Monday, June 27, 2005

Hells Kitchen Episode 5 Recap

Here we go again.

First up is a disclaimer of particularly strong language. Was this in the previous episodes. Usual opener...Ramsay great cook, demand perfection, yell and swear. I see he's left-handed. Maybe that explains all the rage.

Show begins with everyone retreating to the dorm following Mary Ellens elimination. Jessica cries, of course and adds some swearing in too. She rushes into a bathroom stall and Elsie runs in after her to comfort her. Jeez, maybe she just needed to pee. Hugging transpires.
Andrew sacks out on his bed and muses to himself that he's dodged the guillotine twice now. In the dorm kitchen everyone else vents, eventually wondering where Andrew is. He's still lying in bed, repeating "I'm doing something right" over and over again. He looks up to the ceiling where he's taped a note reading "Shut Your Mouth".

At the next days lineup, Chef declares that all though the teams are bonding, they are only as strong as their weakest link. He asks Ralph who the strongest link on Blue team is. Ralph suggests himself, prompting a peeved look from Andrew. And the weakest? Andrew. Andrew doesn't like that. Andrew Andrew Andrew.
Chef asks Chris the same of Red team. Chris says he's the strongest. Michael seems doubting of that. Aside, Chris says he's just been around the block more than Michael. Weakest, is Jimmy no surprise. Jimmy is unfazed. He says he will show how the weakest link can go from the bottom to the top of the chain. Looks like he's about as graceful with metaphors as he is with his feet. The link will still break Jimmy, wherever it is!

Chef declars that for tomorrow, Hells Kitchen will be a pasta restaurant. Andrew is ultra confident. They got the two Italians on the same team, how could they lose? Anyway, pasta for the menu tomorrow. This requires a demo of pasta machine use, which Chef supplies. After running the dough through several times, he calls Chris over and begins draping pasta on him. Uh huh. Well, this all segues neatly into the days challenge. Whichever team makes the most pasta will win a "really fabulous" prize. Chris is told to sit out to keept the teams even at three apiece.

There really isn't a whole lot you can say about watching people make pasta. Jimmy is elected to be the rack for red team, Andrew for Blue. Everyone throws flour every where as they scramble to make the most usable pasta they can in 20 minutes. Michael appears to know what he's doing. The minutes tick down. Jimmy looks tired of holding his arms out. Pasta is laid across his head. You know, when Chef says he wants pasta that can be used, I hope he's not planning on actually using this pasta. Michael cranks away at the pasta maker like an organ grinder on speed. Time expires as Michael throws one last strand across Jimmys arm. Jimmy has alot more pasta on him than Andrew. But is it usable???

A scale is brought out and Chef begins removing pasta from Andrew and weighing it. They end up with 2.41 pounds. Now for red team. Everyone looks on total rapture as he removes strand after strand from Jimmys...ample frame. They're up to 2.3 pounds! And there are still major pasta deposits on Jimmys right arm! But some isn't good enough! The last strand is put on the scale!!! Red team finishes at..2.commercial break!

Oh lord, I checked the Twins game during the break and they were talking about Juan Rincon. Honest to God they called him Rinky. I heard in the clubhouse they called him Vulch (short for vulture) because he got so many cheap wins in relief. At least they called Mintzcivevwsdsez "minty" instead of "Minky".

Oh yeah. Back to the show. Blue team is literally biting their nails over this. The final count for Red? 2.45 pounds! Red wins. Blue team immediately shifts into bitch overdrive. "My grandmother wouldn't serve that!" cries Ralph. "Neither would my grandmother!" echoes Jessica. Andrew stays silent on the grandmother issue. Red team is jubilant, natch, and rushes back to the dorm to change for their day out.

Blue team must be punished for the insolent refusal to win of course. And no surprise, they'll be making pasta. Alot of it. Red team, all decked out, kinda, bounces through the kitchen on their way out. Everyone trades pleasentries through gritted teeth. Michael gives the Blues the finger as he walks out. Heh. Jimmy brought his backpack along. They head out to a dock for their prize- a gondola ride. Michael is happy, because he's never ridden on a gondola before. Oh, really now it's just a big rowboat, except theres a guy in a striped shirt and straw hat. Well they all seem to enjoy it. Elsie and Jimmy wear jaunty straw hats and everyone is happy.
Well, not blue team who is convinced they were screwed.

That night, back in the dorm, Michael returns and immediately zooms in on Jess. Is he hitting on her? I don't know. Jess is suspect of his motives.
In Mike and Chris' bedroom the two chat about how great it would be if it came down to the two of them. Holy crap is Michael gonna get in bed with him??? Oh, no he just throws an extra blanket on him. "Thanks" says Chris dreamily as he drifts off to sleep. Ok, that was really weird. And keeping with that theme Michael goes outside and has a conversation...with himself. He refers to himself in the third person, than stands on the table and promises Billboard Ramsay that he will not fail him. Uh huh.

Morning lineup, and the days twist is revealed. The restaurant is double booked. There will be two seatings, two hours each. One team will serve while the other cooks. Red team gets to choose which they will do first. Preperation is begun. Ramsay actually appears to helpful for once.

First seating, and Red team opts to cook first. Wise move, as it turns out. Blue team is dispatched to their tables. Ralph and Andrew have been servers before but Jess is clueless. Does she carry the food out on a tray?? Jess opts to swear rather than cry to show her confusion. Guests start ariving and Ralph wastes no time breaking out the celebrity chef charm. Jeez, you can tell he's already seeing his name in lights.

Things aren't going so weel in the kitchen though. Jimmy keeps serving up dirty plates, which brings a non stop barrage of yelling from chef. The poor guy keeps running over to the plate, wiping it down, then as soon as he turns his back stuff drips off the bread onto the side of the plate again. Oh, he just can't win. Elsie isn't doing much better. For some reason she can't get started on her entrees. She just keeps prepping to do further action. Chef calls her a...cheerleader? Ok. Chris draws the most ire however. At one point he responds to Ramsay with "Oui, chef" Ohhhhh....Ramsay doesn't like that. And he lets him know about it. Yeah, way to not come across like a pretentious dick there Chris.
Michael, who in the past had always been willing to help his team mates out, is pretty much ignoring them and focusing purely on the desserts. He says he's here to win, not make friends. Good for you.
The situation in the kitchen eventually gets so bad that Jessica just starts handing out random plates of food to tables that have been waiting awhile. "If you wanna eat tonight, I suggest you take this!" I wonder who that food was supposed to go to Jessica?
Eh, as you can probably imagine, time runs out with ten tickets to go and a kitchen shut down is ordered. Ramsay is not pleased. He tells Red team to take an hour to get ready for the next seating. Everyone is dejected...but Michael has a plan! It involves...commercial break!

This seems as good a time as any to comment on the commercials for the upcoming FOX series Kitchen Confidential. I presume its based on the famous Anthony Bourdin book of the same name. If so, the commercials already seem to defy the single biggest theme of that book. Namely that all the kitchen staff appear to be rather clean cut white guys. I mean, the over arching theme was that if thats the kind of person guests in a fine restaurant expect to get their food from, they are sorely mistaken. Well, I'm sure they'll have a non English speaking Mexican in there for comic relief.
Still, I wonder what took so long to get a scripted kitchen show on TV? I mean, we've seen a gazillion cop, hospital and lawyer shows. Why not one about another profession with abnormally high rates of suicide and drug abuse? Hmm?

Ok, Michaels plan? Run blue team out of lasagna. It's a bitch to make and the kitchen is low on it. Sous chef Mary Ann seems approving of the idea. All right! As Blue team preps Ralph suddenly starts going off on Andrew for no apparent reason. Really, he didn't say anything and Ralph just kept tearing into him. About half his spiel was bleeped too. It's like Ralph can't decide if he wants to be Emeril or Tony Soprano. Andrew tries to make nice but Ralph just keeps cussing. Jess cusses to try and calm them down. I guess it worked.

On the floor red team pushes the lasagna hard on the guests. And the lasagna orders indeed start pouring in. Jess is on to the scheme right away. Ralph is slow on the tortelini...and chef chews him out big time. Well, thats a first. On the floor, Jimmy sweats alot and drops stuff everywhere running up and down the stairs. Chef keeps hollering his name over and over, like a bedridden patient calling for his nurse to fluff the pillow. Jimmy hustles back over. Chef tells him to lose weight. Thanks chef.

Jimmy compounds his failure by delivering food to the wrong table, then standing there wiping sweat off his face. "Stop touching yourself" snaps J.P. Jimmy responds in his own usual manner, grinning and nodding. In the kitchen things just melt down as Jess and Andrew can't get their food looking right. It all looks like a dogs dinner as chef repeatedly reminds them. Ah, the shut down is ineveitable, and with 19 tickets remaining. Red team looks good...

At post meal lineup chef goes over the comment cards. Jimmy got most of his starters out but they were all terrible. Oops. Blue team was way better at serving. So even though red team got alot more food out, one of them will be going home. Chef is psised that they managed to screw up pasta. As for the nominator, chef calls out Jimmys name(!?). Oh, but its just to remind him what a terrible job he did. No, Michael will do the nominating.

Back to the dorms and Jimmy apporaches Mike. "I'll tell you what I told everyone else. If I go home it's been nothing but a pleasure." I guess Jimmy says that alot. Chris chats with Mike and Mike acts like its an agonizing decision. Chris calls him "Spidey Mike" and they act all buddy buddy. But aside Michael confides "It's not really a hard decision. These people are your friends..but not really." He thinks he should take the opportunity to get rid of his strongest competition in Chris.

Back in the dining room Mike announces Elsie as his first choice. She just froze up tonight. And his second choice? Chris! This brings a hilarious, slow "whaaaaa?" head turn from Chris. Elsie and Chris approach. Elsie says she has learned and evolved so much since she got here. Chris says he should stay because of his work ethic and since he works so hard. Good argument Chris! Chef shakes his had sadly and looks at Jimmy. He calls him a bullet dodger..and a bullet swallower? Eh? Is that some quaint British expression? Well, as for who's going's Chris. He removes his jacket and walks out. Michael won't look at him as he walks by. Replays are shown of Mike telling Chris how great it would be if it came down to the two of them. In the hallway Chris doesn't blame it on Mike. He thinks Chef was out to get him since he's an executive chef. Maybe. And indeed Ramsay explains that when someone comes into his kitchen talking about how good they are they better back it up. And Chris didn't.

Next Week! Fallout from the elimination! Someones hair is in the food! (No one in that kitchen wears a hat or hairnet!) Jessica says it isn't hers! She's the only blonde in the kitchen! Who else could it belong to! Tune in...wait, not next week? I'm not sure. Apparently there is a two hour episode in two weeks. Well...ok. I'll be fiending for my show though if its not on. Damn you FOX!

Good grief, this Simpsons project is harder than I anticipated. How do you choose between Lisa the Greek and Homer at Bat? Should I stop at Season 8? Or do I need to continue to season Twelve at least, for the sake of Behind the Laughter? Problems!

This is interesting. Make believe stock market trading for web sites. And I'm listed!

I really can't make sense of alot of this. But it seems I hold a %.00033 share of the blog market! Go Ben!

Belmont Drunk

I forgot to mention this, but Saturday Belmont (our bulldog puppy...I forget sometimes that not everyone who visits here now knows who I am) knocked over a patio table containing Gwen and her friend Kristins alcoholic milkshakes. While they were trying to explain to the downstairs neighbors why there was sludge all over their patio now, Belmont lapped up about two shots worth of Amaretto. The good news is, he's not a mean drunk. Mostly a sleepy drunk. Although that night he wouldn't stop crying until I waled him at about 2am. (This was in the middle of my night where I was already only getting a few hours of sleep because of my work schedule.) Wow, I can't wait to have kids!
Maybe he had the spins.

I'm trying to put together a list of my all time favorite 25 Simpsons episodes. It's more difficult and time consuming than you would think. So I'm quitting for now. Maybe it will be up later. I don't know.

Working the Boat

Turned out to be a blast. I got there at 7 30 and me and Tommy spent til about 10 finishing prep work. Making eggs, panning stuff up, doing a fruit tray etc. Then we loaded everything onto the truck and drove it over to the marina. Unloaded everything (nearly losing a rolling warmer filled with food off the edge of the truck in the process...I would have cried I think) and brought it on the boat.
The boat is a very nice 100 foot...I don't know what its called. River cruiser thingy. The galley is the size of a bathroom. But after we awere all set up, and the guests were on board me and Tommy went up to the pilot house and hung out with the captain for awhile. It's great. He's just a typical foul mouthed middle aged sailor type who split his time between complaining that there wasn't any NASCAR pre-race coverage on and making obscene jokes about the first mates mother.
Once we had passed through the lock and dam we opened the buffet line. I mostly stayed in the galley makeing eggs benedict and panning up desserts and such.
Well, long story short when we got back to dock Tommy and I stood by the door thanking the guests as they left. It was really gratifying because almost every person who passed said how good the food was.
Breaking everything down and hauling it back up to the truck was kind of a pain in the heat, but thats about it. Really, this is exactly what I got into this business to do. I can't wait to go again next week.

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