Hell's Kitchen
16 Chefs Compete

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Monty Ashley: A- | Grade It Now!
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Calm Down, and Let's Cook Some Carrots

The opening credits have a carnival sideshow theme. It goes on for quite some time. I imagine if you really wanted to, you could imagine all sorts of secret clues in the different things the contestants are shown doing. Knock yourself out.

Chopping and mixing and cooking! The chefs are making their signature dishes because (as the voiceover reminds us) Chef Ramsay is of the opinion that it's a good way to judge chefs. Sounds logical, right? Sabrina (34, restaurant manager) says that she'll be "the hottest Hell's Kitchen winner. I'm spicy, sweet, and sexy-hot." Uh huh. The camera is fascinated by her ankle tattoo, which as far as I can tell delivers the deep, important message of "I got a tattoo out of a magazine." Kevin (35, executive chef) claims that he's a legitimate chef who's won awards. What? Talking about your food? Boring!

Everyone puts out their food. But before the tasting, Gordon has to list this season's prizes. The winner will become the head chef at araxi (spelled like that, with all lower-case letters) in Whistler, BC. Oh, it's very nice up there. I don't ski myself, but everyone who does ski and lives in Seattle likes Whistler very much indeed. And Vancouver is having the 2010 Winter Olympics, which means a lot more attention on Whistler. Jim (34, sous chef) claims that he's "already polishing up my skis" and adds a "swoosh." It's not as dumb as it sounds. But it is pretty dumb.

The women are the Red Team and the men are the Blue Team. Again. Because that's how Gordon Ramsay operates. And the dishes are going head-to-head, which will give us a chance to meet everyone. I hope. Let's go!

Dish one: Suzanne (24, sous chef) has made a risotto. Say! Someone who already knows how to make a risotto? I like the looks of this! Gordon doesn't, though. He thinks the rice looks undercooked. Suzanne disagrees. After Gordon tastes it, he has her competition taste it and comment on it. The guy Suzanne is up against says that the risotto tastes "chalky". Ramsay assures her it's not supposed to be crunchy. Suzanne's up against Dave (32, executive chef), who has made ostrich with pan-seared Brussels sprouts. Seriously, your signature dish is ostrich? You're lucky they had some in the pantry, then! Chef Ramsay says it's beautifully seasoned, but the sprouts are undercooked. In his interview, Dave appears devastated by this. So the result of this head-to-head? "Piss off, both of you. Neither of you gets a point." Well, that was productive!

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Hell's Kitchen

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