With the final three contestants left on Hell's Kitchen, last night's episode was by far the most emotional. The chefs proved themselves worthy with a stellar dinner service and seamless teamwork. The tables were turned as Ramsay challenged Bonnie, Jen, and Rock to run the pass (translation: shouting out the orders as they come in, one risotto, two wellingtons, etc). For all this and more - including who paid the cheffies a surprise visit -
After last week's double elimination, the final three are tired, overwhelmed, and nervous. Rock apologizes to Jen and they hug out all their differences. The following morning an uncharacteristically cheerful Ramsay (did he seem oddly happy during the entire episode?? Perhaps it's because he knows it's almost over...?) introduces his life long mentor and favorite chef, his mom. Then it's comfort food test time for Bonnie, Rock, and Jen as each randomly choose a classic, all-American dish to recreate. The task is to turn homemade into gourmet. Bonnie selects franks & beans and struggles with the recreation (was that a dumb blonde moment or what when she called frank & beans British???), Jen ends up with fried chicken, and Rock picks spaghetti and meatballs. After the hour of cooking time is up, they are shocked and delighted to see that their mothers will be judging the dishes. The moms don't know whose dish is whose and declare Jen's fried chicken roulade as the winner. She and her mom are taken to a nice little lunch with Ramsay and his mother, while Bonnie and Rock are left to bond and clean the dorms.
Excited and confident, the finalists enter the kitchen the next day ready to face the biggest dinner service of their lives. Ramsay informs that they will each have a chance to control the kitchen as they would in the role of executive chef. During the prep, he calls each finalist over and gives them a little scenario where he is a cook and has messed up. Bonnie yells successfully mimicking Ramsay, Rock lacks true assertiveness, and Jen sounds whiny and annoyingly repeats, "I've been a cook for 15 years," too many times. The service begins on the right foot and food goes out perfectly seasoned and wonderfully cooked.
Ramsay gives the sous chefs permission to screw up the orders by purposely forgetting ingredients or preparing a dish improperly while the finalists have a hand at pretending to be chef. Jen fails the test when she almost sends out crab spaghetti with no crab. She redeems herself when she realizes the risotto is overcooked. Rock notices the monkfish lacks prosciutto but works too slowly. Bonnie incorrectly calls out the dishes at first, but catches her stride after sending back a poorly crisped squab. When the dinner service is over, Ramsay sends the finalists back to the dorms to evaluate their performance. At elimination Bonnie, Jen, and Rock are given a moment to say why they should be in the final two. Ramsay tells Rock he has made it into the last round and sends home Jen. As a reward for making it this far, he grants Bonnie and Rock some time with their families.
Here are my favorite five Ramsay quotes to tide you over until next week's battle between Beauty & the Beast:
- Rock, no cursing please - never ever in front of your mom.
- Roasted lobster finished with shavings of black truffle with aged Parmesan cheese.
- What's more American than a hot dog?
- It separates the difference from a cook and a leader. You run the kitchen or the kitchen runs you.
- That sounded like a drunk country western singer! You're in love with your golden retriever. I just put it in the microwave and blew it up!
As always, before we part, a few things to ponder: what comfort dishes were under the other two domes? Maybe I've watched far too many reality shows, but wasn't it so obviously that their moms would judge?? Do you think it was really the best dinner service ever or was it the editing???