When watching a cooking show, there comes a time when simple dishes get a big makeover and, to my delight, the time for Hell’s Kitchen to "Sandy" up a dish. That’s right. That’s a Grease reference. I’m hoping to add it to the lexicon. Feel free to use it in your day-to-day conversations.
After last week’s elimination, Ben laments being called up to the firing line and not knowing why. Perhaps because you mess up all the time? Vanessa, however, has bigger concerns as her burned hand requires a consultation by a plastic surgeon. Meaning she basically can’t use her right hand for anything. But the Red Team is going rally and support her as best they can.
This week’s challenge is making a low-cost dish high-end. Gordon unveils the White Truffle Pizza served in his London restaurant Maze. It costs over $200. Shayna’s reaction? "Holy ____! Two hundred dollars for a pizza? I don’t even have a two hundred dollar pair of shoes."
The chefs have over 130 ingredients to choose from and Jen is really excited about the task. Bobby, "The Black Gordon Ramsey," referred to one ingredient as "sea murchins." Oh, Bobby. For shame. As the girls decide to write down each team members pizzas and communicate, the Blue Team is not communicating a lick. Matt gets all kinds of irked about it and voices his unhappiness, which caused one of the other guys to tell him to stuff it. Ah, sweet, sweet dysfunction.
At the end of it, Gordon announces that they have 15 minutes to discuss the pizzas and pick one to present. All the Red Team pizzas sounded tasty but Jen’s gets the nod. Vanessa’s a little disappointed because she made a tasty dish despite barely being able to hold a knife.
Having come to a final decision, the Red Team works on the final touches while on the men’s team, they only have two finished pizzas out, which does not please Gordon. Ben hates Matt’s pizza. Ben tastes Louross’ pizza and says it tastes like something that can be bought at "Pizza Shack." Louross, naturally, takes umbrage to this. And before Petrozza’s could even be tasted, Bobby and Ben decided to go with Ben’s pizza. Ben’s made a lot of people angry in a very short amount of time.
It’s time for the presentation to Gordon, Red Team first. "A Little Bit of Italy & A Little Bit of France" is the name of Jen’s pizza. A heck of a long title but it sounds delicious – herb crust, prosciutto, sun-dried tomato and fried basil as a garnish. Ben’s pizza has duck comfit, fancy mushrooms, and a caramelized onion cream sauce. After tasting of each, Chef Ramsey says it’s a difficult decision.
He takes another taste and asks Ben who washed the mushrooms. He did, of course…and Gordon tells him that he’s got "some grit in there." Better known as dirt. Cooked dirt, but dirt nonetheless. Despite it being a good pizza, the dirt throws the win over to the Red Team. Jen is ecstatic, especially since it’s going on the menu the next day as the special. As a prize, they’re being whisked away via helicopter to a restaurant in Santa Barbara that serves $90 hamburgers. The only way I’d pay that much for a burger is if I got to eat it while sitting on Jensen Ackles’ lap.
Matt and Louross looked the most angry during this whole thing. Petrozza states in his confessional that "you can’t win with dirt in your food." So simple, so very true. Ben apologized to Gordon for letting him down and Gordon tells him that he let his team down. Cut to Matt making a twisted, angry Muppet face.
As the girls happily get ready, the guys must stay and prep the food for the next day. Chef Ramsey addresses them as Louross paces, a towel over his head and tears of frustration escaping his eyes. Gordon asks him what’s the matter but the Big L says he’s good, so Gordon tells them to come together as a team before leaving. The way Louross is stalking around the kitchen, he looks like a prize fighter awaiting a decision. Matt tries to rally the guys and get them to establish some level of communication, but no one’s biting and Matt gives up, again making the angry Muppet face.
While the Red Team flies with Gordon to Square One in Santa Barbara, the Blue Team finally starts talking. Louross tells Ben that the uncalled for "Pizza Shack" comment hurt and Ben turns around and calls him a bitch for having a breakdown in front of Chef. He really shouldn’t have done that. Louross corrects him and says that what he saw was frustration but Ben says that he’s been frustrated too. Blah blah blah. Ben’s going to get cut.
The Blue Team’s lunch comes and it’s a slip of a burger on a bun, no condiments. The ladies, however, are enjoying their mega-fancy burgers, complete with fancy fries. They don’t get home until after 1AM so clearly, it was a good time.
The next day, Vanessa’s having trouble operating in the kitchen and it’s really killing her so she goes to see Gordon. He tells her that she could win and that it’s up to her to figure out if she wants to quit or stay. Reluctantly, she tells him that if she can’t be there 100% then she shouldn’t be there. He says it’s a shame but if that’s how she feels, that’s how she feels and she must leave immediately. Vanessa says goodbye to her teammates, believing herself to be more of a hindrance than a help, and takes off.
But that’s not the only surprise of the day. Chef Ramsey has decided to do pizza delivery door to door with the losing men’s team as couriers. They’ll be using this cute little electric cart, which I can’t imagine is very fast.
One teammate down, the Red Team is banding together while the Blue Team is as dysfunctional as ever. The doors open up and customers come in. The women start out strong with Jen’s appetizers coming out quickly. The first home delivery comes in and Chef appoints Ben as the delivery man. Meanwhile, Matt’s first appetizers are ready but Chef sends one back because the quail eggs on it are hard like "Pamela Anderson’s [blank]ing implants." Out of frustration, Bobby starts taking control of the eggs and, to a certain extent, the kitchen. Cue more angry Muppet faces from Matt.
The appetizers went well for the Red Team but they fell apart at the first main dish, delivering a Beef Wellington with entirely too rare beef. And as Ben gets a bit lost with his first delivery but finally succeeds, Rosann’s vegetable side dishes are late and taste less than good causing Gordon to have a meltdown.
With Rosann’s mistakes stalling the Red Kitchen, Gordon calls Jen over to help and she gets the team back on track. Over in the Blue Kitchen, all their appetizers have been served but no main dishes. Louross’ steaks have been overcooked and they have no replacements ready to go. To remedy this, Petrozza cuts paper-thin slices off them to reveal their nice, medium rare centers. Finally getting approval, the dish goes out much to their relief.
Over at the Red Team, Christina’s starting her desserts. Unfortunately, the first four souffles she was readying were burnt putting her behind. She calls for someone to help her but everyone else is otherwise occupied, including Jen who’s supposed to be on desserts as well. Gordon calls Corey over to help her, which she begrudgingly does. She wants Christina to sabotage herself but what Chef says goes. It took two and a half hours but the men’s team has finally pulled it together and miraculously, both kitchens completed their services.
Gordon, being pleased at the results, has declared that there is no losing teams. Each must nominate a person to send to the chopping block. All the girls agree on Rosann, who also nominates herself based on that night’s service. Bobby wants to put Matt up for elimination and Petrozza agrees, but Ben wants Louross gone. When Matt comes in the room, they all swing their votes to Louross, who comes in later and man’s up, nominating himself and admitting to messing up.
But all is not rosy on the Red Team. After a few moments to think about it, Jen, Corey and Rosann decide to vote for Christina. To their credit, they all go and tell her. They ask Shayna if she agrees and she does. Christina is not happy.
The teams tell Gordon their decisions and he’s surprised to hear that Christina is up for elimination. I thought he’d call Rosann down instead but he didn’t. Louross said Matt and Christina chose Rosann as the weakest members of their teams when asked. After a moment of deliberation, Chef announces that…the weakest chef has already gone home. Thanks to Vanessa’s voluntary departure, Gordon’s not eliminating anyone as a gift for completing their services that night.
That’s right. All that backstabbing was for nothing. And the girls know it. Chef warns them that this is a one time gift and they better appreciate it. In her confessional, Christina realizes that there may not be people who are as much about "the team" as she thought and vows to take them out one by one. *Cue ominous music*
Next Week: The kitchen opens for a Sweet 16 party and both teams manage to fall apart. But will the food be worse than the band they hired? Worst party ever.
Should there have been a elimation tonight? Are you surprised the girls changed gears and nominated Christina? It’s interesting how the frontrunners change from week to week – Jen seems to be gathering gold stars quickly. And how long until Ben gets backhanded by Louross?