Official Summary: Hell’s Kitchen 4,
"Don't Pay The Pizza Man"
Ugh. Where am I? What day is it? What happened last night? Last thing I remember I was watching AI with the lads and doing a Jell-O shot each time Paula said something drunken/stupid. Judging by the splitting headache I have, she must have been in fine form last night. WTF? Why are there tattoos all over my body? Now I may have been a wee bit drunk but I know I didn’t go to a tattoo parlor last night. Perhaps the lads were taking the mickey out on me. Except they aren’t tattoos are they? They are almost illegible scratches in what appears to be my handwriting. And none of them make any sense: “3-Way?” “Dirty?” “Sweet Sixteen?” Man, what did I get myself into? *Looks down* (Thank dog, there will be no “Welcome to Jamaica jokes” today.) Oh man, it’s starting to come back to me. I am the next summary writer for Hell’s Kitchen. And the notes on my body are abbreviated summary notes. Well, judging by these chicken scratches this could get quite interesting! Please, please, please, let me have set the DVR so that I have a reference point. As usual, Mr. Techno-challenged forgot last week but thankfully, I was up to speed with HK thanks to an amazing summary by our very own Silvergirl: Silvergirl's summary where I discovered that the women won a pasta making challenge; Craig grew a set and then promptly had them removed; and in tribute to the show that began it all, one of our contestants got hurt. Well, with that, we should all be up to speed, and on that note, and as bad as I feel, I better get moving or there will surely be a wolf at my door IYKWIM.
You know? I love the new opening of the show – a giant Gordon Ramsay looking down on the (miniature) minions of Hell’s Kitchen. So Gulliveresque don’t you agree? It’s also a good way of remembering some of the characters that have been sent home, so to speak. Hey Dominic! Whadup Jason you misogynistic pig you? How you doin’ Sharon? Petrozza, my man! What? Oh yeah – he’s still with us isn’t he?
Anyway….when the credits are over we see both teams returning to their respective dorms after the Ramsay boot of Craig. The men are lamenting how brutal the night was, with Ben leading the whine-fest with his non-comprehension as to why he was put up for elimination. Um Ben? If I recall, Chef stated that there was “one more obvious choice for elimination”, and you stepped right up no? Vanessa tells our gang that she will have to see a plastic surgeon for the burn she received and then hopes that she will be able to continue. It’s not looking good for our Vanessa as we awake to a new day. All the other chefs are readying themselves for the onslaught of HK while we are shown Vanessa getting bandaged and complaining that she can’t really do anything as a result. To be fair to Vanessa, burns hurt like a sumbitch, and you have to keep them very dry and very clean or risk serious infection and possible amputation, something that will be next to impossible to do in the rigors of a kitchen. Keeping the burn site clean I mean, not the infection/amputation part. She does, however tell Chef that she is fine when he inquires.
Chef begins the build up for today’s challenge. He states that a great chef can take something ordinary, (a grilled cheese, a burger, or a pizza), turn it into something extraordinary, and charge an extraordinary price as well. To wit, he unveils a white truffle and onion pizza (blech), that he serves in one of his restaurants and that costs over $200! “Holy *bleep*” says Shayna, in a sidebar, “$200 for a pizza? I don’t even have a $200 pair of shoes ”. Really Shayna? Quell surprise on that one….not. So, today’s challenge is that each team will present their very own version of their own fine dining pizza. The chefs have over 130 ingredients from which to make their pizzas and 45 minutes to create something extraordinary: “Colby beef (what?), produce, zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, clams, oysters, and “sea….sea…..sea merchins”. That last one courtesy of our “Executive Chef: Bobby”. Who, by the way, introduced us to that “Colby Beef” earlier. Yep, thanks for coming out Bobby. In any event, each person creates a pizza and then the team will decide which one will be presented for judging to Chef Ramsay.
The next few minutes is designed to illustrate just how Venus and Mars these teams work together. We are shown the women’s team talking to each other, consulting, helpfully questioning while all the while we have pleasant background music playing. Over on the men’s side, no one seems to be speaking to each other, Matt (The “ding-a-ling” according to my man Petrozza”), is ranting, and the music is ominous and ever so foreboding.
All of the women have completed their pizzas and now have 15 minutes to debate which one they send up for review. Christina has prepared a “3-Way” Oyster with “mumble-mumble and chives”. (Damn, I was hoping that the “3-Way” reference would be a little less PG13. No worries, we still have “Dirty” and “Sweet Sixteen”). Shayna has prepared a “Jalapeño cilantro with marinated grilled shrimp” (my vote already), while Vanessa went with the “Heirloom Tomato” with tenderloin, caramelized onions and mozzarella, and Jen has presented a herb crust with prosciutto and a drizzled balsamic glaze. They all look pretty decent but I would have to smoke a lot of the wacky tobaccy to plop down $200 for any of them. And I mean it when I say it would have to be a lot. The girls pretty much unanimously agree that Jen’s represents, and that Chef will appreciate the simplicity of her creation. To emphasize how important simple is, they immediately get to work to pimp out the pizza and turn it into a “super gourmet” result. Meanwhile, only two of the men have completed a pizza. Matt, ever the sailor, starts us with a “regatta
grou…grun nouni (huh?), buffalo mozzarella with a green salsa verde. Yep, I swear that’s what he said. (And speaking of alka seltzer, might be a good time to down another one…ouch.) Matt clearly likes his creation, opining it “f***ing phenomenal, while Ben pronounces it “nasty”. Bobby presents a “Classic American Surf and Turf” pizza, made up of Kobe beef and shrimp and topped with gorgonzola blue cheese. The kind that you can get $100 for in a restaurant and it would fly out the door. What, no “Colby Beef” or “Sea....sea....sea merchins” Bobby? According to Ben, Louross’ creation tastes like something you could find at “Pizza Shack”, while he presents a “Duck Confit” creation with chanterelle and white mushrooms and duck l’orange”. Bobby suggests that this is the one they should send for judging, without even seeing Petrozza’s creation.
Our Pizza Presentation.
Jen reveals her creation, now named “A little bit of Italy with a little bit of France”. (That reminded me of a girl I once dated but I digress). Ben presents his pizza which sounds so amazing to Jen she mutters “damn” under her breath. Unlike Paula, Chef will actually try both pizzas before making the pronouncement that the winning team is………. “Who washed the mushrooms?” he asks. (Oh crap, there goes the “Dirty” annotation. Thankfully we can still look forward to “Sweet Sixteen”). With that, Girls win, men sulk. I feel like we have seen that before no? As a reward for their teamwork, the girls will be headed to Santa Barbara and the home of the $90 hamburger. Men’s punishment is prepping the pizzas that will be on tomorrow night’s menu.
While the girls get ready for their reward, we are shown Chef Ramsay giving the boys a pep talk. He tells them that they need to bond, that they have talent, just not teamwork. This was either (a) inspirational or (b) a low blow for Louross who upon hearing Chef’s words, begins to cry. Ben, taking a page directly from Tom Hanks, infers that “there is no crying in Hell’s Kitchen” and calls him a whiney-assed, little punk bvtch”. Harsh Ben. Really harsh. Matt is then shown pulling a Mr. Myagi – stating that Chef Ramsay has given then “giant pearls of wisdom, that came out of a Japanese Oyster”, and that “if you don’t follow his advice, there is something mentally wrong with ya.” This Zen moment has clearly affected Matt as he is shown kvetching at the others. Funnily enough, the remaining men’s oysters must have been fresh farmed or something as they are clearly not as inspired as Matt.
As we move closer to our next commercial break we are shown Scott (you know, the kitchen-aide guy), delivering lunch to the men - $.59 cent hamburgers with nothing much on them, contrasted with the $90 Kobe beef burgers being served with black truffle frites that the women are enjoying. Call me a rube if you like, but I can’t see the latter being 200 times better than the former – but that’s just me. Hours later (1:20am according to the subtitle), the women arrive back at the dorms. At this point I actually wonder what kind of wine you serve with a $90 burger and black truffle frites, but clearly a copious amount has been consumed judging by some of our gals.
A New Day:
“It’s a New Day” in Hell’s Kitchen, according to the voice-over, giving us all a sense of false hope that things will go better for our wanna bees. I know as well as you know, this is just a set-up for our viewing audience. We know disaster looms otherwise we wouldn’t be watching this would we? And so it begins for one of our players…..I
Vanessa wonder Vanessa who Vanessa it Vanessa might Vanessa be? In any event, we are shown Vanessa (!!!!) having trouble with the prep, to the point where she decides she better speak to Chef. Chef pretends he is busy doing paperwork and that he is actually surprised to see Vanessa. Upon hearing her say that she is frustrated that she cannot cook to her standards (guffaw!), Chef actually tells her that injured or not, she could still win this whole thing but that ultimately, the choice to continue is hers. I swear that I was looking for Alan Funt to jump in at that pronouncement! The next few moments are taken up by Vanessa adamantly telling us that “she is not a quitter” and that she is “not weak” and then, after the commercials, she promptly Ostends/Cathys/Chets quits! Chef wishes her luck as she leaves to say her goodbyes which is only interesting in how uninterested her teammates seem to be with the news. The only person who actually registered any surprise was Mary-Ann or Carol Ann or something. I refer of course to the female version of Scott, the Kitchen-Aide who was played by a different actor the last couple of seasons and who mysteriously morphed into someone completely different person this season. Strange how we immediately recognized Aaron a few weeks ago and yet it has taken yours truly this long to realize they have pulled a “Darren” on us with this one.
“Jean-Philippe. Open Hell’s Kitchen”.
Prior to tonight’s service, Chef announces that “For The First Time Ever” in Hell’s Kitchen, they will be offering delivery pizza in what appears to be the three wheeler Inspector Clouseau used to drive in those Pink Panther movies. According to Julia, I mean Jen, (is anyone else mixing those two up?), pizza delivery will seriously complicate dinner service as they will have to deliver all over LA. What? You mean to say that they will deliver anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area? That’s an area larger that some countries by the way, but no one else seems to pick up on that horrific thought, so maybe the comment was just for dramatic effect or something. As if Hell’s Kitchen needs any scripted drama!
Yay – here we go! Things are getting fast and furious now. Chef places the first order with the gals, and Jen is on appetizers where she proclaims that “She will blow Chef. Out of the water with her appetizers.” And she appears to do just that, sending out the first apps in record time. Meanwhile, Matt begins the night for our lads by screwing up the quail eggs for the appetizers. In fact he is so bad with the eggs that our “four-star general”, Bobby takes over and by 6:22pm, at least two of the men’s tables have their appetizers. Just what time do they normally eat out there on the left coast anyway? Meanwhile, women have completed their appetizers and are now starting to send entrees. A great sign right? Except that the Beef Wellington is severely undercooked and that throws the women into a state of utter chaos. Chef loses it, for what will likely be the first of many an occasion and our gals are looking around like they want their mamas. Cut to Ben delivering pizzas as fast at that “little go-cart” will take him and to his credit, even though he has never been to LA, he arrives at a house whose residents seem to think in entirely normal that the pizza delivery guy shows up with an entire camera crew. Those wacky Angelos! Back to the gals – things seem to be back on track as the Lamb Wellingtons (my mistake earlier, I assumed it was beef), look delicious and all we need now is the mashed potatoes and carrots. Simple right? Well, you would be wrong. While Rosann will be considered to staff Gordon’s newest restaurant in America if she wins this thing, he better give her some pointers first on how to prep potatoes and carrots. Good grief. Jen to the rescue however and the red team is now back on track. The same simply cannot be said of the blues though as Louross implodes on the meat. That sounded much worse than it actually was. Scott jumps in, yells a lot and Louross looks to be in trouble. Except that Petrozza mans up and slices off the burned outside to reveal a perfectly cooked (albeit thinner), steak for the pass. Unbelievably, this gets by the eagle-eye of Scott and is sent out to the customers. ¾ of HK’s customers have now received their entrées and we are now looking at desserts. Oh oh, Christina 15 minutes behind and is pleading for help. Corey reluctantly agrees to assist as Jen basically tells us she would rather see Christina sink than swim. Desserts now leaving the kitchen. 2 and ½ hours later – men are now serving desserts. Could it be? I think maybe? Last ticket out…..another first at HK – a compete service! This seems to be a night of “firsts”. First Pizza delivery….first complete dinner service. Any more “firsts” and I just might have to do…well, do something. And it will be really, really dramatic. Yes it will.
So, if my calculations are correct and we started the ball rolling at 6:22am – it is now approximately 9:30pm in Hell’s Kitchen. Time for my favorite part of the show – the main (if one of the only) reason I look forward to HK each week – its time to start kicking people under the bus! Who will go home tonite? Fasten those seatbelts folks, as (according to last week’s previews) we could be in for a shocker!
Wannabee’s looking quite chuffed as Chef congratulates them on a not great, but complete table service. He does note that there was one person who stood out, and that person is Louross. Poor Louross. He actually starts to take a step forward to be congratulated before Chef states that the reason he stood out was that he was crap. Rosann also gets a mention for her bang up job on the, well, banged up vegetables. Tonite? No losing team. Each team will go back to the dorm and nominate someone for elimination.
Under the Bus:
Men debating who to nominate. Bobby and Petrozza want to send up Matt while Ben argues that they should send up Louross. Over to the women and Rosann tells the others that “If youse want me to go tonite, I’m not gonna fightchoose on it”. Rough Brooklynese/English translation: She will understand if the others nominate her and will not protest too much. All the gals agree it should be Rosann. Back to the boys. Louross adopts the crucifix pose and says that if anyone deserves to go tonite, it should be him. Back to the gals (dizzy yet?). Jen is now saying that she wishes they nominated Christina. Rosann immediately jumps on that bandwagon and all of a sudden, the knives are out for Christina who is understandably pissed at the recent turn of events.
Back in the restaurant Ben tells Chef that Louross has been nominated based on his weak culinary skills. Christina tells Chef she has been nominated, much to the surprise of Chef. “As the weakest chef”? he asks disbelievingly? Chef asked for more reasons from Jen who mumbles something about having to be strong blah blah blah blah. Chef asks if Jen is threatened by Christina’s intelligence and Jen responds with a “Right hand to the Lord, I am not intimidated by anyone and I control my own destiny” Chef clearly doesn’t like that answer. Louross and Christina step forward and begin their explanation on why they should be staying in Hell’s Kitchen. My money is that Chef throws Louross under the bus. I mean, he might have had half a chance against Rosann, but his goose is cooked against Christine. Seriously – bet the house that it is Louross going tonite.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for our Decision:
“The one person leaving Hell’s Kitchen tonite is”………….wait for it….. almost there……so exciting……need to pee…………is………”has already left the building. Vanessa.” You have got to be f*** shvtting me!. His gift for a complete dinner service. What the f-ever. Last year I thought I was getting a double elimination and was left disappointed. This year I was looking at the “first” trifecta and this is the outcome? I am going back to bed.
Next time on Hell’s Kitchen:
Deception…..betrayal…..a less than sweet “Sweet Sixteen” party (oh....nevermind). And in a “First” for Hell’s Kitchen, a new chef will be joining us. Most importantly, our Tummy will be along to tell us all about it.