We started this season of Hell’s Kitchen with 15 chefs competing for a position at Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant, The London West Hollywood. Now we’re down to the top two. On tonight’s exciting season 4 finale, Christina and Petrozza will battle it out to see who is more deserving of becoming a senior chef in Ramsay’s kitchen. Will it be Petrozza, who has proven himself a team player and also has years of experience in the catering business? Or will it be culinary student Christina, who has won challenge after challenge and shown that she’s not afraid to take charge? Now that both finalists have created their menus, chosen their decor and selected their staff, it’s time for one last stressful night in Hell’s Kitchen.
Now that we’ve reached the season finale, I have to admit that I’m going to miss the ridiculous opening credits sequence. I’m sure I’ll never again see a bunch of tiny Gulliver’s Travels-inspired chefs playing with knives and tossing tomatoes around like beach balls. Though it does seem rather unsanitary, doesn’t it? I don’t really want a miniature version of Matt popping out of my soup, or a lilliputian Vanessa camping out in my greens. Terrifying.
When we left off last week, Petrozza was trying to decide whether he’d rather have psychotic Matt or backstabbing Jen on his team during the final dinner service. He picks Jen, who of course thinks she’s the penultimate choice because the finalists are intimidated by her leadership skills. Oh Jen, delusional until the bitter end.
The chefs split off to talk about the menus and adjust to their new teammates. Petrozza shocks everyone by telling them he has nothing prepped, while Christina butters up Matt by telling him his risotto inspired her. She’s totally lying, but Matt buys it anyway.
Much like in every other season, the Hell’s Kitchen designers are having trouble getting the restaurants finished. I’m fairly certain they fall behind just to create false drama, otherwise they’re really shoddy designers. In the kitchen, Jen and Matt are doing what they do best: upsetting everyone. Jen is snippy to Petrozza and dares to ask Chef Ramsay for a letter of recommendation, while Matt freaks his teammates out with jokes about peeing in the food.
After plating up one appetizer, entrée and dessert from their menus, the chefs present the food to Ramsay for evaluation. Christina presents beef sliders, a New York strip steak and a tropical sundae, while Petrozza gets daring with lobster strudel, filet mignon and a vanilla souflee. Ramsay gives each chef advice on how they can improve their dishes, then moves on to judging the dining rooms.
Now that the horror of the striped walls is in the past, Christina is perfectly happy with her restaurant. Her dining room is classy and elegant, while Petrozza’s has more of a rustic feel. Ramsay likes them both, which is a relief since it’d be a bit late to change things around now.
Hell’s Kitchen is open! Each chef has to serve 13 tables and 50 diners, and the customers’ comments will come into consideration when determining the winner. Christina’s team gets appetizers flying out right away, but Bobby has issues cooking up Petrozza’s fancy lobster strudel. Thankfully he soon gets the hang of it, proving that the four star General still has what it takes.
Christina sends Matt to help Louross with salads, which is like sending a three-year-old to assist in the kitchen. He succeeds in doing nothing but asking tons of ridiculous questions. While they struggle with the appetizers, the other team starts running out of crucial ingredients due to Petrozza’s poor prep skills. Ramsay threatens to “SHUT! IT! DOWN!” if Petrozza doesn’t get things back on track, which he does by inventing new appetizers on the spot.
After a customer sends Christina’s steak back for being too cold, it’s up to Matt and Corey to band together and turn things around. They get that problem solved rather quickly, but soon Matt is serving up raw monk fish. When Ramsay yells at him for it, Matt starts muttering under his breath like a crazy bum that you’d see asking for change at a bus stop. I’m pretty sure Matt has mental damage.
While Matt goes crazy, Jen frustrates Petrozza by failing to produce a crispy onion ring. Even chefs at Burger King can manage that, so who knows what Jen’s problem is. On the other team, Ramsay nearly has to step in and take over when Matt serves up more raw monk fish. No matter how many times I see Matt fail, I’m always amazed by his incompetence.
The dinner service comes to an end without anyone stabbing Jen or Matt. Now it’s time for Ramsay to look at the comment cards and make his final decision. After making his choice, Ramsay gives the finalists a surprisingly sincere vote of confidence and tells them to stand in front of the doors leading into the restaurant. The winner’s door will open, the loser’s door will not.
After Ramsay counts down from three, the chefs turn their doorknobs. The winner of Hell’s Kitchen season 4 is. . .Christina! Just as I predicted! There’s much celebrating between the culinary student, her family and her fellow chefs. Her dream has finally come true.
Check back tomorrow for our exclusive interview with Petrozza, and make sure to return on Thursday for our interview with Christina. If you have any questions you’d like to suggest for the two finalists, leave them in the comments below.
– Don Williams, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image courtesy of FOX)