Hell's Kitchen Fans Can't Get Over The 'Chickengate' Controversy

Fans of "Hell's Kitchen" know that there are a lot of things that make celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay explode into a red-faced rage. Overcooked Beef Wellington, improperly seared scallops, under-seasoned risotto, and impertinent contestants who have the nerve — or "bollocks" — to talk back all spark his highly vocal wrath. But, nothing causes him to flip his masterfully tussled lid faster than a serving of raw chicken. Properly cooking this commonplace bird should not be a monumental feat, yet Ramsay is presented with pink poultry on an alarmingly regular basis. 

In fact, Ramsay even thinks young children should be able to cook a chicken breast, as he shows the kids on "MasterChef Junior." No matter how many times he shouts to his adult contestants in the kitchen, "You'll kill someone," quite a few of these wannabe head chefs continue to dish out a serving of Salmonella in-waiting. And usually when a contestant is caught serving up an undercooked breast, they frequently look for something or someone to blame. The most famous of all these chicken-related incidents will forever be known as "Chickengate." 

Who caused 'Chickengate'?

"Chickengate" happened in Episode 3 of Season 20 last summer, which proved to be a poultry nightmare for the all-male Blue Team. Seemingly lacking the ability to cook a chicken to completion, they were given more than one backroom tongue-lashing from Ramsay and, unsurprisingly, wound up the night's biggest losers. But who, exactly, was responsible for the "fowl" play? While participant Alex took overall responsibility for the chicken mishaps, he claimed he did not remove the bird from the oven or deem it cooked. 

In a quest for answers, Gordon Ramsay posed a simple question, "Who told Alex the chicken was cooked?" What follows is a myriad of false claims and finger-pointing that would befuddle Sherlock Holmes himself. With blame bouncing back and forth faster than a fly against a window, Antonio was accused of saying the poultry was cooked, Trenton said he merely fired it, and Sam admitted to taking it from the oven. But in the end, Alex was told to keep better control of his chicken — as Ramsay rubbed his forehead in frustration while uttering, "I'm not in a good mood tonight."   

'Chickengate' still fascinates fans

A year later, and fans still have not lost interest in this chicken-centric scandal on "Hell's Kitchen," and the unanswered questions that surround it. Reddit's "Looking Back on 'Chickengate'" thread provides readers with insight into why this episode lives on in the memories of show devotees. User SheedRanko counts it among their favorite episodes saying, it "just went from 0 to 100 in under a minute," while original poster riddy_pr calls it "retroactively hilarious" and wonders if the chefs involved share this opinion. 

In fact, this episode was given the highest rating of the whole Season 20 by viewers, according to TV Series Finale — earning a whopping 9.41 out of 10 rating. In a show filled with friction, four-letter words, and Gordon Ramsay frothing at the mouth, there is a massive repertoire of momentous melees to pick from, but "Chickengate" will forever live on in viewers' minds as one of the show's best moments ever. And that is no small accomplishment.