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'MasterChef'/'Hell's Kitchen' recap: Not Christian! (or Elise)

August 3, 2011 |  2:57 pm

That Chef Gordon Ramsay is such a tease! Please confess you were also on the edge of your couch this week, gleefully laughing at the the prospect of Christian, vile Christian, going -- hee hee -- HOME!

But it was not to be. Ramsay was just pulling our legs, no surprise there, and Christian managed to glide on through to next week. The mere sight of his face irritates me. (That perch used to be reserved for annoyingly scrunchy-faced Suzy.)

But do I just need to get over it and acknowledge his sheer talent? He has talent to spare, that one. But shouldn't personality and good sportsmanship count in this competition to be the home cook that inspires a nation to get back into the kitchen? (It was bad enough when he mock shot his competitors last week. But giving thumbs down to the children who didn't vote for his dish? Really? Isn't he a dad?)

Ramsay didn't go far enough when he lit into Christian for being rude in the surf-and-turn challenge and besmirching Jennifer's risotto.

"You may want to be smart, and act like a [BLEEPING] [BLEEP] ... you've shut down, because you can't learn anymore, and that's pretty obvious." Let's hope this is ultimately Christian's undoing. But until then: It was Derrick who was sent home (he's been good but not great), and Christine, who had her flashes of brilliance but couldn't quite sustain it all.

Over in "Hell's Kitchen," we're also being teased. By the filibustering Elise. But you can guarantee she is going to stick around for many eliminations to come. First, she does have some talent (but no one in their right mind would put her in charge of a kitchen) and man can she stir the pot.

Speaking of putting someone in charge of a kitchen: How did Elizabeth manage to survive this week? I'm surprised Ramsay didn't toss her immediately after the Hawaiian/Asian catastrophe, in which she had to interview three former high school classmates about their food preferences at a 20-year reunion being held at "Hell's Kitchen." (I can understand that perhaps she doesn't know the difference between Hawaiian and Asian food, and might have assumed that the request for Hawaiian fare could include Asian flavors. Fair enough. But the fact remains that the clients never used the word "Asian" that I could tell, and Elizabeth never told her teammates that the clients wanted a "Hawaiian"-themed party. And LENTILS?!?! Where do lentils fit in with either an Asian-themed or Hawaiian-themed dish?)

I only wish I could have been sitting alongside her on the couch this week so I could turn and ask: "Who said anything about Asian other than you? And what was with the lentils?"

And let's not forget this ditty from wild-eyed Tommy, who was asked about his plating techniques. "I don't really think when I do things, I just do them." Um. Is that a guy you want running a restaurant?

Random observation: Natalie seems like she's a front-runner. But she has to stop making food that reminds people of ... cat food.

Quote of the week goes to -- surprise -- Elise: "Today my pissed-ivity level is extremely high, and I don't have any patience." I plan to go around the office dropping that one on my colleagues. I'll let you know how it goes over.

No surprise that Gina and Monterray hit the bricks this week. Although I would have tossed Elizabeth before Monterray.


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--Rene Lynch
Twitter / renelynch

Photo: Christian confers with judges Graham Elliot (center) and Joe Bastianich. Credit: Food Network