With an eye apparently pointed toward a few decades from now, Gordon Ramsay chose Christina over Petrozza in a minor upset on Tuesday night’s season four finale of “Hell’s Kitchen.”
Petrozza, a 47-year-old catering chef, appeared to have every advantage over Christina, a 23-year-old culinary student who did noticeably grow over the course of the season and set a record for number of challenges won. But Ramsay indicated in discussing his choice that he was thinking ahead, saying that she was the better long-term choice because of her potential and young age.
While many people thought Petrozza’s experience would win over, Ramsay presented the other side of that coin, a point that I certainly never considered. At 47, Petrozza has maybe 15 years left in him before it’s time to start thinking about retirement. But barely being out of college, Christina can devote more than four decades to Ramsay’s new Los Angeles restaurant if things work out on both sides.
Especially since the two were fairly close in terms of ability, why not go with the person from whom you’ll get more.
Both had their ups and downs during Tuesday’s final service. Christina had a tough time asserting herself at points and had occasional quality issues, while Petrozza ran out of the ingredients for two different appetizers, forcing him to make an audible and causing him to momentarily freeze up. Christina’s team did fairly well for her (except the inept Matt) but Petrozza’s team (minus the moody Jen) really seemed to want it for him, which couldn’t help but make you feel good. Bobby and Ben really forgot about their eliminations and did their all for Petrozza, who is so nice and authentic that it’s hard not to root for the guy.
Cooking isn’t like other reality television in that there aren’t a lot of other avenues to pursue for the losers, at least avenues that are in the mainstream or public eye. But Petrozza shows that wherever he ends up, he’ll be fine.
Will Christina cut it when Ramsay’s her actual boss? Tough to say, especially considering she’ll be ordering around people 10 or 15 years older than her who paid their dues in the cooking world (that in itself would make for decent television). She definitely does have potential, though, so it’ll be interesting to see if she someday doesn’t end up with her own show.
Anyone who missed my previous posts on “Hell’s Kitchen” can read them here: