants” might be a Top Chef term, but hey — it’s fun to say.) Ariel and Jared were the hotshots on either team, and were solely responsible for nominating teammates to be sent home. Eddie was the one that Chef Ramsay ended up kicking out of the kitchen for good, sparing Jackie for (at least) one more dinner service.
After the elimination, the chefs celebrate with beer and wine on the patio. Ariel imbibes a bit too hard, admitting she’ll likely have a hangover the next night. While walking to the bathroom, she pulled a tendon in her ankle. “Stay off of it for six weeks,” the Hell’s Kitchen medic advises. Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The next day, the chefs walk in to a dining room decked out in wedding decor. Ashley awkwardly comments that she hopes it’s a gay wedding, like Neil Patrick Harris. Chef Ramsay says that the bride is “someone you might recognize,” and it’s his longtime sous chef, Chef Andi. Her and her husband-to-be, Brice, decided to honor Chef Ramsay by holding their reception in the infamous kitchen.
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The Wedding Menu Challenge
Each team will have to think up a few innovative dishes. Brice mentions that he wants the dishes to be elegant but plentiful, due to his big family. The winners of this challenge will get a relaxing day and night in Las Vegas.
The teams need to prepare two seafood appetizers, two chicken entrees, and two beef entrees. The winning team will have their meals served to the wedding guests on the big day. Joe thinks that a stuffed chicken with mozzarella and spinach would be a good choice, before commenting that the Blue Team is under some pressure based on their lack of team members.
Manda thinks that a surf and turf might be good, and asks way too many questions about this selection to Jared, who doesn’t have time for her inexperience. Jackie’s suggestions are, as expected, a little trashy, as she laments about cooking a chicken breast over a chicken leg.
The Blue Team accidentally cooks an extra dish. Three beef dishes are on the line, since they obviously didn’t communicate with each other during the prep. “This is embarrassing!” Chef Ramsay exclaims.
It was Frank who made the extra beef dish. He doesn’t seem to acknowledge the fact that he screwed up, and makes sure that his beef dish makes the cut. Manda, in the background, isn’t too thrilled.
Judging The Menu
Ariel did a grilled piece of squid with a lobster claw for her seafood appetizer, and Chef Ramsay thinks it looks like a “bison’s penis.” Brice also thinks it’s visually off-putting. Kristin makes a shrimp tempura, which the group seems to like. On the Blue Team, Chad presents a pasta and prawns, which Andi and Brice think is a solid dish. Last up is Joe, with a seafood chowder. Good thing Brice is a chowder fan. Chad’s pasta ends up making the cut.
Next up is the beef entrees. Hassan makes a ribeye with caviar, which is visually lacking. Dannie’s steak gets positive reviews. Jared’s Asian-inspired veal chop could use some more spice, and Frank’s random Steak Diane, which was chosen over Manda’s beef dish, doesn’t live up to the hype. Dannie easily wins a point for the Red Team.
The chicken entree challenge will determine who wins. Jackie’s pan-seared chicken breast is cooked terribly, and looks like it “came from the 80s.” Frank’s second dish is compared to “hospital food,” and is immediately out of the running. Ashley has a lightly pan-fried chicken breast over cauliflower, and Brice and Andi like how refreshing it is. Joe’s dish is last, and it’s extremely well seasoned. Between the two of them, who’ll win?
Andi went with Joe’s chicken dish, and Joe feels awesome — this is the second time during the competition that it’s been between him and Ashley. His joy is quickly crushed, when he realizes that the prize involves zip-lining. You see, Joe has a big fear of heights.
Injuries And Rewards
Outside of the kitchen, Manda lashes out at Frank. Frank says that if Manda wanted to get his attention, she should (offensively) yell his name. I know we joke about Jackie a lot, but can we focus a little more on how Frank is kind of a scary guy?
The Blue Team boards the plane, and Chad is extremely excited, saying that the awards keep on getting “bigger and bigger.” Manda, unlike Joe, is really amped about zip-lining.
“I was shaking like a leaf, but I’m glad that my fear didn’t stop me from my awesome experience,” Joe says after it’s his turn.
Hey, remember Ariel’s ankle injury? It’s still a thing! It starts bothering her after kitchen prep, and Jackie notes that she’d be immediately eliminated if she had to get a cast. Ariel gives Jackie “the look” in return. “If I have to get surgery, that’s it,” Ariel says, noting that she’s in immense pain. She’s hoping that an urgent care visit will be the cure-all.
Back in Vegas, Manda mentions how she’s a single Mom of three on food stamps, as she writhes around on a hotel bed in a sexy dress while drinking champagne.
The Red Team is focused on macaroons, as Ariel walks back in holding crutches. Kristin thinks that while Ariel is a strong cook, a broken foot is a huge handicap for the team.
The Blue Team is back in the kitchen, and Jared has some pre-dinner jitters. He realizes that since this is Andi’s wedding, it’ll be a big deal for Ramsay. Nobody can screw up tonight!
Right before the reception, Chef Ramsay notices the boot on Ariel’s foot, and warns her to be careful tonight.
Cooking For The Reception
Soon after, the wedding reception, guests fill the kitchen and Andi and Brice get a round of applause as they walk through the doors.
The Red Team has a great start when they serve up some terrible risotto, all thanks to Jackie. “Not tonight guys. Not tonight!” Chef Ramsay exclaims.
The Blue Team also has a mishap, trying to serve up overcooked scallops with limited herbs. Joe and Chad try to rebound from the mistake quickly.
But the chef under the most pressure right now is Dannie, who is working on seafood. Chef Ramsay notes that she’s not using a non-stick pan, which in his world, is an absolute disaster. Chef Ramsay spends a lot of money on non-stick pans, and has had many memorable Hell’s Kitchen freak-outs based on non-stick pans. “It’s stuck to a pan like sh*t on a blanket,” Chef Ramsay laments.
Chef Ramsay is so upset that he decides to take matters in his own hands. Finally, both the Blue Team and the Red Team deliver their appetizers in a timely manner.
Hassan was told to fire for the head table, and they have five minutes to do so — this is for Andi, and they want to impress her. Hassan is trying his hardest to make sure the entrees are timed correctly. Unfortunately, he’s more focused on time, and less focused on actually cooking.
Serving It Up Raw
Jared has similar pressures in the Blue Kitchen. “Please let this chicken be good,” he prays. But it’s just not good enough for Chef Ramsay, since it’s raw. “You can’t be giving the top table raw chicken!” Chef Ramsay yells. The Red Team seems to have a similar issue, causing Ramsay to issue an ultimatum. If it’s not right, the entire kitchen will be kicked out.
The Blue Team’s entrees hit the head table before the Red Team’s, which is a bit of a disaster. Hassan takes it upon himself to get his kitchen’s entrees out faster. But, once again, the chicken is raw.
Chef Ramsay brings the Red Team to the closet of shame, and freaks out. He asks who cooked the chicken, and Hassan openly takes the blame. Since Hassan is golden in Ramsay’s eyes, he seems surprised, but decides to give him one last chance. Ariel decides to help out, to ensure everything will be cooked properly.
The Blue Team also gets yelled at once again for raw meat, and Chad takes most of the blame. He tried twice at salmon, and was finally able to pull it together. The reception ends, Andi and Brice kiss, and nobody gets food poisoning.
“There cannot be a winning team tonight,” Ramsay says. After all, this dinner service was for a dear friend. How dare these awful chefs screw it up!
Dannie proclaims that she’s not going home, and is voting for Hassan. “I’m here on the team making the team better,” Hassan says, admitting to his one dinner service. The rest of the team seems content on Hassan and Dannie being the two nominees.
On the Blue Team, Chad is the target. Chad retaliates by saying that he thinks Jared and Joe should be on the chopping block tonight, which Joe seems oddly cool with.
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Who’ll Be Voted Out?
Both teams face Chef Ramsay, as he asks Kristin who the nominees are. She openly says Hassan and Dannie. On the Blue Team, he asks Joe, who mentions Chad and.. then stumbles. Obviously Joe is the second nominee, and is wondering if he could save himself with a quick bluff, right?
Joe says it’s Jared, since he screwed up with the bride and groom’s table. I guess we’ll find out later if this was a flub.
Hassan’s defense is that he’s better than Dannie, which Dannie quickly refutes. “I will step up, I won’t step aside,” Dannie says. Chad thinks that he brings professionalism and a skill-set to the kitchen, which Ramsay almost laughs at.
Weirdly enough, Chef Ramsay chooses Hassan to send home. Really? Hassan? You used to be number one! As he walks off, he admit that he’ll be cheering for the Blue Team once again.
Hell’s Kitchen airs on Wednesdays at 9pm on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)