We love our own here at Entertainment Weekly, so when Dave Karger casually announced his guest judging stint on Tuesday night’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen, TiVos were excitedly set. What would this kind man have to say to the group of frequently berated “donkeys” on Gordon Ramsay’s terrifying competition show? Would his words lead to tears of disappointment, or the comforting thrill of a teammate’s back pat? Most importantly, would he miss a day of work because the food he ate was raw?
Luckily, Dave seemed to enjoy the food he ate, and returned to us in one piece. A sinister young woman named Carrie tried her best to poison our hero by serving him raw fried chicken, but her teammate had a gentle soul and warned Dave of the impending danger. Hours before Dave and People‘s Jen Garcia entered Hell’s Kitchen for the reward challenge, the gender-divided red and blue teams were taken to a chicken pen somewhere in Los Angeles for the first act. (Los Angeles is swarming with chicken pens!) Each team had 15 minutes to capture live chickens from the pen, and each chicken captured represented an ingredient the contestants could use to later cook four chickens, four different ways, for Dave and Jen. The winning team of two would have their picture taken for People and a leisurely afternoon off, which is a beautiful thing for those whose lives are lived out in the hellfire of Chef Ramsay’s kitchen.
It was a fierce battle, with each team contributing dishes that helped and hurt their chances. Dave loved Elise and Elizabeth’s roasted dish, (“It’s like it could come from a restaurant kitchen!” he said) and was appropriately shocked when the blue team dropped part of their breast meat on the floor. He offered kind words of praise for most of the dishes, but in the end it was Elise’s chicken that led the embattled red team to victory. The girls posed with Ramsay for their fancy picture in People, and enjoyed their prize, an afternoon trip to local go-kart track. I’m normally a huge proponent of go-karting and bumper boating and really anything that can occur in an outdoor funplex, but given that past victors have enjoyed helicopter rides and shopping sprees, this prize was kind of weak. In the end, the painfully untalented Chef Chino was sent packing to his local Olive Garden somewhere in Pennsylvania.
What do you think of the episode, PopWatchers?