|TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE /firstname.lastname@example.org Bradenton resident and “Hell’s Kitchen” contestant Jamie Gregorich holds her signature dish, lollipop lamb chops, at Euphemia Haye, the Longboat Key restaurant where she works as a sous chef.|
Jamie Gregorich is becoming a star by playing it cool on "Hell's Kitchen."
While sadistic celebrity chef host Gordon Ramsay's reality-television cooking competition brings out the unhinged worst in most, the Manatee County native remains wonderfully calm.
The 25-year-old Bradenton resident had three close-up quotes in the first five minutes of tonight's episode of "Hell's Kitchen."
During the opening montage with clips from Monday's show, where bossy Elise again barely survived, Jamie said:
"It's not about being friends, it's about professionalism. Your mouth keeps getting us in trouble."
The sous chef at acclaimed Longboat Key eatery Euphemia Haye then called Elise's celebrating "a little offensive."
As soon as Ramsay announced tonight's all-female Red Team vs. Blue boys (plus Natalie) competition would be preparing dinner for a 20-year high school reunion, millions of TV viewers received another nice look at the class of 2004 Manatee High School graduate and Manatee Technical Institute alumni/instructor.
"I loved high school," Jamie said. "I wish I could go back to high school."
And then Red Teamer Elizabeth was chosen to spearhead the meal. The chief diners told her they wanted Hawaiian. And one woman didn't eat red meat. Elizabeth apparently listens about as well as a toddler, vaguely reporting back to her teammates to prepare Asian cuisine and not mentioning the whole no-dead mammals thing.
Jamie smelled something fishy from the start.
"I was confused to whether she had the right details or not," Jamie said of Elizabeth.
Time to cook.
A rare, perhaps, telling moment: Elise, who never admits a mistake to anyone, says to our hometown hero: "I dropped a scallop, Jamie," sounding genuinely apologetic.
Much to my frustration, the editors/producers didn't show Jamie's reaction.
When the Red Team learns of Elizabeth's blunder it's Jamie again speaking for the team.
"Are you kidding me," she says into the camera. "They wanted Hawaiian? We're gonna look like jackasses."
Blue destroys Red with a six for six shut-out on the meat/fish challenge.
Good news? Jamie again with the confessional.
"I'm so sick of losing. I hate losing."
And then more of the Bradenton woman doing The Friendly City proud.
"Elizabeth used the wrong ingredients," she said. "Everything was wrong."
Blue Teams is rewarded with an afternoon of booze and hot tub relaxation on a four-level yacht.
Red Team has to decorate the dining room and make about a millions leis.
Elise complains about lifting a heavy palm tree. Jamie picks it up sans griping, no problem. Yeah, she has a gym membership that gets plenty of use.
Blue Team returns from the boat knocked out loaded. Their tongues thick with too much champagne, they attempt to tease the Reds.
Back to the hellishly hectic kitchen.
And then it happened.
The local luminary dropped her first on-air F-bomb.
"Hey, what the (expletive) is this?" Jamie shouts.
The mark of a true reality star.
At least she said it in the right context — under pressure — and not while gossiping about someone, like the other contestants do.
|Carrie, Jamie and Amanda prepare for a dinner service. Fox publicity photo.|
So, the F-bomb didn't disappoint me. Not at all. Sorry.
What did, though, was when Ramsay asked, "Who's gonna lead the Red Team?"
Shot of Jamie with her head down.
"I will, chef," Elise said.
Come on, Jamie!
The Red Team redeemed itself, though, hugely. Blue Team cracked, kicked out of kitchen and Monterray got sent back home to Darby, Pa.
The juiciest segment?
Preview for next week's episodes showing Jamie standing up to Elise.
"You need to work on your attitude," the Manatee cooking maven tells the big mouth.
The winner of the reality cooking show will get a $250,000 salary as head chef of the prestigious BLT Steak in New York City.
"Hell's Kitchen" airs 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesday on Fox.
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WATCH previous episodes of "Hell's Kitchen."
Jamie Gregorich page on Fox.com.