Hell's Kitchen
2 Chefs Compete

Episode Report Card
Monty Ashley: D- | 1 USERS: A+
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What Happened to the Cooking?

Back in Hell's Kitchen, construction workers are constructing things. This is where the meaningless "problems" always crop up. Paula, for example, wanted candles along the wall behind the booths, but the Fire Marshall says no. So her sister and mother have to sign off on the fake electronic candles. They're fine with that. Meanwhile, Danny's girlfriend is actively involved, asking for taller backs on benches and more water elements and so on.

Paula and Danny arrive at the Borgata and get a big, stupid suite with giant bedrooms and bathtubs and stuff. They videoconference with their people, and we learn that Danny also wants taller backs on his booths. And his girlfriend has some fish. Yay? Paula's sister says she was confused but assures Paula that everything will be fine.

The next morning, Michael Facenda, Director of Marketing for the Borgata, goes to Danny and Paula's suite and brings them to what's described as an "important meeting". Really, it's 500 resort employees being ordered to applaud them as they walk onto a stage with Gordon Ramsay. Cheer, employees! Now sign this NDA!

Paula and Danny give vague speeches about how it's been a long journey to get here and both express the hope that they'll win. Then they meet Larry Mullin, the COO of the Borgata. It has all the raw excitement you'd expect from two finalists on a cooking reality show meeting the COO of an Atlantic City resort hotel. He's given the two menus and gives his order from each one. Among his orders, he likes the mushroom salad from Paula's and the jerked lobster from Danny's. What a coincidence! Anyway, they're given Executive Chef Jackets and sent off to cook the two sets of orders in 45 minutes. Go!

Danny boasts about how clever he is to jerk a lobster tail, and asserts that he has "a really crisp identity to my style". It looks like the Borgata crowd is getting to watch the chefs on a giant monitor, which looks like fun. Paula brags about her broad and varied experience.

The cooking is done. The first person to taste it is Michael Shulson, who's executive chef at one of the places at the Borgata. He's not crazy about either of the signature dishes, eventually choosing Paula. Next up, Geoffrey Zakarian, who is another Borgata-affiliated chef. Paula's got a mussel soup (or something; she was just listing the ingredients instead of describing the dish as a whole) and Danny has a baby arugula salad. Weird that the salads weren't up against each other, isn't it? Danny wins this one, making it 1-1 and it's all down to the third course. Just like it always is! The final test will be Larry Mullin himself. Paula's got a roasted black sea bass, which is "good". Danny's got a pan-seared filet of beef, which is "done very well". Larry stalls a little and then chooses Danny. Danny wins! The music is very happy for him!

Gordon tells Paula and Danny they'll find out the prize later, but now they have to rush back to the airport and fly back to Hell's Kitchen. Ugh.

Back at Hell's Kitchen, it's 19 hours until the final dinner service. Danny and Paula come in and look at all the work that's been done. Their eyes and ears (remember? The relatives from earlier in the show?) stand by, hoping they've done a good job. Paula claims to like it, mostly because there's no pinks, purples, or pastels. She accepts her fake candles gracefully (they're behind some smoked glass anyway), saying "My focus should remain in the kitchen, not in the dining room. I just wanna make sure that I put out good food, and that's gonna determine the winner." Yes. That is true. None of this matters at all.

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Hell's Kitchen

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