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Hell's Kitchen: Big Talk, Little Chef

hells-403.jpgOnly in Episode 3, and there's already catty tension amongst the womenfolk. Corey is bracing herself for reprecussions from putting Christina and Jen up on the chopping block, even though neither was the worst. That dubious distinction went to Sharon, who was smartly selected over the more competent Christina and Jen (two of the stronger females and Corey's primary competition). We begin the episode where we left off, once again, as the chefs retreat to their dorms. Jen is shouting various obscenities and Christina is in tears. She says she feels angry and that Corey is threatened by her. Jen tries to comfort her, saying "hold it together". Corey, however, doesn't care. The guys are giving her props--to her face. But in their video diaries, Ben says she pulled this stunt "too early" in the game" and Petrozza calls her evil. Looks like there's more than one devil in Hell's Kitchen.

In the morning, the dorms are transformed into a chicken coup. Various chickens are hovering around the rooms, each with a name-tag for a specific chef. Chef Ramsay says that they've all got to get in touch with their product--by killing the chickens from scratch! The sous chefs stare menacingly at the contestants with meat cleavers, waiting to strike. Chef Ramsay places the cleaver on one chickens neck, raising it ever so slightly. The chefs gulp and panic, fearing killing a live chicken. Then Chef slams down the to the chickens head. BOOYAH! He mocks them for believing they were going to slaughter live chickens. But the chefs should know that wasn't even the proper way to go about business anyway. You've gotta crack the neck first, THEN slice it off (and I think that just cost me a couple of readers right there...).

Chef sends the teams back into the regular kitchens, where he says they must learn to respect their product. He instructs them to slice the fresh (and already beheaded) chickens into 8 perfect portions of 4 sections, each with: 2 wings, thighs, breasts, and drumsticks. The girls are feeling jeopardized, due to their animosity, but are hoping to rally together, as each team has only 5 minutes in which they must all complete their chickens. Craig and Shayna are holding each team back, while Ben and Matt finish far ahead of time. The girls are up first and, with the exceptions of Jen and Shayna (who get 6 out of 8), they have a near-perfect score of 44 out of a possible 48. The guys, however, have an advantage with one additional teammate. Jason compliments the girls for once, but feels they can still outdo them.

Unfortunately, Chef thinks that Jason fu--er, had intercourse with his chicken, because 2 portions were so demolished. But luckily, he manages to get 6/8 right. The hot streak continues with Petrozza and Ben (seeming more and more like our best two males) getting perfect scores. Unfortunately, Craig brings about their downfall...getting a mere 2 out of 8 quality portions sliced. This means that the women won this challenge, which is just what they needed. As their reward, they get to join the Chef on a private bus trip to the Sunset Strip, to Saddle Ranch restaurant. And the men? Well...they have the privilege of donning farmers' clothing and heading out on a dinky old school bus to pick peppers for tonight's dinner service. Burn. A very aggravated Ben plots to throw peppers at Craig, while Matt undresses in a major rage.

When the girls arrive at Saddle Ranch, the producers set up a neat publicity stunt: bringing last year's Asian cowboy to the place, where we find him riding a mechanical bull. Chef wants to cry, as does the rest of America. After he dismounts the bull, the girls take turns riding, in order to titillate various horny viewers. Jen says while riding "Harder--I mean faster!" She's kinda awesome, as is Christina, who suggests that they "pick apart the boys, one by one". Rosann adds "knock 'em out like dominoes", adds Rosann. Back on the farm, however, Jason bitches about not doing manual labor. He's chubby for a reason, aside from loving food. Ben then tosses a couple peppers at Craig, to which he meekly replies "Don't throw at me."

Back in the dorms, the ladies put their tactics to use. Christina and Corey join forces, reluctantly on the former's part, as they entice the boys into the hot tub to zero in on their weaknesses. Ben says "hell no", but Jason is like "hell yes". They gave Jason beer and chicken, and he opened up about how the guys hate Craig right now, Matt's a big cry-baby, and so forth. Ben is pissed off at Jason, calling him a rat. And he hates rats. The other men feel similarly before service begins and warn Jason not to screw up.

Down in the kitchen, Chef angrily demands that they have a complete dinner service for once. To even things out, Bobby will be cooking tableside for the boys while the girls have the good fortune to have Jean-Phillippe take care of that business for them. Jason sets the tone for the evening by forgetting the dessert menu. Naturally, he is sent back up to the dorms to get his head together. The girls get a nice start, as Christina takes charge of the appetizers and proves once again to be a good leader. Craig takes care of the appetizers on the boys side, but is being pestered (partially due to his lackluster performance, but also due to their disdain for him). Matt mocks him and says he's like Edith on All in the Family. I love pop culture references, and...well, it's applicable here.

Rosann sets the girls back by making a mistake, while Petrozza rises to the top, with his food being complimented by Ramsay as "beautiful". But they are set back once again, as Craig forgot the bacon for Ben's dishes and the appetizers are getting cold as a result. Rosann picks up her slack and her and Christina get out four full tables of appetizers. The girls are staying strong. But the guys are floundering, as Jason ponders quitting. Louross brings him downstairs, where Jason fails to recall the menu once again. He then adamantly states that he wants to quit (pulling the same Petrozza stunt of "I'm done, I'm done"--times 40). Chef is outraged, calls one Blue chef a smurf (I'm assuming Louross), but eventually manages to coax Jason back into reality.

Not like it matters though, as Jason proves his utter incompetence at the dessert station. Vanessa is providing equally disastrous results as she screws up several entrees. She feels humiliated. Ben is tanking as well, sending out several raw salmon. Bobby, the four-star general, takes action and slices up his tableside chicken into family-size portions (instead of waiting for the failed dishes in the kitchen), to serve his hungry troops. A very smart decision! Bobby has redeemed himself and pleases his patrons.

Rosann continues the downhill trend by scorching meat. Jason's desserts are failing all-around, and he admits "he has no idea what he's doing". Chef cannot take anymore, as Ben's salmon are still turning out raw in the middle. Ben insists he just has different techniques, but Chef curses, has a fit, and ends up slamming his head repeatedly down on the counter. He then blasts the chefs for their incompetence and shuts down the kitchen once again before service is completed.

Neither team won once again, but each team had a strong player. For the Red team, it was Christina. He says "Thank God, you made an effort". And for the boys, he chooses Petrozza, who "kept it together". Each Best-of-the-Worst must select one member of their team to put up for elimination. They all retreat to their dorms, but before he does, Bobby says good-bye to his patrons. Chef blasts him and tells him to get upstairs.

Christina and Petrozza ruminate over their decisions. She wishes Corey had actually screwed up tonight, while he isn't sure whom to choose. Shortly afterwards, they return downstairs and give Chef their decisions. Petrozza nominates Jason, who slacked off and held the team back. Christina, opting not to stoop down to Corey's disgraceful level, nominates Vanessa. Even though she's on her side, she mentioned how Vanessa messed up numerous entrees. The chefs make their final pleas.

Jason says he has yet to prove himself, because he's just been nervous. Vanessa, however, chooses not to make excuses, reminding Chef (and us) that she just really loves to cook. Chef says Jason moves like a tortoise giving birth and talking to Vanessa is like talking to a refrigeration unit. But in the end, he decides that Vanessa...has one more chance! And so the misogynistic, Jason is sent packing. And I'm sure everyone is breathing a sigh of relief in that room, so stay tuned for next week and see what happens. -- James De Roxtra

Posted by Rachel Cericola on April 16, 2008 10:16 PM
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I hope the girls outlast the guys. Despite the drama, they seem like more competent people. Ben and Petrozza, like you said, are the best.

-- Posted by: Kev at April 19, 2008 2:42 AM

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