Hell's Kitchen
The Winner Is Chosen

Episode Report Card
Daniel: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Hard to Handle

Time for Ramsay to come in to test each kitchen's menu and give last-minute tweaks. Clemenza burns some crostini just as Ramsay's due to taste everything, and they can only hope they shut the oven door quickly enough to prevent too much smoke from clouding the proceedings. "CLEMENZA!" yells Brian, the way McBain yells, "MENDOZA!" Clemenza carries the smoking tray out of the kitchen and starts to reprep, while Justin yells, "You're literally breaking down! You're literally breaking down!" I ... what? Less than ninety minutes to dinner service, and Brian comes to the rescue with some crostini for his BFF.

First dish for Justin: Sambuca-cured wild salmon, with fennel kalamata olives and micro-basil on top. Less salt, says Ramsay. Next up: flat rice-crusted cod, truffled potato puree and basil beurre blanc. Lovely flavors, says Ramsay, but it looks awful on the plate. Then there's the rib eye with crispy shallot. Ramsay deems it delicious, and warns him not to be too clever.

Over in Red, Christina serves up seared scallops, charred corn and asparagus risotto. Ramsay says it's nice. The jumbo lump crab meat salad with jicama, jalapeno and coconut and ginger. Much like Justin's second dish, the flavors are great but presentation leaves much to be desired. He suggests serving it in a cocktail glass. Finally there's the pork loin and braised collards. Delicious, says Ramsay, but tells her to go easy on the greens. He praises the menu, her most creative dishes so far.

So just minor tweaks for both menus, and he rechecks them fifteen minutes before dinner service, declaring everything looking good. Christina and Justin give pep talks to their teams, and then Ramsay tells James, "For the 140th time, open Hell's Kitchen." James beams and does so. Christina's girlfriend is there to eat, as are Justin's parents.

Ramsay wishes each finalist good luck, and then the orders start coming in. Justin needs to read the first ticket a couple of times before he gets the desired snappy response, and Ramsay seems to nod at Justin's assertion of authority.

In Red, Robyn gets a little backtalky with Christina, on her case a little bit about making sure her times are accurate but it's only because, as Christina tells us, that Robyn has proven to be a cancer on any team. Cancer calls its PR team, because it will not stand to have its good name sullied so.

In Blue, Royce serves up some crab cakes that are killed in the middle, and Ramsay sends them back. The next two are dried out, and Justin takes them back, sending Brian in to help Royce with the crab cakes. Royce in an interview seems to be annoyed that Justin's not impressed with his ability to screw up crab cakes on the very first ticket.

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Hell's Kitchen

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