With four chefs remaining in Hell’s Kitchen, the time for mistakes is over.
Tonight, Sammy, Johnathan, Carmen, and Ryan find out if they’re ready to run a Gordon Ramsay kitchen with a crowd-pleasing favorite competition.
On “Don’t Be Fooled,” the chefs put their noses to the grindstone as the kitchen staff works against them.
Hell’s Kitchen competitions sometimes seem silly, but how chefs react under pressure means everything.
The reason FX’s The Bear is so good is because it brings to light fictionally almost exactly what we in Hell’s Kitchen season after season.
To be the best, you need to be unflappable when the walls close in around you.
On the last episode of Hell’s Kitchen, Johnathan almost threw it all away because he made a poor choice and couldn’t let go of one of Ramsay’s signature snarky comments.
Right after the remaining chefs (there were six at the time) received their black jackets, they decided to celebrate.
Anybody who has ever kicked it up a notch with champagne knows how badly it can affect you.
Johnathan, with a raging hangover, stepped onto the Hell’s Kitchen stage and received Ramsay’s appropriate description of appearance — he looked like a flaming bag of s**t.
Sure, that stung, but carrying it around with you the whole day and throughout the dinner service was just bad form. It made me question whether, with skills or not, Johnathan could rise above the challenges before him.
Surely, Ramsay has the same questions now.
Of course, it wasn’t Johnathan who went home, but he can’t pull another stunt like that.
But now, it’s a race to the finale.
There is no more room for error. The competition is pretty even right now, with friends working together and urging each other over the finish line.
But the heat is rising, and soon, there will be three. How do we get there?
First, the chefs are faced with a Hell’s Kitchen Grand Prix challenge — with a recognizable twist.
During dinner service, the chefs are put to the test to see if they have the attention to detail it takes to run a kitchen, and Chef Ramsay has a few tricks up his sleeve.
Ramsay does this often. He likes to shake things up to see if a chef can manage his kitchen. There’s nothing more stressful than preparing to send your dish over the line only to find out it’s incorrect, incomplete, or even worse, not cooked to perfection.
So he has his staff change ingredients and try to fool the chefs into delivering the wrong meal to a customer.
Thankfully, Ramsay never lets it get that far. They’re his patrons, after all, and he will not serve them unless he knows there’s excellence on that plate.
But it’s the kind of challenge that can mess with the minds of those hoping to become his next chef, and that’s exactly what he wants.
Can Sammi, Johnathan, Carmen, and Ryan remain unflappable as they’re purposely given incorrect dishes?
By now, we know their personalities, including which can fall off the deep end and which can maintain their composure when the pressure tightens.
Here’s an exclusive sneak peek of “Don’t Be Fooled.”
The chefs will be tasked with impressing guest diners, including NY Jets Solomon Thomas, Superstore’s Lauren Ash, Hot One’s Host Sean Evan, and former Journey lead singer Jeff Scott Soto.
Tune in to find out which chefs will be taking a victory lap and which ones will fall flat in the all-new “Don’t Be Fooled” episode of Hell’s Kitchen.
You can catch Thursday, Jan. 18, at 8/7c on FOX and the next day on Hulu.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.