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Hell's Kitchen March 12 edition

Despite everything wrong with the show, yes I watched it again. Sadly, when it came down to the elimination on the women's team, I realized I really didn't care about any of the women. The show hadn't given me any reason to really care if any went home, although the chef who insisted that kids would like blue cheese in their burgers was kind of annoying.

The one thing that stood out to me was the chefs being given 45 minutes to cook a brisket. And from the footage, it appears they were starting with plain, raw brisket. It takes me 2 days (including marination) and hours of slow cooking to make a decent brisket. Anyone out there have suggestion for making an edible quick cook brisket?

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  1. I had the same problem with the brisket. Forty-five minutes? Heck, it can take me almost that long to trim it down if the butcher was careless. Still, after 3 hours in the oven my brisket is almost edible, 4 hours bare minimum, 5 hours is just about right. And that doesn't include the time needed to sweat down 3 lb. of onions. And I've never met a brisket that didn't taste better the second day. Even with a professional convection oven I don't see how you can get edible brisket in 45 minutes.

    1. Regarding the brisket, I thought the same thing. It looked to me like the guy on the blue team was slicing it before cooking, which makes sense if even one portion was going to be finished in time and be chewable.

      And while it became apparent that the family does not keep kosher, it still seems to me that serving a burger with ANY kind of cheese was a potentially MAJOR faux pas. At least they didnt have shrimp cocktail as an appetizer.

      For me, the WTF moment was JP and the 'party planner'! Was this guy on before? I dont remember him, although perhap my mind is blocking him. This was more than annoying, this was FOX TV-annoying. (But the expression "Parade Gay" has happily entered my lexicon!)

      8 Replies
      1. re: Fydeaux

        He was on before for the sweet 16 birthday party.

        I was waiting for Carol to add bacon to her cheeseburger....

        1. re: Fydeaux

          Since this isn't a spoiler thread, I'll keep it vague... The cake incident looked totally staged. I think that's FOX trying to create "drama" and "tension".

          1. re: dave_c

            Considering that a completely different dessert was being prepared in the kitchen, it seemed obvious from the second he appeared on camera with the cake that the inevitable crash was contrived. FOX TV-annoying!

            1. re: dave_c

              Oh, I don't think they were even trying to hide that!

            2. re: Fydeaux

              I was wondering about the cheese, too, but then again my at my cousin's kid's bar-mitzvah 20 years ago, they DID serve shrimp cocktail. Oh yes, and it was in held the synagogue social hall, too. Not the way my denomination does things, but to each his own?

              1. re: Fydeaux

                DH and I were sitting there going 'she's putting CHEESE into the burger for a bar mitzvah?!' We were waiting for her to get chewed out for such a major cultural faux pas... they weren't told that it had to be kosher and apparently it didn't matter, but I would have thought that it was about as appropriate to the occasion as offering up a plate of beef stew for an Indian festival.

                1. re: Kajikit

                  It's not a kosher kitchen, period...regardless of what dishes they produce for that one event. So the whole notion of "kosher" is out the window.

                  And Bar Mitzvah parties (this isn't the actual ritual service, people!) these days in some regions can be all over the place as far as theme & entertainment.

                  For mine I would have vastly preferred belly dancers over the Globetrotters...

                2. re: Fydeaux

                  I *finally* got to see this episode today on casttv.com - I broke out laughing (and rewound!) when L.A. said "I'm gay - but that dude is *parade* gay!" about Francisco...I loved it! And Jean-Phillippe has become quite the actor - the look of horror on his face when Francisco showed up was a bit over the top (but funny). :-)

                  I was wondering about the cheese on the burger (the write-up about the show was intimating that the kitchens were going to have to go more kosher than they did but realize reading Leonardo's post that they couldn't really have a kosher kitchen that quickly). But even more than using cheese on the butger was the fact that Carol insisted on using blue cheese. Sorry - she said her kids "love cheese" (but she didn't say they love blue cheese). IIRC, they showed a Maytag Blue - a pretty tangy, strong blue cheese. Not something a kid is usually going to like.

                  The cake thing was definitely planned for the "drama". It was pretty obvious what was going to happen.

                  As for the contestants - I think Paula (the quiet one, the one who said Coi was worse than Andrea) is a sleeper...she's either going to bust it out in a later episode or completely fall apart. I still think that Coi was better than Andrea in this episode, and L.A. should not have been put up.

                  Disappointed that Coi was gone before Lacey. Still don't like her...and it looks like she heads south next week. BTW - the teams are now 6 on the Blue Team; 4 on the Red. Think that Ramsay will send one of the guys over to the Red Team to even it up?

                3. I was thinking the same thing about chicken soup. How quickly can good chicken stock be made? What I realized is that not only do I not care about the women but I want them all to go home. Well, all except the one who has been in the background and is the only one who didn't say Andrea had the worst service. I don't know anything about her but at least she didn't jump on the bandwagon and showed some integrity. And, the other question I had is why am I watching the show? Bad train wreck.

                  1. The instant brisket was bothersome. The thin sliced was raw at the center.

                    Making the women go out and heft the guy in the chair ....do women do that ? I would have felt much better if they had been shown washing their hands thoroughly after that.

                    When Ramsay announced the special surprise, I expected a belly dancer. The phrase in New Orleans would have been "We're having Habiba, who was the belly dancer of choice years ago, and who since runs the belly dancer service." More of an into manhood thing than the globetrotters.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shallots

                      The only way possible to do a brisket quickly I think would be to pressure cook it.

                    2. I really can't watch this show any more. Sorry to sound like a snob, but all of the individuals competing look like they are from the lower end of the food chain with respect to abilty, knowledge, experience -- I could see them cooking at Ruby Tuesday, but at a fine dining restaurant? If Ramsey is serious about putting one of these people in charge of one of his restaurants, he's fallen farther than I ever could have imagined.

                      And the whole Bar Mitzvah thing was a total sham. Fake. Set up. I wonder where he had is REAL Bar Mitzvah.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: PattiCakes

                        Yeah, it's barely reality. And the constestants aren't even as good as the ones of the Food Network star search. I was wondering what a food court chef was. I can't remember who was one but it came up. I can't imagine Chef Ramsay trusting any of them to run his restaurant.

                        1. re: PattiCakes

                          Well, none of the previous seasons' winners have ever been "put in charge" of one of his restaurants or whatever restaurant prize they're getting for the year. They might have a sous role, but none of them, including Rock, were ever the EC.

                          1. re: PattiCakes

                            I don't think they've ever said that this restaurant is one of Ramsay's just a new place in Atlantic City. I'm thinking we're watching what is essentially an ad paid for by the hotel. They pay a lump sum to the winner and get their name out there several times a week.

                            Obviosuly not working for me as I can't remember the name of the hotel. Hah!

                            1. re: sharonanne

                              It's the Borgatta. Damn, their advertising has infiltrated my brain!

                              1. re: sharonanne

                                But other seasons (or maybe just one season, I can't remember) it was his restaurant. There hasn't yet been a season with contestants I would consider capable to running a hot dog cart.

                                1. re: Sooeygun

                                  It seems that (I think) Rock, one of the winners, did get the job at his LA restaurant. I recall both he and the runner up were much more highly skilled than the contestants in later seasons.

                                  BTW, the LA restaurant has apparently closed due to lack of business.

                                  1. re: Sooeygun

                                    Yeah, there was at least one. I wondered how they could keep doing this, surely even Gordon will get tired of paying someone to stay the hell out of his restaurants which woudl be what I would do with most of these "winners".

                                    1. re: sharonanne

                                      Ummm, I don't think any of the money is coming out of Gordon't pocket.

                                      1. re: maisonbistro

                                        his restaurant at the London Hotel in West Hollywood didn't close. he sold it to the hotel, and he'll continue to be involved with the development of the menu (most likely to ensure that it remains up to his standards since the name of the place is apparently staying the same).


                                        1. re: maisonbistro

                                          I was referring to the one or two jobs which were supposedly in his restaurants. IF, as has been suggested, the positions are a token then the winners are winning a lottery not a job. I would assume that the salary is being paid by Gordon Ramsay's business but then he might have some other agreement. Heaven only knows.

                                          So, no, I don't KNOW that he pays them but it's entirely possible that he pays his staff's salaries. I'd be interested if you had other info.

                                2. I found that very strange as well - the quick cooking brisket.

                                  I was also not expecting the outcome, I thought the person who was evicted had not done any worse than any of the others. But I agree with other posters that the ladies have not done much to win my interest.

                                  1. Here's the post elimination interview with the person evicted.
                                    It's been a couple of days since the show, so I hope this doesn't spoil it for anyone

                                    1. It is impossible to fully cook a raw brisket to any kind of deliciousness in 45 minutes. I haven't seen this episode, so don't know the brisket size, but I find it takes about an hour to pressure cook a retail size (5-6 lb) brisket. This doesn't include the time for searing meat and sauteing aromatics, or for releasing pressure and turning the thin liquid into edible gravy.

                                      In the oven, I allow 4-5 hours at a modest heat level. If the brisket was edible, they must have prepared it in advance.

                                      In declaring this a "bar mitzvah", they should have required the cooks to prepare everything in a plausible Jewish style. This is not a kosher kitchen, so true "kashruth" is not an issue, but failing to observe the spirit of the dietary rules makes this just an ordinary meal.

                                      Observing the spirit of the dietary laws would be a reasonable "challenge" for the participants. Many non-orthodox Jews today have no idea of what these rules are. Ramsay could have reamed out a cook for mixing meat and milk - what a sad loss of a "dramatic tension" opportunity :-)

                                      Creating edible "cream" desserts suitable for a meat meal would have been another good challenge opportunity. The pastries served at most kosher events I've attended are nice to look at but taste universally disgusting. It IS possible to make delicious, pareve, creamy desserts, but most kosher cooks don't even try.

                                      1. I really don't understand how some of these contestants can be so deluded. Coi can't cook a burger but she thought she was better than Andrea. Carol single handedly botched the reward challenge by asking and then ignoring suggestions from Andrea but Andrea is the weakest link according to her. I think they should all be strapped in lie detectors when they're questioned during elimination.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Ericandblueboy

                                          Some of them have this delusion that they can play 'strategically' by putting up someone that they see as competition. But Ramsay has shown in season after season that it doesn't matter who is nominated for elimination by the teams, HE is going to make the final decision. He even did it last week when he skipped over the two that were nominated to be eliminated and booted Colleen.

                                          1. re: Sooeygun

                                            I think you can play strategically without lying. If Carol wants Andrea gone, she can recite all the things Andrea botched without resorting to saying Andrea's the weakest link. The last part is patently false and makes Carol look like a scheming scumbag.