As the chefs tackled their first dinner service, everyone hoped for a positive outcome. Unfortunately, nerves caused execution issues. The Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 first elimination might have been expected.
Opening Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 episode 2, the chefs battled for the coveted punishment pass. As seen in recent seasons, winning this bonus is more than just avoiding a dirty or difficult challenge. It can be used as part of the mental game of Hell’s Kitchen. Taking away a win from another chef can be demoralizing. When used properly, it could help one person secure another week or more in the competition.
For the punishment pass challenge, the chefs had to prepare scallops. Taking the mollusks from the shell, they needed to carefully shuck and clean them. It might not seem like a lot, but the step was designed to make the chefs feel uncomfortable. It is not often that chefs have to complete this task under pressure.
Both the red and blue team would have one punishment pass winner. Each team had to nominate three dishes to be presented to Gordon Ramsay. As seen on the red team, some chefs were lobbying for their dish, even if it was sub-par.
The three red team dishes were Sammi’s ceviche, Leigh’s scallops, and Melissa’s New Orleans’ inspired dish. It is curious that nothing was said that Sammi’s dish did not have any cooking. Sometimes those style of dishes get downgraded because it was intentionally raw.
Winning the red team’s punishment pass was Melissa. Goron appreciated the flavor depth in the dish. To say that she was ecstatic was an understatement.
For the blue team, the top dishes were from Jermaine, Jonthan, and Ryan. The three dishes were quite different from Jermaine’s chipotle cream to Ryan’s lemon grass beurre blanc, the flavors were nuanced. Winning the blue team’s punishment pass was Jonathan. His escabeche impressed both visually and conceptually.
The biggest takeaway from this challenge was not necessarily the winning chef. Instead, the top chefs were tops in the Signature Dish challenge from the episode. It was not necessarily exact, but the top chefs seem to be standing out in the crowd.
With dinner service approaching, the chefs learned the dishes and prepared for the intensity that lay ahead. Even though everyone has worked a line, the mistakes were many. If anyone had predicted that Jason would present undercooked lobster twice, they should play some winning lottery numbers. His culinary resume does not line up with that simple cooking mistake.
The mistakes on the blue team continued to accumulate. Brad and Tad had issues on the meat station. Undercooked steaks and raw chicken hit the pass. These mistakes should not be happening, even during the first dinner service.
Overall, the blue team seemed to lack communication. Each chef was an island and never worked as a team. After too many mistakes, Chef Ramsay shut down the kitchen and told the chefs to nominate two people for elimination. The blue team nominated Tad and Brad.
The red team did not fare well either. Their meat station fell behind and presented raw chicken. Even though there were moments where they seemed like a great team, the kitchen was shut down due to mistakes. For their two nominations, the red team nominated Sandra and Ashley.
Looking at the four nominated chefs, it was clear that the blue team would probably see a chef cut. While the red team had mistakes, their errors were not as plentiful as the blue team.
Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 first elimination was Tad. Unfortunately, the professional quidditch player was not going to grab the golden snitch and earn the coveted title. It was clear from the beginning that this chef needed more experience.
Could a big shake-up happen in the next Hell’s Kitchen dinner service? Be sure to watch new episodes Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX or stream the next day on Hulu.