You know the drill by now: despite having a fairly dismal night on last night’s episode of Hell’s Kitchen, Andy Husbands was saved from elimination by a blue team win. The episode started off on a promising note for the Tremont 647 chef: during a taste test challenge (more on that later), he went up last for the blue team and correctly identified the first ingredient, lychee, causing Tennille to marvel that “Andy is one of the most epicurious mamajamas I’ve ever met in my life!” Everyone was thrilled…and then Husbands misidentified avocado (he guessed boiled coconut) and Ahi tuna (he suspected salmon), costing his team the win.
During service, Husbands lost track of the orders, sending his team behind. He then realized he hadn’t prepped enough mashed potatoes for the night, forcing Dave to step in and speed-make another batch. No, it was not an illustrious night for our hometown hero, but since the blue team won service by a hair, Husbands remained safe for now, and poor dumb Amanda was sent home. A few more thoughts on the episode:
• We need to talk about that taste test. The blind taste test is a trope of reality cooking shows, but at least Top Chef manages to make the ingredients slightly esoteric. Here are some things the Hell’s Kitchen contestants were asked to identify: pecans, turkey, iceberg lettuce, grapefruit, and cream cheese. Seriously. Seriously. It was like the time Top Chef contestants staged a joke Quickfire where they had to identify junk food, except it was the actual challenge.
• Also, if you misidentify oregano as either sage or basil, you should not be a professional chef.
• In the continuing masochism of this show, after losing the taste test, the blue team was forced to consume their lunch (risotto and duck confit) in smoothie form. Is this Fear Factor?
• We have to agree with the red team’s wish for Suzanne to be eliminated, if only because she prefaced a question to Ramsay during the red team’s reward dinner in the dark (which, PS, is no kind of reward) with this: “Culinary trends are leading toward the new nouveau.”