The Mexican dishes weren’t the only spicy note in this Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 Episode 5 recap. As the pressure continues to build for all the chefs to perform, the cracks have gone from little fissures to gigantic faults. Was Hell’s Kitchen just too fiery for another chef?
This Hell’s Kitchen episode begins with a little musical interlude as the theme for the challenge is introduced. With the Mariachi band interruption, Gordon Ramsay shares that the chefs will be creating elevated Mexican food truck dishes.
While everyone loves a great taco, these Mexican dishes need to be more than just a tortilla, salsa and a protein. The idea is to show that Mexican street food can be transformed into an elevated restaurant dish.
Putting aside the corralling for ingredients part of the challenge, a couple of aspects from this challenge are telling. First, the chefs should never be overly confident. Just because you think that you know a style of cuisine doesn’t mean that you will make the best dish in a challenge. That is a lesson that Kori learned quickly. Hopefully, she apologized to her abuelita.
With special guest judge Aaron Sanchez joining Gordon Ramsay at the judging table, it was clear that he was looking for both presentation and flavor. A plate of brown food is not worthy of Hell’s Kitchen (or MasterChef).
Could an enchilada make it on the Hell’s Kitchen menu?
After all the head to head challenges, the teams were at a tie. The two best dishes, Adam’s and Niki’s, went to battle. In the end, Adam’s enchilada earned the highest praise and the win. Who knew that a chef from Milwaukee would pull off a win in a Mexican food challenge.
With the prospect of cleaning up after farm animals, Syann used her punishment pass and joined the Blue Team for a spa day. Unfortunately, Cody lost his day of pampering and had to do clean up with the Red Team. Given the growing tensions on the blue team, it was probably best that he avoided the bickering.
Going into dinner service, the Blue Team seems like that are still battling each other’s personalities. As it is often said about families or even teams, you don’t have to like each other but you do have to get along to get a job done. With everyone trying to prove that they have the biggest ego on the line, the brigade is at its breaking point.
The Blue Team struggles during dinner service. While Marc is trying to use his voice to prove he’s the biggest chef in the kitchen, he is not communicating with the other chefs. The cadence is off and the breaks start to appear.
While there are many voices in the kitchen, Peter seems to have lost his way. As Chef Ramsay gathers the chefs, he asks Peter if he knows how to lead. Peter’s quick response of no, he doesn’t have what it takes to lead, has Peter thrown out of the kitchen. As he unceremoniously takes off his jacket, Peter is out of Hell’s Kitchen.
As only the fifth episode of Hell’s Kitchen Season 19, it is surprising that multiple chefs have removed themselves from the competition. From Eliott in episode one to Peter in this episode, two chefs seemed overwhelmed by the enormity of the competition.
In some ways, Hell’s Kitchen is as much a battle of wills as it is a showcase of cooking ability. Granted, Gordon Ramsay is looking for a great chef to join his team, but it is more than a perfectly executed Beef Wellington. There are many components to being a successful executive chef.
Even though both teams finish the Hell’s Kitchen dinner service. Chef Ramsay asks each team to nominate one chef who isn’t pulling their weight in the kitchen. While each team might think that their respective team would be better without this chef, only Chef Ramsay has the final say.
In no big surprise, the Blue Team nominates Marc. It is very clear that there is an us vs him scenario in the Blue Team kitchen. The old saying, speak softly and carry a big stick is not a phrase that Marc follows. He cannot respond to constructive critics.
For the Red Team, they nominate Lauren. Based on kitchen service, Lauren seems to be just standing around. It isn’t that she can’t execute a dish, she just doesn’t have the experience of working in a professional kitchen. While she wants to learn, Hell’s Kitchen may not be the best place to learn on the job.
As Chef Ramsay weighs his choices, the final decision is that no one will be sent home. While both teams are learning to drive a good service through service, all the chefs need to continue to build their confidence.
The key takeaway from this episode is that the chefs need to step up in the kitchen. The chefs who start to own the position will increase their chances of winning Hell’s Kitchen Season 19.
Which of the remaining 12 chefs is your front runner? Do you think that Hell’s Kitchen is hotter than ever?