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If you can't stand the heat, you're not going to last long in Gordon Ramsay's kitchen.

Recaps by Chico & Quisla Alexander, GSNN

Gordon Ramsay
Sous Chefs: Gloria Felix, Scott Liebfried
Maitre D': Jean Philippe Susilovic

Jason Thompson
Creator: Paul Jackson
Arthur Smith, Kent Weed
Packager: A. Smith & Co. Productions, Granada America
Origin: Century Studios, Los Angeles, CA
Airs: Thursdays at 9pm ET on Fox

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Sixteen Chefs Compete
January 29

Michael Wray... Heather West... Rock Harper... Christina Machamer. Each one of these (aspiring) chefs came into the ring of fire known as "Hell's Kitchen" and ended up on the other side of culinary purgatory a winner. Now as the doors prepare to swing open on the "restaurant's" fifth year in operation, 16 new chefs prepare themselves for the ultimate (bleeping) gourmet challenge.

Time to open up for business.

We get started right away with the sixteen players and their signature dishes. Chef Ramsay calls this particular class of misfits... reprobates... general losers... the best he's ever had. So expectations... all-time high. Let's see who in fact we're dealing with.

- Andrea Heinly, 30, a line cook from Reading, PA
- Ben Walanka, 26, an executive sous chef from Chicago, IL
- Carol Scott, 30, a sous chef from Knoxville, TN
- Charlie McKay, 24, a prep chef from Las Vegas, NV
- Coi, 22, a cafe cook from Austin, TX
- Colleen Cleek, 41, a cooking school instructor from Papillion, NE (who admittedly never learned how to cook and yet is charging $300 a head for lessons)
- Danny Veltri, 23, an executive chef (and self-proclaimed redneck) from Edgewater, FL
- Giovanni Filipponi, 37, an executive chef from Destin, FL
- J Maxwell, 32, a food court chef from Clifton Park, NY
- Ji Hyun Cha, 33, a private caterer from Palisades Park, NJ
- LA (Alicia), 23, a line cook from Las Vegas, NV
- Lacey D'Angelo, 24, a corporate buffet cook from Charlotte, NC
- Paula Dasilva, 28, an executive sous chef from Coconut Creek, FL
- Robert Hesse, 29, a sous chef from Quogue, NY
- Seth Levine, 27, a private party chef from New York, NY
- Wil Kocol, 27, an openly out quality-control chef from Elgin, IL

Now that we have demographics out of the way, let's see what tastes they have to offer. Chefs establish their reputation on the back of their signature dishes.

Carol: Roulade of Veal over Caramelized Onions. (delicious)
Wil: Rabbit Two Ways (delicious, but poorly presented)
Ji: Miso-Sake Marinated Sea Bass (cooked perfectly)
Robert: Potato & White Truffle Wrapped Chilean Sea Bass (bass cooked nicely, sauce is disgusting, dish is clumsy, like it's chef)
Lacey: Chicken and Blackberries ("You serve, they eat, straight after, they vomit)
Danny: Ahi Gone Bananas ("Looks like you've gone slightly bananas.")
Giovanni: the only executive chef in America who can't cook rice
Eric: lamb chops that look like a ferris wheel.
LA: a screwed up fish-and-chips
J: ... I don't even know what the hell that is.
Colleen: Chicken Enchilada with Poblano Sauce (and we have the first spit-out of the season)

"I teach manners, too, Chef." Oh, no, she didn't.

Andrea: Penne (spot on)
Coi: Rice (perfect)
Paula: Soup (beautiful)
Seth: Cinnamon Crusted Lamb Chops on a Bed of Aubergine Ratatouille (too sweet... the worst dish he's ever tasted... could be an early candidate for exit)
Ben: Pan-Seared Peking Duck (nice, attractive, best dish on the men's side)

Now what's in store for the winner? How's $250,000 and a spot as head chef at the new restaurant at the Borgata in Atlantic City. Michael Mina is there... Wolfgang Puck is there... Bobby Flay is there... you could be there. That's the dream.

Chef Ramsay sends the teams off to think of team names over at the dorms.

The gents start thinking about the Blue Balls, the Blue Coconuts, and Robert's suggestion... the Blues Brothers. Lacey calls the suggestions of the women ... stupid. After hearing such gems as "Smokin' Reds", "Saffron Sisters", and "Sizzlin' Spices"... one tends to agree. How about the Spice Racks?

Day 1: 8a... 10 hours to opening.

As the teams get ready to open, Lacey drops a bomb. She would rather watch the other stations, because she doesn't have line experience. Eep. And she really doesn't want to be here anymore. She ends up walking out on her ice cream, which looks like the dreaded ICM of Kitchen Stadium went and did a deuce on her.

Lacey returns to the dorms to have a moment to herself, as the others decide whether or not to go back and check up on her. They decide... give it time.

Seth on the other hand, has never worked in a restaurant before. Giovanni calls him useless. He needs to be walked around so they can get things working.

Lacey comes back to work refreshed (we hope).

5:50p... 10 minutes to opening.

Ramsay rallies the troops. The ladies come up with the name "Team Saffron". Which is lame-ass. Of course, Colleen says that they wanted to name themselves.... "The Spice Racks." That gets a laugh from the sour Scotsman. The men come up with "The Blues Brothers".

Meanwhile, Ramsay calls for two volunteers... Carol and Giovanni. Sixteen in a brigade. That's too many. Carol & Giovanni are going to spend the night as... waiters! And before the doors open, he also asked Charlie to shave off his "12-inch ginger pubic hairs". Also known as that... thing... growing out the side of your chin. One of the things you learn quickly in food service is that hair in your food... is BAD.

The rest of the crew helps out before opening... until Lacey goes off. Coi says if they lose because of her, she's coming after her. Lacey just says she's sick of stupid bitches.

And now, the five words you've waited all year to hear...

"Jean-Philippe... Open Hell's Kitchen."

Fake restaurant action... SHOWTIME!


The first impressions will come from the servers, so when you're asked "What is polenta?" and "What are the specials?", you're expected to come up with an answer such as "boiled cornmeal" or "Try the mushroom risotto." Not awkward pauses.

LA is excited about dinner service, but at the same time, she's scared, because that's when Gordon Ramsay turns on his ... unique charm. AT 6:24, Giovanni finally gets his first order in. Ramsay, tired of Robert yelling over him, asks him to call the order once, and then threatens him with a bath.

Lacey is wondering what is wrong with her oven, while Ben is wondering what's wrong with his spaghetti. And while Colleen decides that spaghetti is good with mascarpone cheese (three things to remember: one, mascarpone cheese is usually a soft dessert cheese, which is applied to cheesecakes and tiramisu, two, Colleen has NEVER taken a culinary course... EVER... and three, never... mess... with an established chef's recipe in the presence of said chef).... the power goes out. The ovens are still working, and so is Chef Ramsay. Danny is called out for not communicating in this time of crisis. The best thing you can do when the unexpected hits is communicate.

With no food coming out of either kitchen and power to the restaurant out everywhere, Carol comes up with an idea. No dining in the dark, NO PROBLEM! We got plenty of juice to getcha liquored up. Robert, meanwhile, takes charge in the blue kitchen.

And the power comes back, so let's get back to work.

Colleen comes out fighting with spaghetti served from a pan that had been cooked with, but not cleaned. The red kitchen... out of pans... that Ramsay shows her all of the pans. The Blue Kitchen is sending appetizers through, but Giovanni doesn't know where they were supposed to be going.

Two hours into dinner, and the Blues are getting their entrees out without Wil's gnocchi garnish. Robert tells him not to give up, while the Reds are cooking way too much spaghetti than needed, resulting in underdone spaghetti. Seth didn't cook his lambchops properly, resulting in warped underdone lambchops.

Two and a half hours in, spaghetti is good with Colleen, but now risotto is a problem. "That is the worst risotto I've ever tasted in my entire cooking career!" Apparently Colleen thought the sugar was salt. Never mind that the sugar is sweet and salt is not.

Men have stalled on their entrees thanks to Wil's ineptitude. Charlie and Robert come to assist.

Three hours on, and everyone is waiting for entrees... and 22 just left the dining room. With more following them.


Translated in American... "That was bad. Really really bad."

Now Chef Ramsay has to pick a winning team, though both teams are equally weak. Service of the dining room will be the ultimate factor. Carol gets an 88% rating above average. Giovanni gets a 90% rating... below average. The men will have to put two of their own up for elimination.

Seems like Wil is the obvious choice. He agrees with the nomination. He in turn nominates himself. You know, we say this a lot on the site here, but in a competition setting, the LAST thing you want to do is admit your weakness. That is a surefire ticket on the one way express to Palookaville. Meanwhile, everyone wonders why Giovanni bleeped up so bad. His defense, he's not a waiter.

Decision time.

Wil is nominated for his horrendous cooking. Seth nominates himself... though he doesn't know why. Ben makes it clearer: "He doesn't give a (bleep) about being here." One by one, the team... especially Robert...  expresses their desire to replace Wil as a nominee, because he had the heart, but not the ability. In their eyes, Seth would be the first nominee, and Wil the second.

Ramsay doesn't see it that way. As Robert respects the nominations, both are called. Seth says he has the heart and the knowledge to continue. Wil wants to undo the damage he did today.

The person leaving tonight... WIL. He's the first to hand over his jacket.

Next time, another fiery dinner service, another chef gets their walking papers, and... because it's you, we have an injury on the field. Now piss off.