It's a new season of Hell's Kitchen with 12 new chefs selected from tens of thousands of applicants. The winner will receive their own restaurant at the new Red Rock resort in Las Vegas. In Los Angeles, the new chefs are shuttled into Hell's Kitchen for the first time, where they are welcomed by Jean Phillippe. The group gets to know each other as Chef Ramsay studies their profiles in his back office. Finally, Chef Ramsay is ready to meet his new charges and barrels into the restaurant. After a quick greeting, he orders them into the kitchen to prepare their signature dishes.
With thirty minutes to prepare the dish, the chefs get to work in the kitchen. Tom tries to show off by lopping off the top of a bottle of wine with his knife, but instead he shatters the bottle in half. Undeterred, he pours wine from the broken bottle into his sauté pan.
It's time for Chef Ramsay to sample each dish. Frowning at a tower of food, he calls forth Keith, who seems to think he's some sort of white rapper. When Keith describes his dish as Cha-Ching Sesame Crusted Tuna, Chef Ramsay is quite confused. And he's outraged when Keith claims the dish is light. He has Keith remove his hat, then dumps a pile of rice into it before sampling the dish. Chef Ramsay disapproves of the piping hot sauce and giant portion.
Next up is Rachel, who has created fried butterflied shrimp with chocolate sauce, lemon and chili pepper. It's hard to make out what Chef Ramsay thinks about the presentation, as cursing obscures most of his words. After a taste, Chef Ramsay enjoys how the shrimp were cooked, but hates the chocolate sauce, which obliterates the shrimp. Later, in private, Rachel attributes the criticism to regional differences. It would seem that chocolate shrimp is all the rage in Texas these days.
Third is Polly, who prepared undone focaccia bread with garlic dipping oil. Chef Ramsay doesn't quite understand the undone part and says he'd rather eat poodle **** than half-baked bread. He sends Polly back to the group without taking a taste. The next platter reveals Larry's dish, potato crab cakes with soy and peppers. Larry, who only stands 5'4" in heeled shoes, tells us that he's used to being underestimated. Chef Ramsay samples a forkful and declares the crab cakes to be both hot and undercooked, a rare combination indeed.
Maribelle steps forward to claim her dish of Argentine plantain soup. Chef Ramsay takes a spoonful and immediately spits it out, dismissing the soup as garlicky, hot and reminiscent of baby vomit. In private, Maribelle theorizes that Chef Ramsay is a wimp when it comes to spiciness. Yes, she just challenged the palate of a world-class chef.
Chef Ramsay wonders if he should even continue, then pulls the cover off of a heaping pile of pasta topped with shrimp scampi and Caesar salad. Tom, recognizing his dish, hates his timing. Chef Ramsay, recognizing the first cooked salad he's ever seen, hates the idea and scoops the hot lettuce into Tom's bare hands. Chef Ramsay tries a shrimp and quickly spits it out. Tom, sweating the whole time, thinks Chef Ramsay wouldn't give him such a hard time if he didn't care.
That brings us to Heather, a sous chef in a kitchen with 12 men. She's prepared chocolate raspberry empanadas. Chef Ramsay thinks the dough is too thick, but admits that it's the best dish he's tasted thus far. When Chef Ramsay turns his attention to Garrett's dish, a virtual pile of meat, he asked him where he learned to cook. Garret quickly responds jail, where he was serving time for stolen checks. Chef Ramsay pulls Gabe forward to taste Garret's dish. Gabe says that it's overcooked, but admits in confessional that he saw an opportunity to sabotage an opponent and took it. Chef Ramsay tries a bite and agrees with Gabe's assessment.
Chef Ramsay turns to Gabe's dish, but quickly dismisses it when he notices that the fish is so undercooked that it can't be eaten. Giacomo has prepared frutti di mare, a pasta dish laden with a variety of seafood and shellfish. Chef Ramsay asks Sara to taste the dish and she thinks it's very nice. Chef Ramsay takes his own taste and remarks that it's not bad and thanks Giacomo for being the first person to make something edible. Sara's dish is an herb-crusted salmon with peekytoe crab pasta. Chef Ramsay judges the pasta to be overcooked mush.
Virginia steps up with a coconut, pomegranate and celery root salad. Chef Ramsay asks if anything on the plate has been cooked and Virginia hesitatingly informs him that the nuts were toasted. He says it's fine, as far as raw food that took 30 minutes to prepare goes. With all the dishes sampled, Chef Ramsay introduces the teams to Scott and Mary Ann, then informs the group that the kitchens will be separated into men and women. Men in the blue kitchen with Scott, women in the red with Mary Ann.
Scott and Mary Ann take the chefs to the dorms to decamp. But before too long, the teams are brought back to the kitchen where they learn that Hell's Kitchen will be open in 24 hours. Chef Ramsay sends them to work on prep. When Chef Ramsay spots Tom dripping sweat into a giant pot of simmering tomatoes, he orders him to pitch it and start over, keeping the next pot sweat-free.
At 2:20 in the morning, the women have completed their prep. But the men are still struggling with their work, as they're doing everything individually without teamwork. At 7am, the women are energized thanks to the sleep they got. Conversely, the men slept less than an hour and are now dragging around the kitchen. Later that day, ten minutes before opening, Chef Ramsay gathers the teams. After informing everybody that somebody will be leaving tonight, he asks for two volunteers. Three women immediately raise their hands, while on the other side, only Giacomo volunteers, and that after a pause. This doesn't escape Chef Ramsay's attention. Chef Ramsay picks Heather and Giacomo to keep each kitchen clean during the service. Giacomo looks down on the work, but Heather is eager to help. With that, the kitchen is open and the first diners are seated.
The first order comes into the blue kitchen, with risotto and scallop appetizers on the ticket. The red team gets their first ticket, which features spaghetti with lobster, salad, risotto and monkfish tempura starters. Polly and Tom are running appetizers for each kitchen. The women help Polly, but the men leave Tom on his own. The women present their starters first, but Chef Ramsay rejects the risotto as too stiff and makes Polly start over. Tom presents his first plate, which features raw scallops. He has to start over as well.
One hour into service and nobody has been served anything. When her second risotto is completed, it's too bland and Polly has to start over once more. On the other side, Tom's second effort is accepted and sent to the table. The men get on a roll, but one risotto meets trouble when a diner complains of a lack of pumpkin. Jean Phillippe is skeptical of the claim, so the diner follows him to the hot plate and proceeds to ask Chef Ramsay why there wasn't any pumpkin in his risotto. Chef Ramsay offers to ram a pumpkin up his ***, then sends the man back to his table.
And that's when Tom's sauté pan catches on fire. Tom stands by helplessly as smoke fills his area. The fire is controlled, but it slowed down the team. On the red side, Polly is making her fourth attempt at getting out starters. An irate Chef Ramsay puts Polly on cleanup duty and asks Heather to take over the starter station. Elsewhere, Tom has a new problem. Namely, the water that boiled over the fire put out his burner's pilot light. Tom was cooking without even noticing he didn't have heat.
After only three minutes, Heather gets her first dishes to the hot plate, where they meet Chef Ramsay's approval. Sara screams and claps with delight, which irks Chef Ramsay. Two hours into service, the pressure is now on Virginia and Gabe to produce entrees. Chef Ramsay is disappointed to see that Gabe's first Wellingtons are underdone. In private, Gabe gripes that Chef Ramsay only sees two or three seconds of the process, so he doesn't really know what's going on.
Virginia sends her first Wellington to the hot plate, but Chef Ramsay sends it back because the meat isn't cooked. Virginia turns to shambles, describing herself as "miscombobulated." Desperate, Virginia heads to the blue kitchen and asks if they can spare lamb stock because theirs is too salty. Keith quickly sends her away. More than two hours into service without eating, the diners begin chanting for their food. Enraged, Chef Ramsay shuts the kitchens down.
With the fewest customers ever served in Hell's Kitchen, Chef Ramsay has to decide which team was worse. He decides that the red team is the losing team, with zero entrees leaving the kitchen. Pointing out Heather as the red team's lone bright spot, he asks her to nominate two teammates for elimination. After some deliberation in the dorms, Heather nominates Polly because of her lack of experience and Virginia, moments after personally telling her she didn't want her to go home.
Polly and Virginia step forward to face Chef Ramsay. He thinks they're both worthy of elimination and in the end opts to cut Polly.