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Yemola back on track in ‘Kitchen’

Hazleton woman picked as best on her team on cooking show episode.

Jen Yemola explains the program to her boyfriend at The Inn at Turkey Hill in Bloomsburg with family and friends.

lisa sokolowski/the times leader

BLOOMSBURG – People can finally stop talking about the spaghetti.

The pasta that Hazleton’s Jen Yemola took from the top of the garbage on last week’s episode of Fox’s “Hell’s Kitchen” created a buzz about the pastry chef. Everyone from Internet bloggers to local residents – had something to say about the event.

Even Yemola’s boss at The Inn at Turkey Hill was surprised at Yemola’s out-of-character behavior.

“I was shocked like everybody else,” Inn owner Andrew Pruden said. “Knowing Jenny, that was not something I was expecting her to do. It was so out of the ordinary.”

But that’s all old news now, especially after Yemola excelled on Monday night’s episode.

This week’s competition was to test the men and women’s palates.

Three of the four remaining men and women had been given three foods to try to identify.

The score was 5-3 in favor of the women when Yemola stood against Vinnie, a 29-year-old night club chef.

Vinnie guessed the first food choice – seared tuna – incorrectly, and the women secured the victory.

What the show didn’t air, Yemola told her mother, Carol Yemola of Drums, was that she guessed two of the three foods – tuna and basil – correctly. She missed mozzarella cheese.

The women dined in the dark at a restaurant called Opaque-Dining In The Dark, on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, while the men were forced to eat kidney, tongue and stomach lining.

After a main course which almost made the men throw up, they had to prep both kitchens for service.

The service was nearly as dreadful as the men’s lunch.

Vinnie was having difficulty with the beef Wellington on the men’s side.

Bonnie, a 22-year-old nanny and personal chef, wasn’t having better luck.

As in previous weeks, the kitchen was shut down. This week, instead of choosing a losing team, Chef Gordon Ramsay called both the teams losers.

He chose Rock, a 30-year-old executive chef, and Yemola as the best on their teams, and they were to select one team member for elimination.

Yemola didn’t know who to pick, and she asked Vinnie for help.

She didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by sending them to the chopping block.

“Did you come here to be the nice girl?” Vinnie asked.

“No, Vinnie, I didn’t come here to be the nice girl,” Yemola said back, her half-mocking attitude creating tons of laughter from her family and friends who were watching the show with her at The Inn at Turkey Hill.

“Everybody was cool to me,” Yemola said. “When I had to eliminate, I put people up for the right reasons. I even put myself up.” Yemola was referencing, of course, stepping up for elimination because of last week’s spaghetti incident.

On Monday, Rock chose Josh, a 26-year-old junior sous chef; Yemola picked Melissa, a 29-year-old line cook.

“It was a hard pick,” Yemola said.

“Melissa was bad, but it was a toss up,” she said, noting her choice came down to Melissa or Bonnie. “I thought of who was a better leader and a better person in the kitchen.”

Ramsay overruled both the choices, picking Vinnie and Bonnie.

He called Vinnie a “crap cook” and off he went from “Hell’s Kitchen.”

Yemola survived yet another week and is one of seven contestants vying to be the head chef at the Green Valley Resort and Spa in Henderson, Nev.

“I keep saying, ‘I hope she gets second,’” Pruden said. “I don’t want her to go, so I joke with her and say, ‘I hope you get second.’”

On the web

For more, read Lisa’s blog at www.timesleader.com/entertainment/blogs

“Melissa was bad, but it was a toss up. I thought of who was a better

leader and a better person in the


Jen Yemola
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