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Hell's Kitchen Finale - Spoiler

Whaddya think about that?!?! I could not guess which would win at the end. DH was rooting for Dave, thought Kevin was too arrogant. I was sad Ariel didn't make it to the final 2, but she seemed ok with it.
Now what am I going to watch on Tuesdays? ;-)

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  1. I personally think Kevin was the better overall chef throughout the season and thought he got screwed. His menu was WAY more ambitious - perhaps too ambitious (especially with idiot Amanda on his team.) Still think I'd want to eat Kevin's food over Dave's. I guess the leave of absence mentioned by someone else in another thread that Kevin took from his CT restaurant was also a head-fake.

    I thought when Dave won the earlier challenge in front of the crowd on the roof of the hotel, Kevin would win it all (That's happened before in previous seasons, although not last season). Also thought it was a head-fake when they previewed Dave's confessional comment along the lines of "I cant believe it!" Guess I was wrong.

    And can I just say that Robert remains an a$$hat? He deliberately tried to sabotage Dave? And he actually seemed to be larger than when he was on the show - is that even possible?

    And yes, I'll watch this next season as I believe there's another Boston-area chef who's one of the contestants.

    11 Replies
    1. re: LindaWhit

      he did seem bigger and I agree that he was being an A$$... Amanda was seriously messing up, but at least it wasn't intentional! I was surprised to not see tenille. wonder if she said no, or they didn't want her back.

      1. re: jujuthomas

        I don't know if they get the choice to say no. I think when they sign their contracts to appear, they have to be available for anything, including coming back for the finale. I didn't see her in the final audience, but I wasn't watching closely either.

        1. re: jujuthomas

          I'd go with she said no.
          Also want to thank the Mods for their quick deletion of my not so well thought out post subject line. I don't screw up here often, but you always bail me out when I do.

          1. re: jujuthomas

            I was also wondering what happened to Tennille. NellyNell must have been disappointed! : )

            1. re: Miss Needle

              HA HA HA LOL!!

              Thank Miss Needle! Yup you are correct!!
              I think she would have worked her bum off for either guy....

              I agree with Linda that I think they are obligated to come back if requested...
              So who knows really?

              Anyway - I have to say I am happy Dave won...I guess basically becasue he did work his ass off the entire time, and was pretty much a stand up kind of guy.

          2. re: LindaWhit

            Kevin had the more aggressive menu and the best looking while Dave had the "pedestrian" menu. Kevin owes Van many pitchers of beer for covering for Amanda.

            I feel Kevin was ripped off, but maybe the menu was too aggressive and his cooks couldn't execute.

            What is a "head chef" in a restaurant? Is there even such a position? I notice the announcers wasn't saying, "executive chef" or are they dumbing the terminology down for us civilians?

            1. re: dave_c

              Dave will probably end up being a sous or line cook at Araxi - "head chef" is the terminology HK uses for "the winner will work in whatever position the real EC thinks they're capable because the place they're going to be working paid us for the placement advertisement." The winner never run their own kitchen.

              Besides - we already saw the Executive Chef of Araxi last night - James Walt was one of the judges in the first challenge. http://www.araxi.com/profile_team.html

            2. re: LindaWhit

              <<I guess the leave of absence mentioned by someone else in another thread that Kevin took from his CT restaurant was also a head-fake.>>
              A local fluff columnist from the Courant mentioned that Kevin was at something like a viewing event somewhere with the other final contestants -- so I think maybe all the finalists took a leave of absence in order to do so. Which would be both cagey and efficient on the part of the producers.

              <<I thought when Dave won the earlier challenge in front of the crowd on the roof of the hotel, Kevin would win it all >>
              Same here.

              <<And can I just say that Robert remains an a$$hat?>>
              Cannot agree enough with this thought! I thought Dave was a little soft-hearted in some of his choices when picking teammates and that it would be his downfall. But, he overcame the obstacles (one big one in particular...) -- so chalk up one for the Stoners!

              I still think Kevin is going to go places, though -- he got lots of notice and looked pretty darn good through most of it.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                Dave's menu seemed more in sync with Ramsey's general television food aesthetic, which is normally food that is not overly complicated but is prepared and cooked perfectly. It's something he keeps bringing up on F Word, Kitchen Nightmares, previous seasons of Hell's Kitchen....

                I'm glad Dave won since he constantly entertained me and did his best to be professional in the kitchen. And now he gets a year where he can learn how to refine what seems to be a high level of raw talent while drawing a good paycheck in a city that seems to suit his lifestyle. (Isn't Vancouver supposed to be stoner-friendly?)

                1. re: beachmouse

                  Kevin was a schemer from the first episode, and early on in the kitchen trying to look "managerial at the expense of his competitors", Dave on the other hand was not scheming how to eliminate his competition, he kept his head down and worked hard every day.

                  Dave may not have been as polished as Kevin, but he exemplified a working stiff who had the physical strength and strength of character to persevere, the kind of guy you would want to be in a foxhole with you. Dave has raw talent, and an open mind, and this will be just one step up in his career.

                  By this time, all viewers must understand that the prize for the winner is not some "Executive Chef" position, but just a guaranteed job, as a working cook, having had the opportunity to go through "Gordon's Bootcamp", the opportunity to work at a new venue (Araxi) and learn from the team there, and experience life in a new environment. (Picture Dave cooking his ass off by night, snowboarding by day.)

                  Kevin will be OK, he is competent and made a name for himself, and that will serve him well in the future, but Dave has the heart that Kevin lacks. Dave also has a personality (other than the stoner monotone)mthat I believe would cause more of the team to rally around him, than Kevin.

                  Robert has had one too many second chances, and his blatant sabotage of Dave tells us all we ever need to know about him.

                  Ariel would never have won it, all I could conjure in my mind watching her was a shrill and non-effective performance at The Pass.

                  1. re: ChinoWayne

                    "By this time, all viewers must understand that the prize for the winner is not some "Executive Chef" position, but just a guaranteed job, as a working cook, having had the opportunity to go through "Gordon's Bootcamp", the opportunity to work at a new venue (Araxi) and learn from the team there, and experience life in a new environment."

                    Yes, and also a $250,000 salary (well, at least for one year) for the position of "head chef," which we all know is below the executive chef title. I'd guess that even the executive chef is probably not making that much, even if he is working at Araxi.

              2. Now what am I going to watch on Tuesdays? ;-)
                The Biggest Loser....it's marginally food related...I wish we could talk about it here.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ericandblueboy

                  Maybe Robert can become a contestant on that show...

                2. On most of these cooking competition shows, what judges typically say is, don't overthink it, don't get too fancy or complicated trying to impress us. Keep it simple and do it as perfectly as you can. Show us you can execute a dish with solid technique and flavors.

                  When putting their menus together, Kevin and Dave voiced their approaches, and Kevin took the risk that typically comes back to bite these chefs in the end. Ramsay clearly voiced his criticism of and concern over Kevin's choices.

                  Dave's dishes were simpler and more practical for execution and keeping the meals flowing out of the kitchen. He made the better executive decisions. Not surprised Ramsay chose him to hold down whatever position the win actually ends up with (as we've heard, winners almost never truly get a top spot...).

                  1. I wasn't surprised at the final two... but I was a bit surprised that Dave got the win. From their performances during the evening, Kevin did a much better job of coping with a difficult situation in the kitchen (ie. Amanda the incompetant!) Van deserves a medal for doing two people's work and keeping his cool... But it was up to the customers and it was a close call. I'm pleased to see Dave get the win - he's one remarkably tough guy and from the beginning it was obvious that he was going to be a finalist as long as his arm didn't fall off before then! A lot of chefs would have packed it in and gone home when they broke their wrist so early in the contest, but he was determined to stick it out...

                    1. PS. Note the lack of restaurant remodelling this season... Instead of transforming their side of Hells Kitchen into their dream restaurant, they just transformed the menu. Is even the producer feeling the financial pinch and cutting back the budget??? And do you think that made a difference to the final results?

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: Kajikit

                        Regarding the redecorating: I think it might have to do with the fact that the winner will be going to an existing restaurant and not a place being newly created. The Araxi IS an existing restaurant, right? (I honestly dont know.)

                        1. re: Fydeaux

                          Araxi has been around for awhile. My wife and I ate there 3 years ago. It was the best meal we had in Whistler.

                        2. re: Kajikit

                          I'm actually kind of glad they got rid of it since it seemed to distract from the cooking. It's supposed to be Hell's Kitchen, not an audition for getting on Candace Olson's show or Trading Spaces.

                          1. re: beachmouse

                            I don't mind at all that they took it out... I'm just speculating idly on why. It never really seemed relevant, just an extra stress on the poor chefs, especially since they ALWAYS pulled them away for the final challenge in the middle of the job!

                            1. re: Kajikit

                              Didn't a finalist chef last year have some kind of awful decorating ideas? I'm thinking he wanted stuffed fish on the wall or something. So when it became clear the chefs wouldn't be choosing decor this time around, I thought that may be why. Probably not, though.

                              1. re: harrie

                                yeah... that was the guy that won. can't remember his name!

                          2. re: Kajikit

                            I was so happy that they did without that this year. I hated that part and thought that it really brought nothing to the competition or to contributed to the final decision making process. I am really thrilled that Dave won. I think he showed throughout the show that he was a workhorse with an incredible work ethic, knew how to run a kitchen (even though he got it together at the end, Kevin lost total control of his staff when he was at the pass), and seemed to be more in tune with what was needed - at least in the final dinner service - good food, well presented that his staff could execute properly.

                            I liked Kevin all along, but he just started grating on my nerves the last few episodes and while Dave seemed to get stronger, he seemed to buckle under the pressure.

                            And what a coup for Dave with the indian dsh - that shows talent, creativity and a refined palate. I also thought using venison in the final challenge was brilliant - considering what the prize is.

                            Good job Dave!! Much luck and success.

                            1. re: maisonbistro

                              EXCEPT Dave also used pork in that Indian dish. The meat was the centerpiece of that dish, it seems, so by using it, I can't understand why he won that challenge, other than taste - and it looked like they *included* the pork in the taste of the dish as part of their judging. Kind of a WTH moment. I guess serving a potentially incorrectly used protein isn't worse than leaving off the mole sauce, as Kevin did.

                              1. re: LindaWhit

                                I don't think pork is an absolute no-no in Indian cooking. Not all Indians are muslim. And if were going to get picky, I can order a thousand beef dishes at my favourite indian restaurant, despite the fact that cows are sacred.

                                Don't forget, Keving forgot the sauce - the mole sauce!! and the judging was done on taste. Dave got props for having a palate discerning enough that he could combine ingredients and spices that he had never worked with (and from the sounds of it, never really eaten) to come up with dish, that all judges agreed was very very good.

                                Was it just my impression or did Dave's family look much happier than Kevin's looked sad? I can't imagine Kevin's wife was too thrilled to give up her life and move herself and her son to live in Whistler BC for any amount of time (I am Canadian, so I am NOT disparaging BC or that particular place - it just seems like a huge move for a family).

                                1. re: maisonbistro

                                  Yeah, I think they made a bigger deal about the pork thing in the edits as they wanted the audience to think it was closer. I believe pork is pretty common in Goa as most of the people there are Catholic.

                                  1. re: maisonbistro

                                    Agree on how happy Dave's fiancee and sister were vs. how not-sad Kevin's wife was. Way easier for Dave and his fiancee to pick up and move to Whistler, IMO, unless she's got a monster of a high-paying job that would be hard to leave.

                                    Again, I just thought Kevin was a better overall cook, but agree that Dave can learn more winning HK and going to Whistler. Although the caché for winning HK isn't quite the same as winning TC.

                                    1. re: LindaWhit

                                      I'm not entirely sure I agree since the monetary prize on HK is larger and comes with a guaranteed job at a "prestigious" restaurant. Granted, it is only a one-year stint, but it seems to have worked well for Heather, Rock, and Christina thus far.

                                      It seems like many of the TC winners are still in limbo, although Harold (?) does have his own place while the others are still sorting things out. Didn't Hung confess to spending all of the money?

                                      I'm not sure TC has more caché, it is just on a different network (cable) and targets a different demographic.

                                      1. re: vinhotinto75

                                        Other than Heather being on this season as GR's sous, you don't hear a whole lot in the press about where Rock or Christina are. You still hear about various TC cheftestants - whether they won or lost.

                            2. Why was Robert there as an optional souschef?

                              Are there any Ariel interviews out there? One that might explain if she really was getting conflicting orders from Kevin would be ideal.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: shallots

                                Loved the fact that they cut out that whole redecorating the restaurant nonsense. Was just fluff from previous years not needed this year.

                                Glad Dave won. Would have loved if Kevin won since he's married with child and had major passion, but Dave as the one armed bandit was pretty impressive and deserved of that dubious "head chef' title himself.

                                Burning question of the finale, thought- WHERE . THE . HELL. WAS. TENNILLE???

                              2. David deserved the win.

                                I *just couldn't believe* that Kevin forgot the sauce for his challenge. But for Kevin, as likeable as he may be, and as excellent as his is with presentation, forgetting the mole was the last straw in a number of errors over the weeks that I, for one, noticed. Errors the likes of which Dave didn't make. In fact, the worst error Dave ever really committed was actually forgetting what he cooked for a challenge weeks ago, resulting in an embarassing "er, ah, um" kinda thing on his part.

                                I think it should be said that of all the seasons, there're usually *many more* talented people in competition. The runners-up this time around were, for the most part, seriously lacking in talent and/or skills. For me, the beginning of this season dragged more than any, because the competitors were being tossed off of the show for real no-brainer stuff. In previous seasons, the competitors' transgressions were much more subtle.

                                Well, Kevin's job is a 5-minute drive from where we are. If he goes back to the Farmington Country Club (one of our area's very finest) I'm going to send him a letter in hopes of meeting him when the frenzy dies down.

                                1. I was thrilled for Dave. While the other players were busy playing "I hate so and so" , as one poster said, he kept his mouth job, and did his work. Would you really want to hire someone that doesn't get along with their co-workers or is not respected by the staff? When Kevin sabatoged Ariel I started to think that things weren't going to go his way. And when both called out each other, I knew DAve was the winner. think Ramsey appreciated that and yes he has always stated good simple food is the best.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: libgirl2

                                    Thank you! I just read this entire thread and was surprised that nobody else mentioned Kevin's attempted undermining of Ariel when she was at the pass. It was so obvious that he was disrespecting her, rolling his eyes and all. Up until then I liked him!

                                    1. re: mojoeater

                                      I know what you mean, it seemed as if Kevin was trying to maybe sabatoze her, or cause her problems. The guy who did the stuffed fish last season was Danny. When I saw Dave, I thought they looked a lot alike.
                                      I'm glad Dave won.He seemed like a down to earth guy, stoner or not.
                                      He despite being injured kept going and really tried hard.
                                      I think that was one of the reasons Gordon chose him is his dedication and willingness to learn and give it his all.
                                      I had nothing against Robert, and was glad Gordon gave him the second chance.However, he seemed to me in a way to have changed regarding his cooking, because he was before his health problem, doing very well.
                                      He made me mad when he tried to stick it to Dave, ,and you see his true colors come out. But I'm sure dave has worked with people like that before
                                      and seemed to know how to deal with the problem.
                                      And yes, Robert did seem bigger, or maybe it was the camera angles he was filmed from that made it appear so.

                                      I missed the indian dish thing.And yes, in Goa most people are I believe Catholic. I think St.Francis Xavier went there as a Jesuit missionary.I know he visited other places as well, and I think his body is kept in the cathedral there in Goa. It has some connection to the spanish or portuguese.