Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 episode 7 recap: One shell of a day

HELL'S KITCHEN: L-R: Chef/host Gordon Ramsay in the "Pair of Aces” episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC.
HELL'S KITCHEN: L-R: Chef/host Gordon Ramsay in the "Pair of Aces” episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

Whether there is really a jinx in the kitchen is debatable, but Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 episode 7 had the chefs wondering if they could really believe their eyes. From testing their palates to service confusion, the frustration had them ready to ship out of the iconic kitchen.

While everyone usually focuses on the dinner service, the challenges often offer more insight on the chefs and their talent. Granted, each of these chefs need to be able to cook the signature Hell’s Kitchen dishes, but it is more than just cooking another perfect beef wellington that makes a great executive chef.

For the first challenge, the teams had to correctly identify the surf and turf proteins in various dishes. Although this challenge seems straightforward, nothing is as it seems in Hell’s Kitchen. The old adage, you eat with your eyes has a new approach.

This Hell’s Kitchen challenge tested the chefs’ palate and their confidence. Since the proteins were plated with tricks (lobster in crab shells, mussels in clam shells), the chefs had to decipher the truth from the trick.

It was clear that some chefs were overconfident. Sure, chicken and pork are both white meat, but the chefs shouldn’t have assumed it was chicken under all that breading. The same idea can be said about the mussels and lobster.

What tasting tricks are being played in Hell’s Kitchen?

The interesting part about the challenge was that the chefs who were tasting were being influenced by the chefs behind them. The others weren’t tasting the food. How can they correctly identify a protein when they aren’t tasting it?

From Kori to Amber, they needed to be confident in their palate and not let other Hell’s Kitchen chefs who weren’t tasting the dish to pick the answer. Sure, they need to work as a team, but the team isn’t always right.

Although the Red Team won the challenge, there were more missteps in this Hell’s Kitchen challenge than highlights. Granted, correctly picking squab is hard, but why was Declan so scattered in this challenge? Looking back, Cody should have gone twice, or even Amber. The Blue Team was taken down by a snapper.

Poor Amber is struggling at this point in the season. It is always surprising that chefs with a shellfish allergy can be good cooks. Given that chefs have to taste food, food that could make them sick is everywhere. Just think of all the dishes that have some component of shellfish in Hell’s Kitchen.

Hell's Kitchen Season 19 episode 7
HELL’S KITCHEN: L-R: Contestants Marc, Cody and Amber in the “Pair of Aces” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Thursday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

As the chefs go into another Hell’s Kitchen dinner service, there are still cracks in the teams. While the Red Team seems like one happy family, some chefs are picking up the slack for others. The Blue Team might have toned down the bickering, but Amber feels like the odd woman out.

Still, the teams are finding their way to push through dinner service. Mistakes are still being made, but food is getting to diners. No one is just sitting at a table eating bread and drinking wine all night long.

Instead of the smashing plates and yelling in the kitchen, the Blue Team, especially Amber, received high praise. From her beautifully cooked meat to the team driving service, they are on a roll.

The Red Team struggled in this dinner service. In some ways, the weak links are starting to show. More importantly, their confidence is breaking down. At this point in the competition, everyone should be able to cook salmon correctly.

For Syann, it was almost cooking salmon by committee. Almost the whole Red Team was voting on the willingness “to sell” the salmon. Sure, chefs can have a bad night, but Syann seemed to be underwater.

More importantly, there was confusion everywhere in the Red Team’s kitchen. Tickets were being called wrong. Incorrect orders were being brought to the pass. It was a kitchen shut down in the making.

And, the garnish station jinx might have returned. Kori was on garnish and it had problems again. She called out wrong orders and it confused everyone else. Was it intentional or just a honest mistake on the third mis-fire?

Hell's Kitchen Season 19 episode 7
HELL’S KITCHEN: L-R: Contestant Syann and chef/host Gordon Ramsay in the “Pair of Aces” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Thursday, Feb. 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

It was clear that the Blue Team would win and the Red Team would have nominate chefs for elimination. The team picked Syann and Kori. When Kori’s name was called, the shock was palpable.

In a twist that many people will not like, Kori was sent back in line by Gordon Ramsay. He thought that the chefs were wrong with that choice. Gordon made a similar decision in previous episodes.

Instead, Gordon Ramsay picked Syann and Jordan for elimination. Jordan has had several mistakes this season. Sometimes she gets flustered and overwhelmed on the line. This Hell’s Kitchen dinner service was a good example. Bringing up the wrong order too many times is a rookie mistake.

Syann started off strong but has faltered. Her salmon issues in this Hell’s Kitchen dinner service was just another example of water building over her head. It isn’t that she’s in the weeds in the kitchen, she seems underwater.

Gordon Ramsay decided to send Syann home. His reasoning was clear. Syann needed to be more assertive in the kitchen. If he cannot hear her voice, how can he have her as an executive chef. If the man making the decision can’t hear your voice, how does he know how good your cooking is?

Still, the positive words as Syann left Hell’s Kitchen shows that she is a good chef. While it might have been one shell of a day for her in this dinner service, she will have a strong culinary career. She might not be ready for a Gordon Ramsay restaurant in Lake Tahoe, but there will be a spot in the culinary landscape for her talent.

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What do you think of this week’s Hell’s Kitchen episode? Do you think that there will be a big shake up ahead?