The best part about this two-episodes-in-a-row thing is that they don’t bother changing the voiceovers. So between episodes, we still get a breathless description of the next episode, then a breathless reminder of what just happened. Remember that 50th wedding anniversary? I do!
Gordon Ramsay’s Bleep-O-Meter: 81
Contestants’ Bleep-O-Meter: 95
Allegedly Perfectly Normal, Non-Plant Customers’ Bleep-O-Meter: 1
Gordon Ramsay has been pretty clear that he’s okay with eliminating whoever had the worst service each time and letting the question of who’s “the best chef” work itself out — hence Salvatore’s sacking in the first half of the show, even though his team didn’t nominate him. Not that that’s going to stop the smug jerks that populate this show from insisting that even though they personally stunk up the kitchen, someone else who did their job should somehow be cut first.
Benjamin takes the first opportunity to tell Siobhan that she has to just shut up and cook. He “doesn’t see the passion,” so she has to do what he says. He continues to blather on about how she’s not technical or passionate. He also won’t shut up about how he thinks she talks too much.
The next morning, Sous Chef Scott calls the dorms to tell them that Ramsay will be taking them to one of L.A.’s oldest restaurants. So they all put on fancy clothes (again with the surveillance camera shots of people getting undressed, which I think I’m getting uncomfortable with) and head out to… a sandwich place. This is Philippe’s, the birthplace of the French dip sandwich. The challenge will be to make a gourmet sandwich when they get back to the kitchen.
The team with the most points will win. But there are five people on the red team, so they have to decide which of their sandwiches is worst. And they have to do it right now! Everyone likes their sandwich, and Benjamin dumps all over Siobhan’s. So she’s out, and she’s not happy.
So first up, we have Benjamin vs. Ed. Benjamin has a pan-seared Ahi on ciabatta. It’s very nice. Ed has a grilled Ahi open-faced sandwich. It’s delicious. They each get a point, so it’s 1-1.
Holli vs. Jason. Holli has smoked duck breast on pumpernickel. It’s ambitious and it worked. Jason’s is a lobster sloppy joe. What? They both get points, which kind of makes a mockery of the head-to-head concept.
Fran vs. Jay. She’s got a balsamic chicken with peppers, which Jay sneers at as being “so 1982.” But it’s tasty. Jay has some kind of foie gras thing, which is also delicious. Ramsay objects to the soggy bread on Fran’s, so Jay wins.
Nilka vs. Autumn. Nilka has a delicious roasted pork, and Autumn has roasted pork loin, which Gordon thinks is cut shockingly. Nilka wins, so it’s 3-3. Gordon tells Autumn to uncross her sulkily-crossed arms.
So it’s time for a tiebreaker, which is Siobhan’s Ahi on challah. Benjamin is whiny about Siobhan getting to present her dish. Gordon says he prefers Siobhan’s sandwich to Fran’s, and for that, the blue team wins.
The red team’s punishment will involve an amuse-bouche made of peanut butter, jam and scented foie gras. Yuck. Anyway, they’ll be making the peanut butter and jelly by hand. And the blue team will be going to California’s wine country. It’s a four-hour drive, but they’ll be using a private jet. For that short a trip, I’m not sure they’ll even be saving any time. How long does it take to drive to the airstrip? And then from the place they land to the vineyard?
Dinner service! Fran is on appetizers, which is her first time making risotto here. Holli checks on her, and the risotto is acceptable. Whew! On the blue side, things are a little disjointed, and Jason’s scallops are a little overcooked while Jay’s risotto is missing salt. On the first table! Chef Ramsay gives them a motivational speech that I can’t make out at all, since it’s about 60% [bleep]s.
Fran’s next risotto is undercooked and doesn’t have enough butter. Siobhan is a little annoyed in an interview. On the blue side, they move to entrees, but on the garnish station, Autumn is 20 seconds behind on potatoes. And then they’re salty! Oh no! Shouting! Loud noises!
Siobhan is behind on some scallops, which gets Chef Ramsay’s attention. She thinks some of the scallops in her pan are golden brown, but most of them are black. He calls her a donkey (it’s been awhile!) and throws her out of the kitchen into the dining room to eat the scallops she claimed were edible. Benjamin takes over the fish station in her absence. When Siobhan comes back, she admits that she [bleep]ed up most of the scallops. Benjamin tells Siobhan to take over the dessert station, as Chef Ramsay looks on disbelievingly. She tries to help him and he tells her to “just get out of my station, please. Just get out of my [bleep]ing station.”
Suddenly! Drama! A customer decides that his meat is undercooked so he brings it back to the pass himself. Gordon tells him, as near as I can tell, “Don’t come in here all jumped up like some little gym bunny.” He also tells him to [bleep] off. The plant — er, I mean “customer” — says that he could be poisoned, but Chef Ramsay points out that beef can be eaten tartare. The customer claims that it’s a very low grade of beef. It’s all very staged
Next, we get a suspiciously good close-up of Nilka cutting into some uncooked chicken. Gordon is angry. “Raw! Raw! Raw!” That’s the spirit! Rah, rah, rah!
On the blue side, Autumn and Ed are dragging on some beef. Jason leans in to say it’ll be 30 seconds. Autumn isn’t talking to anyone. Ed frantically slices duck, which isn’t even close to ready. Gordon is despairingly angry. He throws Jason, Ed, Autumn and Jay out. That’s the whole team! They slouch to the patio and argue about whether they were doing well before they got thrown out. Jay thinks his teammates think things are “good enough” when they’re not.
With just the red team left, Fran gets yelled at for undressed salad and uncooked risotto. Gordon throws the red team out, calling them “useless bits of crap.” As they walk out, we get a rare look at the dishwashers. Fran thinks Gordon’s nuts. Well, she might be right.
So now both teams have been thrown out of the kitchen. Benjamin thinks his team is all yahoos. Everyone mopes.
Everyone lines up in the kitchen so Chef Ramsay can shout at everyone and ask what went wrong. Siobhan takes responsibility for her errors, which leads Nilka and Fran to do the same. No one on the blue team does it. Anyway, both teams are declared losers so they both have to pick two nominees for elimination.
Everyone lines up in the dining room. Jay, who ya got? Autumn and Ed, for the slow garnish and raw duck. Benjamin? Siobhan because “she couldn’t handle any of the dishes” and Fran, for being disorganized and for talking back to Chef Ramsay.
Ed gets scolded for the raw duck. Autumn claims she can do better. Fran has been here a lot. Gordon doesn’t like Siobhan allowing Benjamin to throw her off her station. She starts to explain that she didn’t want to bicker in the middle of service. Gordon cuts her off and tells her she’s great but doesn’t have enough experience. That’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard. She compliments herself for being both brave and fearless.
Photo credit: FOX