TV-Review "Hell's Kitchen" episode aired 3/31/08 and Guest Writer Michelle Stinks Up Her House

So Gordon Ramsey is back and he's still cussing.

"Hell's Kitchen" 2008 premiered on 4/1/08 and fifteen would be chefs were introduced to the viewing audience and one hapless fellow, the ONLY one without an official cooking background, was sent packing.

We've got a review along with pics and video you'll find nowhere else on the Internet.

Also, Guest Writer Michelle almost kills herself but she only ended up making a big stink.

Pic of the Day
Picante sauce for babies

Hells Kitchen Logo

”Hell’s Kitchen” Premiere

First, some food facts and fun.


Red and yellow bell peppers are much sweeter than green. Although they started out as green peppers, they were left on the plant to ripen for a much longer period of time.
China, India, and Pakistan are now the world's three largest producers of chiles.
Pablano peppers get its name from the city of Pueblo, Mexico, where it is a chile of choice--and often used as a relleno shell.
Green bell peppers can be stored (unwashed) in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.Red bell peppers should only be refrigerated for 3 to 4 days, due to the fact that they are more mature than their green brothers.
Photo peppers

Rocoto (spicier than habanero): This capsicum pubescens is a fireball of unbelievable proportions. Generally not available outside of Latin America, since its fragile fruit is grown only in high altitude, cool climates, it
comes in green, yellow, and red globes, about 2 x 2 inches, and has a hairy stem.
Pepperoncini have a slightly sweet flavor that can range from medium to medium-hot. They are also known as Tuscan peppers. Most people are probably familiar with commercially pickled pepperoncini. The light green pickled version are used in salads, anti-pasto appetizers and are often served as a garnish with sandwiches.

The winner of this year’s “Hell’s Kitchen” competition will be given the job of executive chef in Gordon Ramsey’s new California restaurant named “London/LA”, a reference we must suppose to Ramsey’s British background combined with the new American locale. The salary of the new chef will be approximately a quarter million bucks a year.

I enjoy cooking shows, yes I do. I love the Food Network’s cooking contest series “The Next Food Network Star” due to begin on June 1 of this year. I chanced upon Bravo TV’s “Top Chef” cooking competition series and will be reviewing that contest along with this Hell’s Kitchen series and will be covering the “Food Network Star” series at its premiere.

I don’t enjoy this cooking show so much because I don’t see a whole lot of entertainment provided with an hour of cooking and cussing. The other two cooking contests, Bravo and Food Network’s, are very entertaining and informative. Somebody somewhere got it into their head that an hour of Gordon Ramsey’s cussing and berating would-be chefs would amuse the sadists amongst us. Which would me, I suppose.

This is not to say that there isn’t some entertainment and information passed along. Also, this cooking contest does take place in a restaurant that ostensibly opens for business and does serve customers. The other televised cooking contests involve a series of different tasks that may or may not involve a restaurant.

Let us also not forget that “Hell’s Kitchen” has a tremendous lead-in from “American Idol” and is on a national network as opposed to cable.

The premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” began with the fifteen contenders all loading their suitcases and selves onto a bus. Ramsey himself jumped on the bus which would bring all the young chefs to Hell’s Kitchen only Ramsey wore a disguise to better eavesdrop on the contenders.

Once at the restaurant, Ramsey revealed himself and ordered the contenders to all cook a signature dish to present to him for his cussing critique.

I must say the signature dishes as prepared were weird. The weirdest came from contender Matt. He prepared a combination of raw venison and sea scallops, all covered with grated white chocolate.

Correction. The weirdest signature dish should probably go to contender Petrozza, who prepared, I’m not making this up, a Cornish hen baked INSIDE of a pumpkin.

Ramsey was not pleased with either of the above dishes and he did, of course, ostentatiously vomit his first taste into a nearby trash receptacle. Nobody ever vomits on “The Next Food Network Star” or “Top Chef”.

montage from hell's kitchen episode aired premiere

montage food from hell's kitchen premiere 08

The best signature dish was prepared by Roseann. Roseann presented a spicy mussel soup which Ramsey said was seasoned perfectly.

On to the contest and begins the fledgling executive chefs’ lessons in cooking for Hell’s Kitchen. Guys were put on the Blue team and were led by contender Bobby. Girls were put on the Red team and were led by contender Vanessa.

Right from the start the girls took a lead in that they stayed up late and actually studied the dishes on Hell’s Kitchen’s menu while the guys snored.

Then came the frantic part of this contest where the teams attempt to serve the guests at Hell’s Kitchen and various contenders might cry, sneeze, cuss, break down, leave in a huff or go into a trance right in the restaurant kitchen.

Blue team leader Bobby, a cocky fellow who bragged in front of the disguised Ramsey on the bus that he was a Four Star General in the kitchen, led his team miserably. Screen shots, obviously scripted, would show Bobby refusing to help his team mates as they struggled to fulfill orders. Bobby would hold his hands up to keep his pleading team mates at bay, assuring them that they had everything under control.

This is not what a chef would do in the real world and I suppose the scripting was to impart the message to the viewing audience that Bobby might be a bit lazy and he’s certainly no leader.

In another scripted scene, contender Jason was shown sleeping during all of this, an unlikely turn of events in the real world as I see it.

Over on the girl’s team the ladies were doing okay up until contender Sharon messed up on something another. Ramsey sent her out of the kitchen by screaming at her to go up to her room and “put on more makeup”.


We in the viewing audience were to conclude with this scripted scene that while Sharon was quite attractive, she couldn’t cook.

Contender Vanessa, originally captain of the Red team, was fired from that job and Roseann, she of the perfectly seasoned mussel soup, took over as captain.

Roseann appears to be a Hell’s Kitchen contender to watch out for.

The female (Red) team was pronounced the winning team but with much disgust by Ramsey. Contender Larouse was to nominate two contenders for elimination from the losing Blue ream and he chose Bobby, the Blue team captain with a very laid back approach, and Dominick, for elimination consideration.

Dominick is a contender with a resume summed up the words “stay at home Dad”. So first, here’s a contender with no formal cooking history and Dominick is in his forties.

Frankly Bobby, the leader who refused to help his team mates, should have been fired on the spot. But Ramsey chose to send home Dominick, whose kitchen crime was his inability to get appetizers prepared on time.

I think Ramsey chose Dominick because in terms of cooking background and age he was not a good candidate to be head chef at Ramsey’s swanky left coast new restaurant.

Below is a video snippet, only 15 seconds, of what I consider to be a perfect short synopsis of Ramsey’s kind and happening kitchen leadership style.

Contenders, 2008 “Hell’s Kitchen”
Vanessa, 31,Line Cook-
RosAnn, 33,Receptionist/Former cook-
Craig, 30,Sous Chef-
Bobby, 37, Executive Chef-
Louross, 24,Hotel cook-
Dominic,43,Stay at Home Dad-Sent Home 4/1/08
Jen, 24,Line Cook-
Corey,25,Private Chef-
Jason,29,Sous Chef-
Shayna ,28,Owner, catering company-
Matt35,Sous Chef-
Petrozza,47,Catering Director-
Sharon, 31,Room Service Chef-
Ben, 29, Electricia/former chef-
Christina, 25,culinary student-

Prior Links to Hell’s Kitchen 2008 Episodes
Premiere Episode

 Posted by Hello

Drivel: Chemistry

I tried to kill myself yesterday.

For the last several days, the aquarium has been looking a bit cloudy. When I first noticed it, I peered into the sump, that 30-gallon tank housed in the aquarium stand that serves as a filtration unit for the entire system. The water in it was bubbling along, and looked clear. How odd, I thought, and promptly forgot about it.

Two days later, yesterday, I noticed that the cloudiness had not gone away. If anything, it appeared to be getting worse. So I looked into the sump again. In the water, nestled against the pipe that brings water back in from the tank, was one of the under-cabinet lights. Ack!

After my momentary panic, I remembered that those two lights were battery-operated and not electric. No power cord was attached. The lights are those slim fluorescent tube ones, with double-stick tape Velcro attachments. The idea is to stick the Velcro under the cabinet, and then you can easily take the light down to replace the batteries. All eight of them. Each.

I opened the other side of the stand to check on the other light. It was also in the sump, next to the outflow pipe, the one that shuttles water back into the aquarium.

Certainly those lights weren't good for the tank and were probably the cause of the cloudy water. I hesitated to pull them out, unsure if the whole water-electric-cord thing applied to battery fixtures.

I called Harry. He told me it would be okay to pull them out, since they weren't plugged in. I told him if I suddenly stopped talking, he should call an ambulance, and thought how we'd make a lovely "dropped call" cell phone commercial.

When I picked the first light out of the sump, it retaliated by dumping out a bunch of really black water. I tried to stop some of it from going back into the sump water by cupping my hand under the flow and rushing to the kitchen sink. All that black water didn't look healthy in my hand, either, so I hurried to clean it off. Then I went back to get the other light, which did the same thing.

guest writer aquarium with lights

I don't remember saying goodbye or when I hung up the phone with Harry.

I checked the tank and the water was *really* cloudy. All that black water wasn't a good addition. My hand ached, likely a psychological result of having all that icky water in it. I went into the bedroom and did something. (I can't remember what.)

When I came out again, the living room *reeked* of rotten eggs. Where did that come from? The only change was the lights were out of the sump and in the kitchen sink. Contrary to popular belief, the dog does not smell that bad. The lights, it had to be the lights. I scurried to remove them from the sink and put them outside. Then I opened all the house windows and the back door into the garage (and the door from the garage to the backyard, which let in a decent breeze).

The air in the house cleared and the aquarium water began to clear, too. I called my aquarium guy who told me to put carbon bags into the sump so I called Harry back and had him stop by the pet shop to get some.

Today, the water is much clearer, though we might lose some coral. All the fish are looking fine. Even I survived, though I'm not sure I deserved to. Who knew salt water and batteries made hydrogen sulfide gas? Good thing it smells badly.

Perhaps I should have paid better attention in chemistry class.

The Desk Drawer writer's exercise list

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