How Hell’s Kitchen Was

My generous friends invited me to come along when they bid for a big special dinner to be made by Kevin Cottle, the “Hell’s Kitchen” runner-up from last year, along with his roommate on the show, Van Hurd, whom he lured up to Connecticut.

Together they ran the kitchen at the Country Club of Farmington, which is where they were working last January when the charity auction was held. Because the two of them left the Country Club to run Jordan Caerers in Cheshire, it took a little doing to get the dinner in Farmington back on track. It finally happened a few weeks ago, and it was swell.

Their sauces, presentation and cooking were all quite tasty, though as a vegetarian I had to miss most of their most ballyhooed menu choices. The wine and the desserts were great, though, and the chefs quite personable as they announced each course and bantered with we diners.

Most interesting were his comments about his participation in “Hell’s Kitchen” last year, saying everybody knew he won but the other guy had to get the prize anyway; how the show is cast with really only four real chefs, and the rest just people who would never win but provide good entertainment on TV. And people for Gordon Ramsay to yell at.

The matter of how it’s shot and presented he eventually accepted, he said. But it included splicing things said one week into things that happened the week before to up the drama level as needed.

As he said in his own blog shortly after the finale, “I really would have liked and explanation or anything after the show. What I got was nothing.”

Still, it gave him notoriety in the state to lead to the Farmington and now Cheshire gigs, and he’s one of the most high profile chefs now in the state.

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