This week… in Hell’s Kitchen:
I’m not even introducing a new Circle, because ONE EPISODE.
This episode’s Challenge features another Vegas staple: the craps table. However, this particular table has a blank felt on it, and comes with one many-faceted die with lots of letters. It is the Crap Table Challenge, where the contestants roll the die, think of some foodstuff that begins with the letter that is showing, then each team gets together and makes a dish out of all the crap they came up with: hence the name. This is always good for a few yuks, as (1) contestants roll the dice, and experience a form of temporary amnesia, and (b) their team mates make fun of them for doing so, then proceed to experience an even worse case when it’s their turn. So, what do our teams have to work with?
For the Blue Team, the Fates served up:
- Clemenza – rolls “H” – heirloom tomatoes.
- Justin – rolls “D” – daikon
- Robin – rolls “D” – dragon fruit (because if it walks like a dragon fruit, and it quacks like a dragon fruit…)
- Brian – rolls “E” – edamame (after experiencing a severe case of “empty braincase”.)
- Royce – rolls “C” – chicken (much to Chef’s relief, as he wasn’t planning on opening a vegetarian restaurant.)
The Red Team ended up with:
- Tiffany – rolls “C” – chicory
- Barbie – rolls “L” – lamb
- Kimmie – rolls “T” – turnips
- Dana – rolls “B” – Brussels sprouts
- Christine – rolls “T” – truffles.
All in all, I would say the Red Team has the advantage. Because SENSIBLE INGREDIENTS. Also, because they were able to agree on the dish they were able to produce, while the Blue Team started cooking without either a plan, or even much of an idea as to what they were going to produce in the way of a dish. The Blue Team finally had a breakthrough, when someone noticed that the dragon fruit looked sort of like a sushi roll. Meanwhile, Barbie starts
interfering with taking an interest in all the components her team is working on, much to the annoyance of Dana.
After the cooking is done, the teams present their dishes. The Red Team’s lamb and “crispy” Brussels sprouts is OK: the lamb is perfectly cooked, but the Brussels sprouts are deemed “too crunchy”. The Blue Team’s chicken roulade with edamame puree and daikon/dragon fruit sushi roll also passes Chef’s test: while the chicken is dry and over-cooked, the sushi roll is considered “clever”, and the edamame puree is “perfect”. However, there can only be one W given, and the honor goes to the Blue Team, because CRUNCHY BRUSSELS SPROUTS.
The Blue Team earns their Reward: a night in a high-roller suite in the same Vegas hotel where Chef Ramsay is opening his new steakhouse, complete with alcohol, and women, and sushi, and women, and night life, and women. Because SEXIST MALE PIGS.
The Red Team also has a long night: their Punishment consists of having to babysit a pig on the grill, responding to the loud buzzer which goes off every hour to remind them (a) it is time to check, and baste, and turn the pig again, and (2) the Blue Team is in Vegas – and they are not.
The next day, both teams complete Prep: the long night seems to have actually done the Red Team some good, as there is a lot less cattiness and a lot more communication. Meanwhile, Robyn learns from her new team mates that (1) the Blue Team does things differently than the Red Team, and (b) the Blue Team does not have vajayjays (except for Robyn. Because BIOLOGY.)
Just before giving James the order, Chef tells everyone that the Chef’s Tables will be in use this evening: the Blue Team will serve Lee DeWyze and Haley Reinhart from American Idol, because CONTRACTUALLY-OBLIGATED APPEARANCE; and the Red Team will serve soccer great David Beckham, because EYE CANDY.
Both teams get off to a rocky start, as they experience problems with the flatbread pizzas. It would seem that the use of pizza ovens isn’t in their repertoire. In addition, Clemenza sends up some ”sub-optimal” scallops, driving the species further toward the brink of extinction. Finally, Robyn takes over the pizza station for the Blue Team, and proves her worth with her communication skills and take-charge attitude: and the Red Team gets control of their appetizers, and sends them out with a speed and efficiency that earns them praise from Chef.
Then, it is on to entrees. Chef’s gaze (and ire) is turned on Royce, because
Also, because he seems to have forgotten that when he is asked “How long?” at different stages while cooking a dish, each answer should be a lesser amount of time than the one(s) preceding. This prompts Chef to call the men into the cooler for
an ***-chewing a serious coaching session, leaving Robyn to run the Blue kitchen by herself. Which Lee and Haley seem to find highly amusing. Because HUNGER.
With one minor hiccup where Tiffany substitutes cod for sea bass, the Red Team performs flawlessly, getting their entrees out and earning a nod of approval from David Beckham. The Blue Team, OTOH, continues to stumble upon their return, as both Royce (on meat) and Clemenza (on fish) send up more “sub-optimal” dishes. As they have yet to get an entree out, Mt. Ramsay erupts, using words like ****, ****, and especially ********. VIPs Lee and Haley, as well as the other diners, find this hilariously funny, because STARVATION. Chef, however, is not amused: leaving Dana to finish up desserts, he re-directs the Red Team into the Blue kitchen, where they take charge and school the Blue Team on how a Service should be run. This does not totally sit well with the Blue Team, and there is some friction: but an all-out mutiny is avoided, because ANGRY CHEF IN DA HOUSE.
Once all the guests have been served, Chef calls the Red Team aside, congratulating them on their Best. Service. EVAH. He then tells the Blue Team that they all blew it this Service – except for Robyn. Because VAJAYJAY. And with that, the Blue Team is sent up to the dorm to come up with two nominees for
Arguers argue, accusers accuse, and in the end the decision is up to Robyn the newbie and lone female member, because INDECISIVE MEN ARE INDECISIVE.
The two nominees are: Royce, because WELLINGTONS and TIME MANAGEMENT; and Clemenza, because SCALLOPS. Which should have actually been expanded to include because OVERCOOKED FISH and because SLOB. Both men
beg for their lives explain why they should be the one to remain, and in the end Chef demands… that both of them remove their jackets! Royce, because 86. Clemenza, because SLOB. As Royce heads back to the dorm to pack his bags, Chef tosses a new jacket to Clemenza, because ONE MORE CHANCE.
Next week: it’s a Chicken Wing Eating Contest! Also, Everybody is Surprised! Because SHOCKING TWIST, next week… in Hell’s Kitchen.
Hell’s Kitchen airs at 7PM Central Time on Mondays and Tuesday, on FOX. Except for this past week, because BASEBALL.