Last night Fox aired the third season premiere of "Hell's Kitchen", hot shot British chef Gordon Ramsay's reality show. It was my first experience with Hell's Kitchen and what a memorable, yet traumatizing, experience it was. Why anyone in their right mind would volunteer to go into Hell's Kitchen is beyond me. You couldn't pay me in Dior handbags to put up with the condescending, rude, and completely disrespectful behavior and attitude of Ramsay. Sure he is a world renowned chef with Michelin stars and acclaimed restaurants, but in my opinion, no amount of fame, fortune, or success should grant you the right to poorly treat, profusely curse, and yell at people you hardly know. This of course, is the entire premise behind Hell's Kitchen. Twelve contestants have joined Ramsay in the kitchen for a chance to be the head chef at a new Italian restaurant in Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa in Vegas. Unlike Top Chef or the Next Food Network Star, in this competition the contestants have to cook in a real kitchen for real people. To see my thoughts on last night's episode - including my top 5 favorite Ramsay quotes - just,

The show begins with Lord of The Rings type music, a voice over, and the contestants being driven to the kitchen in large black SUVs. The 12 competitors, equal parts male and female, are greeted upon arrival by the restaurant's maitre'd, Jean Philippe - whose accent sounds oddly fake to me. Ramsay appears on a balcony like the Wicked Witch of The West and orders the crew into the kitchen requesting them to prepare a signature dish or as Ramsay says, "you on a plate". Time's up and Ramsay lavishly opens one platter after another asking the creator of the dish to kindly step forward and explain their dish. He hates all but two or three of the dishes; giving compliments to the attractive, long haired Melissa and to Eddie, the guy with a growth-stunting kidney disease (why do reality shows always have a token odd contestant???).

Next they are separated into two teams, the boys versus the girls, and are told that they will cook in the restaurant's kitchen on opening night. An hour goes by and neither team can get an appetizer ready, the girl's fail miserably to fry an egg and the boys' pasta, according to Ramsay, "tastes like gnat's piss." Brad takes the lead for the boys and things look up as they start to crank out 29 of their 50 appetizers. Julia, the short order cook, has a breakdown because the girls ignore her and don't let her attempt to fry an egg. Aaron, the big Asian cowboy, cracks and starts to cry after he can't temper eggs for ice cream and has cooked the chicken until it is dry and inedible. In the end the boy's run out of chicken and lettuce, and the girl's never catch their stride. Ramsay shuts Hell's Kitchen down and the customers leave angry, unfed, and hungry.

Ramsay declares the girl's as the night's losers, although both teams performed poorly. Melissa is asked to nominate two members of her team for elimination. She nominates Tiffany, the girl who couldn't fry an egg if her life depended on it, and Joanna, the feisty African-American girl who picked a fight with just about everyone but Ramsay. In the end Tiffany was justly eliminated.

In case you missed it here are my top 5 favorite Ramsay quotes from this episode (I recommend reading them aloud in a growling tone with a British accent):

  • "Where's your horse? I've never met an Asian cowboy... you are one chunky monkey, aren't you? How big are your f**king fingers?"
  • "Your pasta is like glue."
  • "Sir, would you mind wiping the snot off of your face before we have chicken and snot?"
  • "Ladies I've never seen girls b*tch so much... it was just evil and twisted hell's b*tches!"
  • "Touch that egg! It's like a plastic silicone implant!"

Finally, does anyone know where I can find a recipe for chicken fried chicken penne???