Fourth Circle (Greed):
“… I saw multitudes
to every side of me; their howls were loud
while, wheeling weights, they used their chests to push.
They struck against each other; at that point,
each turned around and, wheeling back those weights,
cried out: Why do you hoard? Why do you squander?’ ”
(Inferno, Canto VII, lines 25–30, Mandelbaum translation.)
This week… in Hell’s Kitchen:
To start off, let’s have a Tweet-cap for Monday’s episode!
And now, on to Tuesday:
Clemenza “celebrates” his near-miss by laying awake in bed all night. Strangely, he isn’t sleep-walking when everyone repairs to the kitchen the next morning, where they learn the word of the day theme of their next Challenge, which is: Adaptability. Four domes: one will be lifted at the start, then others will be lifted at 5-minute intervals. The contestants will then divvy up the ingredients revealed, and incorporate those in their dishes. It would seem that not only adaptability, but also teamwork, are being tested here. That, or the ability to
screw over back-stab sabotage your team-mates. Which certainly appears to be the case on the Red Team, as the raising of each domes produces a reaction similar to opening the doors of a Wal-Mart on Black Friday.
fighting cooking is done, the dishes are judged, heads-up (based on the protein used), by three Michelin-starred chefs: Anita Lo, Michael Cimarusti, and Douglas Keane. They will taste each dish, and rate them with from one to three stars. The team with the most stars, wins: the other team, will regret the day they were birthed signed up for this show.
Round one (monkfish): Each contestant gets six stars.
Round two(hen): Each contestant gets five stars for round 2, leaving the teams tied at 11.
Round three (turkey): both contestants bomb, making for battle between overly-dry and under-spiced. Three stars (the minimum allowed) are awarded for each dish, and the teams are still tied (at 14).
Round four (veal chop): both Dana and Brian earn six stars, and the teams are now tied at 20.
Round five (pork): DISASTER for the Red Team! Robyn admits she hates beets, and is rewarded with a measly three stars, while Patrick earns six stars, bringing the Blue Team up by three.
Round six (lobster): Royce serves up poached lobster with saffron and thyme. And an extra ingredient: a 12-inch long HAIR! The additional protein earns him a paltry three stars. It is now up to Christina’s steamed lobster tail with heirloom tomatoes. Chef Kean: two stars. Chef Cimarusti: two stars. Chef Low fishes around under the table, finally pulling up her card: Three. Stars.
THREE STARS! RED TEAM WINS! RED TEAM WINS! RED TEAM WINS!!!!!
The women get a day at the spa, while the men (and Roshni) get to Prep both kitchens, after cleaning the dorms. Especially the bathrooms. The Red Team takes the opportunity to
make us sick to our stomaches tell us what a pigsty the dorms are, relishing in the graphic description of the condition of the bathroom (really, ladies? It smells like URINE? Sounds like maybe someone needed to take some initiative and also take some cleaner and a mop to the place?) until finally I think even Chef has had enough, and sends the women upstairs to get dressed. They leave, and spend their spa day continuing the pettiness and catty in-fighting, and also talking a lot about leaving bodily fluids in the bath water. So much talk about bodily fluids. For some reason, I find myself losing my appetite.
Meanwhile, the Blue Team endures their punishment: cleaning the dorm, followed by doing Prep on their own, all the while suffering the real punishment: having to listen to Clemenza’s incessant whining. Also, his comments about how he would prefer to be the one getting a pedicure…
(Excuse me. I must go projectile vomit. Right now.)
OK, I’m back. With an image in my brain I can never un-imagine. Minus any desire to ever eat again.
The women get back, change into their jackets, and proceed to finish up Prep, and continue the epic battle of Robyn vs. Barbie. We also find out that Christina’s lobster dish will be featured on tonight’s menu.
Prior to Service, Chef has one more surprise for the contestants: two special VIP guests for the Chef’s Tables. Red Kitchen gets Sugar Ray Leonard, while Blue Kitchen gets Tito Ortiz. Robyn and Justin are tasked with
kissing up to taking care of their special guests.
I guess that Chef is tiring of the amateurish bouts taking place, and brought these two in to give the contestants some pointers.
“James… Open Hell’s Kitchen!”
And, so it begins. Clemenza stalls the Blue Kitchen with crappy appetizers, then both kitchens are stalled when the risottos come out all wrong. Robyn gets all Chatty Kathy with Sugar Ray Leonard and his party, while Justin tries to impress Tito Ortiz with his “moves”. Tito chuckles, though politely. Tiffany gives a demonstration of kitchen hygiene by touching a utensil to her mouth, then sticking it back in the beef.
But all these pale, next to what the Blue Team does during entrees. First, Patrick serves up some STONE COLD LOBSTER. Then, Roshni sends up UNDERCOOKED Wellingtons. And then, the coup de grâce is delivered to the Blue Team’s chances for victory, when Patrick brings up a second serving of STONE COLD LOBSTER. COLD, COLD, COLD!!!
Chef: “Get out. Get. Out. GET THE **** OUT! You, GET OUT! And YOU – GET OUT! Everybody, GET OUT!!!!!”
The entire Blue Team is BANHAMMERED. Right in front of their VIP guests.
After finishing their own Service, the Red Team is called into the Blue Kitchen, where they finish off that Service, as well.
After Service, the Blue Team is called down by Sous Chef Scott, only to be met by Chef and told they will NOT be re-entering the Kitchen this night. They are then told to go back to the dorm, and select two sacrificial offerings. Which they manage to screw up, offering Clemenza and Brian! After hearing their pitiful excuse for a reason (“they were on apps, and the first app set the tone for the evening”), Chef tells them it was NOT the appetizers that sank their Service, then calls up the two he wanted to see nominated: Patrick, and Roshni. After listening to their pitiful whining, he makes his choice, and sends Roshni to make the Walk of the 86′d. Minus her jacket. She holds her head up high, convinced that she was just not given enough time to show what she could do. Interestingly enough, her former team-mates on the Red Team gave her a show of support, applauding her as she left Hell’s Kitchen for the last time.
(Epilog: I thought I had seen Roshni somewhere, and this weekend I found out where. During an episode of Chopped (a rerun from Season 2), who should be not only one of the contestants, but the eventual winner, but… you guessed it, our very own Roshni!)
Next up: it’s Steak Night! Not surprising, since Chef is opening a steak house in Vegas. And then, it is Family Night! Will Chef treat the kiddoes to a full-on eruption, or will he limit his vocabulary to words like “hecky-darn”, “your palate is like a camel’s tushy”, and especially “this Serviceis a cluster of firetrucks”? To find out, you must tune in, next week… in Hell’s Kitchen.
Hell’s Kitchen airs at 7PM Central Time on Mondays and Tuesday, on FOX.