7 Chefs Compete
Season 5, Episode 9
Air date April 2, 2009
Eliminated Carol
Saved Ben, Robert
Episode Guide
9 Chefs Compete
6 Chefs Compete

The ninth episode of Season 5 of Hell’s Kitchen aired on FOX, on April 2, 2009. On that episode, the teams create their own menus, and when Ramsay accuse one chef of sabotaging their team, it leads to one of the most shocking eliminations in Hell’s Kitchen history.

Intro Edit

Back in the dorms, Andrea confronted Carol for throwing her under the bus on the chopping block, but it led to another argument between the two of them. It annoyed Giovanni, who told the two women that they had to work their problems out, but Andrea said that it was impossible, since they would never get along. Paula voiced her concern that their arguing was killing the red team’s teamwork, and warned both Andrea and Carol that they might be back up for elimination if it would continue.

Team challenge Edit

The next morning, both teams came down in the dining room to meet Ramsay, who explained that one of his favorite things to do was taking a protein and elevating it to a stunning dish. Despite some of the chefs thinking they would be working with chicken, Ramsay revealed that for their next challenge, they would be taking a red king crab, and turning it into a stunning dish. Each chef would create their own crab dish, and both teams would have to agree on what dish they would want to present, with Ramsay adding on that this challenge was one that they did not want to lose.

With both teams having 45 minutes, they got to work on their dishes. Ben had a clear idea of what he would be making, while Paula had no idea where the chinois was, and asked Ramsay if he could look for one, only to get chewed out by him for asking. With ten minutes left, the blue team had most of their dishes finished, and tasted all of them to decide whose dish would go up. Despite Carol's concern of Andrea's dish having the crab shells on the plate, Andrea was confident on her dish, even though Carol thought Paula's dish looked the best. Robert like Ben's dish the most, and Danny reluctantly agreed to it, even though he thought his dish was better. Paula and Andrea’s dishes were singled out as the best on the red team, but Andrea persuaded her team to have her dish up.

Once the time was up, Andrea and Ben sent up their dishes to Ramsay. Andrea presented her king crab legs crusted with macadamia nuts, asparagus and pear infused butter, but Ramsay criticized the presentation because of the shells on the plate, and also told that it had a bland taste. Ben's dish was a crab in sriracha butter, but his very long explanation of it annoyed everybody. Ramsay was not impressed by the minimalist presentation, and while the crab tasted better than Andrea's, it did not meet the wow factor Ramsay was hoping for. Ramsay was disappointed by the dishes he received, and ordered Danny and Paula to bring their dishes up. Paula's crab with hazel coconut broth wowed Ramsay by its presentation, and it was deemed delicious, while Danny's poached crab in a Madeira berblance with sautéed celery and fennel was also deemed delicious. Ramsay was happy that both of their dishes hit the mark that he was looking for, and even asked why they were not chosen first place. In the end, Ramsay gave Danny's dish the win for the blue team after a very tough decision.

Reward Edit

The blue team won a day at the Santa Monica State Beach with Ramsay for lunch and a Segway ride. Before leaving, Robert decided to leave his boxer shorts for the red team to clean up as part of their punishment. At the beach, they met Ramsay riding a Segway, but Robert had to ride a bicycle due to the weight limit on the Segways. At lunch, Ramsay told the blue team that each of them had a chance to become the winner of that season, and they toasted to their victory.

Punishment Edit

The red team had to clean both the dorms and kitchens, and prep all the king crab for the next night’s dinner service. During the punishment, the red team got mad at the returning blue team for rubbing their loss at them, and they took their anger out on the crabs they were cleaning.

Creating new menus Edit

The next morning, both teams were ready to prep for that night’s service. However, Ramsay had other plans and revealed the news that for that service, he would let both teams create their own menus. They were required to have 3 appetizers, 3 entrées, and 3 desserts on their menus that would also feature a crab special. Ramsay sent the chefs back upstairs to discuss about their menus.

Surprisingly, both of the team's menus were very similar, but with a few key differences. For the blue team, Ben pushed for some high-class items for their menu liked poached halibut and "pomme fondants", though neither Danny or Robert were thrilled with the idea.

Before service Edit

With both of the team's menus finished, they went downstairs to begin prep for that night’s service. Carol was getting her own potato dish, gratin dauphinoises, cooked before service, and planned on cooking them again for orders, much to Andrea’s concern. In the blue kitchen, Robert and Ben got into an argument over Robert's speed while prepping. Once everyone was ready, Ramsay told Jean-Philippe to open Hell’s Kitchen.

Dinner service Edit

Orders came in for both teams and they all got to work immediately. Giovanni managed to get the red team off to a fast start with his beef carpaccio appetizers, but they were immediately sent back for being flavorless. Then, Ramsay lectured Giovanni to slice the beef on a seasoned plate for flavor. Ben's soup appetizer was very salty as he overreduced it, and Ramsay forced the three men to taste it. With Ben's mistakes slowing the blue kitchen down, some of their customers were forced to watch the red diners at the same table getting their appetizers. However, the same red diner who complained about her bland appetizer before said that it was still under seasoned again. She went to the hot plate to confront Ramsay about it, but Ramsay chewed her out for whistling at him, and he called the woman a dog.

One hour into service, both teams have sent up all their appetizers to the dining room. Carol brought her gratin dauphinoises up to the pass, but Ramsay saw that they were raw and hard, and forced the red team to taste them. Carol revealed that she thought she had to cook them in the oven first before the orders came, but Ramsay told her that gratin dauphinoise needed to be cooked before service would begin. When Ramsay accused Carol of trying to sabotage Andrea, Carol argued that she was not, but that made Ramsay even angrier. Soon after, Carol revealed that it may take ten more minutes for the gratin dauphinoises to cook properly, which caused Ramsay to angrily tell the customers that they would get their dishes in about ten minutes, and chewed out Carol for screwing over the customers. Then, Carol revealed that she cooked them in boiling cream for an hour during prep, and Ramsay called her useless. Meanwhile, Ben was getting his pomme fondants cooked, but Ramsay was confused by their appearance as pomme fondants were usually cooked in butter, not blanched. Sous Chef Scott confirmed to Ramsay that Ben's potatoes did not look like a traditional pomme fondant. Then, Ramsay chewed out Ben for his mistake, and the blue team were forced to do them over again. Meanwhile, Carol poured more cream on her gratin dauphinoises in order to save them, but Ramsay tossed the entire pan in the trash bin, accusing her of giving up. Then, Ramsay angrily told the red team to think of an alternative side, with Giovanni suggesting fingerling potatoes.

An hour and a half into dinner service, none of the kitchens have served their entrées due to their respective potato problems. Robert miscalculated one of his halibut orders due to working at both the fish and meat stations, and needed three more minutes, which angered Ramsay as that meant Robert was dragging the blue kitchen down, and Ramsay ordered him to not give up. Looking for some redemption, Carol sent up her steak to the pass, but it came out rare, which crippled her team even more. Meanwhile, Ramsay looked at Robert's filets and noticed that they were not the same size. Ben took the blame for poorly cutting them, which caused Ramsay to accuse him of trying to sabotage Robert. Ramsay was further discouraged when he saw Ben's poorly cut portions in the fridge.

Two hours into dinner service, both teams were getting their entrées into the dining room. While getting their desserts ready, Robert and Ben got into an argument for Robert's slow momentum, which caused Ramsay to once again accuse Ben of trying to sabotage Robert. Soon after, Jean-Philippe brought back one of Carol's steaks that was mid-rare instead of medium. That was the final straw for Ramsay who decided to shut down both kitchens.

Post-mortem Edit

When both teams were lined up, Ramsay was angry because despite giving both teams the responsibility of creating their own menus, neither of them could execute it properly. After, Ramsay revealed he took a look at the customer comment cards, and while the blue team’s entrées got a 39% above average rating, the red team’s entrées got a 54% above average rating. Because of that, the red team were declared the winners, but Ramsay told them that it was not a victory worth celebrating over. Danny was named “Best of the Worst” for the blue team, and was tasked to nominate one person for elimination.

Back in the dorms, Carol was surprised that the red team won despite her potato fiasco, but Andrea thought they should have lost due to Carol's poor performance. Meanwhile, Ben pleaded his case to Danny on why he should stay, while Robert argued his case to stay. That put Danny in a tough spot on who to nominate, even thinking that both of them should be up for elimination.

Elimination Edit

Danny announced that Ben was his nominee for elimination. While Ramsay agreed with Danny's decision, he also called down Robert as well. After listening to their pleas, Ramsay revealed that the person that would be going home was the one who sabotaged their team and gave up afterwards. That led Ramsay to eliminate Carol from the winning team as she was responsible for the gratin dauphinoises being undercooked in the first place, and making no attempt to fight back afterwards. This marked the first time in Hell’s Kitchen history that Ramsay eliminated someone from the winning team.

Ramsay's comment: "Carol knew she was out of her depth in Hell's Kitchen. I just put her out of her misery."