Hell's Kitchen 9

Hell's Kitchen 9 (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Season 9 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen premiered on July 18, 2011, on Fox and concluded on September 19, 2011, with a two-hour season finale. Jr. sous-chef Paul Niedermann won the season and was awarded a "head chef" position at BLT Steak in New York City, New York.

Gordon Ramsay returned as head chef, as Scott Leibfried and Andi van Willigan remained as sous chefs, as did James Lukanik as the maître d'.

The entire season took about six weeks to film. It also saw the show return to its original one season per year schedule, having run two seasons each in 2009 and 2010 due to the after-effects of the 2007"2008 Writers Guild of America strike.

Opening sequence/credits

The opening sequence of Season 9 of the show, like the previous two seasons, did not not take place in the kitchen. The opening featured Chef Ramsay playing a pinball machine, with the contestants trying to dodge the pinball and the machine's bumpers.

Credit Order: Paul, Chino, Jason, Natalie, Tommy, Gina, Jonathon, Krupa, Monterray, Elizabeth, Brendan, Jennifer, Steven, Amanda, Jamie, Carrie, Elise, Will


18 chefs competed in season 9.

Contestant Age Occupation Hometown
Elizabeth Bianchi 27 Line Cook New York, New York
Natalie Blake 23 Sous Chef Harrodsburg, Kentucky
Chino Chang 39 Executive Chef Hatboro, Pennsylvania
Amanda Colello 26 Personal Chef Sun City, California
Jamie Gregorich 24 Sous Chef Bradenton, Florida
Brendan Heavey 31 Head Chef Hoboken, New Jersey
Carrie Keep 31 Pantry Chef Dallas, Texas
Monterray Keys 34 Line Cook Darby, Pennsylvania
31 Sous Chef Jersey City, New Jersey
Gina Melcher 34 Restaurant Consultant Cape May, New Jersey
Paul Niedermann 27 Jr. Sous Chef Davie, Florida
Jennifer Normant 34 Chef de Cuisine Boston, Massachusetts
Steven Paluba 44 Sauté Chef Ridge, New York
Krupa Patel 30 Private Chef Queens, New York
Jonathon Plumley 34 Head Cook Memphis, Tennessee
Tommy Stevens 31 Line Cook Brewster, New York
Elise Wims 26 Line Cook Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jason Zepaltas 29 Line Cook Chicago, Illinois
Signature dish order: Carrie, Will, Amanda, Brendan, Jennifer, Jonathon, Krupa, Paul, Jamie, Steven, Elise, Chino, Monterray, Natalie, Elizabeth, Tommy, Gina, Jason.

Contestant progress

No. Chef 901 902 903 904 905 906 907 908 909 910 911 912 913 914 915 916
15 Amanda WIN WIN OUT
16 Brendan LOSE OUT
17 Steven OUT
18 Jason SICK
{{colorbox}} Contestant was nominated for elimination but prevailed
{{colorbox}} Contestant was nominated for elimination by Chef Ramsay
{{colorbox}} Contestant was eliminated
{{colorbox}} Contestant voluntarily left the competition
{{colorbox}} The winner of Hell's Kitchen:
{{colorbox}} The runner up of Hell's Kitchen

Episode guide

Each episode consists of a challenge with a reward, a service and an elimination.

Episode 1

  • Viewership: 5.84 million
  • Original airdate: July 18, 2011
  • Introduction: In the introduction, the contestants were shown receiving their invites to appear on the show and were bused to the Orpheum Theatre, and walked on stage behind a curtain with covered platters bearing their names and the sound of crowds cheering. However, as the curtain opened, the theater was empty, other than Chef Ramsay, who reminded them that they are not stars yet, before sending them to Hell's Kitchen.
  • Signature dishes / team challenge: The first challenge was the signature dish challenge; whichever team had the most dishes liked by Chef Ramsay would win. Things got off to a bad start with Carrie's dish, which Chef Ramsay spat out because it was overly sweet, and Will earned the first point after Ramsay enjoyed his Italian-Jewish fusion dish. Amanda and Brendan both impressed Ramsay in the next round, earning a point each. Jonathon offended Chef Ramsay by using canned fruit in his dish, resulting in Ramsay refusing to even taste it, and Jennifer earning the point for her pork loin, tying the scores. Paul regained the Blue team's lead in the next round, as Ramsay liked his eggplant and crab dish, while Krupa's dish looked like a mess and was seasoned with raw spices. Jamie and Steven both burnt their dishes, which caused neither of them to earn a point. In the following rounds Elise, Monterray, Natalie, Elizabeth and Tommy all earned points, leaving the scores tied going into the final round. While Ramsay was dubious about Jason serving up tacos, Gina's scallops were burnt, meaning that the final point went to the men. The blue team won, six dishes to the red team's five. There were off camera allegations of active sabotage among contestants.
  • Award / punishment: The men enjoy lunch at the L.A. Market restaurant at the JW Marriott Hotel at L.A. Live, where they dined with last season's winner, Nona Sivley. The women stay behind to prep both kitchens for the season opening service.
  • Early exit: Shortly before dinner service, Jason was rushed to the hospital after he became short of breath. Later, just before the service, Chef Ramsay stated that Jason would not be returning, making him the first chef to leave Hell's Kitchen.
  • Service: The restaurant had some minor changes since the previous season " a balcony area over the kitchen was built as a dining area (the first time that the dining room had two floors since the second season), and each kitchen has a chef's table, where contestants are sent when they commit particularly egregious errors. On the Blue Team, Chino was benched for burning the fish; then Steven for burning the scallops and arguing with Chef Ramsay when Ramsay rejected them; then Tommy for more scallop mishaps. Over on the Red Team, Elise had trouble making risotto; Ramsay prompted Krupa to take over, and she did well on both her stations. Carrie had trouble with scallops and fought with Elise, who was sent to the chef's table for attempting to take over Carrie's station. On the Blue Team, both Monterray and Brendan struggled on the garnish stations, much to Ramsay's dismay because the Beef Wellingtons were perfect (thanks to Jonathon). With food severely late, customers began leaving, and Ramsay ordered the kitchens shut down.
  • Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay declared the Blue Team the loser, as no entrees were served. After returning to their dorms for deliberation, Brendan and Paul got into an argument over who was at fault. The team nominated Steven and Monterray for elimination. Chef Ramsay, however, also felt that Chino should be nominated as well.
  • Elimination: After teasing Chino and Monterray by having them step forward before stepping back, he chose Steven as the second contestant to leave Hell's Kitchen, following Jason's illness-related departure early in the episode.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason:
    • Jason: No reason was given for Jason's withdrawal from the competition despite being hospitalized prior to dinner service and did not receive his full elimination sequence. However, in episode 5, Jason's burned picture and hung jacket can be seen when Chef Ramsay hanging Gina's jacket.
    • Steven: "I realized early on that Steven had as much of a chance of being the head chef of BLT Steak as I do of winning a gold medal in figure skating."

Episode 2

  • Viewership: 5.77 million
  • Original airdate: July 19, 2011
  • Team challenge:The chefs were awakened at 5:35 a.m. to the sound of a kid playing an electric guitar, and were brought outside Hell's Kitchen for the challenge. In pairs, they would have to grill four pieces of meat to Chef Ramsay's instruction: a medium rare New York strip, a medium ribeye, a medium well fillet mignon, and a well-done burger. Jennifer, Gina and Elizabeth formed a trio on the Red team, while Will grilled alone on the Blue Team. While most of the teams worked well together, Carrie and Elise struggled due to their bickering, and as a result, they managed to grill only one out of their four pieces of meat properly. The Red Team scored a total of 10 points. The men struggled to properly grill a well done burger, but a perfect score from Will earned them the win, with a total of 11 points.
  • Award / punishment: The men earned a trip to Palm Springs, California via a private jet, where they took a tram up into the mountains and enjoyed a fine dining lunch with Chef Ramsay. The women's punishment was to clean and scrape all of the grills, and later had to pick up a cow carcass, bring it into the kitchen and cut the meat on it. For lunch, they were served a blended mix of the meat from the challenge, which they struggled to swallow down except for Carrie.
  • Service: For service, certain items on the menus would be served table side. Carrie and Will were chosen to serve Caesar salads for appetizers, and Krupa and Monterray would carve and serve prime ribs for entrees. The Red kitchen started slowly, when Jennifer messed up the first order and Carrie was slow serving the Caesar salads, causing Ramsay to send Krupa out of the kitchen to help her. In the Blue kitchen, Chino sent up burned risotto twice, but managed to cook it properly on the third attempt. Brendan made a huge mistake on the fish station, by firing a sea bass before entrees were called and then serving the same bass later to Chef Ramsay, lying that it was another bass. Both teams struggled with communication, with Elise yelling out orders in the Red kitchen (prompting Chef Ramsay to yell at her when she spoke over him), and the chefs in the Blue kitchen argued back and forth. While serving ribeye table side for the Red kitchen, Krupa accidentally dropped an entire piece of meat on the floor, and had to wait for Monterray to deliver her a new piece. For the second time in a row, the Blue kitchen failed to send out their first entrées due to inconsistencies. With Tommy sending an over-cooked duck and Brendan sending a raw sea bass, Chef Ramsay threw the Blue Team out of the kitchen. The Red Team was split up and completed the service in both the Blue kitchen and the Red kitchen.
  • Nominees for elimination: After being thrown out of the kitchen, the Blue team began to yell and argue in the waiting room, with Paul and Will speaking up the most. The Blue team nominated Brendan and Chino, causing a fight to break out between Chino and Jonathon.
  • Elimination: Brendan was chosen by Chef Ramsay to leave Hell's Kitchen as he not only lied to him about the sea bass, but Ramsay felt he was too self-absorbed and would be more harmful for the men.
  • Post elimination: Afterwards, Ramsay announced to the women that they would have to pick one member to go over to the men's team, much to the disapproval of both teams. Will even attempted to decline Ramsay's request for a woman to transfer to the Blue team (agreed upon by all the men), but was rebuked.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "The only thing bigger than Brendan's ego are the lies he tells, and I can't have that in Hell's Kitchen."

Episode 3

  • Viewership: 5.95 million
  • Original airdate: July 25, 2011
  • Team change: To even the teams out after the departure of three blue team members, Chef Ramsay called on volunteers on the red team to move to the blue team. Before the team challenge, Carrie initially volunteered in order to separate herself from Elise but Chef Ramsay chose Natalie for the team change.
  • Team challenge: The chefs were awakened by a number of clowns and were brought to the dining area of Hell's Kitchen. They were met by Sous-Chef Scott who told them to go outside and bring in flatbread for the day's service. Chef Ramsay then welcomed 50 children and their mothers for a special "Mommy and Me" service. Each team must serve quesadilla and macaroni for the children then panini for their mothers; the first team to complete service on their side wins. Jamie had burnt a quesadilla and got scolded by Chef Ramsay to not wasting with the children. The teams cooperated most of the time and were able to get most of the orders out without Chef Ramsay sending it back to the kitchen (in some cases, Chef Ramsay sent the food back). In the end, both teams were on their last ticket but the blue team managed to pull ahead and win their third straight challenge.
  • Award / punishment: The blue team earned a trip to Medieval Times in Buena Park, California where they enjoyed a meal with a medieval jousting tournament; after the show, the knights taught the team members how to draw swords. The red team's punishment was to completely clean the dining area and set tables for the next night's dinner service. In addition, the red team also had to set up a children's playground, as the next service is a "family night" service.
  • Service: Chef Ramsay assigned Chino and Gina to be James's assistant maitre d's. Each table would serve margarita pizzas. Elise and Jonathon were chosen to assign pizza stations in each team. Early in the service Chino took too much time to get the first ticket to his team's kitchen, while Gina managed to get her first ticket in reasonable time. Appetizers from both kitchens managed to pass Chef Ramsay's approval. When the red team began with their entrees, all their momentum disappeared as Jennifer and Carrie cooked the entrees for a completely different ticket. In the blue kitchen, the entire team was focused on completing the service and entrees began leaving the kitchen at a steady pace. Natalie had a shaky start on the meat station, as her first two attempts at the beef wellington were both raw, but she soon found her feet. The red team attempted again to get the first entree ticket correct, but this time, frustration rose above the entire team and tried to gain some momentum back. In another try by the red team, Amanda forgot to cook a part of the dish and lowered the teams momentum even more. Back at the blue kitchen, the team continued to work together to get entrees out of the kitchen, making Chef Ramsay very impressed. Just when it looked like the Red team would finally serve their first entrees, Carrie sent up lamb that was raw and badly carved, causing Ramsay to stop the whole kitchen and tell Gina to lead the entire red team to each and every red table to sincerely apologize for the delays in their entrees, before Chef Ramsay kicked the entire red team out of the kitchen; the blue team then took over the kitchen, successfully completing service on both sides. At the dorms, the red team had a complete meltdown and began to fight against one another.
  • Nominees for elimination: Due to the severity of the problems on the red side for this service, Chef Ramsay was the sole nominator for the red team " he nominated three contestants, Jennifer, Carrie, and Amanda, for elimination.
  • Elimination: To everyone's surprise, Chef Ramsay chose Amanda to leave Hell's Kitchen. While the other women had wanted Carrie out, Ramsay felt that Amanda had given up after her first mistake.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Amanda lost the will to cook on the line tonight. I lost the will to keep her here."
  • Note This was the first time since season 1 that Chef Ramsay was the lone nominator after dinner service.

Episode 4

  • Viewership: 6.04 million
  • Original airdate: July 26, 2011
  • Team challenge: Each team has 15 minutes to capture a flock of live chickens in a pen; each chicken captured earns an ingredient that can be used for the next stage of the challenge " each team has 30 minutes to use a single chicken (not the ones captured in the roundup) to cook four chicken dishes, each cooked a different way, using only ingredients earned in the chicken roundup. Joining Chef Ramsay in the judging are editors of People and Entertainment Weekly magazines. Carrie and Gina failed to impress the judges after both their chickens were undercooked. Despite this, the red team won the challenge, 3 dishes to 2.
  • Award / punishment: The red team spent the day go-kart racing at K1 Racing, while the blue team spent the day preparing chickens for the next service. During their punishment the blue team decided to hold a practice run for the next service, and Chino proved to be unable to get his times right even though the chefs weren't actually cooking, which was met with a mixture of amusement and concern from his team-mates.
  • Pre service: Shortly before the service, Elise got into an argument with Sous Chef Andi, who felt that Elise was being disrespectful to her.
  • Service: Each kitchen for tonight's service will include two former Olympic athletes. The red team had the volleyball tandem of Misty May-Treanor and Jen Kessy and the blue team had swimmers Janet Evans and Mark Spitz. While each side did well with the appetizers, both sides seriously faltered with the entrees. In the Blue kitchen, Chino kept serving raw beef wellingtons and lamb, while Monterray got into a shouting match with Sous-Chef Scott over the handling of sea bass. The Red kitchen did not fare any better, with Elise undercooking bass and Gina stopping service after rushing in raw lamb. With too much food failing the pass, Chef Ramsay had enough and eventually kicked both teams out and closed the service, with Sous Chefs Scott and Andi cooking food for the Olympians themselves. With the service deemed "pathetic", Chef Ramsay declared everyone losers.
  • Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay ordered each team to nominate two contestants for elimination. The blue team quickly decided on Chino and Monterray, though this led to Chino accusing Natalie of deliberately trying to sabotage him in the service, visibly upsetting her. The red team all agreed that Carrie would be their first nominee, and came up with a tally system to decide on the second. However, Elise claimed that she had performed flawlessly in every single service and challenge (despite being benched in the first service) and then started yet another argument with Carrie, eventually causing her team-mates to forgo the tally system and put her straight up as the second nominee.
  • Elimination: Elise asked Chef Ramsay to poll the red team, saying that they would all agree that Carrie should be eliminated. When Ramsay did poll the red team, including former team-mate Natalie though, all but Elizabeth said that Elise should be sent home. However, following Elise's plea, Chef Ramsay called Elise forward, only to tell her to stop crying and get back in line. He then declared that Chino, after three strikes,and wrongfully blaming Natalie, would be the one to leave Hell's Kitchen.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Chino took his time in Hell's Kitchen very seriously. The problem is he seriously couldn't cook."

Episode 5

  • Viewership: 5.60 million
  • Original airdate: August 1, 2011
  • Team challenge: Chefs from Moto restaurant in Chicago demonstrate how to make an orange sorbet using "sound waves" and ice cream out of liquid nitrogen. However, the challenge awaiting the contestants is that they have 45 minutes to make six dishes using only fire and water, with Chef Ramsay and the Moto chefs judging. The challenge ended with a 2"2 tie, but Chef Ramsay declared the blue teams winners, due to the red team favoring Elizabeth's dish over Carrie's for the presentation (with Carrie's dish tasting better than Elizabeth's), and Krupa mistaking filet mignon for veal.
  • Award / punishment: The blue team's reward is that they are pampered at the spa at the Montage hotel in Beverly Hills. The red team must clean the hot tub in the dorms and the fountain in front of the restaurant; also, they must prep both kitchens for service that night.
  • Service: Jennifer and Natalie were assigned to serve tableside halibut sashimi. On the red team, Krupa makes mistakes with the risotto (with Chef Ramsay saying it's more like soup) and, twice, lobster spaghetti (which Chef Ramsay says it's like baby food); while Gina undercooks the sea bass, and Elise has difficulty communicating with Gina. Because of their mistakes, Chef Ramsay first ejected Krupa, then shortly after ejected Gina and Elise from the kitchen. In the dining room, Jennifer keeps sweating into her food, causing Ramsay to talk to her in the kitchen about it. On the blue team, Monterray and Tommy make numerous mistakes on the beef wellingtons, resulting in their expulsions. Jonathon was also berated for not knowing which Mushroom he needed for the Seabass which prompted Paul to come over and help him out (which Ramsay thinks he just took over). Both teams would finish their services short-handed, but because of the numerous mishaps, Chef Ramsay declared both teams losers.
  • Nominees for elimination: Each team must pick two contestants for elimination. The red team chose Krupa and Elise; the blue team chose Tommy and Monterray. As Elise gave her plea, she says that Gina should have been the one nominated.
  • Elimination: Chef Ramsay calls Elise forward, only to say she was right about Gina. Chef Ramsay then tells Gina to leave Hell's Kitchen as he felt she had no fightback left with in her.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "They say good things come in small packages. But unfortunately in Gina's case, her talent matched her size: tiny."

Episode 6

  • Viewership: 6.32 million
  • Original airdate: August 2, 2011
  • Team challenge: The Culver City High School class of 1991 is celebrating its 20 year reunion, and will be having it at Hell's Kitchen. Both teams prepare three different meals for a Hawaiian-themed high school reunion, according to the specifications given by the coordinators, which Elizabeth on the red team and Paul on the blue team take notice of and relay to their teammates. Paul took notes very carefully, while Elizabeth spaced out and told her team the wrong information, resulting in the red team cooking an Asian-themed spread, with their fish entrée containing bacon, which was against one of the cooordinator's pescetarian diet. As a result, the blue team swept the red team, 3 to 0.
  • Award / punishment: The blue team spend a day on a luxury yacht, while the red team ready Hell's Kitchen for the reunion, including decorating the dining area and making a three-layer cake, which Chef Ramsay rejected as it was poorly made.
  • Service: All three of the blue team's dishes that won in the challenge was served at the service. The blue team started well, serving all their appetizers in a much shorter time than the red team, but suffered a total meltdown when they moved onto the entrees. Paul undercooked and overcooked the snapper, while Monterray tried to cook broccolini in a cold pan, then accidentally threw it out. On the red team, no one emerged as a leader, until Elise stepped up to bat. Things ran much smoother from that point, even when Carrie tried to put old rice into new rice to reheat it. Back on the blue team, after two mistakes by Paul, Monterray, and Jonathon had to take over, but neither of them could put out a snapper. Chef Ramsay then threw the blue team out of the kitchen, with the red team successfully completing service on both sides. Following the service, the alumni and the red team were treated to a performance by an Hawaiian dance troupe.
  • Nominees for elimination: The blue team were told to choose two contestants for elimination; after massive arguing, the team decided to nominate Paul and Monterray. Chef Ramsay then decides that Jonathon should also be up for elimination.
  • Elimination: After Paul argued for why he should stay, Chef Ramsay ordered him back in line. With Monterray and Jonathon still standing, Chef Ramsay ultimately chose Monterray to leave Hell's Kitchen mostly because he lacked respect and failed to improve on his performance.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "It was high school reunion night in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, for Monterray, he flunked the test."

Episode 7

  • Viewership: 6.51 million
  • Original airdate: August 8, 2011
  • Team challenge: Each team has 45 minutes to cook five dishes, in which each dish must contain at least one type of beer. On hand to judge are two female brewmasters. The blue team won this challenge, 3 to 2.
  • Award / punishment: The blue team attended the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as VIP guests, where they also try out racing in a race car. The red team must take in several deliveries of food, including ice and kegs of beer.
  • Service: For the service, each table had a beer dispenser which customers could freely use. On the red team, Elise forgot to drain her salad, which she blamed Carrie for not doing herself. Natalie is still struggling with the scallops, and Chef Ramsay discovered that there are 30 scallops that need to be re-fired (Jonathon counts over Ramsay, and he gets told to "Shut it!"); as a result, Will helps Natalie for the next couple of scallop orders. Also, Jamie sent out a raw sea bass and Krupa sent a raw venison, while Elise's loud mouth disrupted concentration in the kitchen. On the blue team, Natalie has trouble with the scallops, Jonathon struggled on the Wellingtons " which he blames Tommy for bad preparatory skills; and Krupa continually struggled on the entrees. Fed up with the blue kitchen mistakes, Chef Ramsay kicks Natalie and Jonathon out of the kitchen, leaving the rest of the team to finish service by themselves. While both teams finish service (despite Jonathon threatening to quit, but suddenly changing his mind), Chef Ramsay declared both teams losers.
  • Nominees for elimination: Each team must choose at least two contestants for elimination " the blue team chose Jonathon and Natalie, the two chefs were kicked out during the service, while the red team chose Krupa and Jamie.
  • Elimination: Before making a decision, Chef Ramsay asked Natalie if she can do the "honorable" thing and quit the competition, in which she refused. Chef Ramsay then told Krupa that she must leave Hell's Kitchen.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: No reason was given for Krupa's elimination, Chef Ramsay has said he was not finished yet, ending with a "To Be Continued". (Unlike Boris Poleschuk and Trev McGrath of Season 8, Krupa didn't receive her full elimination sequence with her coat hanging and her picture burning. Though Krupa got the "hook" and burning picture in the recap in the following episode.)

Episode 8

  • Viewership: 6.41 million
  • Original airdate: August 9, 2011
  • Prologue: Following the previous elimination, Chef Ramsay asks each team to pick a contestant who could be the strongest leader " the red team chose Jennifer (despite Carrie insisting she was the best leader) and the blue team chose Will. Chef Ramsay then asks Jennifer and Will on who would be the weakest leader " Jennifer chose Carrie and Will chose Tommy.
  • Team challenge: Each team has 45 minutes to cook five comfort food dishes reinvented with a modern twist, under leadership of Carrie and Tommy. On hand to judge is famous chef Wolfgang Puck. In the final set of dishes, Jonathon initially refused to bring his dish up, and ending up Carrie and Jonathon's pizzas both failed. The red team won this challenge, 2 dishes to 1.
  • Award / punishment: The red team spends the day at the Laugh Factory comedy club in Hollywood. The blue team prep both kitchens for that night's service, and clean both teams' dorms, with the team leader Tommy having to clean the bathrooms with a toothbrush. Jonathon practically sat out most of the punishment, due to what he claimed was a pulled muscle in the neck.
  • Service: In attendance for tonight's service is servicemen of the United States Coast Guard. The red team had some flaws in the beginning with the appetizers, but despite this their service was well-coordinated and almost flawless (despite their personal dislike of each other). The blue team struggled with appetizers the whole night due to Natalie and Jonathon's poor communication. Chef Ramsay described the red team as "harmony", while he described the blue team, which was experiencing a state of chaos, as "noise". The blue team continued to produce unqualified food, and Jonathon's listlessness that began during the punishment carried over to the service, leading to Chef Ramsay having a private discussion on what was going on about Jonathon's injury, stating at one point that during season 6, a contestant (Dave Levey) won "Hell's Kitchen" with a broken arm. Tommy struggled to get out the entrees. Both teams eventually finished service, with the red team clearly the winners. Elise was singled out for a spectacular performance on a busier than normal meat station, something that the other members on the red team resented as they already felt that she was egotistical.
  • Nominees for elimination: The blue team must select two contestants for elimination; they selected Natalie and Jonathon once again.
  • Elimination: Chef Ramsay ordered Natalie to step forward and "take your jacket... back in line!", before telling Jonathon to leave Hell's Kitchen, due to his declining performances and his worsening habit of blaming his teammates for his mistakes. Chef Ramsay then told Natalie that she had one more shot.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "The only thing worse than the pain in Jonathon's neck was listening to him blame everyone else for all his mistakes. I was glad to put him out of his misery."

Episode 9

  • Viewership: 6.99 million
  • Original airdate: August 15, 2011
  • Team challenge: Each contestant has 60 minutes to make a dessert that can be served at a romantic dinner. Two dessert experts taste each dessert, grading on a scale from one to three stars; the team with the most stars win. The red team won this challenge, 14 to 13. Elise was infuriated that the other women chose her dessert to not be judged by Chef Ramsay (owing to the red team having an extra member), but when Ramsay tasted it after the challenge ended, he told Elise that her dessert tasted awful and would have caused the red team to lose.
  • Award / punishment: The red team fly Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas, where they spend the night in the villa suite at Caesar's Palace; in addition, Holly Madison pops by to give the ladies signed copies of her book, as well as passes for a three day, two night stay for the contestant and a guest at a later date. The blue team prepare for the next night's "date night" service, which includes a raw bar.
  • Service: On the blue team, Chef Ramsay told Tommy to leave the kitchen for a few minutes after undercooking the scallops (an appetiser) and cooking the entree (sea bass) before the appetiser, bouncing back after spending a few minutes talking with customers. Later, Paul was thrown out of the kitchen after serving raw chicken and then getting into an argument with Chef Ramsay. On the red team, Elise kept giving Carrie the silent treatment when she asked how long to cook her scallops. Later, Chef Ramsay rejected a garnish, as it had a strand of hair alleged to have come from Jamie. Then, Carrie was kicked out of the kitchen for overcooking the sea bass. Also, Elise cooked lobster capellini for a vegetarian diner, leading Chef Ramsay to force her to shout out the order repeatedly. When she then over-cooked oysters, Ramsay threw her out of the kitchen. Both teams completed service short-handed. Also, during the service a man gave a marriage proposal to his girlfriend, when her entree included the question "Will you marry me?" written in chocolate.
  • Nominees for elimination: Despite both teams having a problematic service, the red team were declared the losers due to their poor team-work and for having had two chefs ejected from service compared to one for the winning blue team. The red team were told to nominate two for elimination, and quickly decided on Carrie and Elise, the two chefs who were removed from service.
  • Elimination: After their deliberations, Chef Ramsay called both Elise and Carrie forward, only to order both back in line. He then went off the board and told Jamie to leave Hell's Kitchen, leaving the other members of both teams visibly shocked. As with Amanda in Episode 3, Chef Ramsay told Jamie that he was not willing to tolerate a cook who gives up after making a mistake.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Jamie's lack of fight-back told me she's not ready to be a head chef. The remaining chefs need to know it's not about what they've done in the past. It's what they do here that counts."

Episode 10

  • Viewership: 6.07 million
  • Original airdate: August 22, 2011
  • Team challenge: The chefs took part in the blind taste test challenge, where they each had to identify four items of food by taste alone. The red team won this challenge, thanks to Elise equalling the Hell's Kitchen record of three correctly identified items.
  • Award / punishment: The red team got a horseback ride in the Hollywood Hills, enjoying champagne and a stunning view of the Los Angeles skyline, while the blue team had to prep both kitchens for a special "steak house" service, along with making a grape preserve for the dessert, peeling each grape by hand. As the contestants were peeling grapes, Tommy told numerous jokes and puns about grapes, leading Natalie to throw grapes on the floor and stomp them by foot.
  • Service: Tonight's "steak house" service was a split dinner service; during two 90-minute periods, one team cooks the menu while the other team serves the diners. Both teams did well as servers, though each team had a member who struggled in their role (Tommy for the blue team, and Elise for the red team). The blue team's service got off to a bad start caused by Tommy's poor communication, and Natalie had a lot of trouble getting the steaks out, as she kept overcooking them. While the team eventually rallied, their early problems counted against them and they left five tables without food. Things weren't any better in the red team's service; despite Jennifer's strong performance on the appetisers, Elise had poor communication and repeatedly overcooked the fish, while Carrie got completely lost on the garnishes. Like their rivals, the red team improved late in the service, but fell well short of serving all their tables. As a result, neither team won.
  • Nominees for elimination: Each team was ordered to nominate one contestant for elimination; the red team nominated Carrie, while the blue team decided on Tommy.
  • Elimination: While Chef Ramsay said that he thought Tommy was out of his league and had no chance of winning the competition, he chose Carrie to leave Hell's Kitchen. Like Robert Hesse and Sabrina Gresset in season 6, Carrie was paid a retrospect montage during her exit.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: Chef Ramsay did not give a reason for Carrie's elimination. Instead, he told Elise to also take off her jacket, at which point the episode ended with a cliffhanger. (Like Jason and Krupa, Carrie didn't receive her full elimination sequence with her coat hanged and her burning picture, though Carrie got the "hook" and burning picture in the recap in the following episode.)

Episode 11

  • Viewership: 6.42 million
  • Original airdate: August 22, 2011
  • Prologue: Continuing from the last episode, Chef Ramsay got all the chefs to remove their jackets, and told them that they would all be leaving Hell's Kitchen... Instead, they are flown to New York City for a culinary tour of ethnic cuisine and a visit to BLT Steak.
  • Team challenge: When they returned to Hell's Kitchen, they were presented with a slot machine, which would assign them a list of ingredients and an ethnic style of cuisine to cook. Each contestant would be individually judged on their dishes, and whoever had the best dish would win the challenge for their team. All of the chefs got good reviews (apart from Natalie, whose dish Ramsay considered to be far too spicy), but Jennifer won the challenge for the red team, narrowly beating Will.
  • Award / punishment: The red team were rewarded with a trip to Venice Beach, where they join James in riding a plastic bubble (which James calls zorbing); while the blue team had to prep both the kitchens for that night's service.
  • Service: The blue kitchen got off to a rough start when Natalie's scallops were cooked unevenly, and Tommy served up greasy onion rings. Things appeared to improve after that point, but then every single table returned their fish entrees, leaving Chef Ramsay furious at Natalie, and causing him to threaten to throw her out of the competition. Despite this, the team regrouped and eventually finished service. The red team's service was much worse; Elizabeth got overwhelmed on the fish station and suffered a temporary breakdown, causing Ramsay to give her a pep talk. Elise cooked several pieces of meat incorrectly, and her beef wellingtons were falling apart when she served them. She attempted to blame this on Tommy, who had prepped them, but Tommy defended himself and argued that he had only partly prepared them. With little improvement in Elise or Elizabeth's performances, Ramsay lost his patience and threw them out of service, leading to Jennifer finishing the red kitchen's service by herself. Even though the red team's performance was much worse than that of the blue team, Chef Ramsay told the teams that he expected flawless services at this stage, and declared them both losers again, vowing to no longer name any more winners until there is a perfect service.
  • Nominees for elimination: Chef Ramsay asks for one nominee from each team. Natalie nominated herself for the blue team, but became tearful on doing so, realising that she was almost certain to be eliminated due to her string of bad performances in the last few services and challenges. The red team's nomination effectively fell to Jennifer after Elise and Elizabeth voted for each other, and Jennifer picked Elise to face elimination.
  • Elimination: Natalie was eliminated, with Ramsay telling her that she had become a liability to the blue team rather than the leader he had hoped she would be. Like Carrie, she was also paid a retrospect montage. However, he encouraged her to continue learning, and told her that she still had a bright future. Ramsay told Elise that while he still saw huge potential in her, his patience was running out and that she rapidly needed to improve her attitude.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Natalie was lucky enough to get to see BLT Steak in New York. She may get to see it again as a customer."

Episode 12

  • Viewership: 6.21 million
  • Original airdate: August 29, 2011
  • Team challenge: The teams were told to cook three entrees each; one that would take 30 minutes to cook, one that would take 20 minutes, and one that would take 10 minutes. Jennifer (who had to frantically pan-sear her undercooked lamb at the last minute) beat out Tommy in the battle of the 30 minute dishes, while Paul beat Elizabeth in the 20 minute dishes. The final showdown was between the 10 minute dishes, and Will won this for the blue team, after Elise's calimari was undercooked (Will's vegetables were too garlicky, but Ramsay considered this a less serious mistake). After the end of the challenge, Elise started crying for sympathy, only for Ramsay to tell her off.
  • Award / punishment: The blue team got to go to a Ted Baker outlet to buy some designer clothing, while the red team had to set up the dining room for the next service. The blue team bought a handkerchief as a gift for Elise, mocking her earlier actions in crying after the challenge loss.
  • Service: In this service, Hell's Kitchen would be hosting a charity dinner, and each kitchen would be responsible for serving a twelve-top each. Each team sponsored American Cancer Society and American Humane Association. Additionally, each chef took charge of a specific course. The blue team had a shaky start, with Chef Ramsay criticising Paul's sloppy plating and Tommy's watery salad. Things got worse on the next course, as Tommy's risottos were inconsistently seasoned, forcing Will to step in and rescue them. Things ran smoother when Will took charge, and continued to do so under Paul's second turn. The service threatened to derail when Tommy took charge of the Lamb Wellingtons, but he eventually emerged as a strong leader after being yelled at by Ramsay. Finally, Will led the team to a strong finish on the desserts. The red team started off better, despite Elizabeth's poor communication while running the first appetizer, but then things went badly wrong. Their plating of the lobster cappelini was terrible, and Jennifer struggled to control Elise. Elizabeth cooked the chicken too early, and repeatedly failed to understand Chef Ramsay's explanation of why this was a mistake. Elise refused to let the others help her with the Wellingtons, demoting them to garnishes, which resulted in Jennifer serving underseasoned mashed potato. Finally, the team's apple dessert was raw, which led to an argument between Elise (who had cooked them) and Jennifer. After the end of service, Ramsay announced that the blue team had been the clear winners.
  • Nominees for elimination: After yet another fierce argument between the women in the service post-mortem, Ramsay lost patience and announced that the entire red team would be facing elimination. Prior to the actual elimination, Chef Ramsay awarded black jackets to the three remaining men,(Ramsay specifically praised Tommy that it had been his "night of redemption", since it was his best service out of all twelve) announcing that the five remaining chefs (for the first time since season three) would be part of one team in the next service.
  • Elimination: Ramsay called forward Jennifer and told her to take off her jacket, saying that she had given her worst performance to date... but then gave her a black jacket, and told her that she had another chance. He then got Elise and Elizabeth to take their jackets off and eliminated Elizabeth, telling her that she had shown great promise, but wasn't yet ready to take charge of a kitchen. However, she was not paid a retrospect montage. Elise was also threatened with elimination, but Ramsay said that he still thought she had potential, and gave her a black jacket.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Tonight was all about charity in Hell's Kitchen and after watching Elizabeth's performance, I'm now ready to donate her jacket to a worthy cause."

Episode 13

  • Viewership: 5.89 million
  • Original airdate: September 5, 2011
  • Individual challenge: With the chefs uniting into the black team, they would now be competing individually in the challenges. Their first individual challenge was to take five comfort foods and create fine dining versions of them, which would be rated on taste and presentation. Will won this challenge, beating Elise by just one point. Tommy finished in third place, Paul in fourth, and Jennifer in last place.
  • Award / punishment: Will and Elise were sent on a culinary tour of several Los Angeles restaurants, while the remaining chefs stayed behind and did Hell's Kitchen's laundry.
  • Service: Just the night before the start of the service, The "returning chefs" team consisting of Ben Walanka (Season 5), Tennille Middleton and Van Hurd (Season 6), along with Jillian Flathers and Trev McGrath (Season 8) was brought in to compete with the black team (known as current chefs) in their first task, and both teams were instructed to come up with their own menu by a one-hour limit. The returning chefs team did this without much trouble, but Elise tried to take control of the black team's menu and reacted angrily to any suggested alterations by the other chefs, which eventually resulted in Will storming out of the planning session. The service generally went well, with the black team's only problems being that Paul served an overcooked lobster, Jennifer undercooked the garnishes for one dish, and Elise tried to push the other chefs too quickly. The returning chefs team had some initial problems with Trev making a salad for the wrong ticket and Van undercooking their first meat entree, but their service improved. However, Tennille proved to be a major weak link in their kitchen, as she constantly overcooked and undercooked the fish, a problem she never overcame as a contestant. At the end, Chef Ramsay announced that the returning chefs team had scored an 80% approval rate, but the black team won with a 96% approval rate.
  • Nominees for elimination: Ramsay asked for two nominees for elimination, and after much argument, Elise and Jennifer were nominated. Ramsay expressed surprise at Elise's nomination but accepted the two nominees.
  • Elimination: After briefly hearing from the two nominees, Ramsay called Jennifer forward and told to remove her jacket and got a new one, he sent Jennifer and Elise back in line and announced that since none of the chefs had made any major mistakes and the approval rating had been so high, no-one would be sent home that week.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: Tonight's service was the best yet in Hell's Kitchen. Just like the returning chefs received a second chance, I decided to give Elise and Jennifer a second chance as well. Hopefully, they'll make the most of it.

Episode 14

  • Viewership: 5.78 million
  • Original airdate: September 12, 2011
  • Individual challenge: The chefs were each given a portion of Alaskan salmon, and assigned to create restaurant quality dishes with them. Whoever's dish was considered the most valuable by Ramsay and a panel of three judges would win the challenge. Paul won the challenge, with Will narrowly beating Jennifer. Tommy finished in fourth place, and Elise was last.
  • Award / punishment: Paul got a helicopter trip with Chef Ramsay, followed by lunch at the Water Grill. He was allowed to pick one person to join him on the reward, and picked Tommy.Will, Jennifer and Elise had to prepare the Alaskan salmon for Paul's dish, which would be on the menu for the next service, and Will did this mostly by himself, as Elise openly refused to take part in the punishment, while Jennifer mostly did minor tasks.
  • Service: The service got off to a rocky start, as Jennifer got completely overwhelmed on the appetizer station. Tommy came over to help her, but Jennifer constantly failed to give him correct times, resulting in the appetizers that he served up being undercooked. Elise also failed to have the scallops ready on time and blamed Jennifer, even though both Jennifer and Chef Ramsay had both told Elise when to cook scallops. With the service falling behind, Ramsay decided to make up lost ground by getting the team to work on the entrées as well, but Elise's continued poor performance on the fish station meant that only the meat entrées got served. Elise continually overcooked the salmon, ignored both Paul and Chef Ramsay's instructions on how to cook it correctly, and chased Tommy away when he attempted to help her. After her sixth incorrect attempt at cooking the salmon, Ramsay lost his temper and threw everyone out of the kitchen. However, he then changed his mind and brought back Will and Paul (who had both done well on the garnish and meat stations respectively) to finish the service by themselves. After the service ended Tommy got into a shouting match with Ramsay, feeling that he did not deserve to be thrown out of service.
  • Nominees for elimination: Jennifer and Elise both agreed that they should be the nominees for elimination. Elise's nomination ties for the record for most nominations for elimination in the entire competition, (It ties with Autumn of season 7) Prior to the ceremony, Elise pulled Will and Paul to one side and got them to promise that they would back her up if Chef Ramsay asked them who was the weakest. The two nominees got into an argument after Ramsay called them out, and much to Jennifer's shock, Paul and Will honored their agreement with Elise and told Ramsay that Jennifer should be sent home. Tommy, on the other hand, said that Elise should be sent home.
  • Elimination: Chef Ramsay agreed with Will and Paul, and eliminated Jennifer, saying that while she was an exceptionally talented cook, he didn't think she had the personality to be a head chef. Elise taunted Jennifer after her elimination, until the men told her that this was inappropriate.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Jennifer finally found her voice in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, it was when she was being eliminated."

Episode 15/16

  • Viewership: 6.04 million (first part); 5.94 million (second part)
  • Original airdate: September 19, 2011
Part 1
  • Prologue: Before the start of the challenge, Chef Ramsay surprised the remaining chefs. First, Elise's husband, son and aunt came in, followed by Tommy's girlfriend and mother, Paul's older brother and Will's mother and wife, for spending visits on their love ones.
  • Individual challenge: The chefs each tasted a dish cooked by Chef Ramsay, and had to recreate it by taste alone. Tommy finished last, after misidentifying both the fish and the type of ham it was wrapped in. Elise and Will both finished second, correctly identifying everything but the fish itself. The winner was Paul, who recreated Chef Ramsay's dish in perfect detail.
  • Award / punishment: As mentioned above, Paul and his older brother got to attend a Los Angeles Dodgers versus Chicago Cubs baseball game, while the three remaining chefs had to move the belongings of the other, since-departed contestants out of the dorms.
  • Service: In this service, each of the chefs took control of the kitchen for part of the service, running the pass and having to spot acts of sabotage that Chef Ramsay deliberately had set up. Paul went first, and despite having trouble getting acceptable scallops out of Tommy and failing to spot that Scott had given him spaghetti with shrimp instead of lobster, he led the kitchen well. Tommy went next and had a shaky start by failing to communicate well with the other chefs, and then not realising that James had given him a ticket that had an item that was not featured on the menu, (Will had to point it out to him), though he improved as the service went on. Elise followed Tommy and temporarily lost her nerve after failing to realize that she had been given the wrong purée, but recovered and led the kitchen well despite more problems caused by Tommy on the fish station. Will was the final chef to lead the pass, and got off to a strong start by realising that Scott had served Lamb Wellingtons rather than Beef ones, but then got into a massive argument with Elise over the garnishes, causing the kitchen to stall and lose momentum. Will eventually got the service back on track, but Chef Ramsay specifically noted that the other chefs didn't respect him. Ramsay then led the service to its finish.
  • Elimination: After being briefly sent back to the dorms to consider their pleas on why they should stay, the chefs returned to the dining room, and Tommy was immediately eliminated, as Chef Ramsay and the three other chefs all agreed that he was by far the weakest of the final four, though Ramsay told him that he still had plenty of passion and skill. The remaining three chefs were asked to justify why they should stay, and after hearing their pleas, Ramsay named Will as the first finalist. He then chose Paul to advance to the final, meaning that Elise was eliminated. As a gesture of his pride in her abilities, Ramsay allowed Elise to keep her jacket.
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: No reasons were given for Tommy's or Elise's elimination, nor did they receive the "coat hook and burning picture" routine (Elise also kept her jacket); the episode immediately proceeded into the second part.
Part 2
  • Individual challenge: Paul and Will were taken out to dinner by Chef Ramsay with their relatives, and in an ironic reversal of what happened in the season premiere, were unexpectedly shown into a room filled with a cheering crowd. Each of the two finalists had to cook five dishes, which would be judged by the executives of BLT Steak. Will won this challenge, 3 to 2.
  • Team selection: Eight of the last nine eliminated contestants returned for the finale (Jamie did not return; instead, Krupa came in her place and was the last contestant to be eliminated prior to top ten), with each team getting four members and, unlike the previous season, the help of Sous Chefs Scott and Andi. For winning the challenge, Will was given first pick, and selected Tommy, Natalie, Jennifer and Krupa. Paul selected Elise, Elizabeth and Jonathon, and was left with Carrie as the last pick (Will deliberately having engineered his choices so that Elise and Carrie would be on Paul's team, hoping that their feud would bring down the team). Prior to the service Paul had a brief breakdown after Chef Ramsay hated his menu, but soon regained his composure.
  • Service: Among the guests for this service are the final two's relatives and BLT Group President Keith Treyball. Will's team started off better than Paul's team did, with Natalie getting all her appetisers out quickly, while Elise caused a fire on her appetiser station, and Elizabeth kept overcooking the scallops. With his team struggling to get any entrees out, Paul assigned Elise to help the other three chefs, which turned their service around. Meanwhile, Krupa almost single-handedly derailed Will's service by constantly serving up undercooked fish. When she finally managed what appeared to be an acceptable serving, it was sent back immediately as it was also undercooked. Will eventually replaced her with Natalie, but Krupa had used up all of their team's prepared fish, forcing Natalie to start over on their entrees, and putting Will's team far behind Paul's. Both teams eventually finished service successfully, and as Paul and Chef Ramsay noted to their amusement, Elise and Carrie never once argued during the service.
  • Winner: After reading over the comment cards, Chef Ramsay summoned the two finalists to his office. He complimented Will on his consistency and Paul on his spirit and tenacity, and announced that while they were two outstanding chefs, there was a clear winner based on both the comment cards and his own observations. The two chefs each stood before a closed door; whoever's door opened would be the winner. Paul's door opened, making him the ninth winner of Hell's Kitchen. Will took his defeat graciously, acknowledging that his service had been very disappointing, and that he was happy for Paul to honor his late mother. During the credits, clips were shown of Paul during the signature dish challenge and Chef Ramsay making jokes about Tommy's 19 year-old girlfriend, as he is 31 years-old. In the closing moment of the season, Chef Ramsay told Elise that she could go far as a chef, but she needed to "stop being such a bitch!"
  • Chef Ramsay's reason: "Paul won tonight because he's probably the most passionate determined chef ever to enter Hell's Kitchen. He'll make a great head chef because his enthusiasm is contagious. I'm so proud to hand him over to BLT Steak in New York City."

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