Hell’s Kitchen

Been watching “Hell’s Kitchen” again, the cooking reality show that’s like a car accident you can’t help but watch.

I’m not really sure how they pick the contestants. Why not get a bunch of contestants like they do on “Top Chef”?

Anyway, this year’s crop of chefs aren’t all that bad (some are, but most aren’t). It’ll be interesting to see who ends up winning.

You can watch the latest episodes on Hulu.

Kitchen Nightmares, Hell’s Kitchen, and Gordon Ramsay

Earlier I posted that a chef that appeared on Kitchen Nightmares has committed suicide. This is the second time this has happened that a contestant that appeared on a Gordon Ramsay show has committed suicide. The first was Rachel Brown, who appeared on Hell’s Kitchen.

A lot of people are going to jump to the conclusion that this has something to do with Gordon Ramsay’s tactics on these shows. I think that’s completely false. The people who have been shown on Kitchen Nightmares have run restaurants that are failing. The emotional upheaval this must cause for people has to be tremendous. They’re at their wits end, and have asked for frank advice about how to turn things around. And frank advice is what Ramsay gives…both barrels, holding nothing back. Some of these restaurants have gone on to close, some of them remain open. Ramsay tries to help these people turn things around in a short time by trying to be brutally honest with them. It’s very sad that some people think the only way out of situations like this is to commit suicide.

Hell’s Kitchen…. Humpf. I do continue to watch this show, but I have to say, they take a very “American Idol First Few Weeks” approach to picking contestants. Some of the contestants are genuinely good. Some of them are NOT good AT ALL. The last few seasons it seems as though they’ve been picking people that have not been prepared to deal with the sort of stress and anxiety that show causes. Some of these people are completely delusional about their abilities, and I find it extremely difficult to believe that Ramsay considers them to be in the running for the restaurant prize, at all.

There are many, many cooking competitions on TV: “The Next Iron Chef”, “Top Chef”, Ramsay even just finished a third: “Master Chef”.

If they’re truly looking for a person to run a restaurant, why not get chefs of the quality they get on Top Chef? It’s all about the train wreck, that’s why. This must leave some of the contestants, who never, ever had a chance, despite getting on the show, emotionally devastated.

I will say that I have no idea what the circumstances were around Rachel Brown’s death, and I’m not blaming the show. She made it through five shows, which is a lot better than most. The problem that got her voted off was that she just had a bad dinner service.

I really do think though, that particularly for shows like “Hell’s Kitchen”, it would be a lot better for everyone, all the way around, if they had contestants that did stand a chance to win everything from the get go.

Hell’s Kitchen Finale – Part 1

If you missed last night’s show, here ya go:


One of the things that’s getting very predictable about the show is when they start trying to make you believe one thing, you can be pretty sure they’re going to do the opposite. The whole “I’m wondering if I have the right two finalists”, Petrozza making noises like he’s about to lose the challenge, etc. That’s always gotten on my nerves, and it was especially bad last night.

Why was Whoppi Goldberg there? Just because you’re a celebrity, you get to show up like that? Seemed weird and out of place.

Petrozza picked Bobby and Ben. Christina picked Corey and Louross. Leaving Matt and Jen. They sure made it sound like Jen was out of some sort of revenge, but in retrospect it sounded like she wanted to do such a good job that Ramsay will regret booting her.

If you look carefully at the end credits, Petrozza ends up picking Jen for his final chef, leaving Matt with Christina.

Hell’s Kitchen: Corey, Petrozza and Christina Battle It Out

If you missed Hell’s Kitchen last night, here’s the episode. My comments are after the video.


When it came down to the final service, every one of them screwed up in some way. Corey didn’t handle the hot plate, Petrozza didn’t catch some sabotage from Chef Scott, and Christina fell apart at her station.

Of the three, Petrozza screwed up less than the other two, so I was sure he’d make it in to the finals. I did think that Ramsay made the right decision in picking Christina, simply because she won so many challenges.

That’s one of the good differences between a show like this and a show like Top Chef. In Top Chef, you can win several challenges in a row, but if you don’t cook well one week, you’re out. A lot of that game is “screw up less than your opponents that week”, which is why some chefs that won cooking challenges left before others. Ramsay took Cristina’s previous performance into account when he made that decision, and I think it was a good choice.

Now, it’ll be interesting to see what happens next week. Sure looks as though both Petrozza and Christina really screwed up service, and Gordon Ramsay will be left with a similar choice to what he did this week.

Now, if they had chefs of the caliber of Top Chef doing Hell’s Kitchen… That would be interesting.

Hell’s Kitchen Episode 3

You know, I like Gordon Ramsay. Not for his antics on Hell’s Kitchen, which are pretty much way over the top, but because of the BBC version of Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. He’s tough, but he cares about helping people out of tough spots.

If you missed the show, you can watch it before reading further.

So, say what you want about the guy, but some of Gordon’s soft touch came through last night when Jason had a meltdown trying to remember the menu. Gordon actually talked him back into the dinner service, but Jason still blew it in the end.

Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there are only about four people on that show that even come close to making it to the end. The rest of them don’t look like they’re going to make it.