'Hell's Kitchen' crowns Kimberly Ann Ryan winner of Season 16 over runner-up Heather Williams
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 02/03/2017
Hell's Kitchen crowned Kimberly Ann Ryan the Fox culinary competition's sixteenth-season winner during Thursday night's finale broadcast.
"I just won Hell's Kitchen! I won. Everything was worth it," Ryan, a 29-year-old event chef from Traverse City, MI, said following her victory announcement as she choked up with tears.
"I came so far, I worked so hard to put myself through culinary school, to be a single mom and now to be sitting here as the winner of Hell's Kitchen, this is unreal. I'm so thankful and proud of myself."
As the show's Season 16 winner, Ryan walked away with a $250,000 head chef position at the Yardbird Southern Table and Bar in Las Vegas.
"Once she proved to me she could command the kitchen, there was so stopping her," Chef Gordon Ramsay explained. "She has the tenacity, drive and skill that will make her a great head chef."
Gordon appreciated Ryan's creativity, and three times this season during challenges, her dish was ranked best overall. Gordon said that when she's "on her game," she's tough to beat.
Ryan defeated runner-up Heather Williams, a 26-year-old sous chef from Easton, PA, for the win. Heather was proud of herself for a job well done.
Gordon noted that Heather has an excellent palate, was the most consistent performer in Hell's Kitchen, and was the first chef to earn her black jacket.
The final challenge of this season in which both Heather and Ryan competed required them to create four outstanding dishes -- an appetizer, fish entree, chicken entree and beef entree. Each dish was scored by acclaimed chefs, and Heather surprisingly ended up winning three out of the four dishes.
Heather and Ryan also had to execute a flawless dinner service complete with their own full menu in Hell's Kitchen utilizing previously-eliminated chefs from this season.
For dinner services, the chefs are expected to work their station -- such as meat, fish or garnish -- on the kitchen line to prepare food in coordination with their teammates and meet Ramsay's high expectations for presentation, taste and quality. Dinner services are typically for about 100 guests.