So there really is a soft side to Chef Gordon Ramsay and he seems to have a great mum, too…who bakes macaroni and cheese! This week’s Hell’s Kitchen celebrated family on the way to the final elimination before the show’s finale. There’s nothing like a surprise visit from family members to drown everyone in tears. It was an emotional episode. Along with family came what felt like a tidal wave of compliments and warm thoughts compared to the previous 8 installments of season number 3.
After introducing his mum and her comfort food classic macaroni and cheese, Chef Ramsay demonstrated how a chef can turn a classic dish into something special with an inventive approach. In his case, the macaroni and cheese featured roasted lobster, black truffle, and shaved parmesan cheese. For their challenge, the contestants each chose a comfort food dish they were required to transform into something special. Bonnie picked franks & beans, Jen fried chicken, and Rock spaghetti and meatballs. After Bonnie wailed about her inexperience with franks & beans, all 3 settled down to work. They ended up with franks & beans transformed into a bruschetta with mushroom cream leek sauce, fried chicken reworked into a chicken roulade with crab meat, spinach, and goat cheese, and finally the spaghetti and meatballs became a 3 piece study in spaghetti featuring respectively cream sauce, veal, and spicy chorizo.
The twist for this challenge was each contestant’s mom showed up to be blind taste testers. Without knowing who created each dish, the moms tasted and conferred. Jen’s transformation of fried chicken came out on top. Her reward was a luncheon with her own mom as well as Chef Ramsay and his mum. She was also treated to a $1,000 shopping spree in a cooking equipment store. Bonnie and Rock were left to clean the dorms which featured endless complaining and whining from Bonnie that this week actually became humorous, and, dare I say, a tiny bit charming?
The big service night featured the 3 remaining contestants serving the entire Hell’s Kitchen dining room. After some assertiveness training (yelling at Chef Ramsay), Bonnie, Jen, and Rock were each given an opportunity to run the service. Chef Ramsay instructed the sous chefs to make mistakes to see if the contestants could catch them. Jen was the only one who failed at this task. However, since she was the first to be faced with a glaring mistake, it was not a surprise Bonnie and Rock were expecting to find something. The entire service evening was relatively quiet with all 3 contestants performing quite well. All diners were served, and, as Chef Ramsay stated, it was easily their best service of the entire competition.
Elimination was difficult, but Chef Ramsay sent Jen home in the end accompanied by multiple positive comments about her performance. The stage is set for next week’s finale between Bonnie, the personal chef (and glorified babysitter), and Rock, the executive chef. Who do you think will win? Does Bonnie have a fighting chance?