On the premiere episode of Hell's Kitchen, Dominic, the stay-at-home dad from South Carolina, was sent home. I had the chance to speak with him over the phone yesterday and I learned that he does indeed know how to cook scallops and was completely fooled by Gordon's disguise.
Although it might not seem like it from the first episode — which was full of stumbles, spills, and kitchen mishaps — according to Dominic, ALL of the contestants have had experience working in a kitchen. To see what else Dominic had to say about being the first contestant kicked out of the kitchen,
PartySugar: How did it feel to be the first eliminated contestant? Were you surprised to hear your name? Dominic: It was a real heartbreaker and caught me totally by surprise. I didn't think Gordon really had any problems with my work in the kitchen. Maybe he saw something he didn't like in me. I know how to make the scallops, it was really a matter of bad timing. My scallops would be perfectly cooked, but the risotto wasn't ready. And I thought I was safe. I thought I had proven myself by not making a dish that was thrown out or thrown up.
PS: Is Gordon really as big of a jerk as he seems?
Dominic: Well I wish I had more time to get to know him. I really respect his work, I consider him one of the world's greatest culinary artists of the 20th century. He is really passionate about his kitchen and his passion comes out in an aggressive way. He cooks with one F-word and I cook with three different F-words: faith, family, and food.
PS: What was it like working in the kitchen? Did you ever really feel like you were in Hell?
Dominic: Being in Hell's Kitchen was like a baptism of fire. It'd been so long since I was in a kitchen, it was really hard. I had forgotten about how important the timing is in a kitchen.
PS: How come none of the men knew what was on the menu? How could anyone possibly expect to control the kitchen when they don’t know what is on the menu?
Dominic: The blue team really dropped the ball on that one. Anybody from our team could have been put to the chopping block. Our big problem was that we didn't prepare properly. It took too long to pick a leader. We should've taken more time to learn the menu and know what we were preparing.
PS: What’s next for you? Will you continue to be a stay-at-home dad or will you go back to work in a kitchen?
Dominic: Well I made a choice ten years ago to be a stay-at-home dad and I'll continue to do it. I have also started a catering and cooking school company called Dominic's Delights.
Photo courtesy of Fox.