Season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen may have featured vicious battles and devastating blunders for the Blue Team and the Red Team, but those are now things of the past. In this next phase of the competition, Chef Gordon Ramsay will have the six remaining chefs compete in three unique challenges to earn a black jacket.
With a season as intense as this, it is truly anybody’s game. Who will impress Chef Ramsay enough to earn this coveted jacket? Who will be sent home? Let’s find out in the all new episode, titled “Black Jacket Lounge.”
The First Black Jacket Challenge
After Chef Ramsay promises to “turn things up like never before,” the chefs gather for the next challenge. However, they have a major surprise waiting for them — their loved ones. None of the chefs have seen their families since embarking on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so there are plenty of tears shed during these emotional reunions.
Chef Ramsay then announces that the six remaining chefs will compete in three challenges, which, in the end, five of the chefs will be rewarded with a black jacket. Two chefs will be awarded black jackets in the first round, followed by another two in the second round. Then, the third challenge will feature a showdown between the last two chefs for the final black jacket. Clearly, the chefs are ready to throw down. “Watch out, b***hes. I’m out for blood,” Heather says.
In the first challenge, the chefs will each have to create their own unique dish. However, they won’t get to use their ideal choice of ingredients. Presented before them are five domes. Under each dome are six different ingredients. One dome features protein, one is starch, one has garnishes, another has vegetables and the last one has marinades. Once a bell rings, the chefs must run to a dome and grab whichever ingredient they can. The ingredients they grab from the domes will be the only ones they can cook with. Whichever two chefs cook the best dishes will win the first two black jackets of the season.
After the 30-minute time limit, the chefs present their dishes. Kimberly, who is up first, has cooked a tuna dish. Chef Ramsay thinks she used too much cajun, but he does like it. Paulie, on the other hand, presents a grilled lobster, which Chef Ramsay thinks is only missing some salt.
The third chef is Heidi, who has cooked a duck breast. Chef Ramsay likes it, but it may be hard to compete with Andrew’s fillet, which he has nailed. The next dish is Ryan’s steak. Ryan may be one of the frontrunners to win it all, but Chef Ramsay thinks her entree is a flop. Heather’s French chicken breast may be the best dish, because Chef Ramsay has nothing but good things to say about it.
Now, Chef Ramsay will make his decision. It may be a difficult choice for him to make, but he does choose two stellar chefs to reach this pivotal moment in the competition.
Heather and Heidi earn their black jackets!
For earning their black jackets, Heather and Heidi will spend the day in the Black Jacket Lounge. This exclusive club is sexy, dimly lit and stocked with a full bar. The women can now sit back and relax, as the other four chefs fight to remain in the competition.
The Second Challenge
In the next phase of this battle, Andrew, Kimberly, Paulie and Ryan will cook a dish using six secret ingredients. Chef Ramsay says they can use these ingredients however they’d like, but they must use them all in one way or another.
After revealing the ingredients, the chefs are in for a difficult task. They must successfully use cauliflower, baby eggplant, salmon, cherry tomatoes, shiitake mushrooms and white beans in a dish to earn a black jacket. Which of them will be able to take on this difficult challenge?
Once the 30 minutes are up, it’s time to present their dishes. Kimberly goes first. Her salmon may be cooked beautifully, but not all of her ingredients blend together well. Ryan does much better, despite her eggplant being a bit soggy.
Andrew goes next. Chef Ramsay hates his eggplant, because it is far too bitter. Last up is Paulie, whose dish knocks it out of the park for Chef Ramsay. Despite each dish having great qualities, Chef Ramsay can only select two chefs to receive their black jackets with Heather and Heidi.
Ryan and Paulie earn their black jackets!
The Final Showdown
The pressure is on Andrew and Kimberly to battle it out for the final black jacket. The chef who loses the third challenge will be sent home empty handed.
Andrew and Kimberly will be given complete freedom in this round. Chef Ramsay allows them three minutes to shop at a farmer’s market to choose whichever ingredients they’d like to cook with. Once the time is up, they will then have 30 minutes to cook two portions of the exact same dish.
Andrew is the first chef to present his dish. He has cooked a pan-seared New York strip, which Chef Ramsay says is perfect. He loves just about everything in the meal, except for the puree, which he finds to be a bit “goopy.” However, Chef Ramsay does call this a “very strong effort,” setting the bar high for Kimberly.
Kimberly is confident that her pan-seared fillet is a black jacket dish, but will Chef Ramsay agree? He does love how she has cooked her meat, but her asparagus is a tad too bland.
Chef Ramsay may have loved almost everything about both of their dishes, but only one will advance. However, he shocks them by saying he will not be the one to make this decision. Instead, their four competitors — Heather, Heidi, Paulie and Ryan — will make this choice. Chef Ramsay will keep the chef who cooked each of these dishes private, so this decision will be fair.
Heather is up first. She is on a mission to get Andrew to win, but she actually likes Kimberly’s better. Heidi and Ryan switch things up by picking Andrew’s meal.
It all comes down to Paulie. If he chooses Andrew, he will earn a black jacket. If he goes with Kimberly, Chef Ramsay will break the tie. Paulie ends up choosing Kimberly’s fillet, giving the final vote to Chef Ramsay. Who will receive the last black jacket, and who is going home?
Kimberly earns a black jacket; Andrew is sent home!
Andrew’s elimination shocks the Final 5, but they can’t let that get them down for long. Now that the black jackets have been given out, the battle is officially on as to which of these last few chefs will earn the right to be named the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.
What did you think of the episode? Were you happy with who received the black jackets? Who do you think Chef Ramsay should have sent home — Andrew or Kimberly? Be sure to let us know all of your thoughts in the comments section and in the poll below.
Hell’s Kitchen season 16 airs Thursdays at 8/7c on FOX.
(Image courtesy of FOX)