The finale of Hell’s Kitchen is over now and I’ll admit I was a little surprised at the outcome. I thought Petrozza’s team overall did a slightly better job, but it was close. As Chef Ramsey suggested, it was the customer’s comment cards that swayed his decision and it was Christina, the up and coming talent that Chef chose.
I thought both chefs did a good job of creating the menus and with the exception of dealing with the weaknesses of some of their team members, they did a good job of managing their respective kitchens. Food went out fairly well, though each team got slightly backed up, and the customer’s seemed to enjoy the food. Overall it was good night in Hell’s Kitchen.
I honestly thought Petrozza was a lock to win this one based on his experience and his performance throughout the season. While Petrozza went up a few times to get kicked off, he rarely was a liability to his teammates later on in the show. I also think it was more so that the others would have one less person to compete against. I thought he did well overall and I have little doubt that he’ll land a sweet executive chef position at a swanky restaurant somewhere.
After the show was over, my wife and I talked it over and we’ve come to the conclusion that Chef Ramsey chose Christina because she is young and is someone chef can mold into the type of person he wants to run one of his restaurants. Think about it for a second. Christina hasn’t had professional experience (though she is a culinary student) and certainly hasn’t had experience running a kitchen. That lack of experience can work in her and Chef Ramsey’s favor if she follows his teachings.
Petrozza is older and a little set in his ways. He knows what he wants to do if he ran a restaurant of his own and probably has his own menu items already picked out or a slew of good ideas. Perhaps, had he won, he and chef would disagree on creating a menu and we all know Ramsey has little time for anyone else’s opinion when he has a game plan in mind. Chef Ramsey knows what sells and knows the business inside and out.
Christina on the other hand probably has some ideas and certainly has some good dishes to throw out there, but has no idea if her culinary creations would sell in a restaurant. Being offered this opportunity and based on her ability to absorb Ramsey’s teachings, she’ll be less likely to push her own ideas and more likely to accept whatever menu Chef Ramsey gives her (not like she’ll have much choice I don’t think). Ramsey can give her a menu, teach her his way and she’ll do her best to make a name for herself and follow his instruction as far as it will take her. I doubt she’ll question his menu or his ideas very much.
Christina has talent and is young and impressionable. Does she have the stuff it takes to run a restaurant of prestige? We’ll have to wait and see. If we ever make it out to West Hollywood in California to the new restaurant, we’ll get to see first hand if she can cut it as executive chef at such a young age.