Season 18 of Hell’s Kitchen has been one of the most interesting the show has seen in a while.
With another group of talented veteran chefs returning to the kitchen, this time the showrunners mixed things up by pitting them against newcomers.
It’s a mix of old and new, and allows head chef and boss-from-hell Gordon Ramsay to sort out the strong from the weak. He did just that on episode 11, which featured a dessert-based challenge and a dangerous mistake at dinner service.
The show opened up with perineal drama-magnet Trev being lambasted over his comments the previous week. During episode 10’s elimination, Trev pleaded to Chef Ramsay that he had more fight in him than anyone there. Bret especially resented this, showing some division on the veteran’s team and setting the course for some turmoil during dinner service.
When the group entered the kitchen the next day, they were on thin ice – literally. The area had been transformed into a figure skating area, with Karolina Calhoun and Collin Brubaker showing off their skills accordingly. Ramsay spoke about the romantic nature of ice skating, and noted that when you think of the term romance in the culinary landscape, dessert is the first thing that comes to mind.
The group were given one hour to create a delightful dessert dish, for both Chef Ramsay and another equally knowledgeable critic – pastry chef and cholate expert Valerie Gordon. Kanae’s choice to use cherries with her chocolate ladyfingers gave off more of a cough syrup taste than anything, earning a low score as a result.
Motto’s campfire bread pudding wasn’t perfect but earned three out of five stars from Chef Ramsay and four out of five from Gordon.
Mia’s decision to deconstruct her dessert didn’t pay off, earning team blue another low score. Despite their differences, Bret and Trev both got about the same score – a bad one. And with Ariel’s dish tickling the judge’s taste buds, the women walked away with the win, and $500 cash each to enjoy a shopping spree at one of Chef Ramsay’s favorite cooking stores.
Meanwhile, the men had to endure a punishment of chipping away at massive ice blocks – putting Trev and Bret in the same space with hammers and saws? Likely not a good idea.
During prep for dinner service, Trev asked season 10 winner and current sous chef Christina if he could have a spot in Ramsay’s restaurant should team drama cause him to lose out on this opportunity. But during service, both teams seemed to struggle a bit due to undercooked food.
Trev may have been in the weeds for forgetting the crust on the lamb, but it was Bret who got a lashing for sending up raw salmon – which would’ve been on its way to a pregnant customer had Ramsay not caught it.
Ultimately, it was Trev who was eliminated, bringing the total down to six contestants overall. But with only five black jackets to give out, the next episode will truly determine the elite of the elite.