HELL’S KITCHEN “16 Chefs Compete” Review

HELL’s KITCHEN “16 Chefs Compete” Season 9 Episode 2 – The first competition of the day is a big barbeque-off between the men and the women as Rasay gives the teams four types of meat and has them cook each to a specific temperature. Elise and Carrie completely let the red team down, getting only one out of four right.

While then men enjoy some fine cuisine in Palm Springs, the ladies have to contend with a cow. Even in the way it’s edited however, you can see the unity of the women and the fissures cracking open between the men: the women come together to make the best of a bad situation and start quizzing each other in preparation for the big night, while the editing makes it look as though the guys are disparaging their own.

Then Carrie, providing much of the evening’s entertainment, asks Brendan to help her em…exercise. Generously, he offers his services to burn her calories and they disappear into a room together. I think Elise’s reaction was the best: “What a skank-a-dank skank.”

Alas, her romp does not help Carrie much when they actually get to the kitchens. She seems to have an issue with the Caesar salads and needs Krupa to help her out. Chino needs three attempts to make a risotto. But Brendan is caught in a lie which throws Ramsay into a potential meltdown after he figures out that Brendan tried to play it fast and loose with him by attempting to serve up a ten minute old meal. Once again Ramsay props up his impressive reputation as a short fused perfectionist.

Elise, much to the delight of the other ladies, gets her ass handed to her by Ramsay after she oversteps her role and appoints her the role of leader.

Meanwhile, once again, the ladies are far ahead of the men in terms of entrees, and Will is losing his temper big time. Just as it seems they can do no wrong, Krupa drops the whole prime rib. It turns out to be only a minor setback however as the guys are Ramsay finally loses it with the guys’ incompetency and kicks them all out of the kitchen and gives their kitchen to the ladies.

As Chino is thrown under a bus (along with Brendan) he admits to Ramsay that he wasn’t as good as he thought he was but he can grow. Surprisingly it’s Brendan who is shown the door: Ramsay will not tolerate lies.

And, it seems, the men will not tolerate women. When Ramsay informs them that since every person to have left Hell’s Kitchen has been a man, they’ll have to suffer bringing a female onto their team, the men protest at once, prompting Ramsay to deliver the line of the night: “Let me tell you, you’re striving for reputation. I’ve got one. And you are not going to fucking ruin it.”

Like all reality shows, the real power comes from the editing and the casting, and this is one masterfully edited show: the stories feel completely organic, the editors are dealing with over a dozen people and yet by the second hour I know who everyone is, if not by name then at least by face. For my reality show favourites, I prefer to route for what I consider to be the best (and for me, the most likeable of course, as personality can never be underestimated) over the most sensational. So far the men have been given quite a bit of attention and I can’t say that any of them would get my vote so far, while the focus on the women has been focussed mainly on Elise, Carrie and, to an extent, Krupa. Of course out the three Krupa would get my support, followed by Carrie who is definitely providing a lot of entertainment. But there are some chefs on the periphery who seem entertaining and as we pare down the contestants I’m very much looking forward to getting the know them.

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in the comments below.

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