April 29, 2008 08:49 PM by Lisa Stauber
True to form, Hell’s Kitchen’s fifth episode shows the aftermath of last week’s show. Vanessa’s still injured, and Ben is mad that he was called out by Ramsay. He’s having a hard time figuring out what he could have possibly done wrong -aside from being the ringleader of the Blue team’s failure.
Vanessa’s hand is really becoming a liability for her. She can’t get it wet, have it near heat, or even use it. Shayna helps her out, combing her hair in the morning.
Ramsay still expects her to pull her weight, though. The morning’s challenge is to rise above the mundane. “A good chef can take something ordinary and make it extraordinary – and charge extraordinary prices.” He uses his special, white truffle pizza as an example. It goes for over $200 in one of his restaurants! The chefs are floored by the decadence, but then Ramsay sets them loose with over 130 ingredients to make their own prime pizza. The ingredients are first class and diverse, including heirloom tomatoes, pampered Kobe beef, and sea urchins.
Each team member prepares a pizza, and then the team will choose one to present to Chef Ramsay. The girls work together, taking notes and throwing out ideas. Eventually they settle on Jen’s simple, yet delicious version. The men definitely have a communication problem. Matt asks for a pen, and no one says a word. Ben finally puts his two cents in. “Just shut up, Matt!” he confesses to the camera. Bobby and Ben decide to put Ben’s truffle and chanterelle mushroom pizza front and center – without bothering to check with the other members of the Blue team. Way to pull it together, guys!
Ramsay doesn’t mince words. “Very tight. Very difficult” He chews. “Who washed the mushrooms?” That would be Ben, and apparently he didn’t do a good job. The pizzas are equally flavorful, but the Red team wins because their pie doesn’t serve up a side of grit. Petrozza offers a pearl of wisdom: “You can’t win with dirt in your food.” The guys have to prep all the pizza dough, while the girls are whisked away in a helicopter to Santa Barbara to sample a $90 hamburger, and pick Chef Ramsay’s brain. They finally stumble home after a night of food, fun, and wine.
The next day, the Red team is prepping but Vanessa’s having a hard time. She decides to see Ramsay for advice. “You still have every chance of winning,” he tells her. She takes one for the team, though. “If I can’t be 100%, then I don’t want to be here.” Ramsay’s disappointed. “What a shame.” He tells her to take off her jacket and pack up her things. Corey, on the other hand, is glad to see her go. “With Vanessa out of the way, it’s just gonna make us that much stronger.”
Ramsay has a surprise in store for his wannabe chefs. Not only is Jen’s winning pizza going to be featured on the menu, but it’s going to be delivered – in a three wheeled golf cart. Ben is chosen to be the lucky driver.
Jen has the crucial station of hot appetizers tonight, and she’s mastered the risotto. The Red team is on a roll. Matt can’t get the quail eggs right, though, and Bobby steps in to help. He has a steamroll style of leadership, and Matt’s not happy. Appetizers do start going out, and the Blue team begins to catch up. The Blues are unwittingly helped out by the Red team’s Shayna, who can’t cook a steak. Once again, Chef Ramsay is presented with raw food. Rosann’s barely hanging in on veggie station, and Ramsay makes her prepare the carrots again and again. She just can’t seem to get them right. Jen steps up to help – leaving Christine high and dry with the desserts. Christine is begging for help with her soufflÃƒs, and finally Chef Ramsay makes Corey give her a hand.
The Blue team’s hit a snag. Louross is screwing up the steaks. Finally he gets one plated – after searing it. Scott the sous chef sends it back, demanding to see the pink. Petrozza steps in and saves the day by slicing a paper thin sliver of brown off the ends, revealing a rosy medium rare middle. Scott accepts it and the Blues manage to finish service.
Both teams did well. “Well done!” Ramsay actually smiles, and Hell’s Kitchen doesn’t freeze over. “That’s what it feels like to complete a service!”
He announces that no one loses tonight, so each team must select one person for elimination. At first, the Red team decides to send up Rosann. She did hold up the service with her unseasoned veggies. But Jen secretly manipulates the other ladies and they decide to put Christina on the chopping block, because she talks too much. The guys vote on Louross, and he admits that he was the weakest link.
Ramsay’s surprised when Christina announces that she is the Red team’s pick. “Jen, I’m finding this hard to believe. Are you threatened by Christina’s intelligence?” Jen backpedals, mumbling something about controlling her own destiny, but Ramsay puts her in her place with a contemptuous “That’s my job, sweetheart.”
“Vanessa already left,” Ramsay announces, after making the chefs sweat it out. “That’s my gift for a good service.” He adds, ever so gently, “Piss off and get some sleep.”
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Photo courtesy Fox/Patrick Ecclesine