'Hell's Kitchen' Recap: White chocolate and ground scallops don't mix well
By April MacIntyre Apr 2, 2008, 19:16 GMT
Gordon Ramsay - - London, England © Photorazzi
Hell's Kitchen is back for season four; the Fox show is a much more pedestrian effort than Bravo's "Top Chef" where real chefs work their behinds off to meet challenges.
What makes "Hell's" compelling is Gordon Ramsay himself; he is a natural born star, made for the camera with his porcine-faced grimaces, quick wit and ability to bandy the "feck" word with panache.
On the outset, season four seems to have some challenged players. Several are not professionals, just dilettantes who like the kitchen.
The Ramsay of "Kitchen Nightmares" is a different creature than the Ramsay of "Hell's Kitchen." Having said that, my favorite "Ramsay" is the star of the UK version, "Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares," a more solidly, smartly written and produced version of the show that elevates local owner/operator chefs to a more prosperous path.
That show does not pander to the lowest common denominator audience as American producers seem to do with their tendencies in explaining every nuance, thought and detail in hyper voice-over. We can figure some things out on our own, thanks.
The grand prize this season for "Hell's Kitchen" is running the flagship Ramsay London LA eatery that will cornerstone the Hotel London here in Los Angeles.
The show began with special effects makeup being applied to Gordon so he can get a whiff on the sly of his new "crew." Suss them out a bit. He looked like the murderer from "Body Double" - the one who stabs the girl and torments Jake.
We meet the "Black Gordon Ramsay" Bobby, a dim, misogynistic, self-described "four star general. He becomes the guy team's "captain." Bad choice we find out later.
Diminutive Mohawk-coiffed Louross turns out to be the galvanizer for the guys after all. Looks are deceiving.
Dominic is hopeless, a dad who winds up tossing over 30 large scallops during the night's service.
Nattering Petrozza served Ramsay his "signature dish" of hen in a pumpkin, which won for the strangest presentation of poultry ever.
Craig is the Napoleonic complexed hopeful who wore the towering chef hat, which Ramsay noted he must be compensating for something with it. Craig is ordered never to wear his hat again. He takes it hard in the B-roll.
Vanessa's "signature dish" was best in show for the initial lineup, but she fails as captain.
Jen and Roseann are two serious players for the girls. Both women have strong personalities in different ways. They will be interesting to watch.
Matt makes his "signature dish" - a vomit-inducing melange of capers, ground scallops, white chocolate (!) AND caviar timbale. I kid you not. Ramsay heaves on camera into a bin after giving that one a go.
Jason is an out-of-shape slacker who smokes and flakes out when he is needed. How can a real chef smoke? Doesn't that affect your palette and ability to taste food?
Sharon, Corey and Ben are forgettable. Corey ruined a simple chicken breast, a bad omen
Ramsay elects Captain Louross as the "best of the worst." He is put in the unfortunate position of having to present two guy team chefs for elimination tonight. He chooses Bobby and Dominic.
Ramsay tells smoker Jason he dodged a bullet and "got lucky tonight".
Bobby was taken to task for his lack of leadership skills and it was Dominic who flamed out, for wasting scallops and being unable to handle the pressure of the kitchen.
See you donkeys next week.