Good evening, my little white zinfandels, and welcome to the continuation of Hell’s Kitchen: And Then There Were Three. After last week’s not-particularly-surprising-except-to-Jen departure of Jen, our remaining cheflings turned out to be a remarkably nonoffensive bunch. There was Petrozza, the lovable pumpkin stuffer and the most redeeming character on reality TV in a year, unless you count David Cook, which David Archuleta fans probably don’t; Corey, the tall, tough blonde who played this game likeKitchen Survivor but had the skills to back it up; and Christina, our teary, tenacious culinary student, who’s used moxie and talent to win almost every individual challenge. The weak link here was, I think, obvious — and I’m proud of Chef Ramsay for making the right choicetonight. I’m also a little sad to see that right choice go, but I’ve got plenty of reasons to feel compassion for difficult tow-headed girls, and I doubt that’ll ever change.
After a celebratory night — ”Congratulations, beeyatch,” Corey said to her frenemy Christina as they turned out the light — it was a nervous morning as the cheflings headed downstairs for the final challenge. Those nerves were calmed once family members started walking in: Corey’s mom and boyfriend, Christina’s parents, and Petrozza’s dad and girlfriend. (Side note: Why is the obligatory family visit still such a shocking, weepy surprise to everyone on every reality show ever?) They all sat down to a meal personally cooked by Chef Ramsay, but only Christina caught on to what the challenge might be, and after (of course) crying a little, she and her mom started picking apart the dish, guessing its ingredients. ”Cream,” said Mom, about five times. Meanwhile, both Corey and Petrozza were more interested in the hang time than what might come next. Thus did Christina enter the ”Taste It, Now Make It” challenge with a significant advantage.
The dish turned out to be venison with a white-bean puree and some sort of raspberry hoo-hah in the sauce. Christina got it all but the cream (duh) and the raspberry. (Corey had miraculously guessed the latter ingredient but shot herself in the foot by cooking buffalo instead of deer. I remain unconvinced that buffalo is edible, so I could have prevented that error if she’d asked.) And so the student continues her progress toward becoming the master — ”Hey, I won again!” our queen of pith merrily exclaimed — and she headed out on yet another reward, during which she and her parents got to take a progressive eating tour of L.A. with Ramsay, and she got to take one of the tops she won last week out for a spin. Back at the ranch, Corey and Petrozza were on bar duty, crushing ice while making caveman noises and wiping spots the size of ”one-celled animals” off water glasses at J.-P.’s request. Punishment appears to be about 75 percent less bitter and horrid without BBJ around, eh?
NEXT: Head ’em off at the pass