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Hell's Kitchen: Day 4 - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 23rd 2008 2:01PM

Hell's Kitchen

(S04E04) "It's not rocket scientist to make pasta." - Craig

One night in the mid-80s when I was working at a pizza restaurant, I grabbed an empty pizza pan so I can make room on the counter for another pizza and I realized it was red hot. I think my first clue was when it started to burn. It was so hot that as I tried to throw the pan down I couldn't, because it was stuck to my hand for a few seconds. I had to spend the entire night with my left hand in a bucket of ice and my right hand making drinks for the waitresses. Turns out the incident gave me an easy night of work but it hurt like hell.

I thought of that tonight when Vanessa got burned by the pan. Her injury was a lot worse than mine, considering she had skin falling off and had to go to the hospital. But the person in the most pain tonight was probably Chef Gordon Ramsay.

Before this week's challenge and service begins, Ramsay has a few words for the men, who lost last week, and the words were:

  • "Shit night!"
  • "Punk!" (to Ben)
  • "Useless!" (to everyone)

The guys smoke and complain and are worried about the next day, but Ramsay isn't through with this day yet: he orders everyone to come back downstairs to clean the kitchen at 12:35am. Corey decides she doesn't really want to work that much and goes upstairs to sleep. I'm sure this will endear her to the girls even more (though I wonder what really happened and if this sequence was edited).

The next day Ramsay informs the troops that he's doing a first for Hell's Kitchen: family night! Which means menu items like pasta and chicken wings and burgers. Now, trained chefs can't screw that up, can they? You know it's not going to go well when Rosann brags that she's Italian and can cook pasta. She even says "Fuggedaboutit!," which makes you want her to lose. The challenge this week is to see who can make the most (and the best) pasta. Bad pasta won't be accepted when they weight it on the scale (Ramsay has high standards). The guys...how can I put this delicately? They work together like that old saying, like a monkey trying to f**k a football on a wet lawn. They end up breaking the pasta maker at one point, and Matt stands there with his arms extended, waiting for the pasta to be draped on his arms, only he stands there the whole 20 minutes like a buffoon. In short, the girls win (of course) and get to go to Santa Monica Pier. In a hummer limo. Jen goes around saying "free at last, free at last!" Yeah, I think Martin Luther King once had a dream...about going on a reality cooking show.

Meanwhile, Ben has to shovel pony shit.

The restaurant opens, with a funny bit where Ramsay tries to get Jean-Philippe to take off his tie for the more casual family night. JP (as Ramsay calls him), refuses. Ramsay calls him a "donut." They should really make a spinoff show about JP's life. I think I'd watch that. Anyway, the guests come into the restaurant and the contestants act like...well, the way they've acted the other nights. They can't get stuff out on time, they undercook the onion rings, they screw up the burgers, they serve a pasta dish with meatballs instead of clams, and Matt tries to kill all the kids by serving them uncooked chicken wings. I think these guys would have trouble at the Burger King drive-thru window. Just another night in Hell's Kitchen. Except this week Vanessa burns her hand and has to be rushed to the hospital.

But even one person down, the girls still finish their service first and win. They then go over to help the guys, who oddly celebrate a little early, which really ticks off Ramsay. The chef even starts to insult Ben, who takes it as a compliment and then is embarrassed when Ramsay finishes his thought and tells him he sucks (my word, not Ramsay's).

Ramsay picks Bobby as the best guy (best of the worst) and Bobby chooses Craig and Matt. And they were terrible, but Ramsay says there's one more person who has to step forward for elimination and "that person knows who he is." It's Ben, of course. The three men give their reasons for why they should stay, and I swear these are the reasons:

  • Ben: "I'll give 100%."
  • Matt: "I'll give 125%."
  • Craig: "I don't know percentages."

Poor Craig. Turns out it is "rocket scientist" to make pasta. For screwing up this easy service and not even answering Ramsay the whole night when he was asking when food was going to be done, Craig is sent home.

Next week: everyone yells at each other!

Did Ramsay make the right decision?
Yes, Craig was really bad.249 (90.2%)
No, it should have been Ben.5 (1.8%)
No, it should have been Matt.22 (8.0%)

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The show did not give the viewer a clear understanding of just how serious an injury Vanessa sustained. And, I was extremely disappointed that apparently no one retrieved the ice she needed to abate the burning of her hand. Oil burns penetrate the skin and do not stop until either proper treatment is applied or it completes it's damage.
There was no way she could have continued on the show after that burn and she will be lucky if she doesn't lose the feeling in her hand. If she does, her ability to cook will be significantly hindered. Cooking on the line requires both hands most of the time for the line to be able to put out 400+ plates a night.
I believe she's proven herself to be one of the few true professionals on the show. The rest just have "attitude" which is no excuse for lack of intelligence.

April 25 2008 at 11:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The contestants on this show are ridiculous. Its obvious the show picked people that can't cook THAT well to make it more entertaining. If all the cooks can cook extremely well than the show wouldnt be that entertaining. It just makes me wonder what happens when the winner gets the job at Ramsey's restaraunt. There is probably enough people that work under them so that they don't actually have to do anything.

April 24 2008 at 7:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You would be surprised to know that Ramsey doesn't get as pissed off when someone yells back at him versus when they say nothing at all. I think he has said in the past the even when a person is angry, they at least have some emotion, some drive to do better. It is when they are silent, don't answer and act like a zombie that pisses him off - then he feels like the person has given up.
-Just commenting on something I read in a past interview with him that asked him the same thing on some of his previous UK shows. :)

April 24 2008 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Kosmicki

Everyone who knows this show knew that Craig was this year's Aaron when he insisted on wearing the hat to make himself taller. And I'm surprised that nobody's mentioned that he actually yelled back at Gordon at the end of the service. The fact that Gordon didn't get him immediately for that (or at least they didn't keep it in the edited show) told me that Craig was going home no matter what.

April 24 2008 at 11:32 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

As soon as the raw chicken came back, I would have fired Matt that second. No excuse is enough. Do these people know how to boil water. I know Craig can't.

April 23 2008 at 7:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

I love Gordon. I can't believe they screwed up such simple food! I make pasta. It isn't that hard. They couldn't tell if the chicken was done? Ramsey even said do NOT send a child undercooked chicken. And the dweeb did it anyway!! And for Bobby to brag about how the tables had turned, because he was the best...OF THE WORST. Did he miss that? I bet Gordon has ulcers.

April 23 2008 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I can't believe they screwed up that service. What a bunch of maroons.

April 23 2008 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What kills me most are that these contestants supposedly have culinary experience, and as someone who had worked many years in the industry, it's pretty apparent that MAYBE 4 of the contestants obviously have some experience, but the rest I wouldn't trust to make me toast.

Does this show, or others like it, go out of their way to find horribe, unqualified contestants, or are these people truly full of shit in regards to their resumes? I gotta agree with commentator Eric, it would appear FOX goes out of their way to find trainwrecks.

April 23 2008 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Sassone

Mimi: no, that was my point. Craig said "rocket scientist."

April 23 2008 at 3:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bob Sassone's comment

Okay - I must have missed that line. Craig said a lot of dumb things.

April 24 2008 at 7:36 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


Good review but could have used a final edit. For instance, "when they weight it on the scale" - ummm, did you mean weigh?

Also, "Turns out it is "rocket scientist" to make pasta" - think you meant rocket science there.

April 23 2008 at 3:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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