I have never really been much for the Reality T.V., that is until the night I saw the first episode of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ three years ago on Fox. I have been a fan ever since. Needless to say I was overjoyed to learn that it was going to return for a third season. I just finished watching the first episode and if it is any indication of what’s to come this season viewers are in for an eventful journey through ‘Hell’ and back.
For those unfamiliar with the premise of the show it works like this; It begins the season with 12 aspiring chefs. They are broken into two teams of 6. They are brought into a restaurant and each team is given the responsibility of preparing full course meals for half of an upper class Los Angeles restaurant, known as Hell’s Kitchen. The Contestants range in cooking ability from the novice, and the home kitchen chemist all the way to the Professional Sous Chef. Each team is presented with other ‘challenges’ along the way throughout the game. There are ‘door’ prizes of sorts given for successfully completing the challenges, as well as there are penalties for failing to complete a challenge. Each week a ‘winning’ team is determined based on the performance of their respective half of the restaurant. The members of the ‘losing’ team become candidates for elimination. Each week one person is sent packing from ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ until only one remains. That remaining chef is given the keys to the kingdom, so to speak. The first season winner, Michael was given his very own restaurant in L.A. which he named Tattou, for those who saw the first season you know that ‘Tattou’ is more than appropriate for that restaurant. The winner last season, Heather, was named Head Chef of Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Terra Rossa’ Restaurant which is part of the Red Rock Resort in Las Vegas. This season’s winner is promised a position as Head Chef at an unnamed restaurant at the Green Valley Ranch Resort, also in Las Vegas.
Of course I couldn’t write a review of the show without mention of the ‘Star’ himself, Gordon Ramsay. Chef Ramsay has far and away made quite a name for himself in the Restaurant industry. He is respected by many and feared by most. He expects nothing less than perfection to come out of his kitchens. He is a published author in the art of cooking. His staff, in this case the contestants, suffer his wrath for attempting to serve anything less than perfection to his patrons. He is brutally honest and at times can get kind of vulgar. God help you if you try to serve him ‘rubbish’. The contestants learn that in the first episode of the season. At the beginning of the season as soon as the contestants arrive at Hell’s Kitchen they are each given 30 minutes to prepare their ‘Signature’ dish for him to judge. Judge them he does, and harshly. Of the twelve contestants for season 3 he only found one dish acceptable. The others were underdone, over done, or over seasoned. One he didn’t even eat, he dismissed it on presentation alone. Chef Ramsay is assisted by his two executive chefs Scott and Marianne. They are just as brutal as he is, maybe even more so because I am sure that behind the scenes they ultimately they have to answer to him.
The little snipets that are shared of the future episodes, give inklings that this season is going to be a ‘Spicy’ one. I can’t wait. Based on the last two seasons I give it a ‘Must Watch’, with one caveat; it’s not for children.