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Hell's Kitchen season 1, episode 1

By Edited Mar 7, 2016 0 0

In this episode, two teams compete in running a restaurant, a red and a blue one. We observe the red team, which consisted of six persons. The goal of each team was to run their restaurant better than their competitors. Both teams work in the same restaurant, but each of them has their own kitchen and dining room for their customers. One main chef (Gordon Ramsay) decides whether the dishes they prepare are tasty enough to be served. Each team is assigned a sous-chef to explain them how the kitchen works and to give them the recipes they have to follow for the night. Gordon Ramsay also picks one member per team to be the waiter in the dining room that night. The group does not have a choice about who will be missing in the kitchen.

At the end of the day, Gordon Ramsay decides which group performed the worst. Then, he picks the best cook of this team to select two of his/her team mates to make eligible for elimination. Gordon Ramsay picks one of the two cooks and sends him/her back home.

At the end of the season, the person that stays the longest is the one that will get his/her own restaurant.

We all agreed that the environment the teams were working in was very stressful, especially because the customers were waiting impatiently and the main chef is very harsh on them. Even us as spectators could feel the tension. Some of us saw the team members as enthusiastic and willing to do their best, although some seemed more motivated than others. For example, Jeff even quit his job to live this experience, which automatically makes him more motivated than the others. However, because of the tension, little emotions were shown. Others saw some team members who lacked motivation to cooperate as a team, because everyone only cared about their own task. But what was really noticeable for all of us was the very competitive atmosphere in the kitchen. We also noticed that some team members were very experienced with cooking in a restaurant, while others were not. This difference in skills made the more experienced team members feel superior over the others. This was no success, because they did not cooperate or communicate with each other in any way. However each of the team members had a common goal, namely performing better than the blue team, they did not work together to achieve this goal. They were all driven by their own, egocentric point of view, which was performing better than each of their competitors and trying to make the best impression with Gordon Ramsay.

Our impressions were mainly based on personal comments from each team member, especially their comments about other team members. In their comments, the cooks described their own feelings and their feelings about the others (Gordon Ramsay or other team mates), at precise moments. We also observed their behaviour within their group as well as their behaviour during the elimination part. Another evidence we used to form our impression was the way they dealt with stress and Gordon Ramsay's harassment.

We have found two examples of prejudice in the episode. The first one is about Elsie, the mother of six children, who plays the same role in the kitchen as she does at home. She observes a lot, and tries to control the other members of her group. The second one is about Carol Ann, who is being nominated for elimination just because she doesn't have any professional cooking experience. The only example of stereotype we found in the group we observed is about Jimmy, an over weighted cook. Gordon Ramsay says that he won't succeed as good as he could because of his weight. His weight would made him too clumsy to work in a kitchen. We found another example for stereotyping in the blue group. As spectators, we would not expect someone with lots of tattoos and piercings to be a top chef. Because of his appearance, his group mates do not always take him seriously.

 

In this episode, we did not observe any main strengths of the group. We assume this is because it is the first episode and they have not developed a group feeling yet. They did not know what to expect from each other, because they had never met before. This caused the types of stereotyping and prejudice mentioned above. They only had a first impression to judge the others.

We did observe weaknesses. For example, Chris laughed at Elsie when her dish was not good enough to be served. It shows a bad team spirit. Furthermore, they did not care about the other team members and their work. As for Carol Ann, as she was assigned to make desert, she did not think about helping others to finish the main course, so that she could start with the desert.

We all agree that the main problem was the missing team spirit. We think it is the most important to succeed as a team and it includes helping others when they struggle. As already mentioned, we did not find any team spirit in any of the members in the red team and we did not take notice of any kind of (positive) interaction between team members.

List of advice

• Increase the team spirit

• More feedback

• More support

• Efficient task dividing

• More efficient communication

• Accept criticism better

We would suggest the team to focus more on their team work instead of their own work. They should give each other feedback, listen and support each other. We also think that the team should divide the tasks more efficiently. The main advice we suggest them is to improve their team spirit by getting to know each other better and by trying to respect the others just the way they are, which does not necessarily have to be done in the kitchen.

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