Last week on “Hell’s Kitchen,” Bronx-based rookie chef Jose DeJesus proved incapable of cooking the veal correctly and was sent on his way after embarrassing Gordon Ramsay during a charity event dinner service. His succinct summation of the chef-testant’s sin: “On a night when it should have been ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ giving back to some amazing charities, it was the charities that ended up giving back Jose’s raw veal.” The number of contenders have dwindled down to a kind-of heavenly seven. Below, check out our minute-by-minute recap of “Hells Kitchen” Season 18, Episode 11, titled “Devilish Desserts,” to find out what happened January 11.
9:03 p.m. Bret Hauser resents that Red teammate Trevor McGrath pled his case against being eliminated last week by proclaiming, “I have more fight in me than anyone here.”
9:04 p.m. After being told by Ramsay to “piss off,” Bret, Trev and Motto scoot out of the kitchen. In their living quarters, Bret grouses, “For Trevor to say he is the most determined guy here, that’s nonsense. I bleed determination.” Yes, Trev is once again being bashed by his own teammates. He says to the camera: “I have a feeling that Bret wanted me gone tonight. Whatever. But I don’t give up because that is the ultimate insult to Gordon Ramsay.”
9:05 p.m. Chef Ramsay beckons the chefs, and they swiftly enter the kitchen only to find a pair of champion figures skaters, Karolina Calhoun and Collin Brubaker, waltzing on a frozen pond. Ramsay professes, “Of all Olympic sports, ice dancing is truly the most romantic.” OK, what does this have to do with cooking? “Similar to ice dancing in the culinary world, there’s nothing more romantic than …” After Brubaker gives his partner a cupcake, Motto finishes the thought, “dessert.” That is their reward challenge, to create as the episode’s title states, a devilish dessert in 60 minutes.
9:08 p.m. Motto says he will put a little spin on bread pudding. Bret pours liquor into a pan, as Trevor says, “The best part of waking up is putting a little cognac in your cup.” It will be used for arancini, deep-fried balls that will be stuffed with white chocolate and orange zest. Trevor is not impressed. “Again, with the Italian. What the (bleep) are you, Rocky Balboa? Let’s shake it up a little bit.” Kanae Houston attempts a deconstructed cherry tiramisu. For some reason, Trev does a healthy dessert with raspberries and goji berries plus avocado mousse. Isn’t it romantic? Not really. Heather Williams also chooses to do bread pudding, considering time is of the essence. She adds whiskey and has Kanae taste it. She finds it too strong and tells her to cook it out a bit.
9:10 p.m. Mia Castro’s roasted apple tart starts to crumble and Ramsay notices. She wisely shoos him away and says it is fine. She admits, “If you screw up something you bake, it’s not that easy to fix.” She decides to, what else, deconstruct it. Because the Blue Team has four chefs and the Red only three, one of the ladies won’t be participating in the judging. Ariel Contreras-Fox tells Heather, “Based on presentation, I would say yours.” The vote ends up unanimous and her boozy bread pudding is out.
9:12 p.m.: Pastry chef and chocolatier Valerie Gordon is the guest judge. Kanae is first with her tiramisu and chocolate lady fingers with a cherry glaze on the bottom. Gordon says that cherry is one of the more difficult fruits to work with. “You can get that gorgeous sweetness or it tastes like cough syrup.” Hack, hack. It’s cough syrup. Ramsay gives it one lady finger, Gordon gives two. Motto does a campfire bread pudding. Gordon finds it very moist and says it is a great concept. But he should have used bittersweet chocolate for more complexity. She gives him a three and Ramsay gives it a four out of five.
9:14 p.m. When Mia says “deconstructed,” she can’t quite sell it. Gordon finds the ginger a little aggressive and describes the dish as muddy and not in a good way. She gives it a two and so does Ramsay. OMG! The men have a rare chance to win a reward challenge. Bret’s fried balls are next. Gordon takes a bite and makes a noise that doesn’t sound like “yum.” “Al dente,” she says. “That is REALLY al dente.” Gordon and Ramsay both give him a one while ball jokes start flying.
9:16 p.m. The ladies now have a chance and Ariel could be the one to put them ahead: “I have a Thai lime and beet tart.“ Gordon: “That’s yummy. That tastes really, really good.” Gordon happily delivers a four while Ramsay says there is too much on the plate and gives Ariel a three. Trev plunks down his “avocado kisses.” Gordon, no mincer of words, says, “I really dislike this dish.” Well, there goes the reward, especially when she adds, “It tastes like a bush.” He gets a pair of ones and it is over.
9:18 p.m. Suddenly, Ramsay waves a pile of cash — $2,000 to be exact – and announces the Blue Team is going on a shopping spree at Sur la Table. Cut to the men looking as if they smell bad cheese. Ariel says, “Somehow my little seven saved the day.” The men’s punishment? They will be chopping and chipping ice, making handcrafted cubes from 600 pounds of the frozen stuff.
9:24 p.m. Jocky the sous chef join the ladies on their reward. They end up at a restaurant. Jocky gets jokey and asks, “What’s for dessert?” Heather has a bit of grudge because her dish didn’t get judged. Meanwhile, Trevor’s refusal to acknowledge his dessert disaster bugs Bret, who says, “I lost my respect for Trevor today.” Poor Trev from last episode is back it seems: “They don’t like me. They just want me out of here.” He starts just bashing the ice into shards rather than cubes.
9:35 p.m. The women return to Hell’s Kitchen for dinner service and both teams start to prep. Trevor calls over sous chef Christina and asks if he can have a word with her. He vents and seems to ask for some career support. Bret grows suspicious. The doors are open. Mia is on hot appetizers – which means lots of tasting. Turns out, she has to make seafood risotto and is allergic to it. She switches to the cabonara and Ariel takes over the risotto. Both kitchens move onto entrees, which have been the Red Team’s Waterloo each week. And it is again, as Trev hands Ramsay a raw Beef Wellington.
9:39 p.m. Ramsay is frustrated with Trev, telling him, “You must step up now.” The ladies seem to be doing better, but Heather notes the strip steaks are thick as hell. Now that is an omen. Ramsay cuts into the meat – and it is overcooked. As for the guys, Trev is in the weeds after forgetting to put crust on the lamb chops. As for the salmon, Ramsay takes the trio to task for cooking it in a dirty pan and tells them they have no team spirit. Ariel is disappointed that Heather is incapable of handling the steaks, especially since she is a veteran and a runner-up on her season. But her second try is deemed fine.
9:45 p.m. Will the men be able to bounce back, too? Unlikely, since Trev overcooked the lamb. Ramsay herds the Red Team into the pantry, a bleep storm breaks out and a lamb-chop abuse is committed. They walk back to the kitchen to finish the service.
9:48 p.m. The Blue Team is given the night’s VIP table and Kanae blows it with raw salmon. Ramsay finishes cooking it, which makes the diners happy. That is until Ramsay checks the salmon made by the men and it is ice cold. Gordo is particularly appalled since the woman who ordered it is pregnant and throws a fairly epic meltdown even for him. Only Motto had no issues.
9:54 p.m. An elimination is nigh. It’s Trev vs. Bret. Ramsay bemoans their lack of cohesiveness as a team. He allows them to make their cases why they should stay. His decision? Trev. “This is your third time up here. And the downward spiral over the last three services indicate to me that you are not ready to be my executive chef in Las Vegas.” Ramsay also has words for Bret. “I’ve given you a lifeline. I like to see a lot more from you.”
9:57 p.m. Then comes a surprise. He turns to the Blue Team and asks, “Which one of you can emerge as a leader and jump into the Red Team?” Ambitious Mia decides it is worth her while to show that she can take command. Final words from Ramsay: “Trevor was one of the most passionate chefs I’ve ever had in Hell’s Kitchen. But until he has the support of his brigade, he will be lost at sea.”
Next time: “It is black jacket time,” Ramsay announces. And there are only five for the taking. There are three veterans and three rookies left. Now things will really start cooking, especially when Heather suffers an injury.