Welcome back to the magical place that is Hell's Kitchen. After the biggest turn out hopefuls ever wanting to compete and face the wrath of Chef Ramsay, the top 300 candidates were brought to Hell's Kitchen, to leave their fate up to fate, and hope that their number was pulled out of a huge raffle drum.
Once the 16 aspiring chefs were selected, they were quickly thrown into the fire, and whipped up their signature dish for Chef Ramsay to taste. Many of the women's dishes provoked positive feedback, which marked a first in Hell's Kitchen for so many signature dishes to be enjoyed by Chef Ramsay. However, the men did not fare as well. Only a fraction of the men's dishes got good reviews. Concerned that "luck" might not have been on his side today, Chef Ramsay announces that it will once again be men versus women as the blue versus red teams and once they move in, they should select names for their teams. He also adds that the prize for this season is a quarter of a million dollars as well as the position of Head Chef at Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. The aspiring chefs are excited about the opportunity, and they head upstairs to check out where they will be living and get to know each other.
In the team name selection, some of the personalities start to come out. Ben is clearly trying to be the leader of the blue team, and it rubs some people the wrong way. While on the red team, everyone is throwing out ideas, but no one seems to be listening. The teams then spend the rest of the evening studying Chef Ramsay's menu.
The next day, as the teams prepare for their first dinner service, Lacey has a meltdown. She worries about her lack of experience in the kitchen and exits the kitchen declaring that she quits. The rest of the team shows little concern and come to resent her for her lack of ambition as they continue with their preparations. After a smoke break and a snack, Lacey peps herself up, puts the drama away and comes back to join her team. However, because the station that she was working on, the dessert station, is now behind in preparation, Coi will not let Lacey off the hook, and they start yelling at each other. Chef Ramsay steps in and gets them to cool off. Meanwhile, on the blue side, the men start to notice how Seth does not have much kitchen knowledge, and they express concern in his lack of hustle.
Shortly before doors open, Chef Ramsay asserts that as there are so many of them in the kitchens, one member from each side will be in the dining room working as servers. Carol will be the red team's waiter, and Giovanni will serve for the blue. Once the doors open, the servers spring to action, and everything is off and running. Carol charms the diners with her smile and perky energy, while Giovanni struggles to explain the menu, get the correct order written on to the ticket and bring any orders into the blue kitchen. Chef Ramsay is none too happy that the blue team is standing around waiting because Giovanni cannot get himself together.
Once orders do start rolling in, appetizers are making their way to Chef Ramsay. However, unhappy with them for various reasons, Chef Ramsay sends them back to the chefs: Ben and Robert cannot cook pasta, Colleen puts the wrong ingredients in the dishes, Danny starts talking back to Chef Ramsay, and so forth. However, no food is making its way to the dining room. And if things aren't bad enough, a new problem hits the kitchens: a power blackout.
While the technicians work to get the power back on, the responsibility of making sure the customers were happy fell to Carol and Giovanni. Carol found ways to make the time go by as she supplied bottomless glasses of wine while Giovanni still struggled with customer service. Finally when the power goes back on, the kitchens take a moment to regroup. The blue team rallies around each other and use this opportunity as a fresh start. Once the appetizers start rolling out, they find their footing and get dishes to their hungry customers. On the red side, Colleen is still struggling to get out of the starting gate. Her dishes are constantly being returned to her by Chef Ramsay.
Once the blue kitchen starts with their entrees, Seth and J struggle to get the meat temperatures right, and Wil, on the garnish station, struggles to get anything right. He brings up cold vegetables, runny sauces and simply the wrong side dishes. Nearly every member of the blue team runs to his rescue at various stages of the service.
Because no entrees are getting to the dining room on the blue side, and very few of the appetizers are going out on the red side, Chef Ramsay shuts down the kitchen. He says it was a terrible first showing and explains how hard it is to pick a winning team, they both lost. So, in order to pick the team who will be safe, he turns to the comment cards, and will base his decision on the service. Many diners rated Carol above average on the red side, and for the blue side, many diners rated Giovanni... below average. So, the men now have to select, as a team, two members to nominate for elimination.
While the red team celebrates their first victory, the blue team gathers to determine who they will nominate. They go around in a circle to name their choices. Most members of the blue team select Seth and Wil as the weakest on the team tonight. But, before the meeting is over, Seth calls out Giovanni for being such a horrible representative in the dining room, and since he lost the night for the team, perhaps he should go up. Giovanni quickly gets defensive and engages Seth in an argument.
When standing before Chef Ramsay, Seth is called on to announce their nominations. He says Wil is their first nominee, and he is their second. J corrects Seth, and makes clear to Chef Ramsay, that Seth is actually their first nominee. They all stand united in wanting Seth off of their team. Robert even offers to replace Wil on the block in order to send Seth home. However, after hearing the final pleas, Chef Ramsay decides it is Wil who is not going to see a second dinner service, and sends him home. The competition is on, and each of the aspiring chefs have been put on notice. What a way to begin!
Recap by Tara Siener