Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hell's Kitchen

You really can tell a lot about a potential chef when Hell's Kitchen does a challenge like it did this week. This week, the contestants had to operate food trucks during lunchtime in downtown Los Angeles. You know going into that--or you should have an idea--that you're going to be serving people working in an office all day. What do you do? Well, if you're smart, you make something that, stereotypically, people working in an office all day in LA would want to eat.

They've done this kind of challenge in the past--every cycle, whether it's kids on their lunch in an elementary school or whatever--and there's always the one person who makes the gigantic mistake of not giving a shit about who the customer is. Unsurprisingly, it was Russell this time around. He made octopus. Octopus. Because when I'm walking out of an office for my one free hour of the day, my first thought is how awesome it would be to choke down some rubbery pseudo-squid.

Of course Gail won. She made a salad with sweet potato chips. I love how angry and surprised everyone was that the contestant who served salad and sweet potato chips to a bunch of West Coast office workers won the challenge. I called that before lunch was even being served. She read her customers exactly right and gave them what they wanted--something healthy with just the right amount of guilt-free sweets. Russell, meanwhile, came in last, because he didn't care what the customers wanted and gave them what he thought they should want, which was some sort of fine dining experience in the middle of a long work day. And he even said he didn't care, which doesn't seem like great qualification to manage a restaurant. His approach to customer service--when he's not flipping out and screaming at high school kids like a touchy little diva--is to assume that people are privileged to get whatever he feels like serving them. And obviously, that went over like the ego trip it is.

Too bad Gail completely shut down during service. Another excruciating service of yelling, raw food, and total lack of coordination. I enjoyed it when Gordon and Scott walked out to get some air. Never seen Gordon do that before, but everyone needed that moment. It's like kicking the baby birds out of the nest. Seriously, down to 5 chefs, and the kitchen still can't run smoothly. It's utterly pathetic. Whoever wins this year is really just going to be the one who is the least disaster. It's sad. This is the first Hell's Kitchen cycle I'm just watching and have no real stake in. I'm not behind anyone. They all suck. Jeez, people are still getting kicked out of the kitchen. At least service was completed this time.

Well, farewell, Gail. Four more baby chefs to go.


Jaquandor said...

I'm wondering how on Earth Ramsay is going to be able to speak in glowing terms about the eventual winner of this "win by attrition" season. I'm thinking Nona or Jillian, because Trev and Russell are douchebag pretenders. Octopus? Really?! (I would have had Trev's Italian sausage, myself. But that's just me.)

Kal said...

When has OCTOPUS ever won anyone anything but misery. I laughed when I saw what his idea was and knew that others were thinking about me.