This latest venture makes restaurant No. 5 in Las Vegas for the already prolific chef Gordon Ramsay, and this time, he’s taking us straight to Hell. He’s parlayed his hit competitive-cooking TV show Hell’s Kitchen into a full-fledged restaurant center stage on the Strip.
Past winners of the show earned coveted spots at Las Vegas restaurants and used them as a launching pad for their careers, including Rock Harper, Christina Wilson and Scott Commings. The winner of the 17th season will be crowned next month and will become head chef of Ramsay’s new jewel. Here are seven things about Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace to keep us excited in the meantime.
Take a Trip
Like two of Gordon Ramsay’s other restaurants, GR Steak at Paris Las Vegas and Fish & Chips at The Linq, Hell’s Kitchen visually transports you out of Las Vegas. HK’s stand-alone location on Las Vegas Boulevard makes you feel as if you are on the set of the show, with nary a slot machine in sight.
Taste the Fear
Precise technique goes into signature dishes, such as the lobster risotto and the beef Wellington, which is also what makes them the most feared topics on the show. The Wellington alone has broken many a cook, thanks to elements that require specific attention: the puff pastry (don’t let it get soggy), the mushroom duxelles (not too much, not too little) wrapped around beef filet (cooked to a perfect medium rare). Now try doing it over and over again, hundreds of times a night, with Ramsay breathing down your neck.
Gordon in Your Face …
… as soon as you walk in. The life-size screen at the entrance features a stern-looking Ramsay hurling some of our favorite Gordon-isms. You’ll be greeted with such hits as “My nan could do better than this, and my nan is dead!”
Even the Cocktails Are Dramatic
Inhale the Smoke on the Blvd, which arrives in a cherry-wood smoke-filled glass cabinet, with the smoke escaping as you liberate the drink. Sip on Notes From Gordon, a refreshing peach-forward gin-based cocktail with green tea and lemongrass that comes with a love note from the man himself. We won’t share what ours said, but suffice it to say you, too, will treasure your well-meaning insult.
The Open Kitchen
Watch as the team of line cooks, decked out in red and blue uniforms straight from the show—right down to the bandannas—operates like a well-oiled machine. Unlike the television Hell’s Kitchen, they’re not mirror images of each other, with each team competing to make the same dishes. That would be completely inefficient. Instead, you’ll find each cook faithfully tending to their own station. Listen closely, and you’ll hear them call out tickets ready to fire, and a “Yes, Chef!” in response.
We’ll Never Tire of Sticky Toffee Pudding
This makes the fourth incarnation of the classic English dessert in GR’s restaurants. HK’s version is as simple as possible: the rich, buttery, syrup-drenched cake delivered in a mini loaf pan and topped with speculoos (a.k.a. a spiced gingerbread-ish cookie) ice cream.
The winner hasn’t been crowned yet, but Season 17 will find him or her the head chef of Hell’s Kitchen. The already fine-tuned kitchen has to wait like the rest of us until February 2 to meet the newest member of its crew.