Hell’s Kitchen: Gordon Ramsay is on fire

Fox’s Hell’s Kitchen, “12 Chefs Compete,” aired earlier this week and boy was it intense!

This week was inspired by Greek cuisine (one of my favorites). The episode began with the infamous and loud-mouthed Chef, Gordon Ramsay, pulling Josh aside to give him advice on how to better his chances at becoming the next Executive Chef at one of Gordon Ramsay’s esteemed restaurants. Chef informed Josh that he needs to be more humble in the kitchen and ditch his pride. Josh left the meeting with Chef Ramsay, excited and energized to get back into the competition. I have actually had the chance to spend some time with Chef Ramsay and his advice and knowledge of the “Restaurant World” is astounding. I can surely relate to how Josh must have been feeling in this moment. Along with the personal encounter, I have read a number of his books about his life and I am also the proud owner of a couple of his cookbooks. I feel like Chef Ramsay gets a bad-rap for his swearing and how he talks to his brigade, but in all actuality, Gordon Ramsay is a genuine, sincere, and passionate man who lives to change the culinary landscape. Most of the intensity on Hell’s Kitchen is just to draw in some of the viewers who love those good ol’ “Drama” shows.

Following the meeting, another challenge was placed on the table (no pun intended). In Hell’s Kitchen, there are two teams. The red team (the women) has been the stronger team for the majority of the competition. The other team, the blue team, contains the men who have struggled to win many challenges. During this challenge, each team had to cook a Greek dish with ingredients they randomly selected. Each dish was then judged by Chef Ramsay and guest Chef Michael Psilakis (Foodies go ahhhhh, most people go…..). Most of the dishes received high scores and accolades; however, Josh brought up a lamb dish that was practically still cooking. The plate was filled with blood and both chefs did not even attempt to try the dish. This is a rookie mistake for any chef. Meat is never to be sliced when it comes straight out of the pan. The lamb needed to rest for at least five to ten minutes to allow the juices to go back into the meat. When I saw Josh slicing the meat, I was practically yelling at the television for him to stop and wait. Even with the poor dish presented by Josh, the men were able to squeak out a better overall score than the women. Chef Ramsay always knows how to treat the winners and punish the losers of his grueling challenges. The blue team received the highest cumulative score and won a getaway from the kitchen to go go-karting. Usually the getaway is something a little nicer such as wine tasting, boating, or a great meal; but hey, any time out of the kitchen is a sure blessing for these men. The red team had to remain in Hell’s Kitchen and clean up the mess from the challenge as well as prepare all of the food for both teams for the upcoming dinner service that evening. Prep in a kitchen is the worst. Hours and hours of dicing carrots, onions, celery, preparing stocks,  and sauces. All of this of course while being short on sleep and working with extremely sharp knives. The blue team comes back from their getaway feeling confident and ready to have a better dinner service than the red team, while the red team is knee deep in prep. I wonder who will win the service tonight…

Dinner service starts and both teams are sending up acceptable apps and things seem to be flowing well. But, as always this show would not be called Hell’s Kitchen, if things did not go south. Everything Chef Ramsay told Josh went out the window and Josh repeatedly sent up raw meat even though he was aware of the error. Every time I saw Josh bring his meat to the pass, I knew that Chef Ramsay would not accept it. Chef Ramsay’s temper began to flare as this mistake kept happening and happening, while Josh was too proud to ask anyone for help. Even with the minor setback from Josh, the blue team was able to regroup and win the dinner service. The red team struggled severely during dinner service. Christine could not handle the simple task of running the garnish station nor could Sarah handle the meat station. Raw meat was sent to Chef Ramsay multiple times and the red team fell apart soon after. Chef Ramsay could not handle the red team anymore and kicks the entire team out of the kitchen in the middle of service. Usually one of the teams gets kicked out mid service. I have had my fair share of good and bad dinner services and I could definitely relate to the humility felt by the red team. The blue team had finished a successful dinner service and then proceeded to take over the red team’s kitchen to get out the final tickets to the hungry guests. Chef Ramsay demanded that the red team elect two people who should be up for elimination.

Queue the steaming pots of water in the background and the intense interrogation music. Sarah is nominated for elimination due to her lack of skills in the kitchen as well as her performance on meat station. Christine is also nominated for struggling with the garnish station. Chef Ramsay allows both women to plead their case as to why they should stay in Hell’s Kitchen but in the end, Chef Ramsay sent Sarah home once and for all. Sarah needed to go home this week and hopefully the red team will be able to come together and grow in strength without the dead weight Sarah provided. Personally I would say that Meghan Gill is the front-runner in the competition. She is an executive chef who knows the industry in and out. She is strong and passionate and I could see her as a good fit as the next Executive Chef for Gordon Ramsay. There is something about her that screams “leader” and it will be interesting to see how it all play out.

Who do you think has what it takes to become the next Executive Chef? I would put my money on Meghan!

Erik Feld