‘Hell’s Kitchen’ season 20 premiere recap: 18 all-new ‘Young Guns’ compete in Sin City [UPDATING LIVE BLOG]

For its landmark 20th season, “Hell’s Kitchen” is traveling back to Las Vegas, but this time around there’s an even bigger twist. All of the contestants are aspiring, up-and-coming chefs who are younger than age 24, which explains why host Gordon Ramsay affectionately calls them “Young Guns.” These 18 all-new chef-testants competed in Sin City prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, with Christina Wilson and Jason “Jay” Santos returning as sous-chefs for the Red Team and Blue Team, respectively. At stake for the winner? A head chef position at Ramsay’s steakhouse at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas. So how’d it all play out in Monday’s season 20 premiere?

Below, read our minute-by-minute “Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns” recap of Season 20, Episode 1, titled “Young Guns Come Out Shooting,” to find out what happened Monday, May 31 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT. Then be sure to sound off in the comments section about your favorite aspiring chefs on Fox’s reality TV show and who you think has what it takes to join the “HK” winners list.

Keep refreshing/reloading this “Hell’s Kitchen” live blog for the most recent updates.

8:00 p.m. — “Previously on ‘Hell’s Kitchen’!” In last season’s finale, it all came down to Kori Sutton vs. Mary Lou Davis. In the end, Chef Ramsay chose to award Kori with the head chef position at his Lake Tahoe restaurant. “The first people that I saw were my son and my father and I just lost my bananas,” Kori told Gold Derby about what happened immediately after she was named the show’s 19th winner. But enough about last season. Which “Young Gun” has what it takes to go the distance in Sin City? Let’s go!

8:10 p.m. — The new crop of contestants are riding through the streets of Las Vegas en route to meet Gordon. They have figured out they’re all pretty young this season and bond by talking about how much better they are than old people. These kids could be in for a rude wake up call. They’re a bit cocky and condescending, which I think Gordon will squash pretty quickly. They arrive at the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant and are greeted by tour guides for the new Hell’s Kitchen museum. Gordon created this to celebrate 20 seasons, but also hopes this shows the incoming contestants the gravity of what they are about to endure. It features all of the chefs that came before them and various video stations to remind the chefs they never know what to expect. At the final stop on their museum tour, they are told they are about to watch a documentary, but curtains open to reveal Gordon himself standing behind a live audience in the restaurant. He tells the chefs that everything they’ve just witnessed is the past and THEY are the future. It’s time to get cookin’!

8:40 p.m. — There is no time to waste and the chefs are given their first challenge — serve up their signature dish and show Gordon who they are! Once again the teams are divided up as men (Blue Team) vs. women (Red Team). Each chef will present their signature dish to Gordon and he will rate them on a scale of 1 to 5. The team with the overall highest score will win this first team challenge. Here are how the head to head battles played out: Steven Glenn (4) defeated Emily Hersh (3). Keanu Hogan (4) defeated Matthew Francis Johnson (2). Sam Garman (5) defeated Kiya Willhelm (4). Megan Gill (3) defeated Kevin Argueta (2). Antonio Ruiz (4) defeated Josie Clemens (2). Trenton Garvey (4) defeated Brynn Gibson (3). Victoria Sonora (4) defeated Payton Cooper (2). Alex Lenik (3) defeated Ava Harren (2). Morgana Vesey (5) defeated Jayaun Smith (2). With all points combined, the Red Team won the first challenge by a score of 30-28. Morgana on the Red Team and Sam on the Blue Team become early front-runners as the only chefs to earn perfect scores from Gordon in the first challenge. Gordon calls Morgana’s pan-seared duck with Brussels sprouts, prosciutto and carrots the dish of the night.

8:45 p.m. — The Red Team has won dinner at Hell’s Kitchen Steak 2.0 (Gordon Ramsay Steak) and they’ll be joined by three “Hell’s Kitchen” winners. Season 17 winner Michelle Tribble, Season 18 winner Ariel Contreras-Fox and Season 10 winner Christina will join the ladies and share their wisdom. The Blue Team will spend the day making stock. This includes receiving deliveries, breaking them down and putting ingredients into the correct refrigerators.

8:50 p.m. — The women take a limo ride to dinner while the men unload some trucks. The Red Team may be enjoying some fine dining, but Blue Team has found a silver lining in the fact that they are quickly learning about the kitchen and learning how to work together as a team. At the women’s dinner, Gordon stops by and encourages them to push themselves and own up to their mistakes. Following dinner, the Red Team heads back and both teams are informed they will be getting some late night training. Christina and Jason walk them through various dishes they’ll be expected to perfect. The training goes well past midnight and Brynn begins to have a panic attack. She is crippled by her own self doubt and Emily attempts to talk Brynn off the ledge. As they talk, Brynn shares that she was an orphan in Cambodia and felt lucky to be adopted and live in the United States. Emily reminds her how grateful they all should be for this opportunity.

8:59 p.m. — The first individual challenge will be working with some fine liquor. The winner will receive the coveted Punishment Pass, which allows them to skip a punishment if their team loses a challenge. They also get to attend the winning team’s reward in place of someone else on that winning team. Whoever performs the worst in this challenge will be leaving Hell’s Kitchen early. But, we won’t see it play out until next week. That’s a wrap for this Season 20 premiere!

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