Hell's Kitchen season premiere recap: 'I Don't Know How to Cook Meat'
Bloody hell, here we go again. Voiceover guy wasn’t kidding when he generously labeled this season’s merry band of derelicts “a special breed of people.” Curtis is a complete mess. We’ve got selfish Sabrina, whose heart just fell out of her butt. Raj, a gargantuan nutball who breaks out ferocious(ly awful) karate moves whenever he drinks. A camp chef! Gail, who insists on speaking in a baby voice and suspected that the new maître d’, James, was taking the contestants to bury them alive. Do they serve inside-out salmon rolls in hell?
As a perfect extension of this season’s crazy, the opening credits are totally f—ing insane. The contestants are Lilliputians, tying up Ramsay and forcing him to sample their sub-par food. He’s the giant, and they’re unimportant. Jillian tickles that silly giant’s nipples with carrot leaves instead of doing the smart thing and using some of that luscious greenery to replace her tattooed-on eyebrows. Wow, these opening credits. Is this a parody of a reality show? No one can cook, and next week it looks like someone gets stabbed. So maybe!
Up for grabs: a $200,000-a-year position at a multi-million-dollar restaurant in L.A. Market. “You want to see more?” Gordon Ramsay asks them. Yes, yes! “I DON’T THINK SO.” It’s important to set the tone early on.
Right away, the chefs must serve Ramsay their signature dishes so that he can disgustedly regurgitate them into a bucket. It’s men vs. women, and you’d think the women would have a leg up because Emily’s succulent, herb-rubbed, oven-roasted breasts are popping out of her “favorite date outfit.” But no! Ramsay’s not into it and makes her “cover the puppies up just a little bit” with her apron. This does not bode well. Ramsay spits out Nona’s chicken and Antonia’s Mardi Gras gumbo. Antonia takes it upon herself to leave the competition after mysteriously passing out.
A lady with a nice ass is wearing shorts to Opening Night at the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant! I’m so glad we know.
Opening Night is a disaster. Some guests have not received their welcoming pizza. Raj, who’s running the unenviable station of “pizza/waiter,” does everything wrong and won’t stop thanking Chef Ramsay for his “advice.” He’s quite nuts. Trev’s first salad is a failure, and Ramsay gingerly lifts Trev’s second salad with his bear claw only to nonchalantly drop the entire dish on the floor. Ha! Ain’t his dish! Someone else will clean that up. Boris inexplicably mimics Ramsay saying “It’s rawwww” re: Lisa’s pizza. Ramsay fires back at Boris the ultimate challenge: “I’m ready for you to f— around!”
NEXT: Um, is Chef Ramsay absolutely sure there were no instances of death-by-pizza?
Meanwhile, over at the Red Team (the women), Sabrina brings Ramsay her completed dish even though the rest of the order isn’t ready, just because she wants him to have it. “IS THAT BITCH CRAZY?” intuits Nona. She’s a quick one. And Sabrina is quick to reveal that despite her spoiled-princess attitude, she was apparently born and raised in a gang. After Nona suggests that Sabrina should be one of the team members placed in the danger zone for Ramsay to devour, Sabrina steps up. “What a coincidence, because I think it should be yo ass.” It seems like one of them is going to kill the other, but nothing happens. I’m let down.
Chopping block time. Ramsay calls Sabrina “quite frankly the most selfish chef in here,” and Sabrina responds by nominating Nona for elimination out of nowhere. Nona can’t cook, and more importantly, she SNORES. “I honestly believe she’s good for nothing, Chef,” Sabrina says. Sabrina’s evisceration of poor Lisa is even more delusional, if you can believe that. “If it’s between us two, I mean, she’s finished, Chef. I’m young. The world is my oyster.” What??? This girl is the worst, but I’m glad she’s still around. She reminds me just a bit of Kitty from Arrested Development. It will be absolutely delicious to witness her slow and painful (reality TV-style) death.
Lisa’s eliminated. “The only positive thing I can say about Lisa’s performance tonight? She didn’t kill anyone.” Is Ramsay sure about that? Did they ever follow up with shorts lady?
Coming up: ‘THE MOST DEVIOUS HELL’S KITCHEN EVER.’ So we’re getting two separate episodes, I guess. Bonus!
Wake up, everybody. It’s time to make sushi in the style of….wait for the marching band to quiet down…IRON CHEF MORIMOTO. Yes! Ironically, my boyfriend is watching an episode of the original Japanese Iron Chef on Cooking Channel (we just can’t get enough) as I type this. Chairman Kaga is wearing the most elaborate, bespangled jacket and I am completely transfixed. I am thisclose to abandoning all recap efforts and watching a classy program instead….because no one on Hell’s Kitchen can make sushi!
Well, some of them can approximate it — even Jillian, who was nervous about the challenge because she’s “never worked with Chinese food.” Good lord. Gail can’t get it together, and this is apparently extra embarrassing because she is Asian. “You’d think I’d know how to make sushi, but I can’t!” she baby-talks in a confessional. She almost sounds triumphant here. Since when is it an achievement to merely suspect you are being cute?
Turns out the men’s last piece of sushi did contain the hidden gem of wasabi, so the Blue Team is free to fly to San Francisco to taste wine while the Red Team bitches and moans its way through a punishment task. They do get a meal: Chef Ramsay has provided delicacies from around the world. Sabrina can’t stomach something she grossly forces down her gullet, and hurls it up. They didn’t say what it was — does anyone know? I actually don’t really care.
NEXT: It’s never too early in a relationship to call someone a “waste of life.”
The Blue Team arrives, with a ballooned version of Mr. Miyagi having replaced wine-gulping Raj. Tonight’s dinner service will feature a sushi appetizer. It’s a horrible idea, so Ramsay has gone with it. Somehow it takes Vinny 40 minutes to place his first ticket. Meanwhile, Raj is useless, and Ramsay hates Raj more and more with each “yessir.” At one point Ramsay shouts an order and Raj just “turns his fat ass around with no acknowledgment.” So he calls him out, and Raj replies “Yes, chef, I’m here.” But he’s kind of not.
Vinny, the men’s assistant maître d’, starts telling customers not to order sides because he knows Raj can’t cook them. Oh, s—. Ramsay flips out on both of them and Raj’s voice gets higher and higher the farther he backs away. Vinny gets a time out to sit and think about what he’s done.
Hey, let’s check in with the women. Emily: “I don’t know how to cook meat.” OMG. I can’t even.
Louis has worked at a camp for 14 years?!?
Moment of truth. The women have won, despite a treacherous maître d’ jacket-switch between Melissa and Jillian. “I told you I could cook! We finished dinner service. Yayyyyyyyy,” gushes Baby Gail. One of the men is going home.
Two men step forward: Boris, who “thinks he’s Superman” (according to Vinny) and Raj, who is “a waste of life” (according to Boris). Wait, someone else needs to be up here, it occurs to Ramsay. “Vinny, step up forward.” The person leaving the kitchen is….
Curtis, who “completely destroyed the possibility of the Blue Team succeeding,” says Ramsay. Aw, Curtis is crying. He will make it someday, he promises. The South shall rise again!
What did you think of the first two episodes, Hell’s Kitchen fans? Yeah? Well, piss off, all of you! Just kidding — discuss tonight’s crazy premiere in the comments!
Annie on Twitter: @EWAnnieBarrett