Here we go again, Hell’s Kitchen fans. Time to figure out how these chosen contestants can claim to be cooks, or even more unfathomable, chefs. The season premiere of Hell’s Kitchen felt as if it were made for people like me who criticize the cheftestants each year on their silly mistakes. We were shown cooking demonstration videos, shots of the cooks reading what appeared to be a massive recipe book for the restaurant, and a lot of explanation of how much more difficult the reality of Ramsay’s kitchen is compared to sitting at home.
But I’m not letting these people off easily. Sure, that’s a big recipe book. It should be noted that they’re not making all of those items during dinner. In fact, the vast majority is made throughout the day preparing for dinner service. So no matter how thick of a recipe book you’re handed, you can glance at it as you make each item. That book is the bible of Hell’s Kitchen, and there’s no excuse to make anything when it’s absent.
I hope that we’re not going to travel down the same path as last year, but sweet lord do I have a deep desire to kick the people on this show in the throat when they mess up risotto or scallops. The rice is already 99% cooked before dinner service begins. All you have to do is build it in the pan according to what Ramsay’s recipe dictates. Dump items in a sauté pan, toss, add chicken stock, toss, when nearly done cooking “finish” with butter (I believe it was mentioned that the lobster risotto is finished with mascarpone). Check for seasoning, adjust, and serve. Two, maybe three, minutes and that dish is done.
And what cook doesn’t always have a hot sauté pan ready when it’s needed? The scallop problem on Hell’s Kitchen would be alleviated greatly if these people learned to have a hot pan nearby at all times.
I understand that there are additional pressures being on a network cooking show that acerbates the little normal kitchen issues into meltdowns. But come ready to do the basics, and you’ll be fine. At least you’ll get through.
We’ll get into the cheftestants themselves as the season goes on. To be honest I couldn’t differentiate between half of the girls. Blonde 1 is getting yelled at, now blonde 2. Oh, fire wing lady seems to be doing alright. Wait? Was that blonde 1 or 2 that was just thrown out of the kitchen? Never mind, they’re both gone anyways. I’m not saying all white people look alike, but damn I had a hard time with that.
Aside from the fake Italian American and the farmer who gave me a chill up the spine, the guys were quite banal. Salvatore (I think that’s his name) just strikes me as fake. He’s been in America for over 20 years and still has that accent for the women? It’s a caricature and I don’t trust him. You want a charming Italian accent on a chef, go watch Fabio on Top Chef.
Some girl that wasn’t the middle aged Fran ended up going home from the girl’s team tonight. But if the season premiere is an indication of the direction this year will take we’re all in for an exhausting summer.