Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 11)

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Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 11)
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 22
Original channel Fox
Original run March 12, 2013 (2013-03-12) – July 25, 2013 (2013-07-25)
Season chronology
List of Hell's Kitchen episodes

Season 11 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen premiered on March 12, 2013 on Fox. The winner received a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace at Las Vegas.[1] On July 25, 2013, executive chef Ja'Nel Witt won the competition, making her the 11th and sixth female winner of Hell's Kitchen.

This is the first season of Hell's Kitchen to feature 20 contestants. Unlike previous seasons, this was also the first season to open up in Las Vegas, where the chefs presented their signature dishes to Chef Ramsay in front of a live audience of 2,500 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. This season was also the first season where there wasn't always a challenge per dinner service (with some occasions there being dinner services without there being challenges or vice versa). This was also the second season to feature two female finalists.

On August 23, 2013, it was announced that Witt was denied the position at the restaurant because she had failed a drug test, but retained her salary and her title as the winner of season 11.[2] Jon Scallion (who came in third place in this season and was deemed by Ramsay the only great chef in the worst team in Hell's Kitchen history) became sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak.[3]


Gordon Ramsay returned as head chef as well as Andi Van Willigan as the red team's sous chef. Long-time maître d' Jean-Philippe Susilovic returned for the first time since season 7 due to his work commitments at Ramsay's London restaurant, Pétrus. However, previous blue team sous chef Scott Leibfried did not return due to his work obligation at Fleetwood's restaurant in Maui and was replaced by newcomer James Avery from Wall, New Jersey.[4][5]


During episode 7 of this season, Richard Brooker appeared in that episode as a samurai on the team challenge. Brooker died on April 8, 2013.


Twenty chefs competed in season 11.[6]

Contestant Age Occupation Hometown
Gina Aloise 49 Line Cook Bronx, New York
Raymond "Ray" Alongi 51 Executive Chef Boston, Massachusetts
Jacqueline Baldassari 27 Roundsman Florence, New Jersey
Barret Beyer 35 Head Chef Long Island, New York
Danielle Boorn 33 Executive Chef Atlanta, Georgia
Amanda Giblin 28 Executive Chef Orange County, New York
Nedra Harris 24 Kitchen Manager Detroit, Michigan
Susan Heaton 29 Culinary Student Whittier, California
Michael Langdon 33 Executive Chef Plains, Pennsylvania
Jessica Lewis 26 Chef Tournant New York, New York
Jeremy Madden 22 Lead Cook Los Angeles, California
Mary Poehnelt 26 Butcher/Cook Belchertown, Massachusetts
Anthony Rodriguez 27 Line Chef New Orleans, Louisiana
Christian Rosati 38 Line Cook/Sandwich Maker Boston, Massachusetts
Sebastian Royo 33 Sous Chef Brooklyn, New York
Daniel "Dan" Ryan 27 Head Cook Westchester, New York
Jonathan "Jon" Scallion 27 Chef de Cuisine York, Pennsylvania
Cyndi Stanimirov 25 Head Chef Queens, New York
Ja'Nel Witt 31 Executive Chef Houston, Texas
Zachary "Zach" Womack 34 Head Line Cook Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Contestant progress[edit]

Original teams First switch Second
Individual Finals
No. Chef 1101/02 1103 1104 1105/06 1106/07 1107 1108 1109 1110/11 1111 1112/13 1113 1114/15 1116 1117/18 1119 1120/21 1121/22
16 Jeremy NOM NOM WIN OUT[n 3]
17 Danielle WIN NOM OUT
18 Christian LOSE OUT
19 Gina WIN LEFT
20 Sebastian OUT
  1. ^ a b c d e Chef was nominated by Ramsay
  2. ^ a b Although nominated, chef was not called down by Ramsay
  3. ^ Despite being on the winning team, the chef was eliminated by Ramsay


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

No. in
No. in
Title Original air date U.S. viewers (million)
145 1 "20 Chefs Compete Part 1" March 12, 2013 5.30[7]

A group of 20 contestants arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, where a bus picked them up to take them to Hell's Kitchen. However, the bus was going around in circles at LAX instead, and for good reason: Chef Ramsay was taking them via Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas, where they would cook their signature dishes. After a brief tour, the contestants went to a Las Vegas 4D attraction, but the tram instead took them directly to the showroom stage at Caesar's Palace, where they would cook their signature dishes then and there, in front of 2500 members of the audience.

Team challenge: Each contestant had 45 minutes to cook their signature dish, with Chef Ramsay determining which dishes were the best according to taste and appearance; the team with the most accepted dishes won. Amanda, Ja'Nel, Nedra, Jacqueline, Jessica, Michael, Jon, Ray and Christian all received points (Ramsay also liked Cyndi's and Zach's dishes as well but ultimately felt Michael's dish had the edge over Cyndi's and Jacqueline's (in the final round respectively) had the edge over Zach's). It still had dishes that were very poorly received although, for the women, Mary's duck was incredibly raw, Gina's penne was deemed bland, Danielle's dish was burnt. In a similar style to Seth's Honey Ratatouille from Season 5, Susan inappropriately giggled at Ramsay's comments about how her lamb was incredibly raw with overcooked couscous along with being threatened for the fastest exit in Hell's Kitchen. The men's rejected dishes include Barret's garlicky dish, Jeremy's stuffed ribeye (with Jeremy being unsure if it was a ribeye or not), Dan's eggs benedict being declared a joke, Sebastian (who jokingly attempted to run away with his dish) had his dish tasted by both Ramsay and Nedra with Nedra spitting it in the bin, the worst of the men's was Anthony's cajun dish which was disgusting with raw scallops. In the end the women win the challenge 5-4, beating the men for the second consecutive season in a row in the signature dish challenge.

The women were treated to a VIP treatment at Caesar's Palace, which included a meet and greet with Celine Dion, followed by seeing her show. The men were forced to return to Los Angeles immediately, on a school bus with no working air conditioner on an 8 hour trip.

Before the start of the service, Chef Ramsay announced that he will guarantee that the service will be completed, leading the teams to try their best at completing it. Gina was not feeling well at the start of the service, leading her to leave the kitchen.
146 2 "20 Chefs Compete Part 2" March 12, 2013 5.78[7]

Dinner service: The episode continued from the last episode ended with Gina not feeling well at the start of the service, leading her to relax and calm down before joining the service late. One by one, the service ends up with eight men being thrown out, Sebastian was first to for his flippant attitude, especially for calling Zach "Zachy Wacky," and attempted to return two more times. Michael and Barret were next for sending raw lamb and overcooked wellington, just as Sebastian unexpectedly returned to the kitchen for the third time, causing Ramsay to warn him that he would be instantly eliminated if he returned a fourth time before sending him out of the kitchen again with Michael and Barret. Jeremy blew up at Zach when he attempted to give him assistance, then was thrown out for not being able to repeat the orders. Jon sent a risotto to the pass and it was undercooked, and Dan served up undercooked garnishes at the same time, causing both to be ejected; Ray then tasted Jon's risotto with his bare hands, leading to him being ejected also. Finally, Anthony was thrown out for sending a risotto that was bland and underseasoned. Likewise, four women were also removed from the kitchen; Gina was first for serving raw scallops on the second table, then Susan for sending undercooked potatoes, quickly followed by Danielle who got her orders mixed up and couldn't understand how to work in a brigade, and then Jacqueline, who ignored Chef Ramsay's order for her to help Mary (who had taken over the garnishes) and just stood around drinking water. Despite this, Jessica and Cyndi held the team together with their strong performance on the meat station (although Jessica took a really long time to properly slice the lamb). In the men's kitchen, Zach almost bailed out near the end, having vomited after leaving the kitchen briefly for relief, but rebounded successfully with only him and Christian (who was assigned to serving mussels tableside). In the end, Chef Ramsay's guarantee was successfully fulfilled, as both teams completed service.

For having the most contestants remaining and for having been generally more consistent in the service, the women were named the winners. Zach was singled out as "Best of the Worst" for being the last man standing in the Blue kitchen. The women's victory marked the 3rd season in a row in which the women were the winners of the opening night dinner service.

The men had to nominate two chefs to leave Hell's Kitchen. They initially considered nominating Michael, but ultimately Zach chose Jeremy and Sebastian for elimination. In the end, Chef Ramsay decided that Sebastian would leave Hell's Kitchen for his comical attitude during service.

Ramsay's comment: "Sebastian tried to be funny, but it was his cooking that was the joke."
147 3 "19 Chefs Compete" March 19, 2013 4.59[8]

Shortly before 7AM, the contestants received a wake-up call from a team of soldiers, who ordered the contestants outside for their next challenge.

Quit: Prior to the challenge, perhaps due to the constant fighting among her teammates, Gina tendered her resignation from the competition, saying she had a personal issue to attend to. Following her resignation, she returned to the dorm to pack her bags and left Hell's Kitchen through the delivery entrance. This marked the first time a contestant quit prior to a challenge.

Team challenge: Following a wall-climbing demonstration from the soldiers, each team had five minutes to climb a wall, then fetch as many lobsters as they could. The men caught the most lobsters, 37 to the women's 31, when Chef Ramsay announced that this was not the real challenge. During the challenge, Anthony sprained his ankle, but opted to keep going in the game. This led to the second part of the challenge, where each team had ten minutes to remove the meat from as many lobsters as they could, to Chef Ramsay's specification. The women won their second consecutive challenge 11-8; Jon and Jeremy were the only pairs to not get a single lobster done.

The ladies spend the day on a yacht, enjoying sushi and a massage. The men must take in a delivery of fish, then prepare them for cooking, as well as dine on fish head soup for lunch.

Dinner service: The service endured constant mishaps, including Mary and Danielle failing to make risotto correctly, Christian overcooking the scallops and Jeremy struggling with the tableside lobster, to a point where Chef Ramsay forced Jeremy and Christian to eat their mistakes. In the end, Chef Ramsay kicked out both teams and ordered Service to be shut down when he found undercooked lamb being served to him at the pass by both Susan and Jon.

As both teams did very poorly on the service, Chef Ramsay decided there would be no winning team, and ordered them to pick two nominees for elimination. The men chose Jeremy and Christian, while the women chose Danielle and Mary. Christian was told to leave Hell's Kitchen for being the main reason for the men's collapse.

After Chef Ramsay dismissed the contestants, he told Jeremy to stay behind, and the episode ends in cliffhanger.
148 4 "17 Chefs Compete" March 26, 2013 4.68[9]

Picking up where the last episode left off, Ramsay told Jeremy to be more vocal and to step up his game, and Jeremy promised his team that he'll speak up more, much to their approval.

Team challenge: A volunteer from each team raced with the runners in a special "HK3K" mini-marathon for obesity awareness with special runners Maurice Greene, Natalie Coughlin, and Danell Leyva, while their teammates prep the kitchen for the lunch service that would follow; the first person to return to the kitchen will join their teammates in the prepping, with the service starting when their team's runner arrives. The first team to complete their service wins. Chef Ramsay chooses Dan and Mary to join him in the race while the others prepare lunch, with Dan and Mary stopping at checkpoints along the route to inform their teammates of their location. Dan gets back to Hell's Kitchen before Mary, causing the women to fall behind. However, once their lunch service begins, the women catch up, partly caused by Zach using previously disapproved fish and lying to Ramsay about it, insisting that it was not the same. As a result, the women caught up and not only won their third challenge in a row but Ramsay sent them into the blue kitchen to help finish up the men's service. This marked the second season in a row where the men lost the first three challenges as well as the first two services.

The women flew on a private jet to Temecula Valley's Wine Country, where they spend the day enjoying wine and making their own, while the men must clean up the marathon route, as well as prep the kitchens for service.

Dinner service: Chef Ramsay announced that each dining room would serve tableside Greek salad, and assigns Cyndi and Jeremy to the task for their teams. Both kitchens had shaky starts on appetizers, with Ray serving a crunchy risotto in the blue kitchen and Jessica serving too many portions of a risotto in the red; however, both recovered quickly. Tension mounted in the blue kitchen between Michael, who was attempting to become a leader, and Dan, who wouldn't take him seriously, culminating in the two nearly coming to blows. Ramsay ordered both men into the storeroom, and both Ramsay and Michael were yelling at Dan for constantly throwing Michael under the bus. Meanwhile, Danielle and Jacqueline, both working the meat station, made numerous mistakes, with Danielle serving several unacceptable portions of Beef Wellingtons, and Jacqueline serving raw chicken, earning Ramsay's anger. In spite of everything, both teams completed service without anyone being kicked out. Ramsay is disappointed by both teams, but declared the men the winners because they showed improvement, while deeming the women's service as their worst yet.

The women must choose two contestants that they feel must leave Hell's Kitchen. The team agreed Danielle and Jacqueline were the nominees. However, Nedra strongly defended Jacqueline and persuaded her teammates that Jessica should instead be the second nominee for her mistakes on the appetizers; Jessica felt betrayed by her team because of this. Upon being given the nominees, Chef Ramsay called Danielle and Jessica forward, but also called out Jacqueline for serving raw chicken. When the women failed to give an explanation on why Jessica should be nominated, Chef Ramsay sent her back in line. He then called Jacqueline forward but sent her back in line as well and eliminates Danielle as he felt that she hadn't improved in 3 services.

Ramsay's comment: "Every dinner service Danielle looked like a deer in the headlights, and that's why she ended up as dead meat."
149 5 "16 Chefs Compete Part 1" April 2, 2013 4.91[10]

Team challenge: Both teams will sample five meat-based dishes and correctly guess the protein used in making the dish, out of over 50 given on display. The team to guess all five proteins in the fastest time wins. The men went first, taking them 10 minutes and 33 seconds to guess all five proteins, mostly due to disastrously slow performances by Michael and Jon on both the turkey meatballs and swordfish. The women won the challenge by guessing all five, with 3 minutes and 56 seconds to spare, making this the second time in Hell's Kitchen history that a team has lost four challenges in a row, the first one being Season 9's blue team.

The women spend the day at a beach house in Malibu, where they also learn to surf and play volleyball. The men, facing their 4th straight punishment, were forced to bake bread by hand, first grinding the flour—initially by using a mortar and pestle, and then later switching to hand-cranked mill. Jeremy ends up going to the emergency room when he collapsed due to exhaustion; he would later return, citing "not eating" as the reason for his breakdown. Later, the men would be forced in the middle of the night to bake the bread.

Breakfast service: For the first time in Hell's Kitchen history that breakfast would be served as the main service, instead of dinner, the contestants will serve breakfast to emergency medical technicians and emergency room personnel that had just left the night shift. The women took a huge early lead due to Ray underseasoning the first batches of scrambled eggs and Jeremy serving up one of Chef Ramsay's sample dishes rather than the actual cooked dish. However, the women suffered a meltdown when it came to preparing the Eggs Benedict and the pancakes; Nedra was unfocused in cooking the former dish and made numerous mistakes, while Jacqueline kept burning the pancakes. The men caught up with the women, and on the final ticket Jacqueline once again burned the pancakes, allowing the men to complete their service first and earning them their second successive service win.

The women must choose two contestants that they feel should leave Hell's Kitchen; they almost immediately decided on Jacqueline and Nedra for their mistakes on the Eggs Benedict and the pancakes. This led Nedra to lose her temper and furiously go on a profanity-laden rant against the other women, saying that Mary should be nominated for being the weakest overall, and against all odds, this actually changed the rest of the team's mind, leading to them announcing that they nominated Mary alongside Jacqueline. However, Amanda said that Nedra should have been nominated, for her numerous mistakes at making pancakes and the Eggs Benedict, and Ja'Nel said that despite Nedra's mistakes, she considered Mary the weakest.

Elimination cliffhanger: Chef Ramsay called Jacqueline and Mary to the front; after they stated their case, he sent both of them back in line, as he had someone else in mind that should be leaving Hell's Kitchen, ending the episode with another "To be Continued" cliffhanger.
150 6 "16 Chefs Compete Part 2" April 9, 2013 4.53[11]

The episode begins when Chef Ramsay told Jeremy to leave Hell's Kitchen. Ramsay cited that Jeremy was "in way over [his] head", and considered his attempt to serve up a sampler dish instead of the actual cooked dish to be unforgivable. Ramsay cited that the Blue Team won in spite of him & their reward was Jeremy being eliminated.

Team challenge: This day includes a breakfast and dinner service; as dinner service begins in a few hours and prep time is needed, there is no team challenge in this episode.

Dinner service: Prior to the start of service, Jean-Philippe and the wait staff talk about their horror stories about working with the diners. This motivated Chef Ramsay to nominate Barret and Jessica to be waiters for this service; however, their first tickets required several rewrites as Chef Ramsay tore up the errant tickets. During the service, both teams endured numerous mistakes, including Ray overcooking the halibut and scallops on the blue team, and refusing to accept Dan's help (who was also assigned to the station), which infuriated Ramsay because Anthony's perfectly cooked meat couldn't be served. Meanwhile on the red team, Amanda had trouble getting answers from Susan, leading to their appetizers usually reaching the pass over a minute apart, and Mary and Nedra served dangerous raw pork. After Ray sent raw halibut and Nedra sent raw pork, Chef Ramsay threw both teams out of their kitchens and had the sous chefs finish service. Furthermore, Sous Chef James came into the men's dorm with a plate of halibut, berating the contestants for their mistakes and threatening to quit. In addition, Chef Ramsay called both teams downstairs, only to stop them in the stairwell and order them to get back upstairs and nominate two from each team that should leave Hell's Kitchen.

The women nominated Mary and Nedra, both for their raw pork. The men nominated Dan, for his mistakes, and Ray, for being largely unresponsive in that night's service. This leads to Dan getting into a fight with Ray, stating that he 'couldn't cook anything because Ray wouldn't let him'. Dan later flipped off his teammates when he was nominated.

After stating their cases, Chef Ramsay called all four contestants to the front one at a time, telling each of them to take off their jackets. He then said that he is about to do something that was never done before on Hell's Kitchen, and the episode ends in a second straight cliffhanger in a row.
151 7 "15 Chefs Compete" April 16, 2013 4.77[12]

The episode begins that Chef Ramsay promised was probation for the four contestants nominated for elimination: Mary, Nedra, Dan and Ray, in which he said that he'll keep the jackets until they accomplished a task that was worth getting their jackets back, and that anyone who had failed to earn back their jacket by the end of the episode would be eliminated.

Team challenge: The contestants had five minutes to select five ingredients for each of the six Oriental dishes that each team will make – the ingredients are chosen by picking up oversized fortune cookies with chopsticks and opening them, revealing the ingredient to be used. After selecting the ingredients, each team had 40 minutes to cook the dishes. Determining which team gets the points for the particular dish is known Oriental chef Martin Yan. Thanks to Anthony's chow mein dish, the men won their first challenge of the season. In addition, the win enabled Dan and Ray to get their jackets back, since both of them had cooked good-tasting dishes despite not getting a point for the team.

The men spent the day in a paintball war, during which they repeatedly ganged up on Dan. The women spent the day making potstickers and dumplings for the night's service; furthermore, they dine on balut eggs, causing Amanda and Susan to vomit.

Dinner service: Tonight's service was the first of the season to use Chef's Tables to serve attending celebrities: seated at the men's table is Entourage star Rex Lee, while the women's table welcomed film director Adam Shankman. Ja'Nel and Ray were assigned to serve additional appetizers tableside, and while Ja'Nel did this flawlessly, Ray was so slow that he caused his team to have to recook some of their appetizers since they had gone cold by the time he was ready. While the teams managed to complete appetizers without too much trouble (with Nedra and Mary's appetizers earning them back their jackets), but they both had trouble with the entrées, such as Barret accidentally leaving parchment paper on the fish, Jessica repeatedly serving overcooked and undercooked fish, and Susan constantly getting her times wrong and then accidentally dropping the lamb after re-firing it again for being raw. Both teams successfully completed service with no ejections, but Chef Ramsay felt that it was still not good enough for either team to win, due to the numerous errors. Despite his teammates concerns, Dan had his best service yet, with a flawless run on the meat station.

Chef Ramsay ordered both teams to each pick two nominees from each team that should leave Hell's Kitchen. The women chose Jessica and Susan, while the men chose Dan and Ray. Dan protested his nomination, as he committed no errors during the service, he went on to say that Barret should have been nominated for mistakes with the halibut. However, Barret replied that Dan's nomination was based on overall performance. Chef Ramsay called Dan over, only to order him back in line, and he eliminates Jessica for not showing enough passion and was not meeting his expectations due to her good start.

Ramsay's comment: "When Jessica first arrived, I had high expectations for her. Unfortunately, she let us both down."
152 8 "14 Chefs Compete" April 23, 2013 4.83[13]

Team challenge: The contestants had ten minutes to herd animals, representing a protein, into pens marked with the names of starches, creating a protein/starch combo that they were told to cook in 45 minutes for judging by Jon Shook, the head chef at Animal. The women won the challenge with a score of 3–2, after Ja'Nel's goat dish, over Michael's badly overcooked dish.

The women spend the day at the Aquarium of the Pacific, which includes feeding the penguins and swimming with the fishes. The men must tend to the animals at the petting zoo, and set up for the Family Night service the next night. Dan continued to quarrel with his team-mates during the punishment, eventually leading him to nearly walking out of the competition.

Dinner service: Chef Ramsay announced that it is "Family Night" in Hell's Kitchen, and his family will be in attendance. Both kitchens had a decent run on appetizers, although Dan burnt and under-seasoned a pizza in the blue kitchen, and Jacqueline burnt scallops in the red, earning Ramsay's wrath since "it's the easiest thing on the menu" and it halted an otherwise perfect table. On entrées, the men worked to serve Ramsay's family, but Ray delivered an undercooked burger for Ramsay's son, Jack, though he recovered with an acceptable one. However, Barret made numerous mistakes on the meat station, sending lamb that he knew was raw, and then sending severely undercooked chicken to the pass for Sous Chef James's wife, who is seven months pregnant. The red kitchen, however, had an almost flawless entrée stage, mostly thanks to Mary on the meat station, and after serving all their tickets, Ramsay ordered them into the blue kitchen to help the men out, where Mary directed them to completing service. Ramsay berated the men for their embarrassing loss, ordering them to nominate their two weakest chefs for elimination.

The men nominated Barret for his struggles on the meat section and Dan for being a lousy team player. Ramsay eliminated Dan, much to the relief of the men, as he felt that he was holding the team back in the kitchen both in cooking and attitude. Chef Ramsay then warned the rest of the men that if they lose again, he may send more than one of them home next time as they only won 1 dinner service out of 6 & 1 challenge out of 6.

Ramsay's comment: "Dan was just too much of a wild card. There's no way I'm betting a restaurant in Vegas on him."
153 9 "13 Chefs Compete" April 30, 2013 4.79[14]

Team challenge: The chefs were each given a cut of steak, and were challenged to cook it to medium rare and serve it with a spice rub and/or sauce of their own making. Since the women were up an extra member, Nedra and Susan were told to work as a team. Cyndi and Jon faced off first with their porterhouse steaks, and despite enjoying them both, Chef Ramsay felt that Jon's had the edge. Despite feeling that they were respectively a little sweet and a little too spicy for his liking, Chef Ramsay awarded both Zach and the duo of Nedra and Susan a point for their filet steaks. Neither Amanda nor Michael earned a point for their New York strips, as Amanda's was bland and underseasoned, and Michael's was medium instead of medium rare. Both Anthony and Jacqueline earned points for their ribcaps, for making risky ideas (serving their steaks with grilled banana and lemon grass respectively) work well. In the battle of the hanger steaks, Ja'Nel's was beautifully cooked and seasoned, while Barret severely overcooked his steak, earning Ja'Nel a point and tying the scores; on top of that, Chef Ramsay named her dish as the best in the challenge for the second week in a row. Finally, Mary and Ray faced off against each other with their ribeyes, and despite her dish being a little too sweet for Chef Ramsay's liking, Mary took the winning point by default, since Ray's ribeye was medium instead of medium rare. Chef Ramsay took the men to task for their sloppiness, telling them that while their steaks generally tasted better, three of them (Ray's, Michael's and Barret's) were overcooked, which had cost them the challenge.

The women were treated to an afternoon of pampering by a swimming pool, while the men were tasked with cutting steak for the next service, along with fully prepping both kitchens.

Dinner service: For steakhouse night, Zach and Susan were assigned to serve prime rib tableside. The men got off to a solid start, though Barret had trouble with the sides, cooking fishcakes which weren't on order and not supplying the salad for a table of appetizers. Ray then severely undercooked the team's first order of steaks, resulting in Michael deciding to take over the task of cooking the steaks. Things ran smoother after that, and the men completed their service with few issues. The women meanwhile had a decidedly rocky service, getting off to a bad start when Mary first didn't realise that an order of sliders had been called for their first table, and then left a hair in an order that she eventually served. After that, the team managed to complete their appetizers, but quickly stalled again on the entrées, as Jacqueline and Amanda (who were cooking the steaks) inexplicably thought that since one of the guests at their first table had ordered prime rib, it meant no other steaks were required. The next few tables went out smoothly, but they got stalled again on an order of filet mignons, as Jacqueline and Amanda repeatedly served up raw filets, and Nedra's attempt to help them didn't make things go any smoother. This resulted in Ramsay ejecting the trio, plus Cyndi, after which he called Susan back into the kitchen and had her help Ja'Nel and Mary complete the service. Chef Ramsay named the men as the winning team, for not having anyone ejected and making fewer mistakes overall.

The women named two nominees for elimination, Amanda agreed that she should be put up for elimination due to her mistakes on the meat station, and Jacqueline attempted to persuade the other women to nominate Mary for her mistakes on the sliders. However, the nominees ended up as Amanda and Jacqueline. Chef Ramsay told Amanda step forward, only to order her back in line, leading him to tell Jacqueline to leave Hell's Kitchen for her lackadaisical attitude and for consistently being a mediocre performer.

Ramsay's comment: "Jacqueline talked a good game. But unfortunately for her, I need someone who can deliver."
154 10 "12 Chefs Compete" May 7, 2013 4.71[15]

Before the challenge was introduced, Chef Ramsay decided to have a little fun with the teams by showing pictures of himself and the other chefs when they were teenagers.

Team challenge: Each chef were told that the next service will be Hell's Kitchen's first quinceañera service, and each team will be making five course tasting menu, based on the suggestions of Breanna, the girl celebrating her quinceañera, along with her mother Jennifer and Godmother Josette. The women won the challenge 3–2: their seventh win out of eight team challenges this season.

The women spent the day at the Knott's Berry Farm theme park. The men, prepared the dining area for Breanna's quinceañera, under the watchful eye and control of the party planner, Breanna's Godmother.

Dinner service: The quinceañera service was structured differently, with timing being the most crucial element. Chef Ramsay stated that after appetizers, Breanna would do a traditional waltz, so appetizers needed to be finished on both teams together. Both kitchens worked together to serve Breanna's 13-guest table first, and they managed to do this despite a brief slip-up by Amanda. The men's appetizer stage went almost flawlessly, thanks to Jon and Anthony, and they finished well ahead of the women, who once again were held up by Amanda, as well as Nedra who was attempting to help; at one point, Amanda claimed that Nedra had served a badly-seared piece of tuna, even though it was unclear who actually made it. After Nedra proceeded to drop a piece of tuna on the floor, Breanna's godmother and Jean-Philippe came into the kitchen and told the chefs that they couldn't wait anymore, and began the waltz before appetizers were finished in the red kitchen, much to Ramsay's anger. The entrée stage went a little better for the women, despite Nedra and Cyndi serving undercooked portions of meat. The men, however, suffered many setbacks, including Zach repeatedly serving less potatoes than were needed (and snapping at Ramsay when confronted), and Barret struggling with making pasta as well as leaving a splinter in a burnt kebab. In the post-mortem, despite not kicking anybody out, Ramsay declared both teams the losers, calling the women a "disaster" and the men "embarrassing".

Both teams have to nominate two chefs for elimination, the men easily nominated Barret and Zach (the latter protesting his nomination), while the women nominated Amanda and Cyndi (who insisted that Nedra should have been nominated for her mistakes with the tuna and undercooked meat), admitting that it was a tough decision (who insisted that Nedra should have been nominated). Chef Ramsay eliminates Amanda for getting overwhelmed too easily.

Elimination cliffhanger: After Amanda left, Chef Ramsay said that the service was so bad, that he was not finished, leaving the fates of Cyndi, Barret, and Zach uncertain until the next episode.
155 11 "10 Chefs Compete" May 13, 2013 4.19[16]

At the start of the episode, Chef Ramsay told Cyndi that she was safe, and ordered her back in line, leaving Zach and Barret for elimination. He then asked them for a 10 second speech on why they should stay before telling Barret to leave Hell's Kitchen.

Team challenge: A representative from each team had 30 seconds to collect as many slips of paper as they can while in a wind chamber. Then, each team had 45 minutes to cook five dishes based on those ingredients, in which they will be graded not only for taste and texture, but also for aesthetic appeal. From each team, Chef Ramsay chose three of the five based on looks alone (which resulted in excluding Ray, Michael, Nedra, and Susan) in which those dishes will be tested by Chef Ramsay and the editor of People magazine. For each dish, both will give a score out of 50 for an accumulative score out of 100; the team with the most points wins. Even though Jon managed to get the highest score, he was unable to claim the victory thanks to the rest of his team. The women won their fourth consecutive challenge – their eighth out of nine this season. This loss marked the first time that a team lost at least 4 consecutive challenges more than once.

The women joined Chef Ramsay for a photo shoot for People magazine, with Mary's highest-scoring dish from the team challenge showcased. Each contestant also won a Vitamix blender. The men, in yet another punishment, must clean up the dorms; while they were cleaning, Ray got upset when he found cookies in Nedra's bed. In addition, Jon and Zach were called to the photo shoot to deliver champagne to the women – by tricycle.

Dinner service: That evening, Chef Ramsay called both teams to his office to inform them that returning U.S. Army servicemen will be dining tonight in a special private dining service. In this special service, two twelve-tops were set, in which a team of wait staff will serve each appetizer and entrée simultaneously to all diners, and because of that, timing is crucial. The men got off to a good start with Jon's strong leadership, but they hit numerous problems with Ray's lack of leadership, and this caused one of the servicemen to send his linguini back. While Ray tried to correct the problem, Zach decides to sabotage him with cold sauce, but Ramsay sees this and calls out Zach. On the Red Team, Nedra attempted to cook the pasta in cold water, and Susan mistimes her steaks. These mistakes had also led to the course line-up being shuffled, causing the timing of the service to be off. Because of the poor service in front of the returning soldiers, despite not throwing anyone out, Chef Ramsay declared both teams losers and asked them to nominate one from each team for elimination.

The women had trouble deciding between Nedra and Susan, but ultimately nominated Nedra, while the men nominated Ray, but admitted that they had trouble between him and Zach. Chef Ramsay brought Nedra and Ray forward, but also called out Zach for sabotaging Ray's station and poor leadership. Ramsay called Nedra forward and sent her back in line, but told her to "Give me the best dinner service of your life next time. Or else, you're history". With Zach and Ray remaining, Chef Ramsay eliminates Ray for his lack of leadership and inconsistent performances, but told him he respected him for coming into the competition in the first place.

Ramsay's comment: "Ray's age was not the issue – it was his cooking. And I was not getting any younger waiting for him to improve."
156 12 "9 Chefs Compete" May 13, 2013 3.89[16]

There was no team challenge for this episode. Chef Ramsay asked the teams to spend the day creating their own menus for that night's service, which he will examine before the service. The men had an easy time of creating their menu, despite Zach barely participating at first. The women, however, had trouble as Nedra kept making suggestions that the other women looked down on, but they finally let her put a gumbo on the menu. In the examination, Chef Ramsay liked the men's menu as it stood, but he thought the women's menu was a disaster, requiring numerous changes before the start of service several minutes later.

Dinner service: The women had only a few minor problems during service and won the service, while Michael in the blue kitchen had problems with the fish station and Chef Ramsay sent him for a time-out. Zach also brought up raw pork. While the men were nominating two people for elimination, Chef Ramsay called the women to his office and told them to nominate one member that should go to the men's team, in order to even out the playing field. In the meeting that followed, they decided that they all should join the men, but as only one could be transferred over, they decided to draw names, in which Cyndi was the "lucky winner".

Anthony announced that the men failed to reach a consensus in deciding who should be nominated, leading to Chef Ramsay taking a vote at elimination. Two votes each went to Michael and Zach, nominating them for elimination. Chef Ramsay saved Zach for a third consecutive time while Michael was the third consecutive man to leave for his huge mistakes in service, which Ramsay did not expect him to make at this stage of the competition. There was no reason given for his elimination.

Then, Chef Ramsay then asked the women if they had chosen one member to go to the men as a replacement, but when Ja'Nel told him that they all wanted to go, resulting in drawing names instead, Chef Ramsay got angry, as only deliberation amongst contestants should decide who to go, not a lottery.
157 13 "8 Chefs Compete" May 23, 2013 5.62[17]

Continuing from the previous episode, Chef Ramsay ordered the women to discuss amongst themselves on who should move to the men's team. During the deliberation, most of the women, who were shocked that Zach hadn't been eliminated and did not want to work with him, recanted on their previous desires to be the one to join the men. Ultimately, the women decided that Nedra would make the move.

Team challenge: Each team member was paired up with a member from the opposite team, in which they spun a wheel to decide which style of ethnic dish they should cook. Wherever the wheel lands, the box's contents are revealed, in which they have 45 minutes to cook a dish consisting of a protein of their choice, and the ingredients revealed. Each dish would then be judged by Chef Ramsay and the editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine Dana Bowen. The Red Team won their fifth consecutive challenge, scoring three dishes to the Blue Team's one, and only thing that prevented them from scoring a clean sweep was Mary burning the rice for her Indian dish, which allowed Jon to earn the Blue Team's only point.

The Red Team split $2,000 amongst themselves for clothes shopping at a boutique, followed by a private dining service at Mr. Chow. Also, each contestant won a set of copper-clad cookware. The Blue Team, in yet another punishment, must take a delivery of wine, slice 40 pounds each of lemons and limes, and prep both kitchens for service that night. Nedra, the Blue Team's newest member, was reluctant to do any work in the punishment, to a point where she was not finished in prepping the Red Team's kitchen after they returned from their field trip. She also berated Zach on his performance in the competition, though Zach ended up feeling insulted over her diatribe.

Dinner service: Tonight's service was a normal service, though amongst the Red Team's diners that night was Kelly Hu, one of the stars of Hawaii Five-0. The Red Team had endured many mishaps, including Susan cooking four orders of risotto when only two were required, and Ja'Nel first undercooking the scallops and then undercooking the halibut, much to the anger and disbelief of Chef Ramsay. The Blue Team was even worse, not even making it to the entrée stage, as Jon undercooked the scallops, but what made things worse for them was that the team had to suffer from Nedra's apathy for the service, as she took more time organizing her incredibly messy station than actually cooking and angrily shoved Zach and Anthony aside when they tried to assist her. When it was determined that the service was going downhill fast without any chance for recovery, Chef Ramsay ordered both kitchens shut down and ejected both teams, then had Jean-Philippe apologize to the diners, saying that the night's service was the worst ever in Hell's Kitchen history.

Chef Ramsay called both teams downstairs, only to stop them in the stairwell, pointing out that it was Hell's Kitchen's worst service so far, wondering if he sent the wrong chefs homes and ordered them to get back upstairs and nominate one from each team that should leave Hell's Kitchen. Despite Ja'Nel being the most directly at fault for the red Team's failure, the other women still considered her the strongest member of the team, and so selected Susan for needlessly cooking the extra risotto, along with a general feeling that she was their weakest cook. The three men on the Blue Team chose Nedra without any hesitation, leading to her berating Zach and Anthony and saying that one of them should be the nominee. Following their pleas, Chef Ramsay chose Nedra to leave Hell's Kitchen for her declining performance and blaming her teammates for her mistakes.(During her exit she was paid a retrospective like Racheal from season 2, Robert and Sabrina from season 6 and Carrie and Natalie from season 9).

Ramsay's comment: "Nedra wore a red jacket and a blue jacket. But after tonight's performance, I knew that she wouldn't be wearing a black jacket."
158 14 "7 Chefs Compete Part 1" May 30, 2013 5.22[18]

Team challenge: The chefs were told they would be tested on their ability to determine food by touch. Anthony and Cyndi volunteered with Anthony winning the challenge 3 to 2. Ramsay then told Anthony he won nothing because the real challenge was the blind taste test. With the men down a member, they were asked to choose one to go twice and they chose Zach. In the first round, Zach staked the men to an early 3-1 lead. However, Anthony's failure to identify 1 item and Ja'nel naming three of four ingredients, gave the women a narrow 4-3 lead. The women remained ahead with a 6-5 lead by one point after Jon and Cyndi were only able to identify two ingredients each. In one of the closest blind tastes in Hell's Kitchen history, the women won the challenge 7-6 after Susan correctly identified the ingredients narrowly beating Zach, who got 1 ingredient. The victory marked the red team's sixth consecutive victory and their tenth out of eleven this season, giving them the best challenge record in Hell's Kitchen history. This also marked the first time in Hell's Kitchen history that one team won six consecutive challenges. To date, Zach is the only chef to go twice in the blind taste test.

The women were treated to the finest seafood at the Nobu restaurant in Malibu. Then, they went for a horseback ride in the Santa Monica Mountains. The men, in yet another punishment, must take a delivery of supplies, which also included flour (which Anthony leaked all over the place) and ice (which Anthony blindly took more than what was ordered); in addition, they must prep both kitchens for dinner service the next day.

Surprise immunity challenge: Chef Ramsay brought all the chefs down before service to talk about earning the black jackets and asked the chefs to do an individual challenge, to gauge how well they came along since their first encounter in Las Vegas. The contestants had 45 minutes to create whatever they want to show Ramsay their skills. The chef who wins will be safe from elimination at dinner service. Ja'nel starts off strong and sits in the "immunity chair". Anthony goes but his dish is not as good as Ja'Nel's so he loses. Then Susan presented her dish of lamb, but failed as the lamb in this challenge was raw. Jon takes Ja'nel's place with three remaining chefs to showcase their food. Mary's sauce on her dish causes her to lose out on taking Jon's place. Zach then takes his shot at immunity but falls short because of the portioning of the prawns and filet on his dish. Now, with only one chef remaining (Cyndi) the pressure is on Jon and her. However, Chef Ramsay can't decide who would win the surprise immunity and the episode ends in a cliffhanger.
159 15 "7 Chefs Compete Part 2" June 6, 2013 5.28[19]

At the continuation of the previous episode, Chef Ramsay decided that Jon won the surprise immunity, ensuring him safe from elimination.

Dinner service: Chef Ramsay increased the pressure by inviting Extra's Maria Menounos to the men's kitchen and Suburgatory‍ '​s Jeremy Sisto to the women's kitchen. Anthony failed to understand with Chef Ramsay's order, Jon screws up with a bland risotto at the start. Cyndi was called out for producing too much risotto, having a messy station and not calling out orders to the other chefs, but still produced good food. Anthony, however, gave the wrong number of lobster tails for Jon's risotto and then made overcooked tails. Anthony and Zach suffered communication issues when Anthony took his fish up before Zach was done his meat. Susan was the standout performer on the red team; first she finally got redemption by finally cooking the lamb perfectly, and later sent up perfect wellingtons. Anthony produced raw halibut and Ramsay took him to the back room asking why he kept producing inconsistent results. Zach then cooked raw wellingtons and realized he had no prepped wellingtons as backup, resulting in Chef Ramsay taking Susan's perfectly cooked wellingtons to use in place of Zach's. The women, however, finished their service before the men, resulting in yet another lost dinner service for the men. Susan was singled out as the Best of the Best for bouncing back after her previous poor performances. Chef Ramsay then told the women to decide who will go to the men's team, while ordering Jon, who was still immune and was named the Best of the Worst for making only one error with the risotto, to decide who should leave (marking this the first time since Episode 9 of Season 8 where Ramsay has instructed one individual to nominate people for elimination). Ja'Nel volunteered to go to the men's team, saying she can get Zach to communicate or Anthony to wake up.

Jon nominated Anthony for elimination. However, Chef Ramsay personally nominated Zach for elimination. In their explanation on why they should stay, Anthony said that he believed he needed to just kickstart his confidence, but Chef Ramsay doubted his ability to keep his confidence high. Chef Ramsay told Zach that he hit a wall; Zach then explained that he still had fight left in him, and he loves what he does. In a psyche-out, Chef Ramsay eliminated Anthony from the competition but Ramsay encouraged him to continue cooking & to find something in the industry. Leaving the women and Jon visibly surprised, he felt that he lacked the fight back and confidence that Zach had. Although he was nominated by Jon, he encouraged him to win this competition as he left the building.

Then, Ramsay asks the women who they had chosen to join the men, and Susan revealed that they had selected Ja'Nel; Ramsay agreed with the choice and gives her a blue jacket. However, he warned Ja'Nel not to follow in Nedra's footsteps.

Ramsay's comment: "Anthony hobbled through Hell's Kitchen, and even though his leg eventually got better, his cooking didn't."
160 16 "6 Chefs Compete" June 13, 2013 5.14[20]

Team challenge: The teams were challenged with their final team challenge—the infamous communication challenge. The contestants had to prepare three dishes of Chef Ramsay's choosing, all from the regular Hell's Kitchen menu. Only one chef from each team was allowed in the kitchen at a time, for only five minutes. When their time was up, the next chef took his or her place. The previous chef was given 15 seconds to brief the next chef. Chef Ramsay then compared the same dishes from each team for completeness, taste, and appearance to decide the winning team. Chef Ramsay instructed the first two chefs they would need to make a rack of lamb, a chicken and halibut. The blue team won their second challenge 2-0, ending the Red Team's six challenge winning streak.

The blue team took a tour of Los Angeles from a helicopter, then visited the Gillette Ranch, where they sampled over $20,000 worth of the rarest caviar in the world. The red team had to unload a truck of potatoes to prepare meals for the Los Angeles Mission and prepare both kitchens for dinner service. During the unloading of the truck, Cyndi experienced an asthma attack, resulting in her needing to see the medic, but she was able to continue the punishment after receiving treatment.

Dinner service: Ramsay announced that the five chefs after the service will receive a black jacket. Ramsay also told the chefs over 500 people were turned away due to a full dining room. Jon and Ja'nel started the service off with perfect risotto and scallops while Zach flubbed with the amount of wellingtons he prepared. On the red side, Susan and Cyndi also prepared perfectly cooked risotto and lobster tails. Cyndi then started preparing the entrées early before all appetizers were served and improperly prepared lobster tails. Ja'Nel and Jon finished appetizers while Mary who was helping Cyndi with appetizers served raw lobster tails, resulting in Ramsay taking the entire red team to the back of the kitchen for a talk and the red team completed the appetizers. Zach was once again non-communicative to Chef Ramsay and his team in preparing entrées, however they were still able to prepare properly cooked dishes. Then, Zach serves an overcook lamb but eventually pushes through it. The red team finishes service and Zach finishes service with a properly cooked lamb. Ramsay announces that the teams were joint-winners, but also announced the red team and the blue team will each lose one member as he's only going to be giving out four black jackets.

Each team must nominate one for elimination, The blue team nominates Zach for issues with communication and the entrées. Cyndi announced that she was the red team's nominee. However, Chef Ramsay questioned why Cyndi was named the weakest, then after explaining again he wanted the weakest chef nominated, each of the chefs nominated each other with Cyndi nominating Mary, Mary nominating Susan and Susan nominating Cyndi again. The nomination result in a tie, Ramsay asks Ja'nel that Susan was a weakest chef, so Ramsay called Susan down. He then eliminated Zach, much to the other contestants relief, deciding he was given one too many chances and wasn't fulfilling Ramsay's expectations.

Ramsay's comment: "There once was a chef named Zach, For words he didn't lack. But in the kitchen, He was no magician, And he won't be coming back."
161 17 "5 Chefs Compete Part 1" June 20, 2013 5.19[21]

Before introducing the next challenge, the remaining chefs are shown a video from Chef Ramsay that showed each of the chef's families wishing them luck. Ramsay then added that the chefs face one more challenge and he unveiled a curtain which actually had the family members in the restaurant. After each chef spent time with their loved ones, Ramsay announced that he'll give all five remaining chefs black jackets.

Individual challenge: Each chef had 45 minutes to use a pressure cooker to prepare a dish using one of five cheap cuts of meat, each hidden in a pressure cooker, and fashion the dish as a five-star entrée. Each chef will then present them for tasting for Ramsay, James Beard award-winner and owner of Osteria Mozza, Nancy Silverton; and Los Angeles magazine's Dine editor Leslie Barger Suter, the first person to receive the James Beard award for culinary journalism. Each judge will give one to five stars; the contestant with the most stars wins. Susan having problems on using pressure cooker, not allowing to cook properly. Mary wins her first individual challenge with her perfect score of 15 stars, Ja'Nel came in 2nd with 14 stars, Jon was third with 10 stars, Susan finished fourth with 9 stars, and Cyndi was last with 7 stars.

Mary was given the chance to dine with her family at Wolfgang Puck's WP 24 atop The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles. The losing chefs had to "volunteer" by working maintenance for Tree People at Coldwater Canyon, shoveling mulch, digging up the side of a hill, and other environmental duties. Later at Hell's Kitchen, they had to sort out the recyclables and organics for Recycling Day.

Chef Ramsay calls the chefs down to the kitchen to remind them that it will be the most challenging service yet forthcoming because they'll all work as one single team. Ramsay then announces that they'll be competing against a team of five chefs that he has worked with before and proclaims that they are some of the best he's worked with.
162 18 "5 Chefs Compete Part 2" June 27, 2013 5.54[22]

Continued from previous episode, Chef Ramsay welcomed the chefs who will compete in the opposing kitchen against the final five contestants: all winners from past seasons of Hell's Kitchen. The chefs were: Rahman "Rock" Harper (Season 3), Christina Machamer (Season 4), Dave Levey (Season 6), Nona Sivley (Season 8), and Paul Niedermann (Season 9).

Dinner service: The chefs of both teams had to come up with signature dishes to add to the Hell's Kitchen menu. Ramsay also left it up to the teams to decide who would be on each station. Each team had difficulty in deciding on food, with Susan wanting the menu to be simple, and Nona wanting an exclusively southern-themed menu despite none of the other four being especially familiar with southern cuisine. On the current contestants' team, Susan was made to float, Cyndi took the meat station, Jon on fish, Mary on garnish and Ja'Nel on hot appetizers. Susan put up an argument but eventually agreed to be a floater and help the other chefs. The returning team had few issues preparing their dishes while the current chefs are having issue with their duck confit and have to serve their dish without the confit. Ramsay felt that their steak tartar was underseasoned and that failing to serve the confit was completely unacceptable, and ordered the team to recook both dishes from scratch. On presenting again however, Ramsay approved the dishes. The returning chefs presented a rendered duck breast with toasted pistachios and veal lamb chop with collard greens and ham-hock for their entrée. The service started strong with Jon and Mary cooking perfect scallops. Nona started off forgetting Ramsay's recipe for risotto and also underportioned them. Dave jumped in to help her, and while Nona initially refused the help, the two quickly started getting the appetizers out. Rock seemed very confused and unsure of what to do as the other chefs were bringing dishes up. Susan and Ja'Nel generally did a good job on the appetizers, but Susan got overwhelmed at one point and underdressed the salads, forcing Ja'Nel to bail her out. Christina and Paul both generally did well on the entrées (serving fish and meat respectively and surprisingly in Christina's case), though Paul was twice called out for serving undercooked meat. Cyndi had issues with timing on the lamb, and although the black team almost finishes first, a returned lamb stalled finishing the service until after the returning winners had finished theirs. The winner is decided by comment cards filled out by the diners and the returning winners receive a score of 95% customer satisfaction, while the final five narrowly lost out, scoring 93%.

Despite the service almost being perfect, Susan and Cyndi are nominated for their drastic issues in the kitchen. Cyndi tried to put Ja'Nel on the chopping block saying that Susan ran the appetizers station, but none of the other competitors agreed with her. Chef Ramsay decided that since the final five almost matched the 5 returning champions, no one would be going home tonight. However, he warned them that tomorrow one, two or three of them could be going home.
163 19 "5 Chefs Compete Part 3" July 11, 2013 5.25[23]

Individual challenge: The contestants must create ten gourmet burgers of their own, which will be judged by Chef Ramsay and Jean-Phillippe along with people associated with some of the finest restaurants in the country; some of these pointed out in this episode included Darren Kim of Nobu, and David Rosoff and Joseph Bastianich of Osteria Mozza. Susan was named the worst of the burgers (for her "Healthy Burger") while almost 40 percent of the diners chose Jon's burger, his "Roman Burger", as the best of the five, despite being the last to complete his cooking and despite his concerns that the hamburger patty was bigger than the bun.

Jon spends the day at the local spa, and chooses Cyndi to join him. The remaining three chefs had to do a litany of chores listed by Jean-Phillippe, including steam linens, polish the silverware, and wash Jean-Phillippe's car. They also had to prep the kitchen for that night's dinner service.

Dinner service: Antonio Sabàto, Jr., and his friend, came in on late notice, but was given a position at the chef's table, at the request of Chef Ramsay, thus giving a service an air of seriousness and urgency. Ja'Nel gave out properly cooked risotto to the chef's table, as did Cyndi with her lobster for the risotto and Mary on sliders. However, after a short time, Ja'Nel had issues with the risotto, slowing service down, but she quickly recovered. Then, Mary forgot a patty for one of the sliders and, while trying to fix the issue, overcooked the burgers. Thankfully, with Susan's help, the sliders made their way out along with the rest of the appetizers. Susan then produced burnt garnish while Mary overcooked one side of the sole, but both corrected themselves. Susan also tried preparing entrées for a ticket even though appetizers hadn't left. As a result, Ramsay left the kitchen with sous chef Andi, leaving Susan to run the kitchen. After a short time, Ramsay returned to the kitchen, after Susan worked the pass, and the chefs eventually complete service. However, despite that, Chef Ramsay called the service "dreadful" and said they "had better services than that weeks ago."

The team must nominate two contestants that must leave Hell's Kitchen. Mary was nominated for her communication issues and trouble on the fish station but were split between Susan and Ja'Nel. Both Ja'Nel and Susan got in to a heated argument over who the best chef was with Ja'Nel condescending to her about how she was a rookie and all the while, barely taking responsibility for her actions. When the five chefs entered the dining hill for the elimination ceremony, Susan then tells Ramsay that the team is split on the second nominee between Susan and Ja'Nel, so Ramsay decided to call down both of them. After sending Mary and Ja'Nel back in line, he eliminates Susan from the competition for failing to improve in three straight dinner services. But he told her to never stop trying, as he may have a job for her in the future.

Ramsay's comment: "Susan had little experience, but she came a long way. She's not ready to lead my kitchen in Vegas, but I'm happy to say that she'll be leaving Hell's Kitchen as a real chef."
164 20 "4 Chefs Compete" July 18, 2013 4.90[24]

Individual challenge: The contestants were split into teams of Ja'Nel and Cyndi, and Jon and Mary. Each team then had to put together a puzzle which had an image of a dish. Jon and Mary finished first. However, as Jon guessed early on before the challenge began, this was not the actual challenge. The actual challenge was the popular "Taste it, now make it" challenge, in which the chefs have 30 minutes to replicate the sample dish, using taste, touch and sight alone to make it, determine the protein, the sauce and all other components. Mary chose bison, but halfway into cooking, switched to lamb, leading to it being undercooked at the end of the challenge; despite that, Mary hoped for her meal to win anyway, based on the correctness of the ingredients alone. Cyndi chose both buffalo and venison, Ja'Nel chose venison and Jon chose beef for the protein. All four decided on butternut squash for the sauce. Ja'Nel and Jon chose parsnip for their vegetable, Cyndi chose turnip and Mary chose celery root. Ramsay told the chefs that the proper protein was venison, eliminating both Jon and Mary from the challenge. All four were incorrect in choosing butternut squash as the puree, as it was carrot. Cyndi won the challenge when she was the only remaining chef who chose turnip as her vegetable.

Cyndi was rewarded with a shopping spree with Jean-Philippe at Sur La Table with $1,000 to spend. This is followed by lunch with Chef Ramsay at The Fat Cow, his restaurant at The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles. As punishment, the other chefs had to load all the furniture not being used in the dorms and load them into the moving truck and had to prepare the kitchen for that night's service.

Dinner service: In this service, each of the chefs took turns running the pass and had to spot acts of sabotage that Ramsay and sous chef Andi deliberately set up. Cyndi started out strong sending perfect risottos out of the kitchen and was the first one to take on the pass to be more forceful in calling out orders. Andi prepared a risotto with crab instead of lobster to test Cyndi, which she missed in plating and finishes good on standing. Ja'Nel started off her time at the pass noticing the other chefs giving her little respect but eventually showed her strength. Andi then brought Ja'Nel cod instead of halibut and Ja'Nel caught the mistake and ended a strong pass. During Jon's time on the pass, he had an issue with a wellington in which an order was for no pork, when there was prosciutto already rolled into the dish. After getting reprimanded by Ramsay, he brought back Jean-Philippe to tell him the special order is not possible proved that he is a weak leader, but he failed that test too. Finally, Mary entered the pass and started off with good communication and assertiveness. Andi sent up a wellington stuffed with lamb instead of beef and Mary caught the mistake. At the end of service, Mary ended her time at the pass and the end of service strong.

Chef Ramsay asked the four to explain why they deserve to stay, instead of asking for the contestants to nominate someone. After saying that this elimination was one of the toughest in Hell's Kitchen history, Ramsay eliminated Cyndi feeling she's not yet ready for the job awaiting in Vegas, but urges her not to give up on her culinary career. Then, Ramsay reveals Mary is the first chef in the final. As Chef Ramsay is about to name the other chef joining Mary in the final, the episode ends with another "To Be Continued" cliffhanger.
165 21 "2 Chefs Compete" July 25, 2013 5.29[25]

Finalists Cont'd/Jon's Elimination: Chef Ramsay announces the second chef to move on to the final with Mary is Ja'Nel, leaving Jon as the one to leave Hell's Kitchen. Chef Ramsay told him that he would be leaving as his lone shining star from this year's men's team (which Ramsay otherwise deemed to have been the worst ever team in the entire history of Hell's Kitchen), and told him to stay in touch because he may have a job for him in the future. He also allows Jon to keep his jacket as a token of his success up to that point. This also makes him the first male contestant to be allowed to keep his jacket upon departure. This marked the first time since season 2 that there was all female finale.

The chefs flew a private jet to Las Vegas where they received their own suite at Caesar's Palace. They then used the time in their hotel to plan out four appetizers, four entrées and two desserts with help from Sous Chefs James and Andi for their service. The chefs then met the President of Caesar's Palace Gary Selesner before heading off to Gordon Ramsay Steak, the restaurant season ten winner Christina Wilson manages for winning. At the end of their meal they were given their chef's jackets for the upcoming service.

A brief time after arriving back in Los Angeles, Ja'Nel and Mary then received a call from Ramsay to join him at Union Station, believing that they would be travelling for their last challenge. But upon arrival, they met up with Chef Ramsay—and the finalists' families. The contestants then walk through a curtain, thinking that they were going to catch a train, only to find themselves in front of a large audience.

Individual challenge: Ja'Nel and Mary had to prepare two appetizers and three entrées to present to a panel of esteemed judges. Ja'Nel wins the challenge 3–2. This means Ja'Nel has the won the most challenges out of everyone in Hell's Kitchen with 12 challenge wins.

Instead of prizes, Ja'Nel and Mary must draft a team using the ten remaining chefs from the competition (Barret did not return, so Dan replaced him), and Ja'Nel getting to choose first, Ja'Nel chooses Cyndi, Susan, Zach, Amanda and Ray, while Mary chooses Jon, Anthony, Nedra, Michael and she was left with Dan when Ja'Nel picked Ray. Before heading back to Hell's Kitchen, both Ja'Nel and Mary were given envelopes with instructions not to open them until they returned to Hell's Kitchen. Upon opening the envelopes, Ja'Nel and Mary are given the opportunity to trade a team member before the start of service, but Ja'Nel tells Mary she's happy with her team when Mary says she wants to trade Dan. While there is conflict amongst Dan and Jon on Mary's team, the team otherwise likes her menu. On the other hand, Ja'Nel's team are much more vocal in their concerns over Ja'Nel's menu, feeling that the dishes will be very complex to make and may not appeal to the diners, with Susan in particular heavily dissenting. Annoyed by this, Ja'Nel tells the team that she's going to speak with Mary, and heavily implies that she may be willing to trade away Susan for Dan after all. The episode ends with the final "To be continued" cliffhanger.
166 22 "Winner Chosen" July 25, 2013 5.61[25]

Continued from previous episode, despite an initial intention to talk to Mary, Ja'Nel decides to keep her team and just tells her team she wants the menu to represent her. Eventually her team agrees to respect Ja'Nel's wishes and cook the menu she has prepared. During prep, Dan takes a long time to prepare butter for Mary's dishes and so Jon takes over. Dan leaves the kitchen with a frustration, then returns, causing Mary to decide to watch Dan when needed. In presenting the dishes to Chef Ramsay, he gives his approval to all of Ja'Nel's and Mary's dishes. Chef Ramsay then informs the contestants that, for the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, the final service will include two Chef's Tables: actor Anthony Anderson and his son will be at Ja'Nel's table, while actress Kat Graham and skateboarding legend Tony Hawk dine at Mary's table. Also among the diners that night are talk show host Leeza Gibbons, actor John Schneider and former Olympic diver Greg Louganis.

Dinner service: The service start strong, Mary commands her team after an initial stumble. With Cyndi's support for respect, Ja'Nel gets her service running strong. Starting with appetizers, Nedra fumbles on appetizers, by not tasting her hot apps to start. She also deals with many issues of amount of seasoning, being slow to get orders to the pass and not cooking the food properly. With the mistakes hampering the performance, Mary shows her leadership by telling her team she's not opposed to throwing someone out of the kitchen, which causes Nedra to bounce back. On Ja'Nel's side, Ray misses the amount of dressing on the salad towards the beginning of appetizers and then towards the end of apps, he has issues with how the salad is prepared. There was some confusion on Mary's last table of apps, as she unknowingly called out for only one portion of scallops when two were required, but Michael caught her mistake and ensured that Jon had enough time to cook a second portion, successfully completing the appetizer stage. Susan has issues with bread to go with Cyndi's mussels, but thanks to Amanda, Ja'Nel finishes her appetizers. Dan has issues on meat and not only cooked rare meat, he brought it up twice in a row for the same ticket. Mary shows her leadership and lectures Dan on the meat; however, he once again cooks rare meat, forcing Mary to make good on her promise and kick Dan out of the kitchen marking the first time a chef was sent out by a finalist. Nedra takes over the meat station and after discovering Dan overcooked almost all the steaks, she finally finds one that was properly cooked. On Ja'Nel's side, Susan cooks cold potatoes but after the initial stumbles, comes back. Zach then causes issues for Amanda's fish station when his meat slows down the kitchen. Mary shows some confusion when she asks for dishes that are in front of her but eventually keeps entrées going out, while Ja'Nel's kitchen has slowed considerably. Taking control, Ja'Nel gets her team to rally back which causes entrées to fly out of the kitchen and to the Chef's Table. Mary finally completes her service strong, with Ja'Nel finishing shortly after.

After looking at both diners' comment cards and evaluating both chefs work in the entire competition, Chef Ramsay brings both contestants to his office and commends both of them for their excellent work in the competition. In traditional Hell's Kitchen fashion, he places both chefs in front of a door each. He then asks both to place their hands on their doorknobs and turn the handle on a count of three. Ja'Nel's door opens, making her the eleventh winner of Hell's Kitchen. During the celebration, Ja'Nel hung her portrait on the Wall of Fame, joining the other ten winners of the competition, while Dan finally apologizes and reconciles with Mary.

Ramsay's comment: "In all my years in Hell's Kitchen, I have never seen a more composed individual than Ja'Nel. And that is why I am so happy to have this ambitious, creative and talented woman as my Head Chef."


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