“I didn’t even know Jessica was that emotional,” comments Melanie off of the previous elimination. Neither did I! Faced with elimination, Jessica sobs to Chef Ramsay that she used to be homeless. While sad, I don’t understand what that has to do with Hell’s Kitchen. “I was too,” comments Joy, “Chef don’t know that; he don’t need to know that.” I think she’s 100% right about that. This is a competition about cooking.
On to the challenge! Chef Ramsay is testing their ability to adapt. Four domes are placed in front of each team. Under each dome, there are 6 different ingredients: one for each chef on the team. When the domes light up, it’s a free-for-all to grab a protein, then a starch, then a veggie, and finally a wild card ingredient.
Michelin Star Chef Michael Cimarusti comes to judge with the option to give either one or both teams a point, as the dishes face off with each other based on protein.
- In the battle of the New York Strips, Ralph’s with couscous, pistachio, and beets goes up against Kashia’s, which is paired with potatoes, turnips, white cheddar & scallions. Red wins the point.
- Rochelle’s lobster & polenta faces off with Richard’s lobster, chorizo, and creme sauce over pasta. Red again wins the point.
- Jason’s Spanish-infused sea bass battles Joy’s, paired with tangerine and bok choy. Blue wins the point here.
- Gabriel’s coriander-crusted chicken and Melanie’s chicken with glazed parsnips both impress. Both teams pick up a point.
- Here’s where things get weird: battle ahi tuna. Apparently, Jessica thought she was cooking swordfish. Let alone the fact that one of these fish is white and the other is pink, don’t chefs cook with all of their senses? You don’t have to see anything to know the difference between tuna and swordfish. These are very different fish, and gives me pause about Jessica… as if her team needed any more reason to doubt her! Her pepper-crusted baked tuna with roasted beets falls easily to Anton’s seared over pasta with red wine and tangerine sauce. Point, blue.
- Scott’s pan-roasted duck with potatoes faces Sandra’s with sausage and egg noodles, and red wins the final point to win the whole thing!
As a reward, Red enjoys lunch on the beach and a volleyball game with Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Walsh.
Later in the day, Chef Ramsay conducts “evaluations” (think: performance reviews at work) with all the contestants. In each of these one-on-one meetings, he asks who the weakest member of their team is.
There is no dinner service in this episode, but what happens instead is super interesting! Chef Ramsay takes the lowest ranked chef (as ranked by their peers) on each team, and makes them battle. They are each to make risotto, scallops, and halibut from the dinner menu. The best dishes mean the contestant stays for service; the worst mean immediate elimination. Blue ranked Richard as their weakest chef, while Red ranked Jessica as such.
Both Jessica and Richard have mistakes, and just as Chef Ramsay is about to announce the winner… “to be continued.” I loved this elimination challenge! Oh, but a cliffhanger… guess we’ll have to see who goes home tonight!
I’m actually thinking it’s going to be Richard. Who do you think won’t make it to service?