Hell’s Kitchen recap S18E10: Poor Trev back in the hot seat


In this Hell’s Kitchen recap, we return to Hell’s Kitchen to find that the elimination of Scotley has not meant the end of Trevor’s problems. By the conclusion of the episode, his entire team is against him. So how did we get here?

For this Hell’s Kitchen recap, the teams begin the episode immediately after Scotley’s elimination. Jose has been shaken by his nomination in the last episode so Motto comforts him. Meanwhile, Bret is bragging about the dubious achievement of having “maybe six” illegitimate children that he doesn’t know about with the “broads” that have thrown themselves at him. Sometimes Bret comes off as a cartoon man with his push-ups and chest pounding and bragging.

Soon enough, the chefs are called down to the dining room for the challenge. A man stands playing Tarantella Napoletana on an accordion. You know the song. It is the song that gets played whenever you want things to sound really Italian. The dining room is now dressed up as a “cozy Italian café.” In other words, there is a marble statue surrounded by two small columns, and chianti straw bottles on red-checkered tablecloths.

Ramsay asks everyone what they would want in a quintessential Italian meal. We hear wine, pomodoro, gnocchi, lobster tagliatelle, tiramisu, gelato. Gelato is the magic word as that brings in Marino who is dressed in a straw boater hat complete with ribbon as well as a white suit jacket and white shorts. He is riding a bike gelato cart. Someone in props really went to town in the classic Italian section of the warehouse.

Gordon introduces the challenge, a Hell’s Kitchen favorite- the blind taste test. As team members guess  4 distinct flavors of gelato, a fellow team member will sit on the short columns mentioned earlier to await their fate. Two wrong guesses and the team member will be shot with cooked spaghetti out of what looks like a double-barreled t-shirt canon. Three wrong guesses and they get a lot of marinara sauce poured over their head. Four wrong guesses gets them a soft snow shower of parmesan.

Trev is immediately nervous. On his season he did very poorly in this challenge. What always surprises me is how many of these chefs smoke. Not only is smoking pretty passé these days, but it ruins your palate. Trevor is a smoker (and not the only one).

First up are Trevor and Heather guessing with Jose and Kanae in the hot seat. The first flavor is carrot. Trevor guesses banana and Heather, sweet potato. Next up is mango which Heather gets. Trev thinks it is lime. Jose gets shot in the stomach with pasta.

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Third is ginger which they both get wrong. Trev thinks it is cinnamon and Heather thinks she tastes coriander. Kanae gets her spaghetti blast while poor Jose gets a bucket of sauce over the head. Their final flavor is tomato. Heather gets it right but Trev guesses pea. He has guessed none of the flavors and Jose gets his sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

Motto and Mia guess next, with Trev and Heather in the hot seat. Their flavors are banana, pickle, black pepper, and peanut butter. Mia gets all four right and Motto gets a very respectable three right, only missing peanut butter which he thought was toasted coconut. Remember, Mia loves ice cream as we saw when they won the challenge that included an artisan ice cream truck.

Bret and Ariel take their turn at guessing with Motto and Mia awaiting possible punishment. Pistachio throws them both off and they guess chocolate chip and caramel. Ariel gets all the rest right- garlic, coconut, and jalapeno. Bret misses jalapeno and guesses Sriracha. Motto gets shot with pasta right in the face, poor guy.

We are down to our last pair. The women have nine points to the men’s five so they just need one correct answer to win. Kanae and Jose step up and are presented with coffee as their flavor. Apparently Kanae hates coffee, but she still gets it right. The women win in a sweep and get a spa day. The men will have to clean up the pasta mess and hand-churn gelato.

Trev is the only chef to guess wrong all four times and he takes it hard. He tells us that “if you don’t score in this challenge, you’re not gonna get the job.” He is embarrassed to be a chef but to not be able to show off a good palate.

While it is true that palate is important, I can vouch that blind taste testing is surprisingly hard. Taste includes sight, smell, and texture. Given that this was gelato, they lacked the cues of smell and texture as well as sight, so it had to be really hard. On top of that, flavors tend to be much duller when frozen. I’m less surprised that Trev got zero than that Mia guessed all of her flavors.

Trev spends most of the punishment being emotional. He somehow breaks one of the ice cream churners- a bucket with a hand crank. His team teases him about the broken machine and his failure to identify any flavors. It doesn’t seem mean spirited, but he does not take it well.

At last it is time for service. Hell’s Kitchen has closed for a charity event. The men will serve a twelve top of contributors (mostly actors and their friends) to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. The women will serve twelve contributors to Waterkeeper Alliance. Each team has four members. There is a new Italian menu for the night with five dishes, so each team member will lead on one dish. Then they will all work together on dessert. The goal is for each course to be served to the two tables simultaneously, so both kitchens are supposed to keep pace with each other.

The first dish is pan fried scallops with tomato jam, soft polenta, and crispy parmesan and the leaders will be Motto and Mia. Next will be steamed branzino with fennel puree and white beans, lead by Bret and Ariel. The third course is truffle carbonara led by Kanae and Trev. The four dish is veal saltimbocca led my Jose and Heather. Dessert is coffee amaretto souffle with the mascarpone gelato that the men churned.

Having each take a turn to lead gives Ramsay a chance to observe their executive chef readiness in action. The lead must designate who will cook, keep the team on time, control plating, and check each dish for service.

The women have no issues with their scallop dish and it in fact goes out before the men are ready. The men’s team is slowed down when the scallops are not cooked on one side. Trev and Bret are cooking the scallops. Motto, seeing only the browned side, takes them up to Ramsay. Ramsay checks the underside, tells him they have no color, and slaps the table in frustration. I am amused when Motto also slaps the table in perfect imitation of chef.

Before moving on to the next course, Ramsay calls the men to look at the wasted scallops. The men are not off to a good start.

Bret and Ariel direct the next course, which goes smoothly on both sides. Bret even makes up some time so that the men send their dish almost as quickly as the women do.

HELL’S KITCHEN: L-R: Rookie Gizzy Barton, rookie Kanae Houston, veteran Ariel Fox and veteran Heather Williams in the “Poor Trev” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Friday, Jan. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: FOX

Trev and Kanae are now leads for the fettucine dish. Trev’s directions for plating sound creepy and weirdly sexual, but Ramsay proclaims this the best executed course so far. Meanwhile, Heather is plating Kanae’s dish without finesse. As creepy as it was, Trevor’s insistence that they twirl the pasta into a tight circle makes for a pretty and consistent plate. Heather’s plates are all different portions and the pasta is just plopped onto the plate. Kanae must put everything back into the pot and plate all over again, so the women fall behind.

Heather and Jose are ready for the final course. Ramsay asks them both how long until service and Heather estimates eight minutes. Jose seems hesitant, counters with ten, then waffles back to eight minutes. This does not bode well.

Jose has Trev and Motto cooking his veal. The women send their veal dish out to rave reviews. Jose is ready to send and Gordon asks him if he is happy with the plates. He is and the dishes go out, only to immediately start coming back. Of twelve diners, six plates return with raw veal.

HELL’S KITCHEN: L-R: Rookie Chris Motto, veteran Jose DeJesus, veteran Trevor McGrath and veteran Bret Hauser in the “Poor Trev” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Friday, Jan. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: FOX

Ramsay is infuriated and he personally cooks the dishes for the six guests. The women finish their dessert before the men’s kitchen has even served all their diners the veal dish. It is obvious who has won this service.

The men go to the dorm to debate who to nominate, although all talk revolves around Trevor. He is proud that he led the best course, the fettucine. Motto fires back, “you know why it went out well? Because you didn’t **** cook anything!” The two courses that did struggle- scallops and veal- both featured Trevor’s cooking. Trev insists that the scallops and veal were not his fault, instead blaming Bret and Motto.

HELL’S KITCHEN: L-R: Veteran Jose DeJesus, veteran Bret Hauser, rookie Chris Motto and veteran Trevor McGrath in the “Poor Trev” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Friday, Jan. 4 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: FOX

When called in for elimination, Ramsay asks Trevor who is nominated. Trevor tells him Jose for being in charge of the disastrous veal course. He then has to tell Ramsay that he himself is also nominated and has to explain why. He mentions that they are putting the veal mistakes on him and “apparently” he kisses up to Ramsay, is too loud, and there’s no communication with him. It’s pretty awkward to have to watch him voice all the complaints against him.

Ramsay pulls a classic HK fake-out by calling Trevor up and then telling him, “back in line.” Jose is going home. Ramsay’s concern is that he showed a lack of leadership on his course, and that he is not ready for the position at Caesar’s Palace.

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The men’s team clearly feel Trev should have gone home and the preview for the next episode implies continued issues between Trev and the rest of the team. I wish Jose the best as he is clearly a strong chef with a lot of passion. I have a feeling that he will go far in this industry.

I waited for the whole episode for a best line and it was the last line spoken. Ramsay says, “on a night when it should have been Hell’s Kitchen giving back to some amazing charities, it was charities that ended up giving back…Jose’s raw veal.” Ba-dum-tsss.