User Score: 423
This is the first season where a contestant withdraws due to personal issues.
This is the first season of Hell's Kitchen to start with more than 18 contestants. Unlike previous seasons, this is also the first season of Hell's Kitchen to open up in Las Vegas, where the chefs presented their signature dishes to Chef Ramsay in front of a live audience of 2,500 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace.
Nitpick: When Ramsey began the challenge he said that a good chef should seek to create dishes to "maximize profit", not those which would bring in the highest sales. Christina only spent $14.04 on her ingredients and Dana spent $14.96. With the average price of Christina's dish being $33.67 and Dana's being $34.00, Christina made a profit of $19.63 on each sale whereas Dana only made $19.04. Shouldn't that mean that Christina should have won the challenge?
Challenge: For their finale challenge, the two aspiring chefs, Russell and Nona, were taken to the LA Market, the restaurant that one of them would become head chef in. There, they had to cook five dishes - soup, salad, pasta, fish and meat and present them to five esteemed judges - all of them top people within the local culinary industry. Russell won this challenge with a score of 3-2 and for winning he got to have first pick of the returning chefs that made up the brigade.
Nona is the winner of the eighth season of Hell's Kitchen, becoming the Head Chef at LA Market and having the opportunity to be the spokesperson for Rosemount Wise Estates.
Hot Plate: For this penultimate episode, Chef Ramsay gave each of the remaining aspiring chefs the chance to run the hot plate / pass. Along the way, they were tested by sabotaged dishes from Chef Scott. Russell passed his quality control test, but had trouble managing Trevor. Nona ran the pass well, but did not catch when mashed celery was substituted for mashed potatoes. Trev got into trouble by sending out orders at the wrong time. Jillian sent out a New York Strip steak that was supposed to be a ribeye and also had issues with controlling the team.
Rewards Challenge: For this challenge, the remaining aspiring chefs had to create "fusion" dishes by combining tastes from two different countries. They picked from covered platters to determine which two countries their dishes would represent. Nona got Greece & Italy, Jillian got Thailand & Spain, Russell got France & India and Trev got China & Mexico. Trev's dish was a carne asada, sweetened and habanero, Nona's was a rustic seafood ragu with mussels and shrimp, greek pasta with roasted tomatoes and balsamic, maraschino cherries & lemon cello. Russell's was a duck a'lorange, foie gras and curry powder. Finally, Jillian's dish featured white rice, marinated shrimp, spicy mayonaisse and soybean curd. The guest judges for this challenge were Philip Dubose, Helene An and Lee Hefter.
Reward / Punishment: Jillian won this challenge, as her dish was the only one to receive universal praise from the judges. They said that it was an interesting dish that tasted nice and was seasoned well. For winning, she received lunch with Chef Ramsay at the acclaimed restaurant Spago and got to travel there by limo. For losing, the remaining chefs had to complete "moving day" - getting rid of the old furniture from the dorms and then prep the kitchen for service, which was being held that night.
Eliminated: Chef Ramsay asked the chefs to pick two fellow chefs for nomination, but when the time came, he did not accept any nominations. He instead immediately eliminated Trev, saying that he was "just not ready," but he praised him for making it as far as he did. He then asked the remaining chefs to state why they thought they should be in the final. After their pleas, he picked Russell as the first into the finale. He then picked Nona as the second into the finale, eliminating Jillian, though Jillian was allowed to keep her jacket.
Family Meeting: For their strong performance at service, the remaining aspiring chefs got to see members of their family. Russell got to see his girlfriend Megan and his parents. Trev's family members were his sister Annie and best friend Josh. Jillian's were her boyfriend Christopher and her sons Dylan and Colin. Finally, Nona got to see her husband Curtis and baby boy Jackson.
Rewards Challenge: This was the "taste it, then make it" challenge, in which the remaining chefs had to taste a dish created by Gordon Ramsay and then attempt to duplicate it as closely as possible.
Reward / Punishment: Nona won this challenge. She, along with Russell, correctly identified that the protein in Ramsay's dish was veal. Her reward for winning was a spa day, along with a set of cookware and one of Chef Ramsay's cookbooks. She also got to pick someone to come with her on her spa day, and chose Russell. For punishment, Jillian and Trev had to remain behind at Hell's Kitchen and do laundry duty - prep, iron and starch all the tablecloths and also do Chef Ramsay's jackets.
Nominees for Elimination: Even though he was delighted with the evening's performance, Chef Ramsay asked everyone to come a consensus on two chefs to nominate for elimination. Trev and Russell were both nominated based on their performances on their respective stations and also communication issues.
Eliminated: Nobody. Chef Ramsay said that he couldn't do it because the performance had been so strong. He instead surprised all of the remaining chefs by treating them to a visit from their family members.
Rewards Challenge: For this challenge, Chef Ramsay assigned each of the five aspiring chefs their own food truck and asked them to each create a power lunch for a group of eighty high-class businesspeople. They had one hour to get ready and the winner would be one whose dish was the most well-rated. Nona made a chicken salad and bacon sandwich, Jillian created a herb chicken with mixed vegetables, Trev went for penne pasta with sausage, Russell served a grilled octopus and saffron aiole sandwich and Gail made a skirt steak salad with mangoes and candied pecans.
Reward / Punishment: Gail one the challenge with 40% of the businesspeople preferring her dish over all others. Nona came in second place with 38% rating her dish as their favorite. 60% said that Russell's octopus was the worst dish. For winning, Gail got to travel to Beverly Hills for a makeover by Jose Eber, then back to Hollywood where the stylist Cojo created a new look for her. For losing, the remaining aspiring chefs had to clean and fix up the outside of Hell's Kitchen, and also clean the food trucks.
Nominees for Elimination: Chef Ramsay was very disappointed with the service, walking out at one point and kicking out two chefs towards the end of service. He asked the final five to nominate two chefs for elimination. Gail was nominated for not communicating and being in her own bubble. Trev was nominated for being an absolute disaster on the meat station.
Rewards Challenge: For the first individual challenge, Chef Ramsay gave each of the remaining aspiring chefs thirty minutes to create an amuse bouche. Each chef's amuse bouche was then judged on presentation and taste by a panel of five guest chefs.
Reward / Punishment: Russell was the undisputed winner of the challenge with a perfect score of 50/50 for presentation and 50/50 for taste. For winning, he received a guided tour of the L.A. Market by Kerry Simon, L.A. Market's executive chef. He got to bring along one other chef, and he chose Gail, based on her having the second highest score, a total of 87/100. Together, he, Gail, Kerry Simon and Chef Ramsay had a special lunch at the L.A. Market. For losing, the remaining chefs were made to clean the dorms, then prep the kitchen for service, which was being held that evening.
Nominees for Elimination: Disappointed with the night's service, Chef Ramsay asked everyone to come together to nominate two chefs for elimination. Trev and Sabrina were nominated for a poor combined performance on appetizers. Sabrina then had a breakdown and begged for Gail to go home, based on her poor performance on the fish station.
Rewards Challenge: Chef Ramsay wanted to test the chefs' communication, so for this challenge, he asked both teams to cook three Hell's Kitchen entrees in thirty minutes. The chefs had to pair off in turns, spending five minutes in the kitchen and then having just 15 seconds to explain to the next chef what they had and hadn't done.
Reward / Punishment: The Blue Team won this challenge, due largely to the Red Team having dropped their salmon on the floor. For winning, they got to enjoy a shopping spree at Sur la Table, then ate at Melisse, a restaurant with two Michelin stars. For losing, the Red Team had to do delivery day, picking up deliveries whenever they heard the horn of the delivery truck honking.
Nominees for Elimination: Chef Ramsay declared that there was no winning team. He asked each chef to make their own choice for elimination, but didn't really care about the choices, asking Gail and Vinny to step forward, based on their performance during service.
Eliminated: Vinny. The remaining chefs were made members of the final six, the merged black team.
Rewards Challenge: This challenge was the blind taste test. Chefs from each team were paired off against each other, blindfolded and earmuffed and asked to identify ingredients.
Reward / Punishment: The Red Team won this challenge with a total of six ingredients correctly identified. Nona was the standout star, correctly identifying three out of her four ingredients, more than any other chef. For winning, the Red Team got to enjoy a $2,000 shopping spree, then traveled Michael's Mina's restaurant, XIV, for a fine-dining experience. For losing, the Blue Team had to sort through the Hell's Kitchen trash for recycling.
Nominees for Elimination: The Blue Team lost the evening's service, with all of their members kicked out, the sole exception being Trev. Trev was declared the obvious best of the worst and told to nominate two of his teammates for elimination. He nominated Rob for being the monkey wrench in the works and Russell for yelling, but not being motivational.
Team Switch: At the beginning of the episode, Trev, who had previously been switched from the Blue Team to the Red Team, was returned to the Blue Team.
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high stake situations, temper tantrum, snobs versus slobs, Cooking, fight for survival