Hell's Kitchen
16 Chefs Compete, Part 1

Episode Report Card
admin: C- | 1 USERS: C
Slaves to the Grind

"Piss off!" says Ramsay, and the teams piss off. Jacqueline is sweating her near-death experience and says she can't let that happen again. Jessica is near tears over being put up for elimination. The rest of the team seems to agree, and she actually gets an apology from her teammates.

Meanwhile, Blue is celebrating its first dinner service win, with Dan talking about getting the monkey off their backs and Anthony -- you know, the one who looks like Seth McFarlane -- calling it a new beginning for Blue.

The next morning in the dining room, a protein marketplace has been set up with shelves and shelves of meat: Ramsay says what separates the chefs from the cooks are their palates, and each team is going to have to correctly identify the mystery protein under each dome. Ray, for one, isn't worried since this is what he's been doing all his life -- and remember that he's older than the rest of his team put together. "I could tell you if it's cat or dog," he says. This would be the point where I vow never to set foot in any restaurant where Ray is cooking.

Teammates will go up in pairs, decide what the protein is, then head over to the market to pick it out. If they're right, a green light will go on underneath the dome. First team to five wins.

First up for Blue (going first because they won last night's dinner service) are Jon and Mike. Jon calls them the "dynamic duo," but their first selection of lamb is incorrect. They try venison. Wrong. "It's not as easy as it looks," says Michael, who blames the tomato sauce. They try veal, pork chops, buffalo, rabbit and goat ("Goat meatballs?" says Ramsay incredulously). They're at the point where they're just randomly picking any old meat. They select KANGAROO, for Christ's sake, and after eight or nine incorrect guesses and four and a half minutes have gone by, they finally taste again and correctly identify it as turkey.

Dan and Zach nail the chicken tacos on their first try. Jeremy and Barret aren't as successful with the duck enchiladas, opting for pork, buffalo and veal. Raymond actually identifies it as duck on sight, and they're on to Anthony and Ray, who get the veal chop on their first try. And since there are only eight players on the team, the dynamic duo are up again, needing to identify swordfish and chips. They go for cod and sturgeon before getting the swordfish, and the team finishes with a time of 10:33.

The Red team comes in to find the not-intimidating team they have to beat, and Ja'Nel and Jacqueline take the first crack at it and get the turkey meatballs on the first try. Jon figures Red is going to beat them in less time than it took him and Michael to do just one turn. The chicken tacos are also nailed on the first try, and then Nedra and Jessica have a little more difficult with the duck enchiladas, trying veal, venison, buffalo, beef, squab and quail. The clock is under six minutes. They even try the kangaroo Hail Mary ("Anything's possible in Hell's Kitchen," says Nedra), and Blue has gone from looking like they want to vomit to actively enjoying themselves. Even Ray is openly mocking them at this point.

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Hell's Kitchen




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