Regardless if we're rooting for a contestant to win or lose on Hell's Kitchen, all that matters is how well they do handle Gordon Ramsay's challenges. Some of their trials are more straight forward - the Service Challenge, in particular, is just like any other day at work for most chefs.
However, other tests come from out of the woodworks or seem downright unfair. Today, we're looking at ten of the worst challenges in Hell's Kitchen history. We're going to judge challengees on their concept as well as their difficulty, to help spice things up (*slips on Cool Kid shades.*)
10 Jacket Challenge
The Jacket Challenge doesn't sound so bad on paper; recipes get slapped on chef's backs, requiring crew members to read off each other's backsides. But factor in a short time to complete meals, and you start to see why so many chefs get chumped out by this challenge.
Gordon first cooked up (*winks*) this challenge in Season 13, but hasn't used it since Season 15. Our best bet is that chef Ramsay and the HK producers are thinking of ways to make this challenge even harder - maybe they'll upgrade it into the Straight Jacket Challenge or something along those masochistic lines.
9 Cooking School Challenge
We bet most HK contestants wish this Challenge were as easy as it sounds. Unfortunately for them, nothing's ever simple or straightforward with chef Ramsay. Rather than whip up dishes from Culinary Arts school, HK contestants have to play a modified version of "Pass the Story."
But instead of exchanging tongue-twisters, HK contestants have to pass along recipes that Gordon gives them on the spot! This challenge tests a cook's ability to memorize recipes as well as pass orders along without mucking them up too badly. Again, it's not the hardest challenge in and of itself, but time sensitivity is what makes this test spicy.
8 King Of The Hill Challenge
Everyone always thinks they've got some sort of special edges that no one else can beat; it doesn't matter if you're an MMA fighter, a Librarian, or a Politician - we all believe we've got something that makes us a cut above the rest.
HK contestants have to put that belief to the test with the King of the Hill Challenge. Each chef is given a set amount of time to cook up their signature dishes. Whoever has the best dish gets to sit in the winner's chair - unless someone manages to top them, that is.
7 Protein ID Challenge
Yeah, a taste test! Who wouldn't want to take a bite out of a delicious dish, then guess what's in it? The worst scenario is that you're wrong and a wee bit fatter. Well, that's the worst outcome most of the time - for HK contestants, the stakes are much higher!
For the Protein Identification Challenge, chefs have to sample exotic dishes and then guess what kind of meat they just ate. Proteins can range from chicken to alligator chili! Like, we didn't even know that some of the dishes were a thing - when's the last time you've had elk lasagna?
6 Blind Taste Challenge
Much like the Protein ID Challenge, the Blind Taste Test requires contestants to rely on their intuition. Of course, that's easier said than done when Gordon's blindfolded your eyes and is blasting loud music into your ears!
To add insult to injury, ingredients aren't just limited to meats for this challenge - chef Ramsay might speed you anything from spinach to cheese, to crap on his shoe! Okay, we're exaggerating a bit - but doesn't that sound like something Gordan and the Hk producers would try if they could? After all, Fear Factor had contestants eat Ostrich Penises in the past.
5 Craps Challenge
Oh no, we were joking HK producers - we didn't want you guys would seriously do it! Hang on, give us a sec. Phew - okay, looks like everything's all good. Contrary to what the name implies, the Craps Challenge doesn't violate any Health & Safety laws.
For this test, contestants have to roll a gigantic 20-sided dice and try to name their dish based on what letter the dice lands on. If a chef fails to guess correctly, they don't have to give Gordon an impromptu shoeshine - they have to step out the way and let one of their teammates take a shot.
4 Presentation Challenge
In the food industry, a common saying is "presentation is everything." If you put garnishes and flowers with it, someone might genuinely consider eating pig guts (or, you know, shoe poo) over a prime-rib steak served on a cardboard tray.
Chef Ramsay created this challenge to see how well contestants can live up to this adage. With a limited amount of time, HK contestants need to make a dish look as appetizing as possible. Gordon first used challenge in Season 6 - last breaking it out during Season 13.
3 Left Overs Challenge
Like, read the name of this one aloud - the Left Overs Challenge. Imagine having to impress a world-renowned master chef with yesterday's ingredients! But Gordon doesn't just stop at the previous day's items - he breaks out ingredients from several past services all through the Season.
HK contestants have to think on their toes and get creative to win this Challenge. If not, they risk getting their spot in the show - as well as getting their feelings hurt by the Patron Saint of Roasts himself!
2 Cook For Your Life Challenge
Again, we can genuinely imagine Gordon and the HK producers getting more literal with this challenge if they could. Sadly, the Cook For Your Life doesn't involve any spike pits or timebombs - well, it doesn't involve any bombs besides chef Ramsay's temper.
No, this challenge pits the weakest members of each team against one another - with the loser getting the boot. As of Season 17, this challenge received an update; now, three chefs from each team have to compete against each other - you know, because misery loves company.
1 Taste It, Now Make It Challenge
The Taste It, Now Make It challenge is one of the most frequent in the show's history. It's also one of the hardest tests that HK contestants will ever have to complete - usually taking place during the Black Jacket section of the show.
Summoning the fires of Hades, Gordon Ramsay cooks a meal for the remaining chefs - demanding that they taste it, then attempt to recreate it from memory alone! Accuracy, skill, and grace under pressure is all that matter here.