Hell’s Kitchen USA
If you wondered why Gordon Ramsay no longer presented the UK edition of Hell’s Kitchen (being replaced laterly by Marco Pierre White), then this programme helps to explain why. Hell’s Kitchen USA (set in California) is now in its third series and the chef is Gordon Ramsay.
The format is fairly similar to the UK version in that there are two teams – the blue and red kitchens, but the programme seems to be on a much larger scale, with winning teams receiving extra treats such as spending the afternoon in a health spa! There is earie and dramatic music throughout and no friendly witticisms from the narrator. The contestants also seem to be more moody and bitchy than those in the UK and nominate each other.
One of the contestants – Jen who is the pastry chef has only just revealed that she has worked in a number of restaurants (when the other contestants thought that she was a novice).
Gordon Ramsay is known a little unnervingly as “Chef Ramsay” and in tonight’s programme he showed the contestants how to kill a live lobster (by placing a knife through their head). The challenge was for each member of the team (3 in each team) to create a dish containing the lobster and the teams were set against each other. The dishes cooked ranged from a lobster risotto, salad, buttermilk fried lobster tail to lobster bisque. The red team won the challenge and won a photoshoot for In Touch magazine (complete with having hair done and makeup). The losing team had to look in every waste bin and sort out items for recycling (which did not go down well and much swearing followed and not from Gordon Ramsay!). Later the two teams did their preparation for the restaurant and served at the pass and it was only at this stage that we saw the Gordon Ramsay that we know and love (he exploded with rage). The kitchens managed to ruin monkfish and run out of potatoes and food was either over-cooked or under-cooked. He ordered the restaurant to be closed down.
Unlike, the UK version of the programme, the contestants did not receive much tuition or training from either their Chef or Sous Chefs (there did not seem to be any Sous Chefs around), as some of them were already working in the catering industry. The programme also seemed to be a lot more competitive and did not have enough focus on the skills of the contestants. Hell’s Kitchen has been tailored for a US audience but unfortunately lost something in translation.