On the Season 16 premiere of Hell's Kitchen, Chef Gordon Ramsay welcomes the newest crop of hopefuls on the grounds of a U.S. Army training facility. The 18 aspiring chefs will have to demonstrate they have the discipline to succeed in Hell's Kitchen, before proving their culinary skills in the kitchen. Once Ramsay is confident they have a chance to survive, they are then split up into two teams – men (blue) vs. women (red) – and greeted by the Signature Dish Challenge! The winning team will enjoy a special dinner hosted by Ramsay at Takami Restaurant in downtown Los Angeles. Meanwhile, the losing team will be tasked with cleaning both kitchens and preparing the dining room for the season's first dinner service. Later, during the dinner service, and joined by VIP guests actor Nolan Gould and actress Erica Ash, one team will deliver a fantastic service that impresses Chef Ramsay.
The teams go head-to-head during the first-ever HELL'S KITCHEN Crepe Grand Prix challenge, with the contestants racing to present Chef Ramsay with 10 acceptable savory crepes. The winning team will head to Santa Barbara for a luxurious dining experience on a yacht. Meanwhile, the losing team will face a fishy punishment as they take on the responsibility of handling fish delivery day. Later, during the dinner service featuring VIP guests – actress Noureen DeWulf and actor Dash Mihok – one team will struggle right out of the gate before someone's lack of passion leads to another elimination.
With tensions running high in the house, the chefs must set aside their feelings and prepare for their next challenge. This week, Gordon greets the chefs with a surprising selection of meat as each team will need to prepare eight unique dishes using a selection of ostrich cuts. The rest of their ingredients will be selected as the contestants take turns breaking through giant ostrich eggs to collect as many ingredients as they can in just four minutes. Gordon has recruited special guest judges, David McMillan and Frederic Morin, the chefs/owners of Joe Beef, to help critique this week's challenge. The winning team will be jetted off to Big Bear for a zip lining excursion in the mountains. Meanwhile, the losing team has no choice but to face the tedious job of plucking pine nuts out of pinecones and cleaning the kitchen. Later during the dinner service, find out which chefs can't handle the pressure.
Chef Ramsay introduces the contestants to the latest challenge - a Surf & Turf protein relay. As the teams struggle to identify their proteins, they must work together in pairs to succeed in the challenge. The winning team will spend the day surfing at the Wavehouse in San Diego, CA, while the losing team will find themselves spending the day making sausages from scratch. Later, during the dinner service, Ramsay informs the teams that tonight they will need to cook with extra confidence because they will be welcoming a VIP 12-top. Find out which chefs will impress Ramsay.
After a shocking elimination, both teams must regroup and chart a new course. During The Seven Seas Seafood Challenge, the chefs will go head-to-head against a chef of their choice from the opposing team. Each pair will choose a body of water that will reveal a type of fish that they will have 30 minutes to prepare using a variety of fresh ingredients provided by Chef Ramsay. The winning team, accompanied by Ramsay himself, will enjoy an exciting meal at one of LA's hottest restaurants, Petty Cash. Meanwhile, the losing team will stay behind for delivery day and haul in pounds of potatoes and vegetables. Later during the dinner service, Chef Ramsay invites Grammy award-winning artists guitarist Joe Perry and R&B singer Estelle.
The remaining contestants use cookbooks from Gordon's HELL'S KITCHEN library to spell out the ingredients they want to use for their next challenge. During this week's Ingredient Crossword Challenge, they'll have 25 minutes to use as many or as few ingredients they've successfully spelled out. The losing team will spend their evening preparing for the upcoming dinner service, while the winning team will enjoy a night of fun that will include a delicious steak dinner and Ice Bunker cars. Later, the dinner service will embrace Family Night with VIP diners including actresses Lauren Lapkus ("Jurassic World") and Ciara Hanna ("Power Rangers Megaforce").
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