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7 Chefs Compete, Part 1 - Recap

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After the terrible dinner service from the previous episode, Jon confused Anthony with some babbling about Frankenstein and his expectations for their team to rise.

The red team congratulated themselves on the win, and started talking about Nedra’s downfall, which lead to them to talking about Zach. They believed that he had something to do with her issues. Mary spoke up and called Zach a liar, citing how he had played head games with her. They have a short back and forth, until Zach leaves.

The next morning Chef Ramsey talks about a chef’s senses and how they’re all necessary to be good. He chose Cyndi and Anthony to test their sense of touch. They stepped forward while Sous Chef James brought out a wooden contraption with two holes in it. Chef Ramsey explained that they were going to reach into the holes and feel around to figure out what they were touching.

The first item was raw egg. Both chefs looked confused, but simultaneously gave the same correct answer.

The second item was polenta. Again, they looked confused but landed the right answer.

The third item was a bowl of cold oysters. Cyndi seemed a little frazzled by how nasty they felt and she didn’t answer, instead she cursed when she heard Anthony. The blue team finally won another challenge. Blue 3 red 2.

Chef Ramsey congratulated the chefs on a job well done, and then informed them that there was no reward for that challenge. The men were disappointed initially but were excited to go into the real challenge, the taste test. The blue team was short-handed, so they needed to pick one guy to go up twice. They all agreed on Zach. They seemed confident in their choice, but it surprised Chef Ramsey.

The first two were Mary and Zach.
The first item was scallions. Zach guessed correctly, but Mary guessed shallots.
The second item was papaya. They both guessed plum.
The third item was turkey. Zach guessed correctly again, and Mary guessed egg yolk. Everyone was stunned by how far off the mark she was.
The last item for these two was Zucchini. Zach guessed squash, which Ramsey accepted, and Mary guessed zucchini. The score after round one was blue 3 red 1.

The second round was between Anthony and Ja’nel.
Their first item was broccoli. Ja’nel guessed correctly and Anthony guessed potato.
Their second item was pistachio. Ja’nel again guessed correctly. Anthony again guessed wrong, cashew.
Their third item was picked right off the menu, halibut. Both chef’s guessed tuna.
Their last item was prune. Ja’nel guessed correctly again. For the fourth straight answer Anthony guessed wrong. He confused a prune with licorice, and left the men’s team down with a score of blue 3 red 4.

The third round was between Cyndi and Jon.
Their first item was cheddar. They both guessed correctly.
Their second item was duck. Jon guessed correctly, but Cyndi guessed chicken.
Their third item was parsnip. Cyndi guessed correctly but Jon guessed squash.
Their last item was brussels sprouts. Both chefs guess cauliflower and were wrong.
The score after this round was blue 5, red 6.

The last round was Susan against Zach.
Their first item was white asparagus, another item on the menu. Susan guessed radish and Zach guessed celery.
Their second item was boiled egg white. Zach guessed correctly and Susan guessed soy. The score was now tied.
Their third item was garbanzo beans. Both chefs guessed peas.
Their last item was the last item in the competition and the tie breaker. The item was cauliflower. Zach guessed white radish. Susan guessed correctly, winning the challenge.

The reward for the red team was a trip to the internationally famous restaurant Nobu, followed by horseback riding. The punishment for the blue team was that they had to unload the trucks delivering product to hell’s kitchen.

The red team ate their world class lunch on a patio overlooking Malibu beach.

Both Zach and Jon blamed Anthony for losing the challenge. Things only got worse, when Anthony signed the invoice for ice, but didn’t tell them that there was far more ice on the load, than what they are supposed to be taking. The clip of Anthony’s reaction to seeing the invoice was played a couple times. Instead of conveying the information, his reaction was, “Oh yeah, a ____ load of ice.” Jon and Zach continued complaining until Sous Chef James checked the invoice and found that there was much more ice unloaded than they are supposed to have. Zach and Jon both agree that Anthony’s carelessness was going to get him put up for elimination. Anthony realized that he was in a very shaky position on his team. They stayed angry all the way through prepping both kitchens for service.

The next morning Chef Ramsey showed a framed black jacket and announced a new challenge. The surprise challenge was meant to tell how much the chefs had grown since arriving. It was a repeat of the introduction challenge. Each chef had to produce the most stunning dish they could in forty five minutes, with no other restrictions. He also announced that the winner of this challenge would win immunity from the next elimination, effectively earning a black jacket early. Anthony stressed again that he knew he had to win this challenge or he was likely to be put up for elimination.

Susan chose to redo the dish that she failed in the first episode. Jon was walking around the kitchen talking to himself. Zach mocked him a little bit in the private interview. Jon, also in the private interview, defended it as helping him process things. He used it as a way to bounce ideas back and forth processing his own thoughts. Susan was having issues with her lamb again. Cyndi tried to help, but Susan was clearly flustered at the end of the time allotted.

Ja’nel was up first. Before tasting, Ramsey explained that the chair off to the side is for the person currently in the lead. At the end of the judging whoever was in that chair would win immunity. Ramsey then went back to remembering her first dish, Thai grilled prawns, he remembered it being good, but needing portion work. This time, she presented pan seared duck breast with a cumin seasoned sweet potato puree and orange glazed green beans. Even though she introduced the green beans as carrots, spirits stayed high and Ramsey loved the dish.

Anthony explained that it was crucial for him to win. Ramsey reminded everyone that Anthony had made scallops and completely disappointed him the first time they met. Ramsey then went on to compliment Anthony on having done some great things during the competition, and hoping that he can see some of that growth on the plate today. This time, Anthony presented a seared rib eye with some caramelized carrots. The flavors were on point, but the steak was over cooked and the carrots under cooked. He got back in line.

Susan was up next. Ramsey remembered her mishaps with lamb, then gave her credit for tenacity. He didn’t even try it however, because the lamb was clearly raw. Susan was sent back to the line.

Jon’s turn was next. He explained that Ja’nel was his biggest competition, citing her beautiful dishes. Ramsey reminded everyone of about Jon’s scallops with foie gras and truffle, which he’d nailed. This time Jon brought up some seared Ahi with some quinoa and tropical fruit syrup. Ramsey again loved Jon’s work. After a tough decision Jon took the chair.

Mary came up next. Chef Ramsey reminded everyone of her failed duck breast. This time Mary came out with a pan seared filet with a reduced red wine sauce. Ramsey praised her for the filet but didn’t like her sauce. Jon stayed up.

Zach came up and was reminded of his pork chop with pear and fig. Ramsey praised his flavors but the pork was overcooked. This time he brought his twist on surf and turf. Chef Ramsey was confused by how the filet was treated. They were too small and too perfectly round. Ramsey didn’t like the waste of high quality meat, or the lacking portion of beef. Ramsey didn’t try it, he just dismissed it because of the balance being so far off.

Cyndi came up next. Cyndi’s first dish was a tri-colored pepper crusted New York strip, which Ramsey repeated called delicious. This time she brought a pan seared halibut with her play on succotash. The episode ended with Ramsey praising Cyndi’s dish, but not before a quick and remark on adding butter or cream. The cliffhanger here was whether or not Cyndi would beat Jon for the jacket.


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Warning: Hell's Kitchen season 11 episode 14 guide may contain spoilers
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