‘Hell’s Kitchen: All Stars’ Episode 1 recap: 16 former contestants return for redemption

The season 17 premiere of “Hell’s Kitchen” on Friday night spent a lot of time reintroducing fans to the sixteen returning contestants billed as “all stars,” and from the beginning it’s clear that steaks won’t be the juiciest thing about these chefs. The first episode teased lots of drama to be had both inside and outside the kitchen for this motley crew of wannabe cooks, with old wounds and rivalries coming back to hinder their culinary skills. Make your “Hell’s Kitchen: All Stars” predictions for a chance to top our famous leaderboards. It’s fun and easy, so start predicting right now.

Two people who were overjoyed to be reunited were Ashley and Jared, the lovebirds/best buds from season 15. Will their prior relationship hurt their chances? We’re guessing yes. Meanwhile, season 10’s Barbie is displeased by the return of former rivals Dana and Robyn (in all fairness, they did conspire to get Barbie kicked off), while Josh is less than excited to see fellow season 14 castoff Nick show up.

Setting up an epic battle of the sexes, chef Gordon Ramsay has divided the women into the red team and the men into the blue. His first challenge: use ingredients provided for them to create a signature dish and face off against a contestant from the other side with the same ingredients.

SEE “Hell’s Kitchen: All Stars” predictions: Dana Cohen, Giovanni Filippone early favorites to win

As you’d expect, the chefs meet this challenge with varying degrees of success. Ashley and Jared end up competing against each other with duck breast recipes, causing lots of raised eyebrows. Van and Elise are the first to get scores of 5 out of 5 for their lobster dishes, making for a neck-and-neck race. Ben gets the last 5 for his pan-seared salmon, while Robyn gets the worst score of the night and loses the contest for the red team with her salty rendering of the fish.

Naturally, the ladies are pretty upset at her. While the men get a dinner prepared by special guest chef Wolfgang Puck, the women have to break down the bleachers and red carpet from the show’s opening. In the break room, Robyn looks to her tiger’s eye to keep her grounded, much to the befuddlement of Barbie.

The episode ends on a cliffhanger (honestly, would you expect it any other way?). Ramsay challenges the contestants to come up with a signature dish for Hell’s Kitchen’s first ever bar menu. The prize: immunity from elimination during the night’s dinner service.

Be sure to make your predictions so that the contestants can see how they’re faring in our racetrack odds. You can keep changing your predictions until just before the next episode airs every Friday on Fox. You’ll compete to win a spot on our leaderboard and eternal bragging rights. See our contest rules and sound off with other fans in our reality TV forum. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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