For the contestants on Hell’s Kitchen to think of themselves as seasoned professionals, they sure do make plenty of rookie mistakes. Perhaps it’s the pressure of working with Gordon Ramsay, or the stress of having one’s fate judged on national television, but you can set your watch by the fact that at least one aspiring head chef will make some kind of boneheaded error that should be beyond the training and skill set of a professional cook.
Anyone could expect that some of the more demanding dishes would throw a chef off his or her game — Beef Wellington alone ought to make even the coolest cook break out in a cold sweat. But it’s some of the simplest dishes that confound these contestants: things like cooking a proper steak or making a risotto that is suitable for fine dining. Scallops have become a particular Achilles’ heel for this season’s contestants, and I’ve seen a depressing number of poorly cooked ones go in the trash bins all season long.
Many of the chefs make the same mistakes over and over again, which brings up the question: why does Chef Ramsay put up with it? If I were him, I’d have scrapped nearly all this season’s contestants and replaced them with new ones!