Over the seasons, Hell’s Kitchen has become known for some signature challenges. From the blind taste tests to the signature dishes, the chefs have come to expect these trials. In Hell’s Kitchen Season 22, one reward challenge gave the chefs a real-world challenge that showcases how they think as a businessperson. This challenge might be one of the most valuable lessons that they learned all season.
In Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 episode 9, “More Bang for Your Buck,” the reward challenge was a real world example of what chefs and restaurateurs do every day, creating a menu that maximizes the return on the expenses. Anyone can impress with a piece of wagyu beef, but the return on investment might not be as great as the humble chicken thigh.
For the challenge, the two teams had $100 to spend to create the most expensive menu. What was interesting about this challenge is that the chefs were not necessarily bickering over who had the most to spend. In other culinary competitions, there can be some verbal back and forth to ensure that certain ingredients get on the list.
Some of the chefs appreciated the concept better than others. Sure, a filet mignon can be a high-priced item, but that wow factor was not necessarily the test. The person who could turn the chicken high, ribeye cap, or even hanger steak into a $45 meal was proving their worth to Gordon Ramsay.
Looking at both teams, the Blue Team better understood the assignment. Just looking at their proteins, they had the potential to maximize their profits. Whether it was rainbow trout, pork chops, or chicken thighs, those choices were smart.
In the end, the competition was quite close. It came down to the final plate and just a few dollars difference. Unfortunately, Carmen’s ribeye could not beat Jonathan’s pork chop. The pork chop was the star dish of the night. When compared to the other last dish, there was no way it should lose. Although it was a cumulative challenge, the reality is that the last bite does matter.
Although the Blue Team won the reward challenge, it did not necessarily mean that they would do well in dinner service. The reality is that it came down to the last ticket and could have gone either way.
What new challenge could be coming the chefs’ way on Hell’s Kitchen Season 22? Be sure to watch new episodes every Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX or stream the next day on Hulu.