Tuesday , February 20 2024
Let's examine last night's cooking challenge in-depth, shall we?

Ramsay vs. Jen on Hell’s Kitchen

Hell's Kitchen continues to perplex me, truly it does.  I still can't imagine wanting to eat at any of the restaurants that the chefs we've seen would end up running.  I still can't imagine how Jen takes herself seriously.  I still can't imagine what Matt is doing in the contest at all.  It's all so greatly disappointing and mainly that's due to the chefs. 

What I'd like to do today, is dissect last night's cooking challenge, to show just why I'm so very disappointed.

Prior to the challenge, Ramsay explained to the chefs that their timing was horrific, that they never communicated, that they couldn't figure out how to get multiple dishes ready at the exact same time.  So the challenge had the chefs run a relay race of sorts, with each chef being allowed in the kitchen for six minutes and then handing off to another chef.  At the end of 18 minutes the teams each had to have three dishes completed.

A great idea.  I think it actually tested some skills and general chef-type knowledge (both of which have been crucially lacking this season).  Unfortunately, it was all edited down to the point where we couldn't tell what was happening. 

After the challenge, only one thing remained clear – Jen is not only incompetent, she's delusional too.  She forgot to put sauces on two of the three dishes.  The sauces were ready (though she claims she burnt one), but she didn't put them on before serving the dishes.  She then, pointedly, said that she wouldn't apologize to her team for her mistake.  She also, according to Ramsay, didn't cook the scallops.  Her response?  Quite simply that Ramsay didn't know what he was talking about, that the scallops were fully cooked. 

Now, on the one side, we have Gordon Ramsay.  He is, almost unquestionably, pompous, arrogant, more than a little bit of a windbag, and, a great chef.  He said that the scallops were raw in the middle.

On the other side, we have Jen.  Jen is, almost unquestionably, pompous, arrogant, more than a little bit of a windbag, and, by what we've seen thus far, a mediocre chef.  She said that the scallops were cooked perfectly.  Jen also has working in her favor the fact that the show is more fun if Ramsay chastises the contestants on a regular basis.  She could argue (and it might be true), that he was unfairly harsh in order to maintain the look/feel of the show, which revolves around Ramsay yelling in order to please the audience.

That's a good argument in general, but we're at the point in the season where the chefs are supposed to have turned a corner, where they're supposed to have improved their cooking skills due to Ramsay brilliant tutelage.  Ramsay doesn't need to unnecessarily chastise the contestants anymore, and, as we saw during dinner service, meals are being sent back aplenty, which means that the chefs aren't doing a very good job.  Additionally, Jen, as we saw with forgetting the sauces, can't admit when she's done something wrong. 

There's absolutely no reason to think that she's not also wrong about the scallops.  If we'd seen her, at least once, take responsibility for her incompetence, I could accept that Ramsay was overdoing it.  As it stands though, with Jen undeservedly arrogant on a regular basis, I can't.

Ramsay wins.  Case closed.  Let's get her gone next week and move on.

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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