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Three Chefs Remain - July 30

Last time, Josh was ejected from the competition in the middle of dinner service, and Julia was also sent home, but Chef Ramsay gave her a trip to culinary school, and a chance to return in a future season.  With only 3 chefs remaining, the end draws near...

An emotional night

On the way back to the dorms, Rock pulls Jen aside for a quick chat.  He tells her that despite not liking what she said to him during the dinner service, he apologizes for what he said and did.  Jen apologizes as well, and they hug.  Looks like those expecting more drama between those two didn't get what they were looking for.  Anyway, once they get to the dorms, Bonnie starts crying because she feels bad about Julia being sent home.  She does hope that culinary school will indeed be the best thing for her, but she'll miss seeing her each day.  She's not the only one; they're all sad about it, even Rock.  Then, with the realization that this means only 3 remain, Bonnie is surprised that she got this far, but Jen tells her that Rock has shown that he really wants to win this.  In the meantime, Rock feels fortunate about still being here, and he knows that he just has to outlast 2 more people.

"Homemade to Gourmet"

The next day, the group lines up in the dining room, and for some reason, Ramsay seems cheerful this time.  He says that in his lifetime, he has worked with some phenomenal chefs, and he wants to introduce the 3 to who he thinks is the best.  And wouldn't you know it; it's his mother!  She arrives with a covered dish, and soon enough, we see that she brought some good ol' macaroni and cheese!  Ramsay explains that he grew up with this dish, and that people want to be able to feel at ease in a restaurant, by seeing something that they can identify from their childhood.  But in a fine dining restaurant, one has to take such a dish, and turn it into something unique.  So, he then reveals his version of macaroni and cheese; this includes roasted lobster, shavings of black truffles, and aged parmesan cheese.

This leads into this week's challenge for the 3 chefs; they'll have to take a classic American dish, and evolve it into something that would fit in a fine dining restaurant.  The sous-chefs bring in 5 domes for the 3 to choose from.  Beneath each is the name of a classic dish.  Let's see what they choose...

Bonnie - Franks & Beans

Jen - Fried Chicken

Rock - Spaghetti & Meatballs

Bonnie didn't recognize her choice as an American dish, saying it seemed more British to her.  Ramsay asks, "What's more American than a hot dog?"  Good point.  Anyway, they have 1 hour to create their fine dining versions of those dishes, so they get moving.  I would have liked to see what was under the other 2 domes, but oh well.  As they get going, Bonnie is asking questions about her choice.  In an aside, she explains that she has had hot dogs before, but not with beans.  As they cook, Ramsay tells them that they don't want to lose this one.

Eventually, they get their dishes together, under their domes, and bring them to the dining room.  Now, let's see what they did...

Bonnie - An Italian version of Beans & Franks; mini bruschettas, served with a mushroom cream leek sauce

Rock - A "Study of Spaghetti"; 3 different spaghettis, one with a cream sauce, one with a veal, and one with a spicy chorizo and pork

Jen - Fried Chicken Roulade; stuffed with crab meat, spinach, and goat cheese

With the dishes covered up again, Ramsay sends them back in line, then brings in some special judges for this challenge; Carol (Rock's mother), Joyce (Bonnie's mother), and Carol (Jen's mother)!  All 3 of the competitors were so happy to see them!  But now, it's onto the tasting.  The mothers do not know which dish was made by whom, and the 3 cannot give any clues as to who made what.  All 3 of the moms enjoyed all 3 dishes, so this could be tough.  But as Ramsay quietly asks them which dish they liked the best, Rock, Jen, and Bonnie are trying to see if they can get a clue as to which way they're voting.  The moms are too quiet, though.  And the fact that they're facing away from the 3 didn't help, either.

Then, Ramsay announces that they have an outright winner, with all 3 of the moms picking the same dish.  And that dish is... the Fried Chicken Roulade, giving the win to Jen!  After the 3 chefs hug their moms, Ramsay explains that they have a special day planned for Jen and her mom; lunch with Ramsay and his mom!  As for Rock and Bonnie, they'll have to clean the dorms!  But at least they'll get some more time with their moms beforehand!  It was quite the emotional moment for all of them, but soon enough, Rock and Bonnie's mothers have to leave.  Once they leave, Bonnie says she doesn't want to clean the dorms!  It's a bit late to say that...

Fun with lunch, shopping, and even cleaning

For lunch, Jen and her mom have been brought to The Lodge, a steakhouse.  As for Rock and Bonnie, they get a bunch of cleaning stuff and a list of what to do, courtesy of Scott.  Rock states the obvious; they have a lot to do.  Bonnie says she's good at making beds, which is one of the minimal things to do on that list.  Apparently, even though Bonnie is supposed to be a nanny, she doesn't do much stuff that one would expect from a nanny; she just cooks and does a bit of baby-sitting.  Um, okay.  This could make for an interesting experience, especially for Rock, who may end up doing most of the cleaning...

At The Lodge, Ramsay asks Jen what she's going to be at the next dinner service, now that they're this close to the end.  Loud, assertive, in control, and...  Well, Jen didn't know what else, so Ramsay fills in the blank: accurate.  Then, Jen's mom, Carol, calls her "my little dolly".  Ramsay says he'll remember that for the next service.  Heh.  Back at Hell's Kitchen, the dorm cleaning continues; Bonnie says that her mom thought she did the spaghetti, and still voted against it!  Hmm.  Rock says he wishes that she would have voted for it.  Well, it was his dish, so, yeah.  Later, Bonnie tells Rock that she's hungry.  Rock's response: "Eat!"  Rock, in an aside, compares her to a diva and a drama queen, adding that she seems bossy.  But he didn't mind all of this; it was just a long day for him.

Meanwhile, Ramsay brings Jen and their moms to Surfas, a kitchen equipment shop, for a shopping spree!  He then tells Jen that she has $1,000 to spend!  She appears to be really excited!  With that, Ramsay and his mum head out, to let Jen and her mother go crazy in the shop!  And boy, does Jen ever go crazy!  Needless to say, she got a lot of stuff with that money.  A glimpse of the screen at the register shows that her total spent, with taxes, comes in at $998.36.

That night, at 10:03PM, Jen arrives back at Hell's Kitchen, and she says goodbye to her mom before heading in.  Arriving back at the dorms, Jen hugs Bonnie, and they ask each other how their day went.  In an aside, Rock says that being isolated doesn't bother him.  But then, focus turns to the next night, and the next dinner service.  Bonnie wonders if the 3 of them can pull it off.  Jen plans to be strong, assertive, and in control.  Rock says that today was great for Jen, but tomorrow will be great for him.

Role reversal?

The next day, the 3 chefs make their way to the kitchen for prep.  As they do, we see flashbacks of the other 9 competitors leaving.  Then, as they get to their prep, we find out what is going through their minds; Bonnie is feeling more confident than before, not concerned about the other 2, Jen knows that Rock is a strong competitor, but she's a fighter, and Rock says the big prize is so close, he can smell it.  Soon enough, Ramsay has a few words for them; this will indeed determine which 2 of them will compete in the final, and on this night, each of them will get a chance to run the pass!  This means that they'll each get a chance to see what it's like in Ramsay's shoes during a service!  He then continues, saying he'll get the service going, then he'll pass the control to each of them.  He says it'll either be them running the kitchen, or vice-versa.  With that, he pulls Bonnie aside into the blue kitchen, while the others continue prep in the red kitchen.

At this point, Ramsay wants to see how assertive they can be, by seeing how they'd react if one of their cooks screwed up.  He tells Bonnie to imagine that their roles were reversed, and that the pasta is undercooked, and the scallops are raw.  Man, does Bonnie ever tear into him!  Rock, not knowing what that's about, apparently thought for that moment that this would mean he and Jen would skip forward to the finals!  But no, it's just practice for the service.  And Ramsay was quite impressed by this!  He then sends Bonnie back and brings Rock over to test his assertiveness.  The first time, Ramsay thought Rock sounded stupid, but gives him another shot.  The second time ended up better.  Then, Jen gets her shot to yell at Ramsay for practice.  The first time, Ramsay thought she sounded like a drunk country and western singer.  The second time was better.

Taking control of the pass and the quality

On to the service.  The doors open, the orders start to come in, and the group gets things going.  And just as quickly, the appetizers are flying out like never before!  So far, absolutely no problems have arisen!  You think they might be able to keep this up the whole way?  Soon enough, though, Ramsay pulls the sous-chefs aside for a moment, and tells them that when each of the 3 have their turn expediting at the hot plate, to intentionally screw up 1 or 2 dishes!  This way, Ramsay is testing the quality control of the 3 chefs, and making sure they only send out top-quality food.  First up is Jen, and she says that she had never expedited before.  This shows, as once an order comes in, Ramsay has to remind her to read it to the others!  At least she sounds assertive when she does do that.

But now, it's time for the first quality control test.  Scott has just brought up some crab spaghetti, which has a problem.  And Jen has to see that problem and tell him to start it again.  Unfortunately, she doesn't see a problem, and attempts to have it served!  Ramsay stops her right there, and points out the problem; there's no crab in the crab spaghetti!  Ramsay says that she has to use her eyes when she's up there, and tells her to let the group know that that needs to be started again.  Then, moments later, she has a chance to recover when another sabotaged dish from Scott shows up; this time, a risotto.  She spots it this time; the risotto is overcooked and not seasoned properly.  Then, when asked to do it again, Scott says he needs 6 minutes, but Jen says to do it in 5.  A nice recovery, but she almost pushed it a bit too far when she almost rejected something that Ramsay confirmed was fine!  In an aside, Rock felt that she was coming across as a bit jumbled.  Might have had to do with some panicking.  But soon enough, Ramsay sends Jen back to her section.

Now, it's Rock's turn.  He is getting comfortable at the pass, but Scott is preparing a test for him, this time with a monkfish.  He brings it up, and Rock notices, albeit after some inspection, that the ham that is supposed to come with it is missing!  Rock mentions this to Scott, and has him start again.  So, Rock has passed that test, but he seems to have another problem; getting orders done in a timely manner.  Ramsay notices that he's been a bit quiet, so he gets Rock to speak up.  Ramsay also tells him to speed up with plating and serving the food, as he has been a bit slow with that.  In an aside, Rock says he just wants to make sure he doesn't screw up.  And it shows, as the customers seem to really enjoy their food!  With that, Rock is sent back to his section.

One more chef left to test at the pass, and it's Bonnie.  She tries to keep things going, but she screws up the reading of an order, quickly correcting herself.  She seemed to be all over the place, according to Rock.  But how will she do with quality control, when Scott serves up some squab?  Bonnie spots the problem; the skin isn't crispy!  She then tells Scott that she needs another one.  But that's not the only quality control we see from Bonnie; she sends Jen's risotto back because it needs more salt!  Sounds like Bonnie is doing quite well.  However, Jen has a problem; she doesn't have any more risotto because her last batch is overcooked!  Ramsay has Scott head over and confirm that the rice is indeed overcooked.  Oh, geez.  In the meantime, Bonnie goes back to her station, and Ramsay will be running things the rest of the way.  Thankfully, no more problems arise, and they get through the rest of the service just fine!

Who deserves it more?

With the customers gone, Ramsay tells the 3 that this was their best service ever, though it wasn't perfect.  And the fact that they did so well doesn't change the fact that someone has to go home.  They all had their highs and lows at the pass, and he'll be judging them on how they did there as well as on their stations.  Ramsay then tells the 3 to return to the dorms and think about why they think they should be in the final 2.  He says it will be tough for him to end one of their dreams, before sending them back.

In the dorms, Jen feels that she deserves to make it to the finals, and she's unsure if Bonnie is really willing to keep going.  Bonnie doesn't seem too sure, though.  But she does feel that she has gotten better than she was when the season started, and it'll be hard for her to leave if she is eliminated.  In the meantime, Rock feels that he needs to win, as this would mean everything to his family.

Setting up the final confrontation

Now, it's time to see who will reach the final stage of the competition.  Rock, Jen, and Bonnie all step forward in the dining room, and Ramsay asks each of them why they should be a finalist here.  Bonnie says that she has gotten better, that she can be the person that people look to, and that she has what it takes.  Jen says that she lives for food, that the kitchen is her home, and that she's gaining confidence.  Rock says that he has grown a lot as a person, that he's a leader, and that he didn't come here to finish second or third.  We then get flashbacks of Jen spotting overcooked risotto, Bonnie noting that another risotto needs more salt, and Rock sending back a monkfish without ham.

Ramsay notes that this is a tough decision, and it shows in his expressions.  But someone has to go, and he decides that the person leaving is... not Rock.  He's moving on to the final.  But who won't be joining him?  The person leaving is... Jen.  Ramsay says that she did so well, and her enthusiasm and drive is extraordinary, and she has nothing to be ashamed about.  As she takes off her jacket and leaves, Ramsay tells her to keep her head up high.

Afterwards, Ramsay congratulates Rock and Bonnie for being this year's finalists, and tells them that they are one step away from becoming the head chef at the Green Valley Ranch resort in Las Vegas!  He then brings in Rock's wife, and Bonnie's mom and dad!  The finalists go to see them and spend a bit of time together.  But soon enough, Ramsay gets their attention again, and tells them that they deserve to be there, but their biggest challenge is still ahead.  With that, down comes the drape splitting the dining room in half!

Well, this is going to be a good one.  Rock vs. Bonnie.  An executive chef vs. a nanny/personal chef.  It should also be noted that unlike the past two seasons, where it was either man vs. man (Season 1) or woman vs. woman (Season 2), both genders are represented here.  They've both shown their fair share of strengths and weaknesses, so this one could be closer than one might expect.  For a prediction, I think Rock will pull off the win, but I wouldn't count Bonnie out too quickly.

Next week, the final challenge begins; they'll each begin to redesign their half of the dining room and create their menus, and they'll get to scout the Green Valley Ranch resort, where a surprise awaits them!  Plus, some familiar faces will show up...

 

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