"Oh, not much. You?" (Fox)

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Recap 14×10: We’ve Got Spirit, Yes We Do

Eight chefs remain in Gordon Ramsay’s valiant quest to find a sous who understands what medium rare is, and the word of the day in Hell’s Kitchen is “leadership.” Everyone’s either stepping up as a leader, accusing someone else of not leading, or bemoaning the lack of leadership. So what better way to boost morale than with a high school pep rally? Seventy-six trombones (if my count is correct) summon the chefs to the kitchen, where Ramsay informs them that night’s dinner service will be for the Calabasas High School homecoming celebration. For their first challenge, the chefs will prepare three dishes, to be judged by a trio of high school students who have the sort of culinary expertise that comes with watching a few episodes of Hells Kitchen. The panel consists of a spunky chipmunky cheerleader, a girl who’s probably the second lead in all the drama club musicals, and a snotty kid named Max who says things like “this dish doesn’t wow me.” Some day soon, he’ll be sending back his first bottle of wine for absolutely no reason. In the kitchen, the contestants argue briefly about whether it’s more strategic to cook down to a high schooler’s palate, or create something elegant and trust that the kids will enjoy it. The women choose to not compromise, which turns out to be the wrong decision. With Max casting the final vote — a responsibility he takes very seriously — it’s the guys’ deep-fried steak nugget that secures them the win. Max helpfully delivers one last kick in the ass to Michelle, informing her the okra is overseasoned, before going off to find some nerd to write his Princeton application essays for him.

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