#97: Worst of Hell's Kitchen - Season
Compilation Induction (2005)
This is gonna be a fun induction for me to just say. I really absolutely love Hell's Kitchen. It's a perfect mix of actual cooking skills and what it's really like to cook in a high-pressure kitchen. Well, not really what it's like, but you get the idea when you have a chef who is putting his reputation on the line every night trying to please customers with good food and great service. Plus, the grand prize is also nothing to sneeze at as well, no matter what the season.
I figured that it would be a good new tradition to look back at this show and find the 5 biggest mistakes, blunders and overall stupid moments of the show. So, let's start the Donkey parade and take a look at number 5 on the list.
Number 5: Dewberry deserts his station
One of the most antiquated sayings in our history is "If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." However in Hell's Kitchen the saying is "If you can't stand the heat, then fight through it and prove that you want to be there. If not, then take your jacket off and F*** OFF OUT OF HERE!" What you don't do is just storm off in a huff because Ramsay told you that you screwed up. Enter Dewberry.
During the second dinner service, Dewberry was doing well with his appetizers, namely his spaghetti. Gordon was pleased with his appetizers and he was doing what he needed to do in order to stay out of the firing line for the second time, which normally would mean death for anybody in Hell's Kitchen. Then he gets to the entrees and he's been put on the meat section. That's when everything starts to fall apart.
Gordon proceeds to ream Dewberry for messing up his Beef Wellington and Dewberry proceeds to lose it. He got confused and then when the going got tough, and customers got into Gordon's face asking where their food is and when it will be coming out of the kitchen and onto their plates. Gordon starts to ask Dewberry where the cod and wellington were and he said he was lost and didn't know. Gordon told him he was crap and useless and what does Dewberry do?
He walked away from his position, deserting everybody and bringing an already slowed down kitchen to a grinding halt. He broke three main rules in Hell's Kitchen right there. 1: You always know where the food is and how long it has left. 2: You always answer Gordon Ramsay's questions and most of all 3: You NEVER leave your post because you're pissed off and abandon the team when they're in the s***. Eventually he came back and tried to right his wrongs, but certain events happened, to which I will talk about later on that'll shut down the kitchen.
After that incident, Gordon saw fit to kick Dewberry out of Hell's Kitchen, citing that he was a "Coward" and he left the team hanging. To which was all true and set the precedent that unless Gordon kicks you out, you never walk out.
Now that you know what you have in store. It's time to take a look at bad moment number 4.
I deserved that High.
Number 4: Elsie doesn't defend herself
The competition on Hell's Kitchen is always cutthroat. Not only do you have to be sharp with your knives and your food, but you also have to be sharp against your competition. Sometimes you have to be so sharp as to cut down your competition by undermining them in every step of the way. However, you can defend yourself against this, especially if you have a great track record and the host knows that you were being undermined by a lesser talented person with a worse track record than yours. Sadly, Elsie didn't know this rule. Let me set the scene. Elsie had won a leftovers challenge and her reward was to go on Good Day Live and cook for a national audience. Ralph and Jessica were furious that they didn't win, since they never got to leave Hell's Kitchen and get to hang out with Ramsay or anything like that. So, along with Michael, they devised a plan that Elsie was persona non grata to them and would ignore her asking for help for when she needed it.
Elsie was in the weeds when it came to the penne because she didn't know how to make it. When she asked Michael to help her make it, Michael just took it over and made it, not giving Elsie any directions to make the dish at all. Gordon saw this and decided to switch the placing around so that Elsie was on starters, Ralph on Garnish, Michael on Meats and Jessica on Fish. Then things went from bad to worse. When Elsie asked Ralph where the sauce was for the lobster bisque, he blatantly ignored her, so Gordon snapped at her when she miscued an order. Instead of 2 bisque one velute, she sent out 1 bisque one velute. Gordon then had a powwow with her.
Instead of the usual shouting that Gordon did, it was a calmer conversation which would result in her taking a breather and then coming back. Which I would hope so too, since this would show that she could fight through all of this. Unfortunately for Gordon...
She went to the ladies room and lost it. It sucked seeing someone so strong in a total state of loss and weakness. I felt for Elsie genuinely. But sadly, I also know that Ralph and Jessica were playing the game itself rather than cooking to the best of her ability. Unfortunately when it came to defend herself against the firing squad of Gordon Ramsay, she bottled it and took all the blame for herself instead of actually telling Gordon what was going on and saying that Ralph and Jessica was sabotaging her. She also sounded defeatist and thought that she gave it her best. Sadly Gordon didn't feel the same tonight and....
asked her to leave, much to the delight of Ralph and Jessica since if she did defend herself, Jessica would have been sent packing since she was a worse chef and probably took the most abuse. Hell even Gordon was impressed by Elsie and that's saying something.
So now that Elsie couldn't defend herself and turn the tables on Ralph and Jessica. It's time for me to do that with Moment number 3.
Number 3: Ralph and Jessica's taste-less taste test
When you're a chef, you truly have to have a good palate and be sure to discern tastes that work and don't. You also have to know what you're putting in your mouth. So, one of the classic challenges in Hell's Kitchen is the blind taste test.
The challenge is simple. While blindfolded and having music blaring in your ears, you must identify what you're eating. Each correct guess gets you a point for your team. Most points win. In Season 1, there wasn't many pure chefs there because this season was based around Gordon taking non-chefs and turning them into great chefs. The person with the most experience at this point was Ralph and another person who seemed to get the cooking job was Jennifer. So you'd expect them to do well and carry the team. Well, think again. After Andrew, who'll be on the site sooner than later and Jimmy tied with 1 each, it was Jennifer's turn and Elsie to go. First up is a delicious ox tongue, which both miss. Next is scallops. What does Jessica say?
"Liver, chef?" Even Gordon was disappointed. Hell, not only was it the wrong animal, but the wrong Kingdom of Animal she got wrong. Elsie got it right on the nose with Baby Scallops. She missed on Caesar Salad Dressing by calling it a vinaigrette. Now down 3-1, next up was hamburger or ground beef. She thought it was....
"Beef out of the wellingtons, Filet Mignon." Hell, I can sell her a burger for $30 if she can't discern Filet Mignon from Ground freakin' beef. Elsie, being a mom and having cooked a lot of ground beef knew it right away and now takes a 4-1 lead. Now it's all up to Ralph. Surely he could do better. I mean, it'd have to be pretty disappointing if you let Andrew get the only point for your team. First up was Sweetbreads. He thought it was beef and fat. Well, close, but no cigar. Michael couldn't nail it, thinking it was brain. So now we're down to the nitty gritty. Ralph, with tons of experience in kitchens gets dealt spinach. So what does he think it is?
"Romaine Lettuce, Chef?"
WRONG! WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG
Thank you Edge. But yeah, Ralph, with the most educated palette fails again. He blamed it all on having a cup of coffee, a cough drop and a cigarette before hands. Figures he'd blame it on something. Anyways, it's time for bad moment Numero Dos.
Number 2: Wendy: "I thought Cold Water boils faster than hot water."
Sometimes you get a cook in the kitchen that does something stupid. Sometimes you get a chef that says something stupid. But rarely, do you get someone who can't cook and then says something completely wrong and insane that Gordon has to shake his head and look bewildered. I have to talk about Wendy.
Wendy wasn't that great of a chef to begin with. Every time she brought food to Gordon, it was undercooked, overcooked, not cooked, and it was just a disaster. In the first service, she screwed up by greasing a non-stick pan. Her second service was marred by her not being able to cook a proper risotto and having her hand being held by Ralph all evening. So you'd think that third time was a charm. Well, think again. When Gordon asked why the spaghetti hasn't gone down yet, she said that the water hasn't boiled yet. Gordon then knew that she put in cold water instead of hot water and asked her why. She then comes back by saying....
"I thought cold water would boil faster than hot water."
Ramsay's face says it all. He couldn't believe the stupidity that came out of her mouth. Although I'm not a proper chef and had no training whatsoever, I know that hot water boils faster because it already has heat on it. It also didn't help that when the critics got her lamb, it was way overcooked and it wasn't up to snuff for them.
It didn't get better when she started back-talking to Gordon and demanded her to shut her mouth and just pay attention and cook. So when it came down to brass tax...
She was then kicked off. Probably one of the worst to ever come out of Hell's Kitchen and Gordon was happy to see her go. Now the moment has arrived. It's time for the worst moment in the first season in Hell's Kitchen history
Number 1: Pizza, Pizza!
When you go to a restaurant, you hope that everything goes smoothly and it becomes a good time and you hope to come back. However, in Hell's Kitchen, you arrive and you pray to god that you just get your starters cooked properly. During the second dinner service, things have been going completely down the crapper. Dewberry had a "diva" moment after failing miserably on Beef Wellingtons and stormed off, Wendy couldn't cook a risotto properly and had to get help from Ralph to do it for her, Jeff seemed to be completely lost at the vegetable section, Andrew and Mary Ellen were fighting over their Beef Wellingtons, and Ramsay had a mouthful from a customers about not getting food. At this point, some customers left. Others had a completely different plan.
They decided to phone for pizza and it arrived. The remaining customers were happy to see some food come to their tables, even if it meant that it had to come from another restaurant. Personally, that's one of the biggest insults you can give to a restaurant. It's basically saying that "You're not feeding us? Ok, we'll spend some money somewhere else and eat the food at your tables."
Jean Phillipe quickly spotted this and tried to tell the guy that ordered the pizza that it was illegal to do this, while about 20 or so customers were eating the recently delivered pizza. The customer was quite upset and said he did this because they hadn't brought the entrees to the table, or to any of the other tables. Jean Phillipe then preceded to brow-beat him by saying that his education could have been as good as his voice. The confrontation that proceeded was one of the most embarrassing, but unintentionally hilarious moments in the shows history. Here's the audio from that memorable exchange.
Simply amazing. I can't believe a guy who claims to be so educated can sound so stupid. When Gordon saw this, he promptly shut both kitchens down and called it quits for the night.
He promptly gave both teams a proper bollocking and we find out that the "pizza man" came from the Red Team. Gordon told them that this has never happened to him before and told them that this moment was never to be forgotten, nor to be forgiven for. And we know what happened afterwards, Dewberry got kicked off because he deserted his post, and left his teammates hanging.
Well, that's it. The Top 5 Worst Moments from Hell's Kitchen Season 1. I hope you enjoyed this induction. If you liked it, then let me know. If not, then blame Wendy for not knowing that hot water boils faster, THAT DONKEY!
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