Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 episode 9 recap: Are you a cook or a chef?

HELL'S KITCHEN: L-R: Chef/host Gordon Ramsay with contestants in the "Blind Taste Test” episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, March 4 (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 with contestants in the "Blind Taste Test” episode of HELL'S KITCHEN airing Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

An age old debate returned on Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 episode 9. What is the difference between a cook and chef? While Gordon Ramsay has a clear opinion on the difference, these chefs need to prove their worth to earn the ultimate food TV title. Who rose to the occasion?

In each Hell’s Kitchen season, there are some classic challenges. Although each season has its own twist, Gordon Ramsay needs to determine which chefs have the skills, talent and drive to work in his organization. The title needs to be earned.

For the first challenge, the chefs took on the blind taste test. Many chefs hate this challenge. When one of the senses it taken away, it can be extremely difficult to determine a food. The old phrase that we eat with our eyes really does impact how food tastes. When you can’t see the food, it can be harder to determine the difference between chicken and turkey.

In the Blind Taste Test, the punishment seemed like a page out of MasterChef Junior. Incorrect responses got the chefs dumped with ice cream. After all the food dumped on Gordon in the kids cooking competition maybe he was getting some pay back.

Hell's Kitchen Season 19 episode 9
HELL’S KITCHEN: Contestants Cody and Nicole in the “Blind Taste Test” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Thursday, March 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. CR: Scott Kirkland / FOX. © 2021 FOX MEDIA LLC. /

The biggest takeaway from the blind taste test was that some chefs who everyone expected to do better did not excel. While Niki nailed her shake flavor, she struggled in the blind taste test. No one would have predicted that outcome.

Overall, the chefs struggled with the blind taste test. From Cody to Kori, the wrong answers had chefs being doused with ice cream and toppings.

In the end, the Red Team could not overcome the Blue Team’s lead. Too many wrong answers lead to their downfall. As the Red Team broke down a side of beef for steak night dinner service, the Blue Team was whisked away to a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon and a night at a luxurious Caesars Palace suite.

Why is it so quiet in Hell’s Kitchen?

As the chefs go into steak night dinner service, the excuses are off the menu. At this point in the competition, the chefs need to work well as a brigade. Whether or not a leader is emerging, one aspect is clear. If a chef is silent, that chef doesn’t deserve a spot on the line.

Although the Red Team only has four chefs, they have found a groove. Niki returned to the fish station and redeemed herself. Unlike the first dinner service, there was no crying on the line.


More importantly, the Red Team drove the food out the window. Whether it was Kori’s perfectly cooked meat or the good communication, it was a stellar dinner service. Maybe getting the group down to this final four was a good thing for dinner service.

Unfortunately, the Blue Team struggled, again. The warring personalities and lack of communication were their downfall. All those happy moments soaring high in the helicopter disappeared once they hit the Hell’s Kitchen line.

From cooking mistakes to Adam’s silence from the garnish station, the Blue Team was in the weeds early. As Marc called out incorrect orders and muffled times, the Blue Team continued to sink. It was just a matter of time till the kitchen was shut down.

The differences between the Red Team and the Blue Team were quite apparent in this Hell’s Kitchen dinner service. It was clear that someone from the Blue Team would be turning in their chef coat.

Up for elimination for the Blue Team was Marc and Adam. Marc has always been like that errant bay leaf that you can’t fish out of your chili pot. You might have needed it at first, but now you just want it gone.

While Marc might be a good chef, his personality doesn’t gel well in the kitchen. Although bold personalities can get attention, that added flavor can mess up a meal.


Adam had the bad luck of being on garnish. It seems that the garnish station jinx is back yet again. Unfortunately, Adam didn’t drive the service. He was silent and he was sent home.

As Gordon Ramsay said, Adam wasn’t growing, unlike his beard. It is unfortunate because Adam had some good dishes and seemed to have some big potential. Maybe it is time to book a trip to Wisconsin and visit his restaurant.

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Did the garnish station jinx return to Hell’s Kitchen? Which chef should be the next to go?