'Hell's Kitchen': Pomme fondant?

Danny_hellskitchen_s5_240 When the chefs in " Hell's Kitchen" take on one of my favorite foods I get nervous. There's always that chance that they'll do something to so destroy a food I love that I'll never be able to look at it the same way again. Risotto. I can't order risotto anymore at restaurants. Have you seen what the chefs have done to risotto? With the king crab I was nervous tonight.

I love king crab, I adore king crab. Normally, I like it prepared nice and simple -- steam the legs, serve with drawn butter and one of those bibs. The thought of what the chefs were going to do to it in the challenge terrified me.

I needn't have been worried, the dishes the chefs made didn't look, or sound, bad at all (thank goodness there was no Old Bay seasoning used, do you hear me Maryland, no Old Bay). I was nervous about Ben's vanilla bean usage initially, but Andrea's dish seemed worse (the teams could only send one from a side to Ramsay). Ramsay however didn't like either and requested to see Paula and Danny's dishes instead.

I don't think I can recall him having done that in a challenge in the past. What does it say of the teams that they sent up Ben and Andrea's dishes to begin with? Did Ramsay just send them back for show or are all the chefs really that foolish? The men may have won the challenge tonight, but I actually would have liked to see them lose, I wanted to see them prep without Lacy there (just to see how successful they would have been).

For dinner service we got the each-team-creates-its-own-menu night. I've always liked that service, I think it really does show the creativity and quality of ideas that the chefs have. However, Ben's ideas were slightly off kilter. Pomme fondant? Neither Robert nor Danny knew what that was. Ben should have just said "like large french fries, but cooked with some stock." Robert may have accepted the dish without Ben's saying that, but french fries would have made Robert truly excited.

Ramsay must have liked the idea a lot though because we didn't seem him mocking the potatoes until he saw the result. Apparently Ben couldn't do what I did (use Google) to learn what a pomme fondant was. Ben's version of a fondant wasn't what Ramsay expected (and what Ramsay expected is absolutely what Google told me a pomme fondant is).

We also saw tonight for the first time this season a customer coming up to the pass to complain. The lady had to have known that was going to go badly, and sure enough she went back to her table smiling as she explained to her dinner companions that the chef told her to "BLEEP off." So she went up there knowing she was going to get yelled at, wanting to get yelled at, got yelled at, and went away happy. I'm betting that she was either an actress looking for her 15 minutes, a general attention-seeker, or perhaps was simply trying out masochism to see if it did it for her.

Of course the Carol and Andrea story kept going during service too. There was a potato issue (Carol was cooking them but blaming Andrea for the fact that they were raw). Then Carol tried to tell Giovanni that the potatoes were good, but upon popping one into her mouth she admitted that it wasn't actually cooked. She then failed miserably on the meat station too. After a service like the one Carol had tonight, you have to question how she possibly got so far in the competition. It didn't look like a "bad night," it looked much more like a bad career choice.

Both kitchens got shutdown towards the end of service tonight, but red managed to eek out a victory based on customer comment cards. Danny, best of the worst on blue, got to nominate one person for elimination on his side and opted to put Ben on the block. Ramsay though, wanted to hear from both Ben and Robert. Then, he did the sensible thing, he sent Carol home.

That's right, Carol, who wasn't nominated, who was on the winning team tonight, still got canned. Good. Great! Come on now, based on tonight alone, Carol should have gone home. Based on past weeks' incompetence, she should have gone home. Plus, the problems between her and Andrea were simply too large to allow them both to continue on the same team and we're getting to black chef jackets pretty soon, so moving one or the other woman wouldn't really make a difference.

Bits and pieces:

  • What was Paula doing asking Ramsay to find a chinois during the challenge? Did she honestly think that Ramsay would hook her up?
  • Ramsay suggested (and Robert seemed to agree) that Ben was sabotaging Robert during service. Do you believe that? Is Ben really that devious? I originally wouldn't have thought so, but some of the mistakes he made were pretty bad.

The TV and Film Guy's Reviews - we're more pomme than pomme de terre.

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