Hell's Kitchen (US TV series)
Learn more about Hell's Kitchen (US TV series)
- See other uses for the term Hell's Kitchen.
- For the original British program, see Hell's Kitchen (UK TV series).
|Running time||60 minutes|
|Country of origin||USA|
Hell's Kitchen (US) is the name of a cooking-based reality show. It is based on the original Hell's Kitchen, broadcast in the UK on ITV1 in 2004, featuring world-famous chef Gordon Ramsay. The first American season aired in the United States on FOX in 2005, while the second season started with two back-to-back episodes on June 12, 2006. It has been announced that the US version would be renewed for a third season that would premiere in the summer of 2007 .
The US version of Hell's Kitchen, also starring Gordon Ramsay, is broadcasted on the FOX television network. In Canada, the show was broadcast on Citytv and in Australia, on LifeStyle Food. The first season of the show, shown during the summer of 2005, featured 12 ordinary people (some with chef and restaurant experience, some without) competing to own a "million-dollar restaurant" of their own.
The show was taped at a converted former television broadcast facility (KCOP - UPN 13)(which previously host the Barry & Enright game shows The Joker's Wild & Tic-Tac-Dough in the late '70's to the mid 80's) located at 915 North La Brea Avenue at the corner of Willoughby Avenue in Los Angeles, California.
The format of the program was the same as the UK version, with a red team and a blue team competing in various cooking challenges. The restaurant's Belgian maitre d’, Jean Philippe Susilovic, came from Petrus, one of Ramsay's London restaurants. Jean Phillipe was also the maitre d’ for the first UK series of Hell's Kitchen. Each team also had the services of one of two sous chefs: Scott Leibfried and Mary Ann Salcedo.
 Season one
Season one featured the following contestants:
- Carolann (Valentino)
- Elsie (Ramos)
- (Jeff) Dewberry
- Jeff (LaPoff)
- Chris (North)
- James (Casey)
- Ralph (Pagano)
- Michael (Wray)
- Mary Ellen (Daniels)
- Wendy (Liu)
- Jessica (Cabo)
- Andrew (Bonito)
Each week, the best member from the losing team during the latest service period ("best" as determined by Ramsay) is asked to nominate two of their fellow teammates for elimination; one of these two is sent home by Gordon Ramsay.
 Episode Progress Table
|Michael||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||WIN||Winner of Hell's Kitchen Season 1|
|Jeff||IN||NOM||LEFT||Left due to injury (according to post-show comment)|
 Episode 1
- Original airdate: May 30, 2005.
- Nominees for elimination: The red team's Carolann and Dewberry. Carolann was eliminated.
 Episode 2
- Original airdate: June 6, 2005.
- Team challenge: Cleaning squid. The team that could clean and prep the most squid received a dinner with Ramsay. The red team won, and the losing blue team had to prepare squid while the dinner was taking place. The losing team also had their kitchen's air conditioning turned off during the next restaurant service period.
- Nominees for elimination: The red team's Jeff and Dewberry. Dewberry was eliminated.
 Episode 3
- Original airdate: June 13, 2005.
- Michael was transferred to the red team in order to even out the number of contestants on each team.
- Jeff, a member of the red team, walked off the show, after a loud argument with Ramsay. Ramsay still eliminated a contestant from a team, meaning that two contestants left during this episode.
- Team challenge: Ramsay asked the teams to cook him a five-course meal of original dishes. The catch was that they only had 10 minutes of shopping time at a local supermarket, and only $100 per team to spend at the market. The red team won the team challenge, winning an evening out at a pub with Ramsay while the losing blue team stayed behind to clean the dorm. The red team also won the next service period. Although both teams had difficulty preparing meals on time, the food critics in the restaurant preferred the meals prepared by the red team.
- Nominees for elimination: The blue team's Wendy and Andrew. Wendy was eliminated.
 Episode 4
- Original airdate: June 20, 2005.
- Team challenge: Ramsay passed the two teams to JP, his maitre d', for a lesson in how to properly set a dining table. The teams then had to replicate a sample table containing over 90 items within a 5 minute time period. The blue team won the team challenge and received an afternoon of spa treatments, while the red team had to clean/polish all the glass and silverware. An additional penalty was that the red team had to take time away from their food prep to set all 100 tables in the restaurant before the next service period.
- Both teams learned how to cook pigeon and frog legs.
- During the service period, Ramsay promised that the first team to complete all of their orders, no matter how long that takes, would be safe from elimination. Despite their handicap of starting their food prep later than the other team, the red team pulled ahead and won the service period.
- Nominees for elimination: The blue team's Andrew and Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen was eliminated.
 Episode 5
- Original airdate: June 27, 2005.
- To shake things up, Ramsay threw out the entire previous menu and created a new menu featuring pasta dishes.
- Team challenge: As Ramsay changed the menu of the restaurant to feature pasta, the two teams had 10 minutes to turn raw dough into as much spaghetti as possible, judged by suitability for serving in the restaurant and total weight. The red team won the team challenge and received an afternoon in Venice, California dining and drinking in a gondola.
- The service period was split into two two-hour sessions. In each session, one team would wait on tables in the restaurant, take and deliver the orders; while the other team would work in the kitchen preparing the orders. As the red team won the previous challenge, they chose to cook first. Although the blue team did not complete as many dishes during their cooking time, the red team's lack of quality in food and service was enough to cost them the day.
- Nominees for elimination: The red team's Chris and Elsie. Ramsay selected Chris for elimination, as Ramsay explained that someone who boasts about their skills needs to step up and meet that expectation or else be eliminated.
 Episode 6
- Original airdate: July 11, 2005
- Always one to shake things up, Ramsay threw out the entire menu yet again, and asked each team to create menus of their own. The two teams were going to compete head-to-head, with diners choosing to eat from the Red menu or the Blue menu.
- Team challenge: Team members were blindfolded/earmuffed and then asked to identify various foods on taste alone. Each participant had to identify 4 different food items. The red team won the challenge and received an afternoon of wine tasting with Ramsay, while the losing blue team had to clean all the cookware used in the previous night's service. A further penalty was that their storeroom would be secured by a combination lock during the next service period, forcing the team to enter the complicated code every time they needed supplies. The team was allowed to bring a tray of food in with them during each trip, however Andrew attempted to circumvent the rules and tape the door latch so the door would not lock. During this, sous chef Scott caught him and told the team as further punishment, they would have to go into the storeroom whenever they needed one item.
- The service period was not divided into Red tables and Blue tables as diners were able to select an entire Red or Blue menu of selections created and cooked by the team. Near the end of the service, Ramsay caught Ralph waving to two ladies who were at their table. Ramsay yelled at Ralph for flirting with customers, then shut down both kitchens in frustration. Michael was disappointed because the red team was close to completing a full dinner service. Although the blue team served more dishes during the period, they had a higher number of main dishes returned to the kitchen, causing Ramsay to select them as the losing team. Jessica was not involved in the preparation of the rejected entrees so Ramsay selected Jessica as the night's winner.
- Nominees for elimination: Jessica nominated Andrew. Ramsay nominated Ralph. Andrew was eliminated.
 Episode 7
- Original airdate: July 11, 2005
- Ramsay assigned the remaining five contestants to a single kitchen team, wearing black, where each contestant was now going to compete as an individual.
- Challenge: Ramsay demonstrated how to make tableside fruit flambe. Based on Ramsay's opinion of presentation and taste, Jimmy and Elsie placed 1st and 2nd respectively. Jimmy received a helicopter trip over L.A. and was allowed to bring someone along; he chose Michael.
- Jimmy nominated Elsie to prepare tableside caesar salad and fruit flambe during the next service. During service, Ramsay requested Ralph work alongside him at the hotplate. Based on performance in the kitchen, Ramsay selected Ralph as the day's best.
- Nominees for elimination: Although Elsie had asked Ralph to send her home, Ralph decided to nominate Jessica and Jimmy. Based on Jimmy's poor performance and an in-kitchen confrontation during the service period between Ramsay and Jimmy, Ramsay eliminated Jimmy, though not without a few words of praise.
 Episode 8
- Original airdate: July 18, 2005
- Challenge: Ramsay gave the final four contestants 15-minutes to each create an original dish out of a tray of 15 different leftovers from the previous evening's service. Among the ingredients were macaroni, parsnips, chicken, beef, raspberries, and a lemon. Elsie made chicken soup. Michael made a side dish of grilled chicken wings. Jessica made a raspberry dessert. Elsie won the challenge as Ramsay said that she used the most ingredients as well as having a hearty, tasty soup that he would order in a restaurant. As a reward, Elsie accompanied Ramsay to a taping of Good Day Live, where they demonstrated how to make risotto.
- The next service period did not have any twists. Elsie was asked to assign the team members to various tasks on the line. During the service, Ramsay reassigned the team twice as he felt that there was inadequate communication between the team members. This lack of communication may not have been accidental; Michael, Ralph, and Jessica had previously agreed not to help Elsie if she asked for advice.
- At the end of service, Ramsay did not select a leader to nominate somebody; he nominated Elsie and Jessica as the weakest performers that night. Ramsay then eliminated Elsie, but noted warmly that he was very proud of her for getting this far, without any prior restaurant experience.
 Episode 9
- Original airdate: July 25, 2005
- Having been woken up at 4 AM unexpectedly, the three remaining contestants are told that they have to bake bread for the night's service. Jessica, who had had a lot to drink that night, went back to bed. Michael and Ralph did the majority of the work.
- Challenge: On very little sleep, the three finalists were then asked to create a soufflé. Ralph's was the winner, followed by Michael's, then Jessica's. As a reward, Ralph got to choose which dish he would be creating that night: beef, chicken, or tuna. Ralph chose beef, Michael tuna, and Jessica was left with chicken.
- Unbeknownst to the contestants, members of their families were seated in the restaurant for the service. They had a chance to try each of the specialty dishes and select their favorite, not knowing who had made each one.
- When the time came to choose one contestant to leave, their family members appeared. Ramsay tells them to vote for each's favorite dish. Michael's tuna got the most votes, followed by Ralph's filet mignon. Jessica's chicken only got one vote.
- Elimination: Ramsay told Jessica that "you know in your heart your dish wasn't as good as Michael's and Ralph's," and asked her to leave. He told her that she'd entered through the front door, and she'd earned the right to exit through the front door.
 Episode 10
- Original airdate: August 1, 2005. 2-hour finale.
- Michael and Ralph are informed that Hell's Kitchen is going to be split in two for the final service, with each contestant decorating their own restaurant, choosing the service uniforms, and creating the menu.
- The two finalists were able to renovate Hell's Kitchen however they liked. Michael went with an LA-modern style theme named Lola Pop (named for his wife, Lola), while Ralph decided to go with more of a New York style Steakhouse he called Frank & Lulu's (named for dogs owned by himself and a friend).
- Six of the previously eliminated contestants returned to help Michael and Ralph compete in the big challenge.
- After the service, Ramsay praised both of Michael and Ralph, saying that all of the customers loved their food and atmosphere, but one thing helped him make his decision: the number of customers who would return. While one scored 90% on this question, the other scored 94%. Ramsay declared Michael the winner. Ramsay then made Michael an offer: the original prize of his own restaurant, or an invitation to join Ramsay in London to work and learn alongside him at one of his restaurants. Michael accepted the offer to work in London.
- Winner Michael Wray's original plan was go to the UK to learn under Ramsay, but as a newlywed did not go in deference to his wife's wishes.<ref>TV Filter</ref> While he hopes to eventually open a restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada at either the The Palms or the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, it is more work than he expected. In the meantime, he has started a custom chef's knives company, Skull and Cleavers. He claims that he received "a chunk of cash and US$75,000 in restaurant equipment" for winning.<ref>Michael Wray's Myspace</ref>
- Runner-up Ralph opened his own restaurant in Sag Harbor, New York, called Fat Ralph's Deli. He also appeared as a challenger on Iron Chef America, losing to Iron Chef Bobby Flay.<ref>Recap of Iron Chef episode</ref>
 Season Two
FOX aired a second season of Hell's Kitchen in the US, which was cast in November 2005. The episodes aired from June 12 to August 14 2006. The winner was promised an executive chef position at a multi-million-dollar restaurant in the in the billion dollar Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino, as well as a financial interest in the restaurant and partial control over its design.
While taping for season two was done in the same building as where season one was staged, the set was entirely new.
Season two featured the following contestants on these initial teams, separated by gender;
- Gabe, 27, a marketing executive from Chicago, IL;
- Garrett (Telle), 27, a former prisoner/chef from Cedar Park, TX;
- Giacomo, 21, a pizza maker from Euless, TX;
- Keith (Greene), 28, a chef/bartender from South Hampton, NY;
- Larry, 38, a fishmonger from Arlington, TX;
- Tom (Pauley), 43, a former stockbroker from Belleville, NJ;
- Heather (West), 25, a sous chef from Port Jefferson, NY;
- Maribel (Miller), 31, a cafeteria chef from Brooklyn, NY;
- Polly, 43, a caterer from Ben Franklin, TX;
- Rachel (Brown), 39, a personal chef from Dallas, TX;
- Sara (Horowitz), 31, a deli manager from Dallas, TX;
- Virginia (Dalbeck), 25, a salad chef from New York, NY;
 Episode Progress Table
|Heather||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||IN||WIN||Winner of Hell's Kitchen Season 2|
|Larry||IN||OUT||Out of show due to health problems|
- Note 1: Gabe was elimanted by Chef Ramsay instead of nominees Giacamo & Tom
- Note 2: Chef Ramsay cancelled nominations and eliminated Maribel
- Note 3: Chef Ramsay gave Virginia a guaranteed spot in the Final 3. He later rescinded the guarantee due to her performance.
 Episode 1
- Original airdate: June 12, 2006.
- At the start, Ramsay asked each contestant to make their signature dish. Ramsay selected Giacomo's dish as the best.
- Ramsay selected the blue team as the winner of the evening service. Heather was deemed the best of the red team during the service.
- Nominees for elimination: The red team's Polly and Virginia. Polly was eliminated.
 Episode 2
- Original airdate: June 12, 2006.
- The teams were awakened early, and told to dig into the trash bin containing all the food that was wasted during the previous service.
- Team Challenge: Cutting steaks. The team that could cut the most steaks to exactly 10 oz. would win a dinner out with Chef Ramsay. The Red team won, leaving the Blue team to cut steak for the next service.
- Early Exit: Larry was hospitalized, in part due to the stress caused by the show. Ramsay still eliminated someone from a team, meaning two people left during this episode.
- Service: One member of each team, Keith and Sara, were servers for the evening's service. Both teams did poorly, with the Red team serving just 10 entrees, while the Blue team served none. Ramsay selected the Red team as the winner, and Garrett as the best of the Blue team.
- Nominees for Elimination: The Blue team's Giacomo and Tom. Chef Ramsay felt that Gabe was a better choice for elimination, and sent Gabe home instead.
 Episode 3
- Original airdate: June 19, 2006.
- Challenge: To cook a three course meal in 20 minutes with one person in the kitchen at a time. Heather sat out because she feared her hand injury would slow her team down. Thanks to Maribel, the Red team forgot to make the tortellini. Due to misinformation, the Blue team made the tortellini several times. The Red team won, because the two dishes they made were better than the dishes the Blue team made. Ramsay criticized Tom for his slouching against the counter, which began a pattern of Ramsay belittling Tom throughout the episode until Tom basically gave up.
- Reward/Punishment: The Red team were taken on a yacht with Chef Ramsay; The Blue team had to do laundry as punishment, by hand, including the laundry of the Red team. When the Red team returned from the yacht, Heather taunted the men and Garrett told the women to cook for them since they had done all the laundry. Heather took great offense at his remark and railed at him for what she saw as chauvinism.
- Dinner: Heather tried to control stations other than her own and was rebuked by Ramsay. Giacamo was unable to start an oven while Tom gave up after burning his hand (Ramsay called him a "drama queen") and arguing with Keith. Ramsay felt Giacamo being in charge of the meat table had ground his team to a halt, and he broke his usual rules by ordering Giacomo to switch stations. Maribel (who was homesick) almost singlehandedly caused the Red team to slow down when she was unable to prepare the lamb wellington entrees quickly enough. Chef Ramsay was angry at Maribel and disappointed in Heather, and praised Sara as the Red's best for that night. Once again neither team managed to serve a full service, and many customers left, but the Red team managed to serve more entrees, so they won.
- Elimination: In the ensuing nomination time for elimination, Ramsay felt there was no "best of the worst"; the losing Blue Team each individually nominated one other teammate for elimination. Despite three votes being cast against Tom and only one against Giacamo, Chef Ramsay eliminated Giacamo because of his failure with the oven.
 Episode 4
- Original airdate: June 26, 2006.
- Team Shakeup: Chef Ramsay, saying the men had "lost the battle of the sexes, big time", cited Rachel, Sara, and Heather for emerging as leaders. Wanting to give the Blue team a leader, he transferred Heather to Blue to join Tom, Garrett, and Keith.
- Field Trip: The teams were taken to Pink's Hot Dogs, the busiest restaurant in Los Angeles. Ramsay then surprised them with the news that they would be opening for lunch for the first time, forcing them to run back to Hell's Kitchen.
- Challenge: The teams had to cook lunch for a rowdy group of children. Heather (the new leader of the Blue team) clamped down on the bickering between Garrett and Tom, and helped the Blue team to finally come together. Meanwhile the Red team was marred by a power struggle between Rachel and Sara. Both teams for the first time managed to serve a full course, finally impressing Ramsay. Ramsay told the Red the kids gave them a score of 9.84 out of 10 points. The Blue team garnered a winning score of 9.85.
- Reward/Punishment: The Blue team got to go to have an amusement park all to themselves; Keith formed an alliance with Heather. The Red team had to clean up the dining room, which was full of balloons, food on the floor, and silly string. Sara repeatedly joked during the cleanup, irritating both Rachel and sous chef Mary Ann, who asked them if they were hungry, and threw a cake onto the carpet, forcing them to clean it up. Tensions rise within the Red team.
- Dinner: The Blue team was held back when Garrett failed to properly taste several dishes. Rachel struggled to make risotto, and a conflict erupted over the turbot. Sara told Virginia she was "ready and waiting for [her] call" on the turbot, but when Ramsay came to get the meal, Sara said she hadn't started it yet. Virginia tells Ramsay that Sara had told her she was ready when Virginia was, but Ramsay berated Virginia, accusing her of lying as well as bringing the others down to make herself look good. Sara, thinking of strategy, allowed Ramsay to think Virginia was a liar. Ramsay was unhappy with Maribel's poor mashed potatoes, and Rachel and Virginia for leaving the bones and wing on the quail. Rachel went to get ice (the ice machine was broken and the losing team had to get the ice), had to beg people at the store when she realized she had no money, and fell on one of the bags while running back to Hell's Kitchen. Meanwhile, Tom made bigger and bigger mistakes until Ramsay blew up at him, finally barring him from doing anything else in the kitchen. Virginia cooked wellington rare when the order was medium. Finally, when Ramsay realized the women were glazing all night with egg whites instead of eggwash, and that the women have run out of wellington, he had enough. He shut down the restaurant and did not even let either team clean its kitchen.
- No Winner: Once again a full course was not served and many customers spent hours waiting for food. Fed up, Ramsay shut down the kitchen and declared both teams lost, demanding they each pick one person from their team to nominate for elimination. Team Blue quickly decided on Tom, while Team Red was torn between Virginia and Rachel as both women had made major mistakes. Keith and Sara (chosen by Ramsay as being the best of their respective teams that night) were asked to make the announcement. The nominees were Tom and Virginia.
- Elimination: Ramsay was baffled that Virginia was chosen instead of Rachel, but although Rachel offered to take Virginia's place, Ramsay allowed their decision to stand. Ramsay then eliminated Tom, saying he had a big heart, but was a lousy cook and he had no idea why Tom thought he could be a chef. After the elimination, we see in a cutaway with Sara that she is prepared to continue to sabotage her teammates, and warns them to "watch out". Ramsay closed the elimination by saying that was the worst service he had ever seen and he was close to throwing in the towel, but he wouldn't give up on them if they didn't give up on him.
 Episode 5
- Original airdate: July 10, 2006
- Challenge: The teams were told to taste various high cuisine dishes such as caviar and fondue, not realizing they were made of average ingredients such as hot dogs and spray cheese. After this embarrassment, they had to go through a taste test. Rachel sat out to make the teams even. A member of each team had to guess the correct item. Team Red won with 7 points, Team Blue narrowly trailing with 6 points.
- Reward/Punishment: The Blue Team had to clean up the dirty kitchen. The Red Team participated with Chef Ramsay in a photo shoot for TV Guide; at one point Garrett was forced to bring them extra champagne. During the shoot, Sara disgusted everyone by farting (though admittedly Ramsay seemed amused.)
- Dinner: Heather's need to control everything helped cause disarray in the Blue Team. Keith's lack of focus made Ramsay give him a rare pep talk. We find out that Keith had never received a compliment in his life. Ramsay told Keith that he was a good cook and that if he gave up attitude he used with Ramsay, he would shine as a top cook. Meanwhile, a black hair was found in one of the Red Team's entrees, but Maribel, when asked, denied she was responsible. Rachel ran the meat station and was the center of many problems, as she was unable to properly cook the wellington. At one point Ramsay took her to a storage room to get her to regroup, but she continued to struggle. Finally, after she overcooked the wellington (trying to hide this by adding extra sauce), Ramsay ordered the kitchen shut down. Heather said that her team had not worked to their full potential, yet said she herself did not deserve to be eliminated, angering Garrett and Keith. Ramsay chose the Red Team as the worst, as they had not managed to get all of their entrees out even though they had one more chef than the Blue Team, which managed to get all their entrees out.
- Elimination: Cited as the "best of the worst" by Ramsay, Virginia struggled with her choice. She picked Rachel, and after informing Ramsay of Sara's schemes against her, Virginia chose Maribel, since Maribel had argued with Ramsay about the hair in the food. Ramsay praised her choices and eliminated Rachel. Although he felt she had worked harder than anyone else in the kitchen, he could not overlook her many mistakes.
 Episode 6
- Original airdate: July 17, 2006
- Challenge: Both teams had to go to the market (Grand Central Market) and be inspired by what could help them create a three-course meal. They then had to buy the right ingredients in 20 minutes. Virginia took control of the Red Team, which continued in the meal preparation (they had 60 minutes to fix the meal). Appetizers were first - Ramsay was bothered by the sharp shrimp tail in Garrett's dish, and felt Sara's bell pepper soup was too burnt (due to Virginia asking Sara to "char the hell out of" the peppers). For the entree, Ramsay was pleased with Virginia's chicken dish, as well as Keith's dish. The final course, dessert, ended in a victory for the Red Team, due to Maribel making a dish Ramsay found tasty albeit uninspired, while Heather's fruit crepes were soggy.
- Reward/Punishment: The Red Team got to spend a night on the town with Chef Ramsay, while the Blue Team were forced to help with the restaurant's delivery service. The members of the Blue Team were infuriated, because they felt the burned peppers should have caused the other team to lose. Heather and Keith felt sure that the Blue Team would end up being the final three, while Garrett flipped off Chef Ramsay and the Red Team's limo as they left the restaurant. At dinner, Virginia's constant talking irritated her teammates.
- Dinner: Before giving the teams their instructions, Chef Ramsay berated Garrett for giving him the middle finger. Ramsay felt confident enough in the teams' abilities to allow them to create their own menu. Virginia and Sara (shutting out Maribel) came up with the ideas for the Red Team, while Keith and Heather (shutting out Garrett) came up with the ideas for the Blue Team. The Blue Team had to stop in the middle of the service to unload more deliveries. In spite of this, and Garrett struggling the entire night, the Blue Team managed to complete an entire service, a first for Hell's Kitchen. In the Red Kitchen, Sara and Virginia had major problems with their overly ambitious menu, while Maribel did not help them very much. The Red Team barely managed to send out a few appetizers, and the first appetizer was immediately sent back. The complexity of the salmon dish led Ramsay to suggest it just be cut into a slice. Sara rebutted that changing the dish might be inconsistent, and Ramsay angrily told her off. This resulted in Ramsay ordering the Blue Team to help the Red Team finish their service. At the end of the service, Ramsay told Garrett how lucky he was to be on a team with Keith and Heather,as he agreed, and that the Red Team had clearly lost.
- Elimination: Ramsay felt there was no best of the worst and asked the Red Team to come up with nominees. Yet, when they arrived at the elimination ceremony, Ramsay told them he didn't want to hear their suggestions. After some back-and-forth between the team, Ramsay eliminated Maribel because he felt although she was a nice person, she didn't have the drive to be a leader.
 Episode 7
- Original airdate: July 24, 2006
- Challenge: Ramsay assigned the remaining five contestants to a single kitchen team, wearing black, with each contestant now competing as an individual. Each contestant was given 20 minutes to cook a special dish for Ramsay. Ramsay selected Keith as the winner.
- Reward/Punishment: Keith received a trip to Las Vegas to visit the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino, and was allowed to bring a guest; he chose Virginia, to the displeasure of Garrett. The remaining contestants fumigated the kitchen, Sara gave a passable impression of Darth Vader while wearing a fumigation mask.
- Dinner: The service period included a "12-top" table in addition to the normal table orders. The contestants were able to complete the dinner service. Ramsay selected Keith as the day's best. Garrett aroused Ramsay's ire by bringing an undercooked chicken dish to the hotplate.
- Elimination: Virginia and Garrett were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Garrett, based on poor food preparation during service.
 Episode 8
- Original airdate: July 31, 2006
- Challenge: The task given to the four contestants that remain - Heather, Sara, Keith, and Virginia - is to serve a group of construction workers, each in their own catering truck. Each construction worker sampled all four dishes and was instructed to vote for the best and the worst entree. Virginia's entree, a turkey and feta sandwich, was voted the best and Heather's entree, a chicken sandwich with french fries, was voted the worst.
- Reward/Punishment: Virginia's award was a shopping spree at Sur La Table and a guaranteed spot in the Final 3, while the three others had to remove meat from crabs. They were very upset Virginia (whom they considered out of her depth) won, with their hostile attitude toward her increasing when she returned and gave them what they felt were cheap gifts.
- Dinner: Chef Ramsay informs the team that three master chefs will be dining in Hell's Kitchen tonight (Michael Mina and two others). Things started off well that evening, with the remaining chefs working together and getting dishes out. Within 30 minutes, Keith gets all of his appetizers out. However, Virginia on vegetable garnishes cannot keep up with Heather, on meat, who is working the fastest, and receives a compliment from Chef Ramsay for her perfectly cooked Wellingtons. The three master chefs arrive, and the team must chose the meal that they will serve to them. Keith decides to serve three spaghetti lobsters for appetizers. However, part of his spaghetti is undercooked, and the master chefs are not really impressed. Meanwhile, things begin to unravel when Sara's fish station falls back, holding up Heather's meat station. Things get worse when Sara realizes she doesn't have enough salmon to get through the night. She asks Jean Phillipe to substitute with turbot. Chef Ramsay gets even angrier and is about to replace her with Heather, when Sara declares that she made one mistake and doesn't need to be replaced, and succeeds in "defending her territory". Next Sara's scallops reach the master chef's table, where it receives mixed reviews. The situation gets much worse when Virginia can't handle her garnish station, slowing Heather's entrees. Ramsay orders Heather to get the garnish herself if Virginia can't handle it. When Heather's entrees reach the master chef's table, they said that the Wellingtons were cooked perfectly, but the peas were burnt, which angers Ramsay, who gives Virginia an earful. Sara and Heather are both prepared to serve the final 10 tables, but Virginia couldn't keep up with them. Virginia kept disappointing Chef Ramsay again and again, forcing Chef Ramsay to take away Virginia's guaranteed spot in the Final 3 (in Chef Ramsay's words to Virginia: "You're... no longer... safe!!!"). However, despite the obstacles, the 4 remaining chefs were able to pull off their second consecutive complete service in 2 and a half hours. Going over the master chef's comment cards, Ramsay says that they had mixed reviews on Keith's appetizers, and Sara's fish, though they loved Heather's Wellingtons. Ramsay said that it was Heather's best performance ever and that she was easily the best chef and asked her to nominate two chefs for elimination.
- Elimination: Between the dinner service and elimination time, Virginia expressed that she felt that she didn't deserve to continue to the Final 3 to Heather. Heather told Keith and Sara that Virginia was planning to take herself out and decided to nominate Sara as her second choice, much to Sara's disapproval, though she was reassured several times by Heather that Virginia was taking herself out and that Sara would stay. At elimination time, Virginia and Sara were nominated by Heather. When Chef Ramsay asked Virginia why she should stay in Hell's Kitchen, Virginia broke down and said that she shouldn't. However, Chef Ramsay decided to be a man of his word, and gave Virginia back her guaranteed spot in the Final 3, meaning that Virginia now had to choose whether she or Sara goes home. Virginia told Chef Ramsay that she didn't want to stay because she was guaranteed a spot, but wanted to stay only if she deserved it. However Chef Ramsay wouldn't choose for her, and the choice once again fell into the hands of Virginia. After a moment of thought, Virginia stunned the group by changing her mind and deciding to stay in Hell's Kitchen, thus eliminating Sara. Sara bade Chef Ramsay farewell with, "Kiss my grits," a popular catchphrase from the character Flo (Polly Holliday) on Alice.
 Episode 9
- Original Airdate: August 7, 2006
- Challenge: The contestants were given 20 minutes to re-create Ramsay's signature dish. They were given a wide array of ingredients and had to taste the original dish to determine what ingredients to use. Ramsay then tasted the dishes to determine who came the closest to the original dish. Although he enjoyed all three dishes, Virginia was the winner of the challenge. After Virginia won, Keith and Heather's animosity for Virginia grew even stronger. Keith accused Virginia of spying on his selection of a key ingredient. Heather accused Virginia of copying a recipe from one of Chef Ramsay's cookbooks. Virginia denied both accusations.
- Reward/Punishment: Chef Ramsay showed Virginia how to run a restaurant. Keith and Heather were sent to see Jean Phillipe to polish the restaurant's collection of glasses and silverware. Keith and Heather spent their punishment frequently complaining about the unfairness of the reward. As Heather and Keith felt they were destined for the final two, they shunned Virginia.
- Dinner: In a new test of their ability to run a restaurant, each of the contestants spent part of dinner service in the expediter role usually filled by Chef Ramsay. Sous-chefs Scott and Mary-Ann, assisting with the cooking, were secretly instructed by Ramsay to make a deliberate mistake. Keith went first, and correctly realized an order of pasta was overcooked. However, he struggled in leadership. Virginia had difficulty following his orders, and Heather took over much of the work. Heather was next, and led well if abrasively. However, she discovered lumps in the potatoes, but failed to send them back to be recooked. Meanwhile, Chef Ramsay warned Keith he was not showing him enough respect, and Keith cursed at him, sending Ramsay into outrage. Virginia was the final chef to lead, and impressed Ramsay with her leadership. She correctly recognized that a dish was prepared with bass instead of salmon. The three then had to finish the service as a team.
- Elimination: Chef Ramsay asked each of the three to nominate one person for elimination. Virginia was nominated by both Keith and Heather, while Virginia nominated Keith, this being Keith's first time up for elimination and Virginia's sixth time. In the end, Chef Ramsay chose Keith, citing poor leadership. Keith confronted Chef with an accusation of bias, claiming that Chef had "a hard-on" for Virginia. Chef responded with "Why do you have to be so fucking rude? Now I know I made the right choice." Chef Ramsay believed that under Keith's truly bad attitude there is a very talented and aspiring chef. Parting on bad terms with Ramsay, Keith complained, "He doesn't like my attitude? Well, fuck him."
 Episode 10
- Original Airdate: August 14, 2006
- Surprise reward: Heather's parents, and Virginia's mother and husband, come in for a surprise visit. Heather screams "Daddy!" while Virginia is excited to see her husband.
- Challenge: The two final contestants, Virginia and Heather, were each given control of half of Hell's Kitchen and instructed to remodel it in their own theme for the next service as well as designing their own menus. They were then whisked off to Las Vegas where they cooked their signature dishes to be in a taste contest with twenty random participants as testers. After a tie at 10-10, a tie-breaker was issued and Virginia won the challenge with the score of 11-10.
- Reward/Punishment: For the last night of service, Chef Ramsay brought on six of the past contestants to be part of each chef's kitchen staff. Because Virginia won the challenge at Las Vegas, she was granted the first, third, and fifth picks, with which she chose Keith, Tom, and Giacomo. Heather followed, choosing Rachel with the second pick, Sara with the fourth, and receiving Garrett as the sixth and final pick. Virginia's team was all male; Heather's had one man and two women. Virginia got on a bad foot with her team by telling them she chose them (save Keith) because she felt they were the weakest and she wanted to give them another chance. They asked her for money in exchange for their help; she finally agreed to pay each of them $1,000 if she won.
- Remodeling: Heather and Virginia were given the opportunity to remodel the dining room per their wishes. Heather chose to make the walls look like a blank canvas, with a video wall and graffiti written in various places. Ramsay liked most of her ideas, but suggested she remove the graffiti. Virginia had a waterfall built behind the walls so that water to create an atmosphere akin to a desert sunset. Chef Ramsay was impressed.
- Dinner: Heather was exceptional in the rate of service while suffering in the field of quality control. Virginia, however, was proficient in quality control at the expense of her service rate. Virginia's team was also less helpful than Heather's team. Some team members stood around instead of working, and Tom (who was upset at taking orders from a woman) managed to cut himself. Overall, both finalists did a very good job, according to Chef Ramsay. Unbeknownst to them, the President of the Red Rock Resort was among the clientele sampling each dishes from each menu.
- Elimination: Chef Ramsay based his decision on the comments from the President of the Red Rock resort, customer opinion cards (which were slightly in one person's favor, according to Chef Ramsay) and his own observations. He judged Heather to be the winner as she displayed remarkable control of her kitchen staff from beginning to the end. However, he told Virginia she'd done a wonderful job and that she had nothing to be ashamed of.
- Last Scene: Chef Ramsay ended the season by good-naturedly telling the viewers, "My work is done. It's been a phenomenal journey. I'm ready for the next challenge. So fuck you all (laughs)."
- Heather was named senior chef of Terra Rosa at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino. She began this new spot as of September 2006. She has also since been rumored to make a possible appearance as a sous chef to Chef Ramsay in the next season of Hell's Kitchen <ref></ref>
 Critical reception
Reality television journalist Andy Dehnart has called Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen television series a boot camp for aspiring chefs and has stated that the show is mostly about humiliation. But Dehnart finds the humiliation entertaining and often funny. To cite an example, he writes that Ramsay replied to a customer who asked for more pumpkin by saying, "Right. Well, I’ll get you more pumpkin and I’ll ram it right up your fucking arse [spelt 'ass' on the source, but he actually says 'arse']. Would you like it whole or diced?" 
 External links
- FOX: Hell's Kitchen: Official website
- FOX Forums for Hell's Kitchen
- Hell's Kitchen on Reality Thumbnailszh:地狱厨房