Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hell's Kitchen: 4.23.09

Will Andrea get her due this week? Will Ben admit he was wrong (like Ramsey wants him to do)? Andrea expects to push back this week and redeem herself. We'll see.

Ramsey called them down in the morning, and was finishing up some dishes. Three dishes from his menu - duck, beef, and fish stew. The challenge is about accuracy. Andrea, Paula, and Ben love the fish, and Danny liked the duck. Well, the Taste It, Now Make It challenge goes with the majority. The pantry is stocked with a huge variety of fish, and other ingredients. They were allowed to go back and keep tasting.

Ben is using Red snapper, and everyone else is using halibut. Andrea chose bay scallops, while everyone else chose sea scallops. For the stock, everyone but Paula used fish stock, but Paula used water. Danny and Paula chose white wine, Andrea used sambuca, and Ben used pernot, and tried covering it with a towel, which Ramsey called him on. Andrea was probably that kid who always looked at other kids' papers in school.

Ramsey tried the stews.

Andrea's got a "quite nice." Ben got "nice." Paula "got nice and light, and quite nice." Danny got "nice flavor, rustic." The fish was halibut, but Ben got the pernot right. The bay scallops were the winner on that, and Ben used too much saffron. It was down to Danny and Paula, and it's close between them. Well, Ramsey uses stock, not water, and Danny won. He got a one on one surprise with Ramsey.

The losers have to hand polish crystal, clean cutlery, and clean the carpets with Jean-Philippe - AND prep for tht night's dinner service. Ouch.

Off Danny and Ramsey go in a limo. They are flying in biplanes! (open cockpit!) Nice. With acrobatic moves. Insane and cool.

Andrea despaired in the loss, whine whine whine, saying her fingernails hurt and she wanted to hang herself with dental floss. Get over it. Debbie Downer needs to get a grip.

Before service began, Ramsey sent them back to the dorm, for a "surprise."

The surprise was a good one - Sets of Gordon Ramsey branded pans. Royal Doulton. I'll have to look them up. They look quite nice. (I'm something of a kitchen snob).

Ramsey says he's wiping the slate clean for service tonight, and going purely on this service. Let's see how that goes.

Ben started off on the wrong foot again, calling orders wrong right off the bat. Paula started off well with perfect scallops, and Ben actually produced a good risotto, and Andrea also did a good job.

Then, Ben put spaghetti into water that wasn't boiling. Ramsey called him on that.

The appetizers were going out well, and the communication was going ok. And Andrea delivered good wellington. Finally.

Then, oops.... Ben produced bland risotto, with no seasoning, and no salt. Paula made her first mistake and missed a call on Dorey, slowing things down a bit. Ramsey told her to turn it up a notch.

Ben was told to make a salad for vegetarians, and asked if he should put tuna on it, and also put croutons on it, when it was asked for as plain with just vinaigrette. Not so good.

And there's a super special patron.. he wants to propose to his girlfriend, and sent a very beautiful ring back to the kitchen to be sent out with dessert.

Danny was kind of floundering on the garnish station, but not too bad. Andrea was working well on the meat station. Ben didn't drop the pasta early, and caused a bit of a delay. Danny looked a bit smug about Ben's mistakes.

Andrea, meanwhile, messed up some Wellingtons. She was doing so well, and then panicked. She did the right thing, though, and told Ramsey about her mistake, and he fixed it.

The proposal dessert was served without drama and it was pretty sweet. Thankfully, she said yes. It would have been hilarious if she had said no, but in a tragic way.

Andrea somehow lost two Wellingtons. Where did they go? She had a miscount. Paula and Danny worked together like pros to get some more in the oven for her.

And it was so close to a perfect service. Ramsey said they could see the light at the end of the tunnel, but they switched off at the last 10% of service. They have to come up with a consensus of one person to leave.

I say Ben, based purely on tonight. Ben claimed to be several levels above her in skill. I think they are about on par.. but Danny said that Andrea's Wellington mishap was killer. Danny asked Andrea if she's ever run a kitchen, and she said yes, and he said "how many people in the kitchen," and she said that she didn't want to get into details. Hmmm. Paula brings up the fact that Ben falls apart at some point in every service, and Ben said that Paula made more mistakes than either Andrea or himself. I don't think so.

So, it looks like a tie, not a consensus. Ramsey had the both of them step forward. They both give their standard (and often heard) reasons they should be kept, and Ben is going home. I actually think that was the right decision tonight. Ramsey sent him off with a "well done," so maybe he is better than the editors showed us..

I think it's going to be Danny or Paula. If Andrea wins, I would be shocked. They get a "little treat" and some VIPs to cook for at the end of the show... for next week. They get to take turns running the pass next week. That's always fun.

Did you think Ben should have gone home tonight?

No comments: