Immediately after the previous elimination, the teams head up to the dorms. Tennille excitedly dances with glee over Suzanne’s switch to the blue team. The guys feel much less than gleeful, and let her know in the form of a little lecture that includes a warning about under-bus throwing. She seems surprisingly contrite and amenable. Meanwhile, the remaining girls vow to be one person, one brain, and work together. Because it’s not like that would have been helpful at all the other services.
The chefs come to the kitchen, and are told Gordon wants to talk to them. A TV slides from the ceiling and we are led to believe that Chef Ramsey has flown to Canada in the wee hours of the night to tell them about their challenge. Yeah, okay. The completely neutral and non-specific way he addresses the contestants could have been shot at pretty much any time, including before casting even occurred.
The video takes them on a brief tour of Whistler, British Columbia and then into Araxi Restaurant. Ramsey tells them Araxi is known for using fresh, local ingredients and that he wants them to do the same for this challenge. Scott and Heather bring out trays containing 15 ingredients local to the Whistler area. Each team must make three entrees, using all the items, and without using any ingredient more than once each.
From a couple of the shots it looks like some of the items are portobella mushrooms, salmon, artichokes, cranberries, shrimp, leeks, beets, acorn squash, lamb and a mystery meat. Well, it’s not a mystery to the Blue team or Sabrina, but Ariel and Tennille have no clue that it’s venison. They think it’s just an unusually purpley lamb, I guess. Sabrina has been trying to help create dishes, but the other two ladies are blatently ignoring her so she decides not to inform them of their mistake. Which is pretty awesome, if you ask me. They keep touting togetherness and unity and then treat a teammate like that? They deserve whatever happens. Not that I’m taking sides or anything.
They have two and a half hours until Gordon and the judges ‘fly back’from Whistler (snicker!) He finally arrives back at Hell’s Kitchen, wearing a parka and looking suspiciously like he’s brushing snow off his shoulder. Oh, so I guess that proves he was in Canada? Why not have him ride in the door on a dog sled hauling beer and calling them ‘hosers?’Also, he brought them some tuques. And Olympic Silver medalist skater Sasha Cohen and Olympic Gold medalist skier Jonny Moseley as their judges.
Blue team: Caramelized salmon and pan seared lamb with an unspecified sauce. Sasha loved the texture of the lamb and Jonny loved the crispy salmon skin Suzanne suggested, so she at least gained a few points with her team.
Red team: Grilled salmon, melted leeks and grilled shrimp. Gordon and the judges felt the leeks and the shrimp were ‘over rich’and too heavy. Sasha thought something was too chunky. Both judges award points to Blue making it 2-0.
Red team: This is the dish that is really venison and when Tennille presents it as ‘lamb’, Gordon can’t believe his ears. He asks her point blank if she doesn’t know what it is, but Ariel pipes up and says that Tennille is just having a mental fart because they work with lamb so much and of course she knows what it is, right Tennille? Or something like that. Ultimately I have no idea how they prepared the Not-Lamb.
Blue team: Rack of venison with cranberry sauce and beets. Dave tells them he wanted to make a simple dish that wouldn’t get all confusing. I guess Dave doesn’t think highly of the intelligence of jocks. Jonny thinks the sauce is scary looking and I’d have to agree that it’s way too red and runny to not remind one of a crime scene.
Sasha picks the Red dish because she enjoyed the complexity of the flavors. So take that, Dave! Jonny agrees with Sasha and now it’s 2-2. Wow, a tie just before the final dish? How absolutely predictable! Tennille interviews she didn’t know half the food they were using but ‘irregardless'(skincrawlskincrawl) she can make anything taste good.
Red team: Lamb (actual lamb this time) with mushroom bordelaise with lightly sauteed jerusalem artichokes. Sasha found the mushrooms too salty and Jonny thought there were too many ‘sweets’and ‘saltys’, whatever that means.
Blue team: Grilled shrimp, roasted tomatoes, and ginger sunchoke puree. There is also braised kale but Van totally blanks on the word ‘kale’and Sabrina has whisper it to him. Sasha says the shrimp are sweet and very delicious. Jonny thinks the dish is too thick. What bugs me is that the heads and faces and antennae of all the shrimp are still on and all over the place. That would put me off that dish in a second. Despite the thickness, they award the winning points to Blue.
For a split second the thought occurred to me that they might do a really corny gold medal skit type thing here. Thankfully I was wrong. The losers discover that for punishment they will be going to a farm. The Blue team all laugh at the Red team because they will be milking cows and cleaning pig pens. I don’t think that’s all that funny. What I think is hilarious is that this is supposed to be teaching the ladies more about the local ingredients. So I’m guessing the next menu will feature cow pies and pig slop omelets? They are sent away with overalls, straw hats and a warning that pigs are obnoxious. I think a ‘takes one to know one’line would be far to obvious right now so I shall refrain from using one.
The Blue team get to go to Campanile Restaurant and have a special dinner prepared by renowned chef Mark Peele. He tells them he likes to do the simple things right, so he will be making them grilled cheese sandwiches. Just when I begin to think I can be a gourmet chef I see what he considers a ‘grilled cheese.’It would be what I would consider a “mozzarella, prosciutto and green olive panini.” But what do I know?
Down on the farm, Phil the Pharmer has the girls load some hay on a truck, feed sheep, goats and llamas (or as Tennille calls them, ‘sheeps and whatever the hell it was’) and collect eggs before cleaning out the pig sty. We learn that Ariel was attacked by a pig at the county fair as a kid and now is pigphobic. Tennille gets the dry heaves while working and says in an interview that it was the worst punishment ever. I’m sure Phil and every other farmer out there who gets up every blessed day before dawn to do this very routine seven days a week to put food on their family’s table is pleased to hear their livelihood referred to as if it were akin to waterboarding.
The next morning Gordon tells them they will be creating their own menus. The Blue team works together beautifully, and all the dishes sound delish. The girls butt heads the whole time and each hates almost everything the others suggest. They end up unhappy with the menu but they are out of time so have to go with it. Even Gordon admits it’s not anything he would want to eat. As the ladies prep the kitchen, they snap and whine at each other over little things, and the Blues revel in their own perceived awesomeness.
When dinner service starts the Red team go quite a while without getting an order. When they do, the tricky part is that if people from the same table order from different menus then the two kitchens have to coordinate so they go out together. The problem is, I believe, that Tennille might not have made some of these dishes before. My first clue is that she says ‘I’ve never cooked chard before’about ten times. Gordon gets on her back immediately and she interviews that she wants him to calm down. I really wish the other contestants would learn to shout because Tennille’s are the majority of interviews we see and they are starting to give me a headache.
More problems arise in both kitchens. Van brings too many scallops to the pass and Gordon does his ‘three threes are what?’quiz on him, since it was so successful in humiliating Amanda earlier this season. Ariel’s ravioli’s come back frozen three times. Gordon yells at her about the raviolis, and then yells at her because she handles the criticism well. If she got all upset, he’d yell at her for that too.
Over in the Blue kitchen, Dave hurts himself again. He lifts a pan across the stove with his non-broken hand and suddenly yells and twists. I guess that caused a pinched nerve that effects the already hurt hand and he says he is in agonizing pain. He appears to be in so much pain he is crying, and yet he refuses to give up and goes back to service. I used to think he was pretty kick-ass for working through the pain but now I think he’s risking permanent damage to himself that a reality game show just isn’t worth. This isn’t the be-all-end-all job it sounds like. Didn’t Heather win that a few seasons ago? And now she’s back on the show as a sous chef? Dude. Just go heal. I can’t imagine you’re not going to get every job you apply for after this.
Things continue to go downhill. Sabrina falls behind. Van spills something and gets screamed at for not cleaning it up. Tennille gets an order for broccolini but it has to wait until she finishes sweeping. Yes, sweeping. Tennille, this is Hell’s Kitchen, not Hell’s Janitorial Service. Van and Sabrina both repeatedly undercook halibut. This seems to send Ramsey over the edge because after he slaps one of the offending dishes with enough force to splatter it on everyone he tells the teams to shut it down. And now poor Dave has halibut in his eye! Someone wrap that poor kid in bubble wrap.
Gordon doesn’t think either team won so each team has to nominate one player. Blue agree that Van made the most mistakes but most of them want to put up Suzanne just because she’s the hated Blue newbie. Among the Reds, Sabrina thinks Tennille made them wait the most and Tennille thinks Sabrina made no contribution to their menu. Ariel has the tiebreaker decision.
When they are standing before Chef, Sabrina tells him she has been chosen from her team. The Blues officially put up Van for that nights performance, but make it a point to mention that Suzanne is the weakest player. Van gets emotional and swears he’s not a loser and not throwing in the towel. Sabrina swears she still has everything left and is a good team player. Ramsey chooses Sabrina, telling her she’s a sweet girl and very dedicated but not head chef material. Then he says she needs to ‘get those red lips and whistle on out of here,’because apparently she had makeup on for the first five minutes of the first episode and he’s decided to focus on that as her sum total even after all these weeks.
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