Hell's Kitchen
5 Chefs Compete Again

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Daniel: B- | Grade It Now!
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All Elise Is Saying Is Give Elise a Chance

Elise serves up macaroni and cheese with her salmon, because what screams "expensive!" like macaroni and cheese? What, was she all out of French fries? When a judge asks why she served pasta with it, the best she can come up with is, "Because that's what I wanted to go with?" The judges, after complaining about the way she's sliced the salmon ("It looks like a dog chewed it," says Ramsay) and the overpowering flavor of the pasta: $27, $22 and $24 for an average price of $24.33. She pouts off.

Tommy is very excited about his pan-roasted salmon with the pomegranate anise ver blanc (and I am always mildly surprised when Tommy comes up with something like that) but the judges are less enthused. "I want to like this dish more than I did," says one. They give him an average of $25.33.

Paul brings up salmon with romanesca, which the judges all like and give him an average price of $29.67, so he edges out Will and gives him the chance to use a baseball metaphor in an interview, and let's all just assume he meant Little League.

Part of the reason they've hammered the Jennifer loves Paul storyline this episode is so that they can make a big deal about Jennifer now going up against Paul with her dish of poached salmon with oyster broth. Ramsay's a little surprised at the poaching, but she says she did it because everyone else was searing it, and she wanted to stand out. I'm just impressed that she's not sabotaging herself by warning the judges beforehand how much it's going to suck.

The judges all really like it, despite the lackluster presentation. The first two judges give prices of $29, which means the last one will have to price it at $32 for her to win, and we'll do it after the commercial break.

All that "tension" turns out to be utterly manufactured (in a surprise move for this show), because that judge comes in at $27, so Jennifer finishes behind Will, never mind Paul, with $28.33.

So Paul wins, earning himself a private helicopter trip with Ramsay and lunch at a fancy-schmancy restaurant. He gets to pick someone to join him. Jennifer, who is still inexplicably smitten with the guy for whom her crush is a major source of comic relief, hopes he picks her, but he goes with Tommy, who says the word "bromance," just in case you've been finding him less annoying lately. Paul jokes about not taking Elise because he'd be too tempted to push her out of the helicopter. Anyway, the losers have to polish the stemware and generally get the bar ready, as well as prepping Paul's dish for service tonight.

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Hell's Kitchen

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