Hell's Kitchen

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

Hell's Kitchen is an American reality television cooking competition (based on a series of the same name, broadcast in the UK) broadcast on Fox. It is hosted by British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Ramsay and Fox unveiled both the tenth season of 'Hell's Kitchen' and the third season of Ramsay's MasterChef on June 4, 2012. On April 12, 2012, Fox renewed the show for an additional two seasons. Season 11 is set to premiere on March 12, 2013.


The format of the U.S. version of Hell's Kitchen is similar to the United Kingdom, in which Chef Gordon Ramsay under his sole discretion progressively eliminates chefs from a pool of 12 to 18 contestants down to one, the winner, in which he/she is given the opportunity to be the head chef of a high-end restaurant. The aspiring chefs are from various backgrounds and are brought to the Hell's Kitchen restaurant facility in Los Angeles, where they live in the dorms attached to the kitchen facilities during the course of the series. They are introduced to Chef Gordon Ramsay and to the audience typically by cooking their signature dish and presenting to Ramsay for judging. The chefs are subsequently divided into teams, Red and Blue, most often by gender initially; they are then given a set of utensils (which they keep regardless of their progress), as well as a chef's jacket of their team color (which they must earn the right to keep). The restaurant features two identical kitchens, one for each team, and each are supervised by Ramsay's sous chefs with Ramsay observing both kitchens for quality control. While in Hell's Kitchen, the chefs are given a broad array of cooking lessons, including how to cook some of Ramsay's most difficult dishes such as risotto and Beef Wellington.

Outside of the premiere episode, teams participate in two cooking challenges within each episode. The first challenge is a cooking skill test, ranging from properly preparing the larger number of raw ingredients in a fixed amount of time, preparing new dishes based on limited ingredient selections, a blind tasting test, or preparing a tasting menu for clients. The winning team of this challenge is given a reward such as a relaxing day away from the restaurant or a prize. The losing team is given a grueling task, such as cleaning both kitchens, doing the restaurant's laundry by hand, or preparing the raw ingredients for the next meal service for both kitchens.

The second cooking challenge is to run a full dinner service, which normally consists of 100 diners split between the two kitchens. Within each team, the chefs are assigned to specific stations, such as meat, appetizers, and garnish. Teams are expected to serve an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert to each diner, with food prepared to Ramsay's strict standards. Ramsay requires that all dishes served to a table be served at the same time, so that if one order is not to his standards, he will normally require the team to re-fire all the dishes for that table. If one chef is having significant difficulties, Ramsay may tell them to leave the kitchen, forcing the rest of the team to cover for their absence. If an entire team is floundering, he will tell the team to "shut it down", ending their part of the service early; this can happen to both teams at the same time if they are taking too long for the dinner service.

Upon completion of the dinner service, Ramsay will determine which team is the winning team, if there is one, in his opinion or from other metrics, such as which team completed the full service the fastest. From the losing team(s), Ramsay may identify one chef as "the best of the worst" to nominate two other chefs on their team for elimination. In other cases, Ramsay may tell the entire team to come to consensus for whom should be nominated. The chefs are given time to negotiate and discuss the pending nominations in the dorms. On returning to Ramsay while the winning team looks on, the team(s) identify their nominees, but Ramsay is free to identify others he believes should be up for elimination. Those nominated are given the opportunity to justify why they should stay, after which Ramsay names his choice for elimination, whereupon they hand over their chef's jacket and "leave Hell's Kitchen"; they are given an opportunity to say a few last words for the audience. If the elimination should leave a team with two or more less members than the other team, Ramsay will either ask for a volunteer or name a chef on the other team to switch over to balance the teams. Either way, each episode ends with Chef Ramsay's reason for his choice of elimination, concluding with him going back upstairs to his office and forcefully hanging the exiting chef's jacket on a hook that pokes a hole in the jacket; this also causes a photo of that chef to go up in flames to symbolize their elimination.

When the number of chefs is down to five or six, Ramsay will merge the teams into a single Black team, at which point the competition becomes individual. Both challenges and dinner services still take place, but with individual winners. During this period, the remaining kitchen staff will gain the help of Ramsay's sous chefs to expedite meals. Typically, one service will feature the opportunity for each chef to run the pass (taking over for Ramsay) allowing Ramsay to see how well they run the kitchen. Ramsay's sous chefs will purposely introduce quality control problems (e.g., substituting crab meat for lobster in a risotto) as a test of the chef's quality control.

When only two chefs remain, the two are challenged to design a full menu for their dream restaurant. Earlier seasons included a focus on designing restaurant decor, but later seasons have eliminated this aspect. After designing their menus, the two chefs are given a choice of previously eliminated chefs to work alongside them as sous chefs for the upcoming service. During this service, the chefs must manage all aspects of the kitchen and their chefs to ensure a good service. After service, Ramsay evaluates comments from his sous chefs, the returning chefs, and the diners, as well as his own observations, to choose a winner. The winner is revealed by Ramsay calling both chefs to his office, having them hold the handles of two identical doors, and then instructing them to open their doors at the same time; only the winner's door is unlocked and will open.

Ramsay is often free to ignore the show's rules. In several cases, Ramsay has eliminated contestants in the middle of a service (Josh in Season 3, J and Lacey in Season 5, Louie in Season 6, and most notably Nilka in Season 7) for dismal performances. In two instances, contestants have left in the middle of dinner service after arguing with Ramsay and deciding they could no longer handle his temper (Jeff in Season 1 and Andrew in Season 7). Ramsay will often call forward chefs that were not selected for nomination and put them up for nomination if he felt that they should have been included. In three cases (Carol from Season 5, Salvatore from Season 7, and Raj from season 8), Ramsay eliminated a member of the winning team (without giving them a chance to plead why they should stay), believing this chef's performance was far worse than any member of the losing team. There have also been a handful of occurrences where Ramsay allows the eliminated chef to keep their jacket depending on how far they've progressed throughout the series. There has only been one instance where a contestant was eliminated on the spot during elimination, after arguing with Ramsay and not following his rules (Joseph in Season 6). There have also been cases where contestants have been medically evacuated from the show, and two instances where a contestant actually quit the competition for injury reasons (Vanessa in Season 4, Ji in Season 5, and Robert in Season 5).

Analyst Arthur Perkins credits the show's success with four factors:

  1. Numerous cameras (up to 72) allow tight editing and capturing every action
  2. A confessional booth reveals insights into competitors' characters
  3. Ramsay's "enfant terrible" personality, impeccable credentials, and overall showmanship
  4. Casting relatively unknown chefs
Perkins compared Ramsay's unusual showmanship to that of P. T. Barnum of the famed Ringling Brothers circus: }}

Grand Prize

In season 1 of Hell's Kitchen, the grand prize was the investment capital for the winner to start their own restaurant, or the right to work with Gordon Ramsay for one year. Season 1 winner Michael Wray, originally accepted the position with Gordon, but changed his mind and opted for the capital to start his own restaurant, in order to be closer to his family.

From Season 2 onwards, the grand prize has been a head or executive chef position at a well known restaurant in a hotel, resort, or one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants. The winning contestant since Season 2 also has the option of taking a one time cash prize of $250,000 if the winning contestant does not wish to accept the grand prize position, or they can not accept the grand prize position. In Season 5, the winning contestant won both the grand prize position and the $250,000 cash prize.


Gordon Ramsay is the head chef. The narrator is Jason Thompson. Jean-Philippe Susilovic, a Belgian maître d' comes from Petrus, one of Ramsay's London restaurants and appeared in the first seven seasons. Susilovic was also the maître d' for the first series of the original British version. James Lukanik replaced Susilovic since the eighth season.

Each team also has the services of one of two sous-chefs. Scott Leibfried has appeared in all seasons, the other sous-chef is Andrea "Andi" Van Willigan (from season 7 onwards). Previous sous-chefs were Mary Ann Salcedo, Gloria Felix and season 2 winner, Heather West.

Head Chef

Sous Chefs
  • Scott Leibfried
  • MaryAnn Salcedo (Season 1 " 3)
  • Gloria Felix (Season 4 & 5)
  • Heather West (Season 6)
  • Andi Van Willigan (Season 7 " present)

Maître d's
  • Jean-Philippe Susilovic (Season 1 " 7)
  • James Lukanik (Season 8 " present)



The theme song is "Fire" by the Ohio Players. When the U.S. version is broadcast in the UK, Italy, Portugal and some countries (shown on the table below), it features only the instrumental version of this song.

Country Channel Current season Notes
Middle East MBC 4 Season 5 Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity.
Southeast Asia Star World Season 9 (ended) Premiered on October 17, 2011, but aired only three times a week. First new season to be aired outside of the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.
Fox Season 10 (ended) Premiered on October 20, 2012 and it airs twice a week.
[[One Season 5 air 2012/13, Lifestyle Channel Season 9 Previously broadcast on GEM, Channel Nine, GO! and Lifestyle Food Network. Airings are usually uncensored.
VIJF </ref> }} Broadcast as Hell's Kitchen USA and left uncensored. Also shown on AB3 (Season 5)
TLC (Travel & Living Channel) Season 7 (Ended) Premiered on July 5, 2012
Nova Television Unknown Previously broadcast on [[Nova+]]
Omni Television
Current Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity. simsubbed with Fox in most areas. Reruns available on Food Network Canada which may be run uncensored. Also translated in French for "?vasion in Quebec.
ICS Season 9
TV Barrandov Season 4 Translated as Pekelná Kuchyn"?. Dubbed, profanity censored. After the seventh season was broadcasted the fourth started over again.
PrimaFamily Season 1 (Upcoming) /2O13 ?/ , Czech version of Ramsay's original show . Translate as (Pekelná Výzva)
Kanal 12 Season 3 With uncensored Estonian subtitles.
MTV3 Season 6 The title is translated as Kauhukeittiö which means "The Kitchen of Horrors". Profanity is left uncensored.
TMC Season 5 (ended) Season 5 has debuted in France on April 1, 2012 and has ended on July 2012.
VIVA Season 5
Makedonia TV Season 3
Viasat3 Season 9 Season 7 and 8 ran simultaneously on Viasat 3. Airing of Season 9 begun on February 9, 2012.
Stöð 2 Season 5
TLC Season 6 (ended)
TV3 Season 6 (ended)
yesStars Drama Season 9 Previously broadcast also on yes Next HD Profanity is censored.
Sky Uno Season 10 (ended) Mutes all profanity. Also available on Cielo where the title is translated as Hell's Kitchen " Il diavolo in cucina. SKY Uno airs 2 episodes a night.
Fox Life Season 1, 2 Season 1 started on November 8, 2009 and Season 2 started on May 7, 2010. Profanity is bleep censored.
BTV Season 1 in
September 2012
Star World Season 9 Bleeped and pixelated to mask profanity. Astro mutes all profanity. The ninth season premiered on October 17, 2011, but aired only three times a week. Season 9 is the first new season to be aired outside of the USA, Canada and the UK.
Fox Season 10 (ended) Premiered on October 20, 2012 and it airs twice a week.

TLC (Latin America) Season 7 Previous broadcast on Liv (Season 5) and Casa Club TV (Season 1"4).
NET 5 Season 8 Profanity is uncensored
TV2 Season 8 All profanity censored during the daytime. Late night re-screenings of Hell's Kitchen on TV2 are mostly uncensored.
TV3 Season 8 Profanity is censored during the daytime. Late night airings are usually uncensored.
TLC Season 6 (ended)
2nd Avenue Season 4 Mutes all profanity.
Star World Season 9 Same with Asia feed with the premiere date shown above, but only five times a week.
Fox Season 10 Unlike in Asian feed, it premiered on December 25, 2012 and it airs four times a week.
TVN Style Season 8 Previously carried by Polsat and kuchnia.tv
SIC Radical Season 10 (ended) Season 4 subtitled and onward uncensored
Muz-TV(U) Season 1"10
Star World Season 9 Subtitled in Chinese and censored
Fox Season 9 (ended) Premiered on February 27, 2012 and concluded on April 2, 2012, airs three times a week.
Kanal A Season 1 in
September 2012
TV3 Season 10 (Start October 31, 2012) Bleep censored when shown during the daytime, night time airings not censored.
Star World Season 9 Profanity is bleep censored and pixelated. Uncensored when shown after watershed hours.
Fox Season 10 (ended) Premiered on October 20, 2012 and it airs twice a week.
Star World Season 9 Subtitled in Thai and censored
Fox Season 9 (ended) , continues season 10 Premiered on February 27, 2012 and concluded on April 2, 2012, airs three times a week.
FX Season 9
CITI Season 7 (ended)
ITV2 Season 10 (ended) Broadcast as Hell's Kitchen USA (Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen USA for Season 8/9). Censored during watershed hours.
Fox Current Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity


For the show's first two seasons, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant set itself was housed in the former studios of Los Angeles television station KCOP at 915 North La Brea Avenue, in Hollywood, which at one time hosted production of game shows Tic Tac Dough and The Joker's Wild. KCOP was acquired by News Corporation in 2001 and its studios were integrated with those of Fox affiliate KTTV in 2003, leaving the La Brea facility vacant. Originally the studio was put up for sale, but in the end they were retooled for the production of Hell's Kitchen. The dining room area was the location of the former KCOP news studios, and living quarters for the contestants were built on behind the restaurant. Before season three, the Hell's Kitchen facility was moved to 3322 La Cienega Place in Los Angeles. Since the fourth season, Hell's Kitchen's venue has been located at 8660 Hayden Place in Culver City. According to Arthur Perkins, the soundstage is only open for audience members when filming is taking place. The studio sits on the former location of the famous RKO Forty Acres backlot, which was used in movies such as Gone With The Wind and television series such as The Andy Griffith Show and The Adventures of Superman. The studio building sits on the location of the military camp seen in the television series Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C..

Accusations of staging

The United States version of Hell's Kitchen has drawn numerous online and editorial accusations of staging and dramatic license, mostly due to editing techniques of the producers which splice together several hours of footage from a dinner service, in order to make certain contestants appear as poor performers, later justifying their elimination. This was most obvious when one episode featured clips showing an already eliminated contestant in the background, still cooking.

The diners on Hell's Kitchen are a mixture of Los Angeles residents; however, several of the "angry customer" scenes, featuring walk-outs and upset patrons over food quality, have drawn attention as faked since the camera always seems to be "at the right place, at the right time"; one of the most widely reported incidents pertained to an episode where one of the contestants, as Assistant Maître d, advised customers not to order certain food, creating an escalating sequence involving the house Maître d and Chef Ramsay.

One of the most controversial accusations of staging on Hell's Kitchen relates to an incident with contestant Joseph Tinnelly, who, during one elimination round, angrily confronted Chef Ramsay, challenging him to fight, and was then escorted off the set. The incident drew immediate fire from critics as an overplayed and possibly faked scene, conducted to cause action and tension on the show in order to spark viewer interest.


Season Original run Winner Runner-up Other contestants in order of elimination Reason for winning Contestants Winner's prize
1 May 30 " August 1, 2005 Michael Wray Ralph Pagano Carolann Valentino, Jeff Dewberry, Jeff LaPoff (left), Wendy Liu, Mary Ellen Daniels, Chris North, Andrew Bonito, Jimmy Casey, Elsie Ramos, Jessica Cabo High standards 12 Tatou in Los Angeles
2 June 12 " August 14, 2006 Heather West Virginia Dalbeck Polly Holladay, Larry Sik (left), Gabe Cunningham, Giacomo Alfieri, Tom Pauley, Rachel Brown, Maribel Miller, Garrett Telle, Sara Horowitz, Keith Greene Determination Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas
3 June 4 " August 13, 2007 Rahman "Rock" Harper Bonnie Muirhead Tiffany Nagel, Eddie Langley, Aaron Song (left), Joanna Dunn, Vinnie Fama, Melissa Firpo, Brad Miller, Josh Wahler, Julia Williams, Jen Yemola Leadership Terra Verde at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson
4 April 1 " July 8, 2008 Christina Machamer Louis Petrozza Dominic DiFrancesco, Sharon Stewart, Jason Underwood, Craig Schneider, Vanessa Gunnell (left), Shayna Raichilson-Zadok, Ben Caylor, Rosann Fama, Louross Edralin, Matt Sigel, Bobby Anderson, Jen Gavin, Corey Earling Potential 15 London West Hollywood in Los Angeles
5 January 29 " May 14, 2009 Danny Veltri Paula da Silva Wil Kocol, Ji-Hyun Cha (left), Charlie McKay, Seth Levine, Colleen Cleek, Coi Burruss, J Maxwell, Lacey D'Angelo, LA Limtiaco, Carol Scott, Giovanni Filipponi, Robert Hesse (left), Ben Walanka, Andrea Heinly Maturity 16 Fornelletto at the Borgata in Atlantic City
6 July 21 " October 13, 2009 Dave Levey Kevin Cottle Louie Cordio, Melinda Meaney, Joseph Tinnelly (left), Tony D'Alessandro, Lovely Jackson, Tek Moore, Jim McGloin, Robert Hesse, Amanda Davenport, Andy Husbands, Sabrina Gresset, Van Hurd, Suzanne Schlicht, Tennille Middleton, Ariel Contreras-Fox Ability 17 Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler
7 June 1 " August 10, 2010 Holli Ugalde Jason "Jay" Santos Stacey Slichta, Andrew Forster (left), Mikey Termini, Jamie Bisoulis, Maria Torrisi, Scott Hawley, Salvatore Coppola, Siobhan Allgood, Fran Klier, Nilka Hendricks, Ed Battaglia, Jason Ellis, Autumn Lewis, Benjamin Knack Confidence 16 Savoy Grill at Savoy Hotel in London
8 September 22 " December 15, 2010 Nona Sivley Russell Kook II Antonia Boregman (left), Lisa LaFranca, Lewis Curtis, Raj Brandston, Louis Repucci, Emily Kutchins, Melissa Doney, Boris Poleschuk, Rob McCue, Vinny Accardi Jr., Sabrina Brimhall, Gail Novenario, Trev McGrath, Jillian Flathers Palate LA Market at JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles
9 July 18 " September 19, 2011 Paul Niedermann Will Lustberg Jason Zepaltas (left), Steven Paluba, Brendan Heavey, Amanda Colello, Chino Chang, Gina Melcher, Monterray Keys, Krupa Patel, Jonathon Plumley, Jamie Gregorich, Carrie Keep, Natalie Blake, Elizabeth Bianchi, Jennifer Normant, Tommy Stevens, Elise Wims Enthusiasm 18 BLT Steak in New York City
10 June 4 " September 10, 2012 Christina Wilson Justin Antiorio Tavon Hubbard, Chris Carrero, Briana Swanson, Don Savage, Danielle Rimmer, Guy Vaknin, Roshni Gurnani, Patrick Cassata, Royce Wagner, Tiffany Johnson, Kimmie Willis, Brian Merel, Robyn Almodovar, Clemenza Caserta, Barbie Marshall, Dana Cohen Passion Gordon Ramsay Steak in Paris Las Vegas
11 March 12 2013 TBA TBA TBA TBA TBA

Awards and nominations

Hell's Kitchen has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction Programming category in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It has also been nominated for two Art Directors Guild Awards in the Television "? Awards Show, Variety, Music or Non-Fiction Program category in 2007 and 2008, winning one in 2008. It has also been nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Series.

In 2009, Gordon Ramsay won an Astra Award for Favourite International Personality or Actor.

At the 2011 People's Choice Awards, Hell's Kitchen was nominated for Favorite Reality Show and Gordon Ramsay was nominated for Favorite TV Chef

Other media

DVD releases

Visual Entertainment has released the first eight seasons of Hell's Kitchen in Region 1.

In Region 4, Shock Entertainment has released seasons 1"8 on DVD in Australia.

DVD name No. of
Release dates
Region 1 (CAN) Region 1 (US) Region 4
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 1: Raw and Uncut 10 April 8, 2008 December 1, 2008
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 2: Raw and Uncut 10 October 27, 2009 May 11, 2010 February 2, 2009
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 3: Raw and Uncut 11 August 10, 2010 September 21, 2010 February 2, 2009
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 4: Raw and Uncut 15 November 16, 2010 November 9, 2010 April 1, 2009
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 5: Raw and Uncut 15 August 30, 2011 November 27, 2009
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 6: Raw and Uncut 15 November 1, 2011 April 10, 2012 March 9, 2011
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 7: Raw and Uncut 15 June 5, 2012 May 11, 2011
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 8: Raw and Uncut 15 December 4, 2012 May 11, 2011
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 9: Raw and Uncut 16 TBA TBA TBA
Hell's Kitchen USA " Season 10: Raw and Uncut 20 TBA TBA TBA

Hell's Kitchen: The Game

On September 11, 2008, Ubisoft released Hell's Kitchen: The Game for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, and iOS which features the likeness of Ramsay, and the many important tasks shown in the U.S. version of the show.

On April 2, 2009, Ludia and Social2u released the official Facebook version of the Hell's Kitchen game.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series)". Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions this article may contain.

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