Our favorite chef is back! Gordon Ramsay has returned for season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen. This season, 18 brand new contestants will compete for the opportunity of a lifetime — to be the head chef at The Ventian Las Vegas’ multi-million dollar restaurant, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar, along with $250,000. Which chef will prevail, and what does Gordon have in store for the contestants this season? Let’s find out in the premiere episode.

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The First Surprise of the Season

The 18 chefs arrive in Los Angeles, California to begin the season. They are more than ready for this experience, with Johnny even saying that “being yelled at by Gordon Ramsay” is on his bucket list.

The chefs are excited to see Hell’s Kitchen, but Gordon, of course, has a surprise for them. The chefs’ first destination is the U.S. Army’s training facility. Upon arriving, Mr. Ramsay pops out of a military tank and reveals why they are not in the kitchen. “Before you can enter Hell’s Kitchen, I need to make sure that all of you have the discipline needed to survive,” Gordon explains.

The sergeants direct the chefs to get into their military uniforms and begin the obstacle course. Gordon then tells them that they must climb a wall before entering. Suddenly, the wall falls on top of him, shocking the chefs. Luckily, it was all planned, but some of the chefs were terrified. “I am like, ‘Holy s**t! They’re gonna kill Chef Ramsay!'” Jessica jokes.

Signature Dishes

Since the chefs have completed the army training, Chef Ramsay orders them all to create their own signature dishes in 45 minutes and as always, the contestants have split into two teams: The men on the Blue Team versus the women on the Red Team.

When the chefs have finished cooking their dishes, Gordon tells them that he will rank each of their meals on a scale from one to five. The team that earns the most points will win.

First up is Gia for the women and Pat for the men. Gia cooks shrimp and grits with bacon on top, which Gordon gives her four points for. Gordon awards Pat’s sea bass three points.

Chef Ramsay then tastes 22-year-old Aaron’s schnitzel and says he is “struggling to fault it,” so he gives the dish four points. Wendy’s tomato soup is not so lucky. Since it has a strong scent of garlic, Gordon only deems it worthy of two points.

Next up for the women is single mother Heather. She cooks a rib-eye steak, which Ramsay says is “spot on” and awards her the first perfect score of the night. “That’s what I call a signature dish,” Gordon exclaims.

Will the next man be able to live up to Heather’s terrific steak? Paulie certainly does with his perfect-scoring scallops.

The next chef from the Blue Team is Devin. He hopes to continue the perfect scores, but his bacon-wrapped scallops fall completely flat by only earning one point from Ramsay. Devin’s competitor, Kimberly, also scores a measly one for her pasta, because Gordon hates that she used canned clams in it rather than fresh ones. He even refers to it as “a mess.”

Chef Ramsay is then in for the biggest shock of the night. When Matt steps up, he presents a bolognese made of pigeon breast. He makes things even worse by telling Gordon that he has never made this before. This whole meal seems to be nothing short of a disaster, so Gordon only gives him one point.

Matt’s competitor, Aziza, is hopeful that her salmon can help the women take the lead. The chef thinks it tastes good, but he is not a fan of how it looks. He ends up giving her a two.

Genaro cooks a duck for his dish, but since Gordon says he “ducked” it up, he only receives one point. The Red Team’s Ryan, on the other hand, presents seared scallops with Rice Krispies as seasoning. The dish may sound odd, but Ramsay loves it. He gives her the third perfect score of the night.

With the women now in the lead, Shaina is hoping to keep the ball rolling. Her salmon ends up earning a five. Her competitor, Koop, receives a “strong four” from Gordon.

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Jessica is the next chef from the women’s team. She only earns one point for her dish, which Gordon actually spits out. Andrew steps up for the men’s team with halibut and does not do much better. Gordon calls the mushrooms in his dish “terrible” and gives him two points.

Johnny then presents his steak to the chef, and he loves it. Gordon even tells him that he “nailed” the steak and awards him four points. Could this be the Blue Team’s big comeback? Not so much. Heidi scores four points for her team as well, which earns the women their first win of the season.

The Girls’ Night Out

For winning the first challenge of the season, Gordon sends the women for a night out on the town in a massive stretch limo. Later, he will even be joining them for dinner, which they are thrilled about.

This gives the women the perfect opportunity to learn all they can about Hell’s Kitchen from Gordon. “If there’s one piece of advice I can give you guys is just stay focused,” he tells the ladies.

The night is not as fun for the men. Since they lost the challenge, they must remove all of the chairs and tables from the dining room, under the direction of maitre d’ Marino Monferrato. This has already created some tension between the men, since some of them feel as though 47-year-old Pat is not pulling his weight.

Dinner Service

The teams reassemble in their respective kitchens for their first dinner service of the season. Marino brings the guests in, and the chefs are ready to get to work.

The Blue Team runs into some major troubles almost immediately. When Pat presents his risotto, Chef Ramsay loses it. “How’d you manage to make a risotto look like a bowl of vomit that’s been dipped in oil?” Gordon asked Pat, before telling him to “get this s**t out of here.”

The Red Team, on the other hand, is in a completely different world. The first dish Gordon tries is Jessica’s scallops, which he loves. This helps the women get their appetizers out in a timely manner.

When we rejoin the Blue Team, they are finally able to get their first appetizers out. Things go south again when Paulie unsuccessfully tries to fix Pat’s risotto. When Gordon tries it, he says it is “too salty.”

The Blue Team just can’t seem to get it together. Ramsay asks for the scallops, but Matt says they aren’t done yet. After Andrew says that they should be fully cooked by now, Matt serves them to Gordon. They do end up being raw, but no one will own up to cooking them this way. Matt tries to throw Andrew under the bus, but since Matt actually cooked them, it is his fault.

Matt then digs his own grave by trying to make it seem as though this is Gordon’s fault, since he asked Matt to serve the scallops. He even tells Mr. Ramsay to “look at the cameras,” which causes Gordon to lose it and get in Matt’s face.

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The Blue Team’s entrees end up being raw as well. Yet again, when Gordon asks who cooked them, Matt, and now Genaro, refuse to own up, so he kicks them both out of the kitchen. He threatens to kick out the rest of the men, too, if they make any more mistakes.

The Red Team continues to dominate the dinner service, and of course, the men try to serve another raw dish. This sends Ramsay over the edge, so he kicks the rest of the men out of the kitchen.

The Aftermath

After the Blue Team’s dismal performance in the dinner service, Gordon has some scathing words for them. He calls them “pathetic” and praises the Red Team for doing exceptionally well and working as a team. He then tells the men that they must choose two nominees that they think are the worst of the bunch.

Most of the Blue Team tries to nominate Pat and Paulie, but Pat is not going down without a fight. He says that Matt and Genaro should be the nominees, since they continuously served raw fish. Of course, they cannot come to a decision, proving just how divided of a team they truly are.

When the Blue Team meets with Ramsay for elimination, they reveal that Pat is the first nominee for his vomit-like risotto. The other nominee is Matt for his fish debacle.

Despite talking to Gordon the way he did and ruining the fish, Matt is surprisingly safe. Pat must turn in his jacket making him the first chef eliminated this season. As if things couldn’t get worse for the Blue Team, Pat can’t even find the door to leave the kitchen.

As the episode ends, Gordon doesn’t want to hear any excuses from the men. Instead, he has one piece of advice for them. “Do me a favor — grow up,” he tells them.

What did you think of the first episode? Do you think the men stand a chance against the women? Which chefs are you rooting for? Did Gordon make the right decision by eliminating Pat, or should Matt have been sent home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.

Season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen airs Fridays at 8/7c on FOX. Want more news? Like BuddyTV’s Hell’s Kitchen Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Jordan Dunnigan

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV