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'Hell's Kitchen': Bye-bye Ben

May 13, 2008 | 10:16 pm

And don't let the door hit you on the way out of "Hell's Kitchen."

Thank goodness he's gone. I would have organized a boycott of Chef Ramsay's new Los Angeles restaurant if Ben had gone on to claim the prize as its executive chef. That one was a manipulative, back-stabbing trash talker. I'm all for trash-talking the competition, but when you start ripping into people's personal appearances -- like his nasty aside that Jen should go fix her "weave" -- that crosses an unforgivable line. Oh well. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Matt was vindicated, and relish it he did. He was shipped over to the red team -- the women's team  -- and sure enough did quite well for himself, serving up what Chef Ramsay said was the best risotto to ever leave "Hell's Kitchen." "I'd like to thank my wife, my best friend, Chef Ramsay...." Matt said. Someone should tell him he won props for dinner service. Not an Oscar.

Petrozza was annointed a gentleman for refusing to nominate a teammate for dismissal, and instead putting himself on the chopping block.

Louross turned street. What exactly was he saying as he defended himself like he was on the witness stand? Something about how he "don't fake the flunk?" Um. Okay.

Jen completely shut down. Rosann was showing wear and tear under the pressure. Corey and Christina continued to circle each other.

With the exception of Matt, no one stood out during the dinner service performance that Chef Ramsay labeled, among other derogatives, "slow and somewhat pathetic."

And absolutely none of these supposedly sophisticated palates came came close to winning the night's big taste test. The challenge? To figure out what was missing from three dishes: Chicken parmigiana, a beef stew and sausage ravioli. What was missing? Meat. All three dishes were made with a meat substitute, and no one picked up on it. The closest was Ben, who said the parmigiana was made with processed chicken.

That aside, things feel like they're idling just a bit. Like it's just a slow march toward one elimination after another. Looking forward to next week, when -- could it really be? -- the preview suggests that someone loses a body part: "Check the pancetta!"

-- Rene Lynch