The heat is on yet again! Chef Gordon Ramsay steps back into Hell’s Kitchen for season 11 of, what is sure to be, another round of culinary circus acts.
Twenty brand new chef-testants arrive at Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Las Vegas where the competition kicks off. For 10 seasons, these competitors have followed a somewhat routine journey to the job of a lifetime — executive chef at one of Ramsay’s five-star restaurants. This season, it’s all being shaken up. How many rules can Ramsay break in one season? Let’s find out!
A motley crew of self-proclaimed chefs jump on the HK bus from the LAX airport. But wait. The bus makes a circle and ends right back up at the terminal. Ramsay appears on the bus monitor to explain that their journey is not yet over. “Join me in … Las Vegas!” says Ramsay. And just as quickly as they were on, twenty chef-testants run right back to catch their flight.
From a double decker bus, the competitors are then transferred to a stretch golf cart for the “Las Vegas 4D Experience.” Yeah, right. They pull into a dark alley, by the looks of it, and a curtain opens to reveal a live audience! Ramsay meets them onstage for a formal introduction. Chef Andi and Chef James, a newcomer, join their boss for the big prize announcement.
The winner of season 11 of Hell’s Kitchen will become the head chef of Gorday Ramsay’s Bar and Grill located in Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas with a salary of $250,000. Jealous yet? Hold that thought because the signature dish challenge will now be conducted in front of this charged up live audience.
Signature Dish Challenge: 45 minutes are given to the cheftestants to wow Ramsay with a dish that represents who they are.
First impressions of Ramsay’s first rule breaker, regarding this live audience, it’s unnecessary. Sure, for the audience members who were in attendance months ago, I’m sure they had a fantastic time. What does this change add to the experience of those sitting at home, wishing they were gambling away in Vegas? Oh, perhaps I’ve answered my own question.
Barret shows his love for the competition by his unique hairstyle. The letters “H” and “K” have been shaved into the side of his head as a compliment to his mohawk. Too bad his signature dish isn’t as awe inspiring as his hairdo. I digress …
Two by two, one man and one woman present their dishes to Ramsay. Some are confident, others like Nedra ask for a moment to pray. She must’ve said something right, earning her the first point for the women. From here, the women dominate the men.
Challenge Winner: Women
As their prize, the ladies will be treated to a VIP night at Caesar’s palace. For the losers, a long, painstaking drive back to Los Angeles in a big, yellow school bus. “I think it should make it,” jokes Ramsay. They even neglected the air conditioning for them. How sweet.
The women drink up their victory in a lavish suite complete with champagne, fruit, beautiful views and a human sushi platter. You read right. There’s a woman laying on the table with sushi covering her body. What happens in Vegas …
Not only do the loser men have to suffer through a two-hour long non-air conditioned bus ride back to LA, but Sebastian takes it upon himself to act as a motivational speaker. At the first sight of the bus breaking down, the sweaty guys hurry off for a bathroom break.
After snapping photos with a wax figure of Celine Dion, meeting the REAL Celine Dion, seeing her live show and flying back to LA, the women still arrive to their dorms before the guys.
It’s the next day and the cheftestants are ready to prepare for their first dinner service in Hell’s Kitchen. Well, all except for Gina. She looks like bobble-head with an apron. She’s not focused. Maybe it’s (cue Italian instrumental music) Chef Alfredo Al Dente, Gina’s puppet. She was so caught up in this ridiculous The Muppets reject that she loses herself in the kitchen.
Chef Andi calls for a medic who tends to Gina. But guess what! Nothing is wrong with her! Gina goes back to her room and pampers herself. “I just needed to rest,” she says. “And I’m gonna bounce back really fast.” By the time she rejoins her team, Gina has missed most of prep.
J.P. IS BACK!
Just before Ramsay kicks off the first dinner service, JP re-enters the restaurant after a three year absence. Unfortunately, he’s a day late and unprepared.
Opening Dinner Service
Scallops is the name of the game tonight, as if it would be anything different. These fishy medalliions have been a staple of Ramsay’s dramatic outbursts for seasons. Gina, in the women’s Red Kitchen, takes on the first ticket, firing up perfectly executed scallops. Unfortunately, the second round gets her tossed out of the kitchen and right back up to her dorm room.
As for the men’s Blue Kitchen, things are looking repetitive. Sebastian is kicked out for making a joke of things, calling Zach”Zachy Wacky.” He tries to sneak back in with random pots, but Ramsay tosses him out, again. Jeremy is also having a hard time with garnish. Wouldn’t be surprised if he’s out next.
The Red Kitchen is moving along rather nicely now that Gina has been sent to the dorm. Can’t say the same for the Blue Kitchen, unfortunately. Micheal and Barret send inedible beef wellington and lamb to the pass. As Ramsay is reprimanding them, guess who comes back in for a third try. Sebastian just doesn’t know when to quit. The three of them are tossed out and Ramsay goes back to begging for the Blue Kitchen’s first entree.
They’re dropping like flies! Danielle is kicked out of the Red Kitchen for asking if Ramsay needs the original unacceptable meat handed to Ramsay plus her two re-fires or just the refires. Wait, it gets better. In a matter of, maybe, four minutes Ramsay clears the Blue Kitchen down to one cheftestant. Even the oldest chef ever to comepete in Hell’s Kitchen is tossed for tasting risotto with his bare fingers!
Zach, being the last standing, is feeling the pressure. He deserts the kitchen, feeling light headed and sick to his stomach. No need to describe any further. Amazingly, the phoenix rises from the ashes. Zach comes back to the Blue Kitchen with guns a-blazing, kicking out entree after entree.
Altogether, 12 chef-testants are kicked out of dinner service. TWELVE! That has to be a record.
Dinner Service Winner: Red Team
The Blue Team must do what they haven’t done tonight and come together in order to nominate two men for elimination.
Jeremy is up for nomination first for refusing to take constructive criticism for cooking something incorrectly. Their second nominee is Sebastian for not keeping a serious countenance during service.
“Sometimes my personality comes out in the kitchen,” says Sebastian. Well, that’s obvious. “I don’t plan on failing ever again, chef,” Jeremy states. Does anyone else see creeper tendencies in this guy?
Ramsay says it best, “It’s a kitchen, not a place for comedians.” He hasn’t seen the likes of Gina yet, has he?
This season of Hell’s Kitchen is sure to have its fair share of heat, but seeing the chef-testants in obstacle course-like challenges? Tune in to check out Ramsay and his minions as they claw and scratch their way to the top!
Compete in Fantasy TV: Make your picks on who you think will be going home. Hurry, you have until March 19 at 12pm PST to cast your vote!
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(Image courtesy of FOX)