April 01, 2008 07:46 PM by Lisa Stauber
Hell’s Kitchen premiered its fourth season tonight, and we were treated to a fable-like overview of seasons past. “We are reawakening the beast and the Dark Lord reigns again!” The narrator intones. Over the top? Sure. But that’s why we love Gordon Ramsay so much, isn’t it?
The first thing he does is put on a disguise and hop into the van with the other contestants, so he can eavesdrop. They are full of bravado, and Bobby Anderson even claims he is the Black Gordon Ramsay. When they arrive at the restaurant, Maitre d’ Jean-Philippe Susilovic does his best Ramsay impersonation, and then invites the others to mock him, too. I’m sure they all regretted that when Ramsay pulled the latex from his face and revealed he had heard every word!
Everyone is given 45 minutes to cook their signature dish. Some are bad. Ramsay actually throws up after trying Matt Sigel’s “Exotic Tartare” made with raw deer meat, caviar, raw scallops, and white chocolate. Petrozza’s “Hen in a Pumpkin” was just an ugly experience all the way around. The two dishes that stood out were Rosann Fama’s “Spicy Mussel Soup”, and Vanessa Gunnell’s dish. Rosann is a secretary and Vanessa taught herself to cook by watching television, but they seem to have better palates than the professionals!
The teams are divided into Red/Girls and Blue/Boys. Ramsay instructs them to choose a captain to run the service the next night. The girls immediately choose Vanessa as their captain, and settle down to study. There are 15 recipes for the service, and they decide to memorize 3 a piece, staying up until 1 AM. Now that’s dedication! The guys argue for a while, smoke, and then choose Bobby as their fearless leader. They turn in early, and don’t bother to even crack open the book of recipes.
Service begins, and Ramsay asks the guys to name the 5 entrees. Petrozza, Matt, Bobby, none of them have a clue about what they are supposed to be cooking. Christina immediately rattles off all five as soon as Ramsay gives her a chance. Looks like the studying paid off!
Shayna and Petrozza are assigned to serve a tableside flambÃƒ appetizer to wow the crowd while the rest of the kitchen gets their legs under them. And boy, do they need time! Jason disappears for a while – he went outside to pick his feet – and when he came back he couldn’t make a risotto to save his life. Remind me never to eat at his restaurant!
The girls didn’t fare much better, and after several failed attempts, Ramsay kicks Sharon Stewart off the appetizer line and gives it to Jen Gavin. Jen is finally able to make a risotto that passes muster, and finally the red team can move on to the meats.
Dominic DiFrancesco, who has been out of the kitchen for 10 years while raising his children, is having trouble with the scallops. Bobby, the team captain, just stands around waiting for his chance to shine and watching his team go down in flames. Only Louross Edralin seems to be trying to pull them out of the weeds, and Ramsay makes him the new captain. Louross immediately tells the chefs to taste their food – duh!
The girls are still having problems. Vanessa may have made the best signature dish, but she’s definitely not a leader in the kitchen. Ramsay reassigns Rosann to lead the Red team and things start to happen. Unfortunately, by the time the meat makes it to the plate, it’s overcooked and Ramsay throws it across the room to demonstrate how rubbery it is.
The Blue team finally manages to put an order out, but Jean-Philippe brings it right back. Everyone has left the restaurant after waiting way to long for the chefs to pull their act together. Ramsay issues the order: “Shut it down.”
The girls win, mainly by not being as terrible as the guys. Ramsay declares Louross as “not the winner, but the best of the worst,” and directs him to choose two guys for the elimination round. Louross decides on Dominic and Bobby, who couldn’t lead a cat out of a wet paper bag. Ramsay sends stay at home dad Dominic home, but warns Bobby to step it up. It’s the worst opening night service ever for Hell’s Kitchen and Ramsay promises not to forget it.
Next week, it looks like Ramsay will be taking his chefs garbage picking, so don’t miss it! Reality TV Magazine is your source for Hell’s Kitchen news and information. For more on Hell’s Kitchen, check out SirLinksALot: Hell’s Kitchen.
Photo courtesy Fox.