Watch Hell's Kitchen

What do you get when you mix 18 chefs of suspect talent with plenty of fear, toss in a handful of impossible tasks, and liberally spice with one of the fieriest chefs on television? You get Hell's Kitchen, Chef Gordon Ramsay's perfect recipe for disaster. Hell's Kitchen, at its best, is great reality television. It's like a circus from hell with Ramsay as ringmaster. When he cracks the whip, the competitors jump, and If they don't they may end up in tears, scrubbing the floor, or even kicked out the door for good. At its worst it's a mosh pit of contrived drama where dreams are crushed. You wonder who was set up for failure, how much it was scripted, and even who might have been asked to take a dive.

Anyone who has heard of Gordon Ramsay knows he is as good a bully as he is restauranteur. Even in his other shows he comes across as hot tempered when there is no reason to be. In Hell's Kitchen he turns up the attitude, looking for weakness in the chefs and dressing them down at the top of his lungs. You kind of feel sorry for them and wonder if he treats chefs in his own restaurants this way.

But this is what makes Hell's Kitchen so addictive. Not knowing who is going to get it next, what parts are fake, and how long it will be until someone takes Ramsay out back and beats him senseless with a brick or Parmesan Reggiano stuffed into a sock.

Some of the chefs obviously shouldn't be there, but that's part of the fun. You never know when the line cook from a waffle house is going to flame out or how the nanny with no restaurant experience made it this far. There is also always one arrogant jerk who always gets further than he should. Man it's great when they go down!

After 10 seasons you would think that the audience or contestants would have grown weary of Ramsay and his act. Luckily Hell's Kitchen is still going strong and becoming more a part of reality show culture each year. The truth is, as long as the rewards are big enough there will always be people willing to embarrass themselves in front of an audience, and as long as that is true, there will always be an audience for Hell's Kitchen.

Wednesday 9:00 PM et/pt on FOX
16 Seasons, 237 Episodes - Currently Airing
May 30, 2005
Food, Reality
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Clips & Extras

Hell's Kitchen Full Episode Guide

  • A shocking elimination stuns the chefs and forces them to regroup as they take on the Seven Seas Seafood Challenge. Later, guitarist Joe Perry and singer Estelle are invited to the dinner service.

  • This week the chefs compete in a surf and turf protein relay. Later, things get heated during dinner service when a VIP 12-top are among the night's guests.

  • With things tense at the house, the chefs must set aside their feelings and prepare for their next challenge. This week, the chefs are surprised with their selection of meat as each team will need to prepare eight unique dishes.

  • The contestants race in the first annual Crepe Grand Prix challenge. The winners will experience a luxurious dining experience on a yacht in Santa Barbara. Later, one team struggles at the beginning of dinner service for VIP guests Maureen DeWulf and Dash Mihok.

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