Gordon Ramsay's Bleep-O-Fucking-Meter: 23
Best Food Insult of the Night: "Tastes like gnat's piss"
Best Contestant Quote: "I think I'll forever have nightmares about Gordon Ramsay, but yeah, he's still kinda hot." -- Bonnie
Season Three of Hell's Kitchen has a classier opening than what I recall in past years. As we pull up to Ramsay sitting in the "newly redesigned" Hell's Kitchen (which doesn't look all that different, honestly), we all get childhood flashes of Masterpiece Theatre as Mouret's "Rondeau" tootles absent-mindedly in the background. Come to think of it, the Masterpiece Theatre hosts all had culinary-sounding names. Alistair Cooke? Russell Baker? Hmm. Anyway, Ramsay calmly promises that he won't be doing the screaming and yelling and swearing of past years, and just when I'm starting to wonder why the hell I asked to weecap this show, he says, "Who am I kidding?" and I realize that all's well in hell.
Tittering and sweating, the twelve contestants arrive in Hell's Kitchen. They stand around in their finest togs -- haven't any of them watched the past two seasons and therefore know they are about to be immediately sent into the kitchen to start cooking for Chef Ramsay? -- and have a little chat with maître d'cute, Jean-Philippe. Now, either Jean-Philippe gained a bit of weight, or he's been basted in Botox, because his face looks rounder, smoother, and younger than I remember. Jean-Philippe starts to tell the nervous contestants about his past experiences with Chef Ramsay, but we only get as far as learning that they were in Dubai together (and we also don't get any explanation as to why his French accent suddenly and freakishly went Cockney at that moment), before Chef Ramsay barks at him from a balcony to cut the crap. All the contestants can do is goggle at Ramsay, glowering down in that damn short-sleeved white chef's coat that makes him look more like an angry dentist than an angry chef, so he yells at them to get their asses in the kitchen and cook up their signature dishes for him.
After some minor food flurry, we get to the presentation and tasting. As usual, Ramsay is completely unimpressed by the majority of the dishes. Josh, a junior sous chef, immediately gets on my nerves by smarmily announcing to us that "Food is sex and everybody likes food and everybody likes sex" like it's a new thought. He also serves Ramsay seared foie gras like it's a new thought, and Ramsay balks at how undercooked the dish is. So, I guess sex with Josh is like gumming raw fatty goose's liver? Tasty. We don't get to learn what's in all the dishes, but I believe there was at least one dish that Ramsay didn't even bother to taste because the potato gnocchi were frozen instead of freshly made. Melissa, a line cook and a short dead ringer for Lauren Holly, complains to us that she always gets judged by her looks as soon as she walks into a kitchen. Maybe that wouldn't be such a problem if she didn't lead with her breasts like she's lashed to the prow of a ship. Regardless, Ramsay decides that her pepper steak and roasted asparagus is the most delicious thing he's eaten that night. He also ends up liking Tiffany's "Seafood Tostada Stack" and proclaims that the seafood is cooked perfectly. Poor Aaron, though. He's a retirement-home chef and he's rather rotund and he's sweaty and he's wearing a whole cowboy getup and Ramsay calls him a "chunky monkey" and comments that he's never met an "Asian cowboy" and it's all so sad. You just know that he's this year's Dewberry. Ramsay picks over Aaron's dish and declares that the seared ahi tuna was quite good enough; however, he shoves away the dumplings served in those overused Chinese soup spoons and tells Aaron he made too much and clearly doesn't know when to stop.