Last night at nine, I sat down to enjoy the final episode of Hell's Kitchen. Boy was I in for a shock when at ten I realized it was far from over - there is still one episode left! It was much tamer than it normally is with the finalists, Rock and Bonnie, only entering the kitchen for a quick 30 minutes. All of the previous episodes were reviewed, and the last six contestants were brought back to help the finalists in their toughest dinner challenge. To see what happens when Bonnie and Rock design their own restaurants and are whisked off to Vegas for a surprise challenge,
After enjoying a few brief moments with their families - Bonnie's parents and Rock's wife and children - the dining room of Hell's Kitchen is loudly cut in half by a hanging partition. Ramsay then tells the finalists they have 36 hours to build their dream restaurant. Bonnie and Rock have full creative liability and must design the dining room and prepare a menu that reflects their signature styles as chefs. They return to the dorms to celebrate and get a start on brainstorming menus and restaurant designs.
The following morning both meet with the architect to discuss their intentions. Bonnie wants a romantic, European, simple, classic-with-a-twist style restaurant. She dislikes the booths and prefers mismatched China. Rock, on the other hand, loves the booths and prefers classic silverware with a warm, American, Southern, black-and-white style dining room.
Next they meet individually with Jean Phillipe, the maitre d', to select the waitstaff's uniforms. Bonnie decides her servers will wear all black and the females should be sexy. Rock is much more hesitant. His first choice of jeans is vetoed by Jean Phillipe, who helps Rock decide on something more appropriate for a fine dining room. Then it's on to the menus: Bonnie is paired with sous chef Mary Anne and quickly describes her menu of mini grilled cheeses, homemade pastas, and all of her personal favorite foods. Rock is paired with sous chef Scott, but his menu is unclear. The only dish he is certain of is a surf n' turf fried chicken and crab cakes.
Ramsay shows up and informs them that they have some very important business to take care of in Las Vegas!! Bonnie and Rock take five minutes to change before they board Ramsay's private jet. On the plane, Ramsay compliments them both and asks questions about their motivations for certain actions. They arrive at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Vegas, head to an amazing luxurious room, and are shown a teaser for the season finale. Both are a little shocked to see themselves on television for the first time.
Afterwards, Ramsay invites them for a relaxing drink in the VIP lounge of the bar. Little do they know that behind the doors is a stadium full of screaming fans and several of Vegas' top chefs. Guess what? It's surprise challenge time! Rock and Bonnie have 30 minutes to make a dish that represents their signature style. Bonnie makes a shrimp and Fettuccine Alfredo and Rock does the aforementioned fried chicken and crab cakes (was anyone else disappointed by their lack of culinary splendor? Fettuccine Alfredo? Fried Chicken? I can master those dishes!).
Chefs from Caesars Palace, the MGM Grand, and Michael Mina judge the dishes. Then Robin Leach makes a cameo as a celebrity judge and gives his vote to Bonnie. Leaving the previous two winners of Hell's Kitchen to tie the score up - three for Bonnie and three for Rock. The tying vote goes to the manager and current executive chef of the restaurant at the Green Valley Ranch (surprise, surprise, was this a little fixed???). They declare Bonnie the winner and Ramsay whisks both off to the Ghost Bar at the top of the Palms where he gives them one last pep talk.
When they arrive back in LA, Rock and Bonnie receive another surprise when their old crew (Julia, Jen, Brad, Josh, Melissa, and Vinnie) enters the dorm with large gift baskets. Ramsay calls them all down to the kitchen where Bonnie and Rock are instructed to select team members to work in the upcoming night's dinner service. Since Bonnie won the challenge in Vegas, she has first pick and chooses Jen. They alternate turns each selecting another team member. Rock picks Brad and Vinnie and is stuck with Josh. Bonnie selects Melissa and Julia. The episode ends abruptly with clips of the hellish boys vs. girls dinner service that is to come in next week's final showdown.
Ramsay is at his best when he is in the kitchen, so today I have only the top 4 Ramsayisms and a bonus quote from celebrity judge, Mr. Robin Leach (of Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous):
- Rock this wouldn't be such an event without your children... it's baby Rock!
- You didn't think we would be flying commercial did you?
- Stop trying to charm him, he's a chef he doesn't do charm!
- Stop trying to manipulate the judges Rock!
- And from Robin Leach: I've eaten at over 1700 restaurants around the world and I'm intrigued by the combination in both. But you told me if I didn't have a choice, you would put a cleaver in my back! So I give it to the lady.
Finally didn't you think Bonnie's hair looked a little too perfect after slaving in the kitchen for a half an hour? She must have spent time with a stylist. What do you think Rock and Bonnie make for themselves to eat in the dorm? Didn't you just want to shake Julia and give her a hug? You got the best prize girl, a culinary education and consoling from Ramsay, so be happy!