Monday, June 12, 2006

Hells Kitchen Recap- Episode I

My favorite show on TV returns. Hurrah.
Let's get down to business.

Brief rundown of last year. Gordon Ramsey became a star and made fun of Regis Philbin and Jay Leno. No mention is made of Michael who actually turned down the grand prize after the fact. Or runner up Ralph last seen getting slaughtered by Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America. Now 12 new contestants have been picked, on the basis of their wacky videos to enter Hells Kitchen.
Lengthy video package detailing the shows premise. People competing against eachother in a commercial kitchen, but I'm guessing you know that. A clip is shown of some of the chefs riding a roller coaster, while the narrator alludes to the show being a roller coaster ride. That sounds like something out of the Simpsons.

Lets cut through this. The contestants arrive in a black bus with the HK logo on the side. Or maybe it was one of those Hummer limos. I don't know, my notes are vauge and I don't have TiVo. Inside maitre'd Jean Phillipe greets them and offers them champagne. They all ooh and awe over the place while in the back, Chef peruses their files skeptically. AS they're all toasting themselves Chef swaggers in and loses no time in dropping his first "Moves your ass-uh" in telling them to get into the kitchen and make their signature dish. They've got 30 minutes! Your ass-uh! Move it!

There's about 9 seconds of footage of them actually cooking. The highlight is sweaty stockbroker Tom attempting to open a wine bottle with a knife and just hacking the entire neck off. Wow, you just made Stephen look so cool. He dumps it all into his...whatever. In the future, skin up the neck with the blade, don't hack.

Presenting time. Keith is up first. He's a 28 year old bartender/chef. He's also wearing his hat at in the ridiculous 'south by southeast' fashion so I can tell how well we're gonna get along. After being confused by his slang Chef dumps Keiths seasame crusted tuna into said hat. I don't think he liked it.
Rachels butterfly shrimp with chocolate sauce is called 'very weird'. Indeed.
Polly (47, caterer) has some 'un-done' focaccia. As in, it's not done. You can guess how that goes over.
Fishmonger Larry has some potato crab cakes, same result. In interview he describes himself as a pitbull. We'll see.
Cafeteria chef Maribel offers...God I have bad handwriting...plantain soup? That sounds right. Whatever it was Chef spits it out and opines that it looks like baby food. It does!
"Can it get any worse?" He uncovers the next dish, which belongs to Sweaty Tom. Shrimp Scampi over ceasar salad. Cooked ceasar salad. Hmm. Anyway, Chef spits it out too and says something I didn't hear. I don't have TiVo!
Heather, a 25 year old sous chef with active eyebrows is next. Her chocolate raspberry empanadas are declared the best thing yet. Which is kinda like being the highest rated show on UPN. She'll take it though.
Garret and Gabe are called up next. Garret learned to cook in prison. Good for him! Gabe is ordered to taste Garrets food and says its overdone. Garret is pissed! Will we see a shanking?
Giacomo and Sara are next. Hmmmm. Will Giacomos fluffy locks make HIM the Harold Dieterle of Hells Kitchen? I'm banking on it! Go Giacomo! It's pronounced jock-a-mo if you're wondering. Chef actually likes his pasta dish. Go Giacomo! Saras fish gets a neutral response.
"Salad Chef" Virginia offers up some sort of salad, I don't know. Chef calls it horse food I think. Thats it.

Well, thats done. Returning sous chefs Scott and Mary Ann are introduced. And they are all divided into the red and blue teams. In a shocking twist, it will be men vs. women! Incredible! Or not. Tom is happy because he won't have to worry about offending anybody. If he's planning to wander the kitchen in tiny jogging shorts, he might yet.

'Move your ass-uh' #2 sends the kids to their dorm. I predict to Gwen that Giacomo and Garrett will be this seasons stars. This leads to an un-recountable conversationa about my sexual orientation. You had to be there. But be glad you weren't.

This years prize- Exec chef spot at a restaurant in the Mirage in Vegas. Plus a share of the profits. Nice, better than last years vauge prize that Michael ended up rejecting anyway.
Hells Kitchen will open in 24 hours. The women are all "Go Team!". The men...aren't.

Prep time! Polly doesn't know what mirepoix is. I really don't want to be a dick, and I'm certainly not a food snob but perhaps someone who doesn't know what mirepoix is, and I'm really not a snob, shouldn't be executive chef at a major restaurant. Ok, I'm sorry? Tom sweats in a stockpot, drawing chefs ire. Tom dons a bandanna. A hat, perhaps?

At lineup Chef asks for two volunteers. All the women raise their hands instantly, Giacomo after a delay. What did they volunteer for?? An ad break!
Back, and its revealed they will be their teams 'donkeys'. Heather is jacked she'll be able to help her team by sweeping and mopping. Giacomo, less so.

Opening time! Virginias hands are shaking. The first order is in! Heather mops! One of my notes reads "waves team", whatever that means! Tom struggles with appetizers!

Pollys first dish is rejected by Chef; ditto Tom. Tom interviews that he was "In the woods right out of the gate." In the weeds dude, the weeds.

Polly and Sara clash over how long the apps will be ready. Polly says six minutes, Sara claims two. Neither is right really. They won't get any apps out for awhile.
Tom pushes some apps past chef but the customer isn't digging it. No pumpkin in his risotto! No! He goes to complain and recieves the first big Gordon Ramsay profanity-laced rant of the year. Come on, he's probably just doing what the producers told him to do.

Meanwhile one of Toms pots boils over causing a flare up. As we got to commercial Chef cries "TOMMMMMMMMM..." Tom is the new Jimmy!

Back, and Polly takes her fourth crack at the first ticket. Another no-go so Chef orders donkey Heather to switch with her. On the mens side Toms stove is off, as the boil over put out the pilot light. Been there. It took him some time to notice though, drawing a rant.

Heather clears the first ticket on her first try drawing cheers from her team. Oops, bad idea. Heather, who clearly knows the score tries to hush them but its too late. Chef goes ballistic on them for being happy about clearing one ticket after an hour and a half. Heather, she's good.

"Gabe has no clue"? Shit I gotta take better notes.

On entrees Virginia is all messed up and freely admits it. She says she's 'miscombobulated' which I'm not so sure is really a word. She's got no lamb stock, only veal stock so she actually tries to borrow some for the men. Then gets all offended when they refuse. They are your competitors you know.

People are chanting for their food! Cooks drop pots! Fires flare up! Chef is exasperated! Ad break!

Back, and it's time to shut it down. Keith is upset because he did not kill it tonight, nor did his team kill it. Heather is embaressed. I think you're safe there Heather.

Seems they served the fewest customers in HK history. Awesome! It was C-R-A-P. Neither team won, but the men are pronounced to be less bad. Heather is told to nominate two teammates to be eliminated.

In the dorms the girls all gab about it. Sara tries to apologize for the cheering thing but Heather ain't interested. "What if I nominate Maribel and Maribel goes home?" Then Maribel won't be on the show anymore.

At lineup, Heather nominates Polly (lack of experience) and...Virginia! I guess this was surprising for reasons I apparently missed while scrawling my useless notes. It's a tough decision for Chef, only because he wishes to send them both home. Heh. He settles on Polly. In her exit interview she claims she'd rather be nice and lose than be coniving and win. Hmm, is Heather gonna be edited as coniving now? I hope not. Pollys jacket is impaled on a meat hook, though this season the camera now pans up to a picture of her, which then bursts into flames and wilts away to reveal the HK logo.

Next time! Two chefs go to the hospital! Which ones? Find out some time Tuesday when I get the recap up.

On a related note, you gotta check out Stephens website. Guess maybe he is such a douche after all. More on that later.

I like to regularly check what search terms lead people to my page. Lately 97 percent of them have dealt with Harold Dieterle but I always enjoy the few that don't.
Some recent search engine inquries that somehow led people here. "send them to die slap them Simpsons" "happy baby chef" "billy joels birthday" (???) "malificent ha ha" (??????) "jess parnell voice of brer rabbit".

However, I see that someone in Spain got here by searching for "Ben Storkamp". Do I know anyone in Spain? Are there other Ben Storkamps out there? This will keep me up at night.

Don't forget! Hells Kitchen premiere tonight! Check back here for Hells Kitchen recaps!

That Does It. I'm Never Voting Democrat Again!

AS you may or may not know the state DFL convention was in Rochester this weekend and a number of luminaries were staying at my hotel. Not a problem in particular mind you, though I did get somewhat weary of serving breakfast to people decked out in up to 300 campaign buttons each, chattering excitedly about what an awesome candidate Amy Klubacher is. But on Saturday I had to work a double to take care of a small evening banquet and make sure things weren't to busy in the restaurant. So I bang out the dinner at 6:30 and by the time 8 rolls around I'm thinking 'It's dead, I can close my side and get out of here.' See, I gotta work at 530 the next morning and I really needed some sleep. (The previous night we'd had a thunderstorm and Belmont spent the whole night crawling over my chest) Then, just as I'm about to announce my plans a 35 top walks in unannounced. Let me repeat that. A party of thirtyfive people showed up to et without any warning. Uncool DFL, seriously uncool. We also were swarmed, piecemeal, with twos threes and fours from the rest of the convention at the same time. I know I shouldn't be bitching about business which equals more hours for me, but I was not a happy camper that night. Oh yeah, they kept ordering even after the kitchen closed at 11 compelling me to make 'choking' motions with my hand. Oh and they were lousy tippers too. And I got to bed at 1am, just so I could get up at 430 to serve them omlettes with a forced smile on my face. I dont care if the GOP runs an alien werewolf for Senate, I'm voting for it.

P.S. 2 hour Hells Kitchen premiere tonight! Check back for my recap! Hells Kitchen, here!

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