Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 12)

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Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 12)
Country of origin United States
Broadcast
Original channel Fox
Original run March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13) – July 24, 2014 (2014-07-24)
Season chronology

Season 12 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen premiered on March 13, 2014, on Fox.

Gordon Ramsay returned as head chef as well as Andi Van Willigan and James Avery as the red team's and blue team's sous chefs respectively. Jean-Philippe Susilovic also returned as the maître d'. This was the fourth season to feature an all-male final (following seasons 1, 6, and 9).

Executive Chef Scott Commings won this season and received a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas; the prize was retained from the previous season.

Chefs

Twenty chefs are competing in season 12. Jason Zepaltas previously competed in season 9 but left before the first dinner service of that season after falling ill during prep. He is the second chef to have competed in two seasons, the first being Robert Hesse (seasons 5 and 6).

Contestant[1] Age Occupation Hometown
Michael "Mike" Aresta 38 Chef Instructor Keyport, New Jersey
Rochelle Bergman 27 Catering Chef Riverside, California
Scott Commings 36 Executive Chef Woodstock, Illinois
Michael "DeMarco" DeMarco 29 Line Cook Scranton, Pennsylvania
Christopher "Chris" Eversole 27 Line Cook Las Vegas, Nevada
Melanie Finch 24 Line Cook Woodland Hills, California
Sandra Flores 36 Sous Chef Queens, New York
Michael "Gabriel" Gabriel 26 Executive Chef Spring, Texas
Simone Hammond 43 Buffet Cook Henderson, Nevada
Ralph Johnson 28 Chef De Partie (Line Cook) Boston, Massachusetts
Beverly "Bev" Lazo–Gonzalez 42 Food Truck Chef Whittier, California
Richard Mancini 48 Executive Chef Bloomingdale, Illinois
Gaurav Navin 34 Executive Chef East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
Joy Parham–Thomas 25 Kitchen Supervisor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nicole Rutz 33 Baker Morganville, New Jersey
Elizabeth "Beth" Taylor 43 Line Cook Independence, Louisiana
Anton Testino 39 Head Chef Butler, New Jersey
Jessica Vogel 28 Line Cook Spring Lake, New Jersey
Jason Zepaltas 31 Sous Chef Chicago, Illinois
Kashia Zollicoffer 23 Line Cook Carthage, Mississippi

Opening sequence/credits

The opening sequence of Season 12 of the show features Chef Ramsay reading a noir comic book, "Tales from Hell's Kitchen", featuring the contestants in various dramatic scenes, ending with Ramsay on the back cover with the caption, "The End?"

Credit Order: Anton, Sandra, Kashia, Rochelle, Jason, Gaurav, Bev, Melanie, DeMarco, Simone, Richard, Jessica, Joy, Mike, Nicole, Gabriel, Beth, Scott, Ralph, Chris

Signature Dish Order: Anton, Simone, Nicole, Jason, Chris, Joy, Kashia, Mike, Melanie, Richard, Bev, Gabriel, Gaurav, Sandra, Beth, DeMarco, Rochelle, Ralph, Jessica, Scott

Contestant progress

No. Chef 1201 1202 1203 1204 1205 1206 1207 1208 1209/10 1210 1211 1212 1213 1214 1215/16 1217 1218 1219 1220
1 Scott LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN NOM WIN IN NOM NOM NOM WIN NOM NOM NOM IN BoB WINNER
2 Jason LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN LOSE WIN IN LOSE BoW LOSE LOSE WIN NOM IN IN IN RUNNER-UP
3 Melanie LOSE LOSE LOSE BoB WIN LOSE WIN LOSE IN WIN LOSE LOSE WIN WIN NOM IN IN OUT
4 Rochelle LOSE LOSE NOM WIN WIN LOSE WIN BoW IN WIN NOM LOSE LOSE WIN LOSE IN IN OUT
5 Joy LOSE LOSE BoW BoB WIN LOSE BoB LOSE IN WIN LOSE LOSE WIN LOSE IMM IN LEFT
6 Kashia LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN WIN LOSE WIN LOSE IN WIN LOSE NOM WIN LOSE LOSE OUT
7 Gabriel LOSE NOM LOSE LOSE NOM WIN LOSE WIN IN NOM LOSE NOM NOM BoB FIRED
8 Anton LOSE LOSE BoW LOSE LOSE BoB LOSE WIN IN LOSE NOM LOSE WIN OUT
9 Richard LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE NOM WIN LOSE WIN LIFE LOSE LOSE LOSE OUT
10 Sandra NOM LOSE NOM WIN WIN NOM WIN LOSE IN WIN NOM OUT
11 Ralph LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN NOM WIN IN OUT
12 Jessica LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN WIN LOSE WIN NOM OUT
13 Bev LOSE LOSE LOSE WIN WIN LOSE WIN OUT
14 Chris LOSE LOSE NOM LOSE LOSE WIN OUT
15 Beth LOSE NOM LOSE WIN WIN OUT
16 DeMarco NOM NOM NOM NOM OUT
17 Mike LOSE LOSE NOM OUT
18 Simone LOSE NOM LEFT
19 Nicole NOM OUT
20 Gaurav OUT

Coat Hook and Picture Order: Nicole, Richard, Kashia, Anton, Beth, Chris, Rochelle, Scott, Melanie, Jason, Simone, Gaurav, Joy, Gabriel, Sandra, Mike, Bev, DeMarco, Jessica, Ralph

Episode guide

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

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Rating/share
(18–49)
Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
167 1 "20 Chefs Compete" 2.0/7[3] March 13, 2014 (2014-03-13) 5.45[3]

20 contestants are bussed to Hell's Kitchen, which is occupied by diners and cooks. Chef Ramsay greets the contestants and mentions that Los Angeles is known not only for its cuisine, but also for its entertainment. The cooks and diners then perform a dance routine to the show's theme song. Following the musical number, Ramsay has the contestants go to the kitchen for their first team challenge.

Team challenge: The contestants are divided between the women (red) and the men (blue), and have 45 minutes to prepare their signature dish.[2] Ramsay judges the dishes for appearance and taste before some 2000 plus Los Angeles locals. He awards points for Anton's pork and crabmeat crust surf-and-turf, Jason's seared and braised wild salmon with vegetables,[note 1] and Chris' Cornish hen. He enjoys the taste and seasoning of Simone's Peach and Crab Apple chutney pork chop, but disapproves it for its poor presentation. He also disapproves of Nicole's halibut filet with squash and Joy's chilled corn soup. He approves Kashia's New York strip with blue cheese crab butter, but tosses Mike's herb-fried tortellini with romesco sauce in the trash without tasting it since he did not use any fresh ingredients. When Mike curses Ramsay under his breath, he is openly berated and Ramsay threatens to throw him out of the competition. Melanie's pan-seared scallops earns a point over Richard's pan-roasted sea bass; Bev's Southeast Asian-style fish tacos earns another over Gabriel's stuffed chicken breast. Gaurav's afreen tuna pulao and Sandra's tender cod filet do not earn points. Beth's pecan-crusted catfish was approved, while DeMarco's ricotta gnocchi with roasted tomato creme and sausage was rejected. Ralph's New England lobster dish was approved for being well-cooked, while Rochelle's mushroom chicken with asparagus is deemed "memorable for all the wrong reasons". Jessica's rosemary-crusted venison loin with goat cheese polenta scores over Scott's herb-roasted rack of lamb, and the women win the challenge.[note 2]

The women have dinner with Ramsay at his restaurant, the London West Hollywood, while the men clean the dining room and both kitchens.

Dinner service: Chris and Melanie serve table-side chicken Caesar salad. Neither team is able to bring out an appetizer. In the blue kitchen, Gaurav is unable to get the flavoring of the risotto right, DeMarco overcooks the lobster, and Gabriel cooks the scallops unevenly. Ramsay is infuriated when Gaurav dips his fingers in the risotto to taste it, and he eventually throws all the men out. In the red kitchen, Joy and Nicole cannot get the scallops out; they blame each other as well as Sandra (who is cooking the risotto). After further mistakes, Ramsay throws the three out, and eventually tosses the other women out after Kashia serves up more overcooked scallops. Ramsay notes that this was the worst performance in the show's entire history, with not one appetizer being served from either kitchen.

Ramsay tells both teams to nominate two chefs each for elimination consideration. Kashia and Anton are asked for the nominees. The women nominate Sandra and Nicole. The men nominate Gaurav and DeMarco. Despite noting the terrible errors from the nominees (plus Joy and Gabriel), Ramsay eliminates Gaurav for tasting the risotto with his fingers, along with his nonchalant attitude towards the incident.

Ramsay's comment: "There's so many things about India that I love. It's a shame Gaurav isn't one of them."
168 2 "19 Chefs Compete" 1.8/6[4] March 20, 2014 (2014-03-20) 5.34[4]

The chef contestants are waken up by bikers who perform a series of stunts inside a spherical cage. Ramsay explains the next team challenge.

Team challenge: The chefs work as pairs in a "chef's relay" where they pedal tricycles to a cooking area and prepare and/or cook one of five ingredients. In the first task, cleaning shrimp, DeMarco and Richard are faster than Kashia and Bev. However, in the second task of breaking down a chicken, Chris cuts himself, leaving Jessica and Beth to finish ahead of Anton, who is working solo after the incident. In the third task, cleaning oysters, Jason and Gabriel pass Melanie and Simone; but after the fourth task of filleting trout, the teams are even thanks to an excellent performance by Sandra and Nicole (the two nominees from the red team for the first dinner service) who are actually quicker than Mike and Scott. In the final task, cooking egg white omelettes, Ralph and Gabriel got theirs out ahead of Joy and Rochelle, helping the men win their first challenge of the season.

The men were rewarded with an overnight trip to San Francisco where they got to share a meal with Ramsay and tour the city on Segways. The women had to pick carrots and make stock. During the punishment, tension rose between Kashia and Nicole, the latter of whom isolated herself at the carrot farm, did not study her recipe book unlike the rest of her team in between the two parts of the punishment, and proved her lack of knowledge and interest for cooking, much to Kashia's anger, causing a fight between the two.

Dinner service: While serving oysters table-side, Sandra has no trouble, but Mike inadvertently serves a red table more than once. For the men, Jason and DeMarco struggle but get their appetizers out. However, on the entrees, Scott and Gabriel mix up cooking times, and when they respectively serve raw halibut and chicken, Ramsay throws the men out. The women fail to send out a single appetizer as Ramsay throws Simone and Nicole out. Although Kashia rises to the occasion and successfully makes perfectly cooked beef wellingtons, earning Ramsay's praise, Beth has problems with lobster and then halibut, the latter of which got served raw in the middle but overcooked on the outside. Ramsay throws the rest of the women out, and declares both teams the losers.

In the elimination round, Richard reveals the men nominated Gabriel and DeMarco. Melanie reveals the women nominated Beth and Simone. However, Ramsay spares the four nominees and sends home Nicole instead, much to the relief of Kashia and the other women, as he feels her lack of passion, cooking ability, fight back and leadership (as well as her negative attitude) outweighs the mistakes made by the other four nominees. Nicole leaves, cursing at Ramsay under her breath and flipping off the camera.

Ramsay's comment: "I'm not looking for a line cook. But if I were, I still wouldn't have hired Nicole. She was useless."
169 3 "18 Chefs Compete" 1.9/6[5] March 27, 2014 (2014-03-27) 5.39[5]

The chefs are wakened by the squeals of pigs which run through the dorms: each contestant brings a pig to the outside lot which is linked to the day's team challenge.

Team challenge: Each contestant digs up 100 pounds of potatoes for the team from a pen filled with pigs and farm animals. Although the men finish first, Ramsay then revealed that the real team challenge where they must prepare potato dishes and present them from best to worst, from which Ramsay would rate each dish on a scale from 1 to 5. Jessica's sweet potato succotash and Richard's Irish Colcannon each score 4 points; Sandra's Pancetta Sofrito and Ralph's potato salad each score 3, making the score 7–7. Jason's Potato gratin goes ahead 4–2 against Bev's potato has; but Melanie's gnocchi wins over Mike's Boulangerie 4–1, putting the women ahead 13–12. In the final round, Scott's potato souffle got 4 points, but Joy's pierogi got 5 points to secure the victory 18–16.

The women were rewarded with a private dinner on a yacht, while the men had to clean up after the livestock outside. During the prep for the dinner service, DeMarco cuts himself and is sent to the emergency room for stitches. Rochelle and Simone also feel sick, although teammates suspect Simone is faking her condition.

Dinner service: Kashia and Ralph serve table-side appetizer of Steak Diane. Anton and Joy do well on their appetizers. In the red kitchen, Jessica and Simone do poorly on the fish station, serving raw fish and causing Ramsay to throw both of them out. In the blue kitchen, Chris and Mike are unable to work together on the fish station, and do not communicate well with DeMarco who returns halfway. None of their dishes come out at the same time, DeMarco poorly slices an order of chicken. Ramsay throws the men out, and then the women after Bev serves more raw fish. He calls it the most embarrassing service in the show's history.[note 3]

Ramsay tells the teams that this time they must nominate three members for elimination.[note 4] Sandra and Jason are asked for the nominees. The red team nominate Simone, Rochelle, and Sandra, while the blue team nearly break into a fight, but nominate Mike, DeMarco, and Chris. Out of those six names, Ramsay calls Simone, DeMarco and Mike forward. Breaking with format, he tells Simone, Mike and DeMarco to remove their jackets and gives them ten seconds to plead their cases. When Ramsay is about to announce his decision, Simone says, "It's okay, chef, I can go," and withdraws from the competition. Ramsay tells Mike and DeMarco to shape up, and returns their jackets.

Ramsay's comment: "Hell's Kitchen is about making someone's wish come true. Simone wished to leave Hell's Kitchen. That was an easy one. Wish granted."
170 4 "17 Chefs Compete" 1.8/6[6] April 3, 2014 (2014-04-03) 4.99[6]

Ramsay gives the contestants a lesson on consistency. He dumps about 200,000 pennies ($2,000) on the floor, visually representing how much food and money was wasted in the previous service. He then teaches them about how to make ravioli for the next challenge. Team challenge: The chefs pair up to make ravioli dishes; the first team to make ten approved dishes wins. The men jump out to a 6–0 lead, but the women produce six dishes and tie the score. With the teams at a 9–9 tie, the trio of DeMarco, Gabriel and Mike[note 5] submits their first ravioli dish but was rejected to be too thick. The women, however, passed their tenth dish and win the challenge.

The women were rewarded with a day at a Beverly Hills mansion, while the men have to clean and prep both kitchens as well as wrap the pennies.

Dinner service: The theme is steak night. Beth, Rochelle, Gabriel and Scott operated table-side to make chopped salad and ribs. In the red kitchen, Bev's risotto is too salty, but Joy brings out approved appetizers. In the blue kitchen, Mike's offer to help is ignored, causing Ramsay to berate the team. Mike's risotto comes out with no lobster and is rejected. Richard produces cold crab cakes, and Ralph's ravioli is too watery, that Ramsay kicks the two out and makes them eat their mistakes. With Anton on appetizers, the men finally sent out some dishes. While the women sent out several dishes from Melanie, Sandra, and Kashia, Jason undercooked a steak. The women finished their service, and Ramsay singles out Joy and Melanie for their strong showings on appetizers and meat respectively; Ramsay then has them help the men with their service.

Ramsay had the men nominate two contestants, and Ralph reveals they chose Mike and DeMarco. Although Mike pleads to be sent to the women's team (much to their shock and horror), Ramsay decided he was "unfit" for Hell's Kitchen and sends him home.

Ramsay's comment: "There once was a cook named Mike. He couldn't cook fish or any other dish, so I told him to take a hike."
171 5 "16 Chefs Compete" 1.4/5[7] April 10, 2014 (2014-04-10) 4.17[7]

Team challenge: The chefs play a variant of Concentration where they have to match side dishes with four different types of protein (pork chop, swordfish, ahi tuna, and chicken breast), and score points based on presentation, taste and creativity. The red team does the task although Beth shows moments of confusion, but the blue team uses much of their time to match the ingredients. On the chicken breast dish, where Melanie and Rochelle go against Anton and Richard, the men's dish is criticized for poor presentation but tastes okay, so Ramsay awards a point to each team. For the pork chops, DeMarco and Chris (who did the pork dish by himself, much to DeMarco's anger and disappointment) get a point over Jessica and Kashia, the latter of whose potatoes were soggy. On the ahi tuna dish, Sandra and Beth earn a point because Jason and Gabriel's dish lacks kale. On the swordfish dish, where Joy and Bev are up against Scott and Ralph, Ramsay approves of the fish, but feels the men's Hollandaise sauce does not support it, so he awards the red team their third straight challenge win.

The women are rewarded with a day trip to Laguna Beach, while the men spend the day preparing honey taffy from scratch.

Brunch service: The contestants got an early wake-up call to prepare a brunch reception to follow the first-ever Hell's Kitchen wedding. The service functions similarly to a dinner service, with the faster team winning the service. The women served the bride's family, while the men served the groom's family. Rochelle and Scott got out the fruit salad appetizers without incident. The wedding party's table must be done by both kitchens, but Beth bursts an egg and burns bread, while Ralph cooks in a cold and greasy pan. Beth then serves a raw, runny egg that Ramsay likens to "snot on your wedding day", and DeMarco brings up a raw egg cooked by Ralph. The women manage to serve the bride shortly before the men manage to serve the groom thanks to Kashia and Rochelle's help on each station, and entrees run fairly smoothly after that thanks to them and for the blue kitchen as well. Both teams get to the final ticket, but Gabriel and Richard slowed the men down while Beth holds the women back. However, the women finished first, giving them the win and the men the worst start in Hell's Kitchen's history with five consecutive losses.

The men were told to nominate two of their men for elimination. After a big argument, they chose to nominate DeMarco for once again being a bad performer in general as well as slowing them down (marking the longest streak of nominations of any competitor in the shows history as well as from the start, being nominated five times in a row in the first five services) and Gabriel for his poor performance on the scrambled eggs station, despite Richard, who was also on that station, performing equally as bad. After being given the nominations by Chris, Chef Ramsay personally nominated Richard for holding the men back. But in the end, Chef Ramsay eliminated DeMarco, stating that he had run out of chances.

Ramsay's comment: "DeMarco: Demented, demoted, denied."
172 6 "15 Chefs Compete" 1.7/6[8] April 17, 2014 (2014-04-17) 4.95[8]

Team Captain nomination: In this episode, no challenge preceding the dinner service took place. Instead, Chef Ramsay asked teams to deliberate for a leader to serve as Team Captains for dinner service. For the women, Bev and Kashia's self-nominations fall to deaf ears while Melanie takes the lead and rises to the occasion. Despite clearly being a frontrunner early in the competition who has been apt at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of her team members, Joy chooses to take a back seat. For the men, Gabriel wishes to make a name for himself and advocates he can get the job done, much to the dismay (and laughter) of his team mates. Consensus narrows down to Jason, but Anton pleads his case successfully and wins the nomination. Melanie and Anton reveal their differing strategies to Chef Ramsay: Melanie will run the fish station and lead while doing so while Anton will 'float' around the various stations managing his team.

Dinner service: The night's dinner service is highlighted by the presence of celebrities and their guests at the chef's tables, giving them all-access to the turbulent kitchen environment. Prior to the dinner service, the women lament that Beth's systematic disintegration during service will ruin their team and believe the men have no chance at succeeding. During service, Joy voices her frustration with a mute Sandra and an incompetent Beth (lost, emotional, and behind orders). Melanie, whose leadership was largely non-responsive and ineffectual, ruins an otherwise complete order with raw fish and is threatened with being thrown out unless she fixes herself. Sandra largely withdraws from engaging with her teammates. Post-service camera interviews by team members indicate a high degree of distrust and infighting among the team still persists behind closed doors. The men's service also had some speed bumps; while Ramsay was inspecting the women's food, Anton, whose leadership was effectively the opposite of Melanie's as he was fairly overzealous, skipped the pass and served the chef's table himself with an order of undercooked scallops that were already the second attempt at being properly cooked. After a furious statement by Ramsay, Chris (supervised by Anton) bounced back with a perfect order. Jason performs well on the meat station, while Scott has some communication issues with Ramsay and his teammates despite cooking his fish perfectly. While the men privately question the credibility of Anton's leadership, they come together to complete service.

Both teams manage to complete service start to finish with no one thrown out. Chef Ramsay gave the men their first victory of the season and ending the worst start of the blue team in the history of Hell's Kitchen which meaning they also avoid tying with the worst start red team had set in season 6 with six consecutive losses; he also praises Anton's leadership qualities. Rochelle announces the women nominated Sandra and Beth for elimination; Ramsay polls the remaining women, and all except Jessica say that Sandra should go home. Ultimately, while the women (barring Jessica) felt Sandra was bringing down the team and wanted her gone, Ramsay eliminated Beth, feeling she had no known presence in the kitchen, was not the right person to run a brigade, and was deemed out of her depth in the competition.

Ramsay's comment: "Beth thinks the reason she hasn't advanced in the culinary industry is the fact that she's a woman in the south. I think it's because she can't cook."
173 7 "14 Chefs Compete" 1.7/6[9] April 24, 2014 (2014-04-24) 4.92[9]

Team challenge: The teams were challenged to cook four gourmet pizzas, which would be rated on a scale of 1–5 by Ramsay and Wolfgang Puck, the team with the most points would win the challenge. Each team was divided into three pairs and a solo chef (Rochelle and Ralph), and told not to serve the weakest pizza; the men decided not to serve Jason and Chris' seriously undercooked pizza, while the women (on Melanie's behalf) decided that Bev and Kashia's were the weakest, despite the two protesting that Joy and Jessica's extremely small and simple pizza (Joy dropped their original pizza on the floor before cooking it) was worse. Rochelle's pizza scored 5, while Ralph's pizza scored 3. After, Joy and Jessica only got 4, then Gabriel and Scott scored 5 making the score 9–8. For the final round, Melanie and Sandra's pizza scored only 3, making the score 12–8. Anton and Richard's pizza was complimented by both Puck and Ramsay and gave it a 7, enabling the men to a 15–12 victory. He criticized the women for not serving Bev and Kashia's pizza, which received a seven out of ten by Ramsay and Puck (it would've tied with Anton and Richard's pizza).

The men, having won their 2nd challenge of the season, were rewarded with a day at a rooftop swimming pool and a session with a yoga instructor, while the women had to make pasta for the evening's Italian family night and prep both kitchens. Kashia got frustrated at Melanie for deciding to leave her and Bev's pizza out, and not taking responsibility for their team's loss (since she and Sandra served the lowest scored pizza of the day).

Service: Both teams had major trouble serving pizzas. For the women, Bev constantly undercooked and burned the pizzas, with the situation being made worse by Kashia (who was assigned to be on the station with her) openly refusing to help out, and Sandra rolling the bases too thick. Eventually, Joy jumped in and took over making the pizza bases, and the women completed the rest of their service with few further problems; in addition, the women received the order for Chef Ramsay's family, which Sandra was able to deliver successfully. In the blue kitchen, Chris and Scott had major problems with their pizzas, throwing nearly every one of them away, and eventually forcing Anton to jump in and help out. However, even with his help, they ran out of dough before finishing service, and further problems were caused by Ralph undercooking and poorly cutting the meat, requiring Jason's help to get things moving, which allowed the blue team to finish service thanks to his work. Both teams finished service with no one thrown out, and while both teams struggled during service, Chef Ramsay declared the men the losers since, while both teams struggled with the pizzas, he felt that the women did better on the other stations and the men disappointed on all stations.

The men were told to nominate two chefs, and decided on the two pizza station cooks, Chris and Scott. After Richard announced the nominees, Chef Ramsay also called up Ralph for his problems on the meat station. Although Scott consistently wasted pizza dough and Ralph was unable admit his faults, Ramsay eliminated Chris because Chris had consistently performed poorly.

Ramsay's comment: "I'd like to think every chef has a talent. Chris needs to keep looking for his."
174 8 "13 Chefs Compete" May 1, 2014 (2014-05-01)

Team challenge: The teams were challenged to cook sampler dishes for attendees of a special dinner honoring the 160th anniversary of the Phi Mu sorority. Each team were required to serve a chicken entree, a seafood entree and a beef entree, all cooked Southern style. The women had a strong strategy throughout thanks to Kashia's vocal leadership, while the men wasted over ten minutes deciding on a menu (due to only Gabriel having any experience of Southern cuisine) and barely even managed to finish their dishes in time. The women won their fifth challenge of the season 2–1, scoring on the beef and seafood entrees.

The women were rewarded with a trip to Las Vegas, where they were treated to a shopping spree and a meal where they got to meet Hell's Kitchen Season 10 winner Christina Wilson. The men had to set up the dining room for the dinner, under the direction of the sorority's party committee, much to the chagrin of the men.

Dinner service: The men started out well thanks to Gabriel and Richard's strong work on the appetizers. They hit problems on the entrees however, with Scott failing to communicate with the garnish station and sending up the ribeyes before the garnishes were ready (though fortunately Richard was able to get the garnishes out in time), and then more seriously when Jason constantly served up raw chicken, requiring Anton and Gabriel to jump in and help him out. The women got off to a rocky start when Bev constantly undercooked the crab cakes, and then they ran into serious problems on the fried chicken, with the duo of Kashia and Jessica repeatedly serving raw chicken as well and then constantly arguing over which of the two was at fault. They eventually started getting the chicken right, but further problems were caused by Bev losing track of the garnishes and not even knowing which sides were meant to go with which dish, resulting in Rochelle pushing her off the station and taking over, which although helped get the Red Team out more food, it angered Ramsay when he found out about it. Both teams successfully finished service with no one thrown out; while Chef Ramsay made it clear he was unhappy with the performances of both teams, he named the men as the winners since they had at least gotten through the appetizers without any major difficulties. The women were told to nominate two for elimination.

The women immediately decided on Bev as the first nominee, but were divided between Kashia and Jessica, who were both on the fried chicken station; they eventually revealed via Rochelle's announcement that they decided to put up Jessica with Bev. After hearing an especially tearful plea (including talking about her being homeless) for her survival, Chef Ramsay sent Jessica back in line and eliminated Bev, for letting Rochelle take over her station and being a consistently poor performer throughout the season.

Ramsay's comment: "Bev may be a great food truck chef. Unfortunately for her, Hell's Kitchen doesn't have wheels."
175 9 "12 Chefs Compete" May 8, 2014 (2014-05-08)

Team challenge: Chef Ramsay tests the chefs' adaptability by placing six ingredients each under four domes; every few minutes, a new dome will become available to the chefs, and no chefs can share ingredients. They had thirty minutes to complete their dishes. Judging the challenge was chef Michael Cimarusti. First, Kashia scores over Ralph on the New York strip, because Ralph overdid the pistachios with his dish (despite cooking the steak well). Rochelle then widens the red team's lead with her lobster (which she admitted to never having cooked before) defeating Richard's flavorful but old-fashioned dish. In the next round, Jason gets the blue team on the board with his sea bass, earning a point over Joy because her dish was too sweet. Chef Michael is very impressed with both Gabriel's and Melanie's chicken dishes, and awards both of them a point. Next up, Anton goes head-to-head with Jessica on the ahi tuna, the latter believing she was cooking swordfish; Anton's dish is called "harmonious" despite a messy presentation, while Jessica's dish is severely overcooked due to her putting it in the oven (which Chef Michael says is something that shouldn't be done), and Anton ties the score at 3. Finally, Scott and Sandra impress with their respective duck breasts, but Sandra narrowly won the point for the women and their sixth challenge victory out of eight.

The women were rewarded with a beachside lunch, followed by a private volleyball lesson with Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings. The men had to do the entire waitstaff's chores.

Elimination challenge – Part I: Instead of an actual service, Chef Ramsay called each contestant into his office one by one, discussing with them their strengths and weaknesses, their progress so far this season, and who they felt was the weakest player in their team. The results of the latter question were used to determine the weakest player on each team: Richard and Jessica. These two contestants have 30 minutes apiece to cook three dishes, consisting of risotto, scallops, and halibut, all judged by Chef Ramsay to determine their quality. The contestant with the least-perfect dishes overall must leave Hell's Kitchen, resulting in "Hell's Kitchen"'s first-ever elimination challenge. After Chef Ramsay examined each meal, he commented that the dishes of both meals were of great quality, to a point that he had a hard time deciding who to send home.

The episode ended with a "To Be Continued" cliffhanger, as Chef Ramsay was about to announce the eliminated contestant.
176 10 "11 Chefs Compete" May 15, 2014 (2014-05-15)

Elimination challenge – Part II: Continuing from the cliffhanger, Ramsay eliminated Jessica, causing her to burst into tears, pleading for him to send her back in line. He eliminated her anyway, as he considered her mistakes of undercooking the lobster in the risotto and overcooking the halibut, worse than the careless mistakes Richard made.

The next morning, Chef Ramsay has the chefs brought to his GastroPub to show them around and inspire them. He then announces that Hell's Kitchen's next service will have a special menu based on the one at this restaurant. Later when the chefs return to Hell's Kitchen to prep for the service, Ralph begins to feel sick, caused by the bad sleep he had the prior night due to Gabriel's snoring. However, he returns to participate in service just before Jean-Philippe opens the restaurant.

Dinner service: The men fly through appetizers thanks to Jason's leadership, while the women do fairly well, with the exception of Kashia making less garnish than required at the start. On entrees, the women successfully deliver a near flawless performance thanks to Joy's performance on the meat station and Kashia redeeming herself from the appetizers by serving perfectly cooked garnishes alongside the entrees, while the men suffer a communication breakdown. Gabriel gives Ramsay inaccurate times while Scott serves soggy salad and fries and Ralph also makes mistakes on the Fish & Chips dish with overcooked and undercooked fish. Anton also builds a barrier between himself and his teammates and doesn't communicate to them from the meat station, much to their anger. One couple on the men's side decided to leave without their meal, due to the continuous delays; Chef Ramsay had Jean-Philippe bring them into the kitchen, where he apologized on their behalf in front of the team and invited them back for a future service. Eventually the women finished service and all but Sandra (who was on desserts) were ordered to help the men finish service, who had seriously fallen behind. However the men continued to argue and Chef Ramsay threw them out, but not before telling them to come up with two nominees for elimination. The women completed service for the men.

The men argue even more in the dorms but eventually decide to nominate Gabriel and Scott, which angers Gabriel. When Chef Ramsay asks Gabriel for the nominations, Gabriel nominates Ralph instead of himself, causing a wave of shock and annoyance throughout the rest of the team. After Jason states that Gabriel lied about Ralph, Chef Ramsay has all three of them come up. He then eliminates Ralph, feeling that his failure to properly cook fish and chips, and his refusal to accept any responsibility for his failure, means he is not yet ready to be a head chef.

Ramsay's comments:
Jessica: Jessica did not receive a closing comment, nor did she get the usual coat-hanging and picture-burning sequence. However, at the end of the episode, her hung jacket and burned picture can be seen next to Ralph's.

Ralph: "Ralph has a lot of heart. But when it comes to cooking, he comes up a little short."
177 11 "10 Chefs Compete" May 22, 2014 (2014-05-22)

Team challenge: Chef Ramsay challenges the chefs to match eight cuts of pork meat with eight body parts of a pig. The team that completes this faster will win an advantage in the cooking part of the challenge. The men win and each member of the team gets to choose which cut of pork they want to cook with (three of the pork cuts will not be used in the challenge) as well as which of the women they want to compete against. Anton challenges Melanie and chooses to work with shoulder; but due to his poor presentation, Melanie earns the point. Richard challenges Rochelle and chooses loin, but overstuffs his pork, which allows Rochelle to get the point and gave the women a 2–0 lead. Gabriel challenges Joy and chooses ribs, giving the men their first point in the challenge, due to Joy not cooking her pork enough for Chef Ramsay. Jason challenges Sandra choosing pork belly and, like Joy, Sandra does not cook her pork enough resulting in Jason tying the score at 2. Finally Scott challenges Kashia and chooses pork cheek. Kashia is very confident and Chef Ramsay has low hopes that Scott will have his ravioli completed in time. However, Scott surprises Chef Ramsay when he does and Kashia puts in too little cheek in her dish, giving the men a comeback 3–2 win, their third of the season.

The men are rewarded with skydiving in a vertical wind tunnel blowing at 100mph as well as brand new Vitamix blenders. The women have to crack peanuts and make peanut butter, and then prep both kitchens for that night's service.

Dinner service: Appetizers run okay in both kitchens; however, Anton cooks only nine scallops instead of ten and Sandra overcooks her lobster. When Anton blames Scott for "distracting" him, Ramsay brings all the men into the storeroom and tells them to work out their issues. Kashia attemps to cook risotto, but it will not get hot; Ramsay eventually notices that her gas is not on. Later on entrees, both continue to make mistakes on the fish station. Gabriel serves up raw mushrooms (forcing the perfectly cooked Wellingtons to be redone, to Richard's frustration) and Scott constantly offers Anton unwanted help; Anton eventually shuts him out entirely, but when he serves overcooked halibut, Anton blames his teammates for talking too much. Both teams eventually finish service with no one thrown out, but Chef Ramsay gives neither team the win.

Jason and Joy are asked for the nominees. The men decide to nominate Anton and Scott, and the women agree to nominate Sandra, except for Sandra herself. For the second nominee, they initially decide to nominate Kashia, but decide on Rochelle despite her perfect performance in the service, due to a comment she makes during punishment about wanting to raise a family, which the rest the women (excluding Sandra, who feels that this is a stupid reason) takes as a sign that she is not passionate enough about cooking.

Team change: Despite all the chefs having cooking issues or communication issues in the service (or both), Ramsay takes all their jackets but has Anton and Scott move to the red team and Sandra and Rochelle move to the blue team, hoping that the new chefs on the new teams will "correct" things.
178 12 "10 Chefs Again" May 29, 2014 (2014-05-29)

Team challenge: Chef Ramsay started the challenge off by having each chef, one by one, enter a "grocery store" in complete darkness. While inside each chef would have to use the sense of feel to collect five ingredients. Gabriel, however only managed to recover four ingredients. Afterward, he gave them 30 minutes to use all and only the ingredients they collected. He would determine the winning team of the challenge through a King of the Hill match between all the chefs individually. Whoever cooked the best dish would win the challenge for their entire team. Gabriel went first, but he forgot his chicken mousse which annoyed Chef Ramsay so much he didn't even allow him to sit down, as he knew there were better dishes. Scott's dish contained slightly overcooked halibut, but otherwise was considered a good dish. Sandra replaced him immediately, but then was dethroned by Anton directly afterward. Rochelle's dish then surpassed his and every dish after hers contained a mistake, except for Melanie, whose dish just wasn't good enough, allowing Rochelle to win the challenge for her new team.

The blue team was rewarded with spending a day pampering at LeSpa in Beverly Hills while the red team had to unload a truck and carry numerous things inside.

Dinner service: This episode's service would be a special service for 24 members of the UNICEF charity, with Angie Harmon being among those people. The service would consist of a 5 course meal; each chef being responsible for one and cooking twelve portions of it. Anton and Rochelle both get their risottos out quickly and well-looking; but on the second course, while Melanie has no trouble with her tuna, Gabriel forgets to cook two of his tuna (thanks to Rochelle who noticed), which slowed down the blue team until she helped him get back on track by cooking two more portions of tuna. Things get worse on the third course, as Kashia doesn't taste Melanie's and Anton's undercooked tortellini and Richard overcooks some of his, causing blue diners to receive reduced portions, a mistake exacerbated by Gabriel putting out 13 plates instead of 12. On the fourth course, Scott gets his lamb out fine with the exception of Chef Ramsay lecturing him about messy plating, but Sandra undercooks then overcooks her lamb, delaying the blue team even more as well as causing their table to again get reduced portions. On the final course, Joy and Jason both get their beignet courses out without any trouble. The service once again has no chefs kicked out, however, because both teams finished worse than they started, Chef Ramsay did not feel that either team had done well enough to deserve victory and told each team to nominate two for elimination.

Chef Ramsay asked Melanie and Rochelle for the nominees. The red team immediately decided on Kashia for not tasting the undercooked tortellini and even though Kashia suggested they select Melanie (who cooked the tortellini with Anton) as the second nominee, they chose Scott because "he always looks out of it", despite having a much better service than last time. The blue team had no trouble deciding on Sandra but they had trouble choosing a second nominee, especially Rochelle. They eventually settled on Gabriel for falling behind on the tuna. Chef Ramsay calls them all up, but sends Scott and Gabriel back in line first, then Kashia. He then eliminates Sandra for her huge issues with the lamb and the fact that her move to the blue team did not have the positive effect Ramsay hoped it would have on her.

Ramsay's comment: "It may have been charity night in Hell's Kitchen. But when it comes to Sandra, I wasn't in a charitable mood."
179 13 "9 Chefs Compete" June 5, 2014 (2014-06-05)

Pre-service: There was no team challenge this episode; the chefs were woken up by two rappers, who sang instructions for the teams to come up with their own menus for the following service (causing Joy to comment disdainfully on the quality of their rapping). Melanie forced through most of her ideas to create the red team's menu, although Anton and Joy were able to get some of their dishes on as well; in particular, Joy pushed for the team to include fried chicken, despite the problems it had caused both teams several services earlier. For her part, Kashia suggested a tuna slider, which was rejected, then became annoyed when the team added it without giving her credit, though her suggestion to add the same signature dish she cooked in the very first challenge was accepted by the team. Most of the blue team contributed ideas for their menu, although Rochelle couldn't think of any dishes she wanted to put on there. Chef Ramsay felt both menus were generally decent, but insisted on several tweaks on both sides, and also called out Rochelle when she burnt a sampler crab cake and starting giggling nervously upon being criticized by Ramsay.

Dinner service: Initially the blue team's menu got a lot more orders. Jason was worried about Rochelle's ability to get the appetizers out, but after some initial nerves she pulled it together and was able to get the appetizers out perfectly, though the team was slowed down when Richard served raw crab cakes. Their service soon fell apart on the entrees however, as Gabriel repeatedly served up undercooked steaks, while Richard continued to make mistakes on the garnish station, under-portioning the sides and doing so poorly that Rochelle pushed him off the station and took over, which helped the blue team catch up. On the red team, Melanie had major troubles with their scallop dish after misunderstanding Anton's instructions on how to cook it, and after undercooking further orders she ran out of scallops halfway through the service. Fortunately Anton was able to find what would have been the blue team's supply of scallops (the blue team didn't use them in any of their dishes), and got the service back on track. Despite the team's worries about the fried chicken dish, Joy was able to get out every order perfectly, while Kashia also delivered on her promise of cooking every order of her signature dish perfectly. At the end of service, Chef Ramsay said that despite Melanie's scallop troubles, the red team had clearly won the service due to a slow start but strong finish, and told the blue team to nominate two for elimination.

Ramsay also asked the red team to nominate one of the women to go over to the blue team. Despite the three women on the red team being reluctant due to their belief that the members of the blue team (bar Rochelle, who was performing better than her male counterparts) were completely incompetent, Melanie ultimately volunteered herself to move over following the elimination.

Despite Richard and Gabriel trying to nominate Rochelle, Richard announced that he had been nominated alongside Gabriel. After hearing from both nominees, Chef Ramsay eliminated Richard, feeling that he had failed to live up to his experience and lacked Gabriel's desire to succeed; thus, he could go no further in the competition. However, Ramsay warned Gabriel that he was on his very last chance, having been nominated five times so far this season.

Ramsay's comment: "Richard had more experience than anyone here. But it's not experience I'm looking for, it's talent."
180 14 "8 Chefs Compete" June 12, 2014 (2014-06-12)

Team challenge: After tricking Kashia, Joy, Gabriel, and Rochelle with food that was not what it appeared, he explained that food may not be as good as it looks, and that a great chef needs to rely on their palate, bringing about the annual "blind taste test". In the first round, Rochelle gets the blue team off to an early lead by identifying three ingredients to Joy's two, and the blue team maintains their lead in round two, as both Anton and Gabriel identify only one ingredient each (mozzarella cheese). Next, Scott went head-to-head with Jason, and Scott correctly identified two ingredients while Jason failed to get any, giving the red team their first lead. In the final round, Melanie also failed to identify any ingredients, while Kashia managed one, giving the red team a 6-4 victory.

The red team was rewarded with a private ice skating lesson with Olympian Rachael Flatt; the blue team must take in deliveries of ice as well as make ice cream by hand for service that night. During prep, Gabriel seemed lethargic and quiet, prompting Ramsay to give him a pep talk in the storeroom.

Dinner service: The blue team got off to a strong start thanks to Melanie's strong work on appetizers the appetizer station, sending out perfect appetizers, with the only minor speed bump being Jason falling behind on orders (which he promptly corrected by sending his fish out cooked well). The red team also started well, thanks to Scott on the appetizers station, but Kashia struggled on fish by coming up one scallop short of an order; Scott jumped in to help, but started an entire new order instead of just making one to complete the dish. Kashia eventually cooked the last scallop perfectly. Back in the blue kitchen, Rochelle had some issues early on with (slightly) undercooked chicken, but rebounded, and later lost track of the orders, resulting in Gabriel (on garnish) stepping up and getting the team reorganized, while cooking his garnishes perfectly, which helped Rochelle send out several perfectly cooked meat entrees. In the red kitchen, Kashia got in trouble for "braising" salmon in the sauce, which resulted in her getting frustrated and talking back to Ramsay. Meanwhile, Anton had extreme trouble on the meat station, serving raw chicken (which got Scott reprimanded since he brought it to the pass), overcooking and then burning the Wellingtons, blaming the oven (saying that it was different from the blue oven in which food apparently took longer to cook), and getting into an argument with sous chef Andi; Ramsay eventually brings Anton into the storeroom and tells him to get a grip. Near the end of the blue team's service, he tells them that their performance is the best he has ever seen in Hell's Kitchen, while the red team eventually finishes on a less positive note. Ramsay declared the blue team as the clear winning team, in particular praising Gabriel for redeeming himself and delivering his best performance of the season yet (Ramsay said with enthusiasm "Welcome back"). Ramsay had less positive things to say for the red team, however; after delivering sharp criticisms to every member on the red team (except for Joy), he told them to nominate two chefs for elimination.

Joy was asked for the nominees. Anton was immediately voted the first nominee, but they had trouble deciding between Scott and Kashia; Scott insisted that he had made no major errors (he was particularly upset over receiving the blame for Anton's pink chicken, since he had sliced it and walked it to the pass) while saying Kashia should be nominated for her problems with the salmon. Ultimately though, Joy revealed the nominees as Anton and Scott, which Chef Ramsay agreed was the correct decision. After telling the men that he was seriously disappointed that their move to the red team did not improve either of their performances significantly, he eliminated Anton, feeling that not only was his ego and arrogance hurting the team, but that he was also in an unsalvageable downward spiral.

Ramsay's comment: "Anton let the little success he had in Hell's Kitchen inflate his ego. It was time to let the air out of that balloon."
181 15 "7 Chefs Compete" June 19, 2014 (2014-06-19)

Team challenge: The 7 remaining contestants were taken to Bristol Farms Supermarket and were given $35 and 15 minutes to shop for ingredients to cook three dishes in the Hell's Kitchen classic high-profit margin challenge. Since the blue team was up an extra member, Rochelle and Gabriel were told to work as a team. The guest judges for this challenge were editor of LAist Krista Simmons, Master Yelper Anita Lau, and IDG Director of Development Brent Berkowitz. Each judge would give a price that they would pay for the dish and the three prices would be averaged for that dishes' score. In the first round, Kashia's Top Sirloin with bourbon sauce received an average price of $24.67, while Jason's game hen was not received as well and only scored a $20 average, giving the red team the lead. In the second round, Rochelle and Gabriel's trout dish didn't do much better, scoring $21.33, while Scott's pan-roasted sea bass and jumbo shrimp scored $23.67, keeping the red team in the lead by $7.01. In the third and final round, despite Joy's initial unhappiness with her dish due to fearing undercooked meat, her seared pork loin rubbed with sage, salt and black pepper served with spiced applesauce was perfectly cooked averaged a respectable price of $24.67. Melanie's lamb chops with fresh rosemary, garlic and lemon sage cous cous got the best reviews, scoring $28. Despite Melanie scoring the highest price for her dish, the poor performances from Jason, Gabriel, and Rochelle allowed the Red team to win the challenge with a total of $73.01, compared to the Blue team's $69.33.

The Red team was given $1000 and went on a shopping spree at the Grove SS followed by lunch at the Hatfield restaurant in Los Angeles, while the Blue team was stuck with cleaning the entire dorm area and the bathrooms.

Individual challenge - Part I: At a press conference in the dining area, Chef Ramsay revealed to the remaining contestants the first ever Hell's Kitchen calendar, featuring dishes of some great Hell's Kitchen contestants from the past. He then revealed that with black jackets on the horizon, he had a special surprise for the contestants: the season's first individual challenge, in which each of the chef's would be competing for the chance to earn their dish a place on the December page of the calendar, a black jacket, and immunity from elimination in the next dinner service. Each chef was given 45 minutes to prepare a dish of their choice that they felt was worthy of immunity and a place on the December page of the calender. After 45 minutes of cooking time was over, Chef Ramsay revealed three guest judges alongside him to judge the dishes, Season 3 Winner Rock Harper, Season 9 Winner Paul Niedermann, and Season 10 second runner-up Dana Cohen. Each judge would taste the dish and rate it on a score of 1 to 5 points. Jason was the first up to be judged and served a stuffed halibut with capellini, goat cheese, crab and shrimp, which was generally poorly received, scoring only 8 points. Kashia was up next with a Rack of Lamb covered with honey pistachio and demi-glace, which 11 points, easily dethroning Jason. Rochelle's seared New York Strip steak with cilantro-lime chimichurri sauce scored 13 points, taking Kashia off the top. Scott's pan-seared sea scallops and poached crab with tarragon butter only scored 11 points, keeping Rochelle in the lead. Melanie's marinated rack of lamb with red wine rosemary garlic, creamy basil-infused mashed potatoes and red wine jus was poorly received and only scored 5, while Gabriel's overcooked roasted rack of lamb did not earn a single point from any judge, with Ramsay finding that the other rack (which was not used due to concerns that it was undercooked) was cooked perfectly. Last up was Joy, with a seared Duck Breast topped with open-roasted figs, mushrooms, and Swiss Chard. As he examined her dish, (and finding out from Joy that she had never cooked any of the food her dish contained until that point), Chef Ramsay expressed unhappy doubts that any of the challenge's dishes are worthy of the calendar page.

Before her marks could be given, and clarification on whether Joy or Rochelle won immunity and their dish the place on the December page of the calendar, the episode concludes with a "To Be Continued" cliffhanger, the second of the season (the first being in episode nine).
182 16 "7 Chefs Again" June 26, 2014 (2014-06-26)

Individual challenge - Part II: Despite using ingredients she wasn't familiar with, Joy's dish impressed all four judges, earning her an almost perfect score of 19 points as well as a black jacket, immunity from that night's elimination, and a December spot on the HK calendar.

Joy was treated to a special lunch along with Rock, Paul and Dana in the Hell's Kitchen dining room, while the others had to prepare the food and serve it to them (which was particularly enjoyed by Kashia). Partway through the lunch, Paul started choking, resulting in the medics being called over, but they were not needed as he managed to spit it up in the bathroom.

Pre-service: In the dorms, Kashia has an emotional breakdown because she is missing her daughter and the rest of her family, leading to Scott and Joy comforting her and helping her through by chatting with her. During prep, Scott reveals how much he needs to succeed tonight knowing that because of how close and "sister-like" Kashia and Joy are, he is likely to be the one nominated if the Red team loses tonight and he does not turn in a perfect performance. Before the restaurant opens, Chef Ramsay reveals that every chef who survives elimination that night will be rewarded with a black jacket just like the one Joy has earned for winning the individual challenge.

Dinner service: In addition to a standard service, a special table was set up to host VIPs representing Oxfam, an anti-poverty charity; among its dignitaries include actress and the celebrity ambassador to the charity, Minnie Driver, adding extra tension to the remaining chefs. The Red team gets off to a good start with their first tables of appetizers, but the Blue team has a meltdown due to Gabriel sending up the scallops too early (and he miscounts them as well), although they rebounded and got back on track with the appetizers. In the Red Kitchen, despite being a chef down, they are working well together and Joy gets compliments for her risottos from Chef Ramsay. The chefs get ready to serve the VIP table of Oxfam special guests, which means that both teams must have their appetizers ready at the same time. However, in the blue kitchen, Gabriel sends up overcooked scallops and both kitchens have to start over on the appetizers, making Chef Ramsay unhappy, however he recovers and the appetizers make it to the Oxfam members. On the entrees, Scott gets into an argument with Chef Ramsay on the fish station, Kashia sends up chicken that is cooked perfectly, but cut badly, while Melanie sends up pink, undercooked chicken, which angers Chef Ramsay of how rookie a mistake that is. However, she sends it up perfectly cooked the next time. On the entrees for the VIP table, Gabriel cooks halibut and salmon in the same pan and gets called out by Chef Ramsay. In the red kitchen, Joy and Kashia are ready with their dishes, but are forced to hold back because Scott is not finished with his fish. After Gabriel sends up dry salmon, Ramsay sends out some of the entrees for the VIP table, leaving some people, including Minnie Driver, without their food. After Scott and Gabriel both send up burnt salmon again, Ramsay pulls them both into the storage room to attempt to work things out. When they return, they manage to complete the VIP table and can move on. In the Red kitchen, Kashia is working slowly on the meat station, but she is working well as she brings up perfectly cooked chicken and helps the red team catch up on entrees with more perfectly cooked meat dishes. However, when Gabriel makes another major mistake in the Blue kitchen, this time sending cold, raw salmon up to the pass, Chef Ramsay automatically eliminated him, kicking him out of the building. Eventually, both teams manage to complete dinner service.

Automatic elimination: After making numerous mistakes on the fish station, the final straw came when Gabriel sent up a salmon that was both raw and cold in the middle. Completely frustrated, Chef Ramsay told Gabriel the competition was over for him and sent him out the front door, making him the sixth contestant in Hell's Kitchen history to be eliminated during the middle of dinner service.[note 6] Outside, Jean-Phillipe came to console him, and eventually took his jacket and shook his hand goodbye. Sitting out on the front steps, a taxi came by to take Gabriel home.

Despite no one else being ejected, the teams were named joint-losers due to the problems and screwing up the VIP table in both kitchens, so Chef Ramsay had both teams each nominate one person for elimination. At elimination, Chef Ramsay asked Jason and Joy for the nominees. The blue team nominated Jason, for his rough attitude, while the red team nominated Scott for his problems on the fish station. However, Chef Ramsay called down Melanie for her poor performance on the meat station. Initially, it seemed like Ramsay was going to eliminate Melanie, having given her worst performance so far, but instead gave her a black jacket, telling her she still had work to do. Then he gave both Kashia and Rochelle a black jacket before telling Jason and Scott to step forward, before ultimately giving them their black jackets. In the end, no additional contestants were eliminated.

Ramsay's comment: "With Gabriel causing such a disaster in the kitchen tonight, it was hard to tell who else I should send home. So, I gave everybody the thrill of getting a black jacket. But somebody will definitely be going home after the next dinner service."
183 17 "6 Chefs Compete" July 3, 2014 (2014-07-03)

Individual challenge: In the first individual challenge as the black team, the contestants travel to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, where the contestants cook gourmet versions of tailgate party food favorites for hungry USC Trojans football fans. The chef whose dish is voted the best by a group of 50 fans will win the challenge. The challenge ended in a 1st place tie between Scott and Jason.

Scott and Jason were treated to spending the day in Malibu at the Saddle Peak Lodge where a chef serves them gourmet food and wine pairings. The women were forced to sort out garbage from the tailgate party as well as Hell's Kitchen garbage.

Dinner service: During the service, appetizers run okay, but Scott overcooks the risotto on the final table, and then gets into an argument with Chef Ramsay, who accuses him of trying to cover up his mistakes. Kashia only cooks one lobster tail instead of two, and on a later order of lobster tails, she accuses Melanie of not being willing to help her bring them to the pass, even though she actually declined Melanie's offer. On entrees, Rochelle has minor troubles slicing chicken, forcing Chef Ramsay to show her how to do it properly. Kashia then serves up raw salmon, after which she screams abuse at Jason and Rochelle when they try asking her for times on the refire (which Chef Ramsay overhears and rebukes her for), and then fails to get said refire out with the meat, which results in Chef Ramsay putting Scott on the fish station with her. However, Scott made the situation worse, and then argued with Chef Ramsay. However, the final six still manage to complete service with nobody thrown out.

Chef Ramsay tells the chefs to agree on one person who should be nominated for elimination. Kashia initially tried to get the team to nominate Rochelle for the badly-cut chicken she tried to serve, but when it became clear that no-one else supported this she instead nominated Scott, and Joy also immediately nominated him (refusing to consider nominating Kashia, who was her best friend in the competition). While Jason was worried that the vote would again proceed along gender lines and lead to the women all voting for Scott, he ultimately told Chef Ramsay that the rest of the team had agreed on Kashia. However, Ramsay also calls on Scott to come forward for arguing with him during service.[note 7] While Ramsay did not feel that Scott had the potential or the attitude to win Hell's Kitchen he agreed that Scott can cook and honored the team's nomination and eliminated Kashia due to her volatile attitude in service and her poor performance on the fish station, telling her that she had proven to be a fantastic cook, but wasn't quite ready to lead a kitchen yet.

Ramsay's comment: "Kashia is a great line cook with an incredible attitude. Unfortunately for her, she's just not ready to run her own brigade yet."
184 18 "5 Chefs Compete" July 10, 2014 (2014-07-10)

Individual challenge: As the chefs enter the dining room for the second individual challenge, they were treated to a brief musical number by a rock band, which used discarded everyday objects as their musical instruments. This led to the challenge, in which the remaining chefs were given 30 minutes to make a dish using leftovers from the Hell's Kitchen fridge, which would be judged based on its taste and presentation by Ramsay and magazine food editor Laurie Buckle. Laurie wanted "crisper skin" for the chicken from Joy's dish, and Rochelle's presentation was disliked by Laurie. Jason's dish was not enjoyed by either of them as they disliked the presentation and the taste as Chef Ramsay found the texture strange and Laurie thought it tasted like leftovers. In the end, Scott won this challenge, narrowly beating out Melanie.

For his win, Scott was rewarded with a photo-shoot with Better Homes and Gardens magazine, where his dish would be featured. Additionally, for the second part of his reward, Scott, and another contestant of his choice (Jason), get to fly fighter planes.

Prior to dinner service, as part of the punishment, the losing chefs have to cut pumpkins, during which Rochelle cuts her thumb. She is sent to the hospital but eventually returns in time for dinner service.

Dinner service: During service, special guest and comic book legend Stan Lee takes a seat at the chef's table, where he and his friends comment about the action in the kitchen as the service progresses. Appetizers start strong with Scott delivering good risotto, despite Ramsay forcing him to clean the burning rice on the stove that fell from the pan whilst cooking. However, the kitchen hits a speed bump, as Melanie twice fails to cook acceptable Capellini, after forgetting to add basic ingredients to the Capellini (Salt, Butter, Cilantro). However, Melanie recovers and the chefs table is served their appetizers. Ramsay starts to send out entrees, and Rochelle, working on meat, leads the entrees and constantly calls out times. However, Joy, working on fish, despite acknowledging all of Rochelle's times, still sends her fish to the pass early, which angers Ramsay, as he asks for the garnish to the pass before the fish. This happens again for the next table, and Joy gets into an argument with Chef Ramsay, and after Ramsay asks again for the Halibut's garnish before the Halibut itself, Joy leaves the kitchen and then angrily throws off her jacket on the way back to the dorms, saying she's done. Ramsay follows her and confirms that she's done by saying it shows in her cooking and ultimately honoring her wishes. Ramsay comes back into the kitchen, and gets Melanie on the fish station, and tells the chefs that he does not expect an attitude like Joy's at this stage of the game. The remaining chefs persevere and get food out, while upstairs in the dorm, as she is packing her bags, Chef Andi asks Joy what happened, to which Joy replies that she simply can't take it any more. Chef Andi attempts to motivate Joy and convince her that Chef Ramsay sees something in her, to which Joy agrees, and she already regrets her decision to walk out the kitchen, but is not motivated enough to remain in the competition. Meanwhile, in the kitchen, the remaining four chefs send out food quickly and complete service.

Upstairs, Joy debates whether she should go back in the kitchen and apologize to Ramsay, but she does not have the confidence to do so, as she realizes the consequences of her actions. Still unmotivated, she decides to exit the competition for good. After dinner service, Chef Ramsay tells the remaining chefs that despite the ups and downs of the service, they all fought back, and that no one else would be leaving. However, he announces that after the next service, two contestants will be eliminated, with the other two advancing as finalists.

Ramsay's comment: "Joy's quitting was one of the most shocking things I've ever experienced in Hell's Kitchen. But her lack of maturity tonight proved that she is not ready to be a head chef because leaders never quit." (Joy only received the burning picture send-off at the end of the episode; it is unknown whether her jacket was hung on the hook even though she threw it off on her way out.)
185 19 "4 Chefs Compete"[10] July 17, 2014 (2014-07-17)

All of the chefs were summoned downstairs, where Ramsay and some security guards were waiting. After a rigorous security check, everyone was led outside and told to expect the arrival of some VIP guests. After several limos pulled up to the entrance, the day's VIPs - the chefs' loved ones - got out of the limos (Rochelle's fiance and parents were first, followed by Melanie's boyfriend and mother, Jason's girlfriend and mother, and finally Scott's wife, son and daughter). They all went back into the dining room and enjoyed a dish that Ramsay had prepared for them.

Individual challenge: After the guests have left, Ramsay announced that the chefs would have to recreate the dish that they were just served in the popular "Taste it, now make it" challenge, using taste, texture and appearance alone to make the dish in 40 minutes. While the dish had been served while the contestants were spending time with their families, Ramsay allowed the contestants to use a sample plate as a reference since most of them had eaten very little of the actual dish. For the protein, Jason, Melanie and Rochelle chose sole, while Scott used escolar. For the garnish, Jason, Rochelle and Scott chose butternut squash, while Melanie chose pumpkin. For the puree, Jason and Scott chose watercress, Melanie chose arugula, and Rochelle chose parsley. Chef Ramsay revealed that the proper protein was sole, eliminating Scott for the challenge. Melanie was also eliminated for using pumpkin as her garnish, as it was butternut squash, leaving Jason and Rochelle to battle it out for the win. In the end, Jason won the challenge in a close finish as he was the only remaining chef to use watercress for his puree.

As a reward, Jason went on a tour of some of Los Angeles' finest restaurants, first with Sous Chef Andi to the Fig & Olive, and then with his girlfriend and mother at Ink; in addition, he also won a set of all clad stainless steel cookware that was waiting for him up in the dorm following the challenge. As punishment, Melanie, Rochelle and Scott had to move all of the furniture not being used out of the dorms and prep the kitchen for that night's dinner service. However, Melanie and Rochelle decided not to do any of the work, hoping that Scott would tire himself out and sabotage his chances of getting into the final (Melanie openly hoped for an all-female final, though Rochelle did not seem to care who she might face).

Dinner service: Each chef took a turn at running the pass; while doing so, each contestant must also spot acts of sabotage that Ramsay and sous chef James deliberately set up. After a strong start sending out appetizers, Rochelle was the first chef to take control of the pass. She seemed nervous at first as she read out her first ticket too fast, confusing Jason, and kept giggling, forcing Ramsay to give her a pep talk; she then gained her confidence, wisely rejecting poorly presented salads by Scott and catching Sous Chef James trying to sabotage her by putting shrimp in the risotto instead of lobster, ending her time at the pass strong. Melanie was speaking very quickly and was having a hard time keeping everyone's attention, and she was urged to take control. She improved as the service went on, but failed to realize that Jean-Philippe had given her a ticket featuring a "chef's special" despite none being on the menu for that night. Scott was holding everyone to a very high standard and was quick to point out even tiny flaws; this annoyed the other chefs but he ran the kitchen very effectively, and spotted that James gave him a duck breast and a raw chicken breast, when two chicken breasts were on order. Jason was joking around at first and the kitchen seemed to lose focus until he got more serious, after which he generally lead well and spotted when Andi served him salmon instead of Halibut. The service overall was completed uneventfully.

After service was complete, Ramsay asked each chef to name one other chef who ought to be eliminated; Scott named Melanie for being the weakest performer of the night, Melanie named Scott for his inconsistency for much of the season, Rochelle named Jason for being too easygoing at the start of his time running the pass, and Jason in turn named Rochelle for being unable to control her nerves. Then, Ramsay announced that Rochelle would be the first person going home, and, after Ramsay's words of compliments and encouragement, the last person to give up her jacket. He then announced that Scott and Jason would be advancing to the finals,[note 8] which meant that Melanie was going home. Ramsay complimented Melanie on her performance, allowing her to keep her jacket.

Ramsay's comment: While Ramsay complimented both Rochelle and Melanie on their performances as they were eliminated, there was no dedicated coat hook and flaming picture sendoff for either of them.
186 20 "Winner Chosen" July 24, 2014 (2014-07-24)

Challenge: Chef Ramsay invited Scott and Jason for a relaxing night out at a Los Angeles night club that featured live boxing. But Scott and Jason found out that they would be participating in the next "match", which turns out to be the season's final individual challenge. Both must two prepare two appetizers and three entrees in one hour, to be judged by well-renowned chefs, who each score the dish on a scale of 1 to 10. Scott wins the challenge 43-42, narrowly defeating Jason.

As winner of the challenge, Scott has first choice in drafting a team using the ten eliminated chefs from the competition.[note 9] Scott's picks are Chris, Ralph, Rochelle, Kashia and Jessica; Jason's picks are Anton, Melanie, Gabriel, Bev, and Sandra (who, as the last remaining contestant to be picked, was forced to be chosen by Jason by default, much to his disdain).

Dinner Service: Jason energetically explained his menu whilst Scott went in to immense detail with his. Scott wanted a lot of energy and focus from his team. Sandra didn't know how long it would take to cook her crab cakes so Jason ordered her to give him a time and says three minutes and Jason had to keep an eye on Sandra. Scott rejects Chris' undercooked scallops and tells him to cook them for a tad longer but unfortunately his daughter was uninterested in the scallops. Ramsay pointed out to Sandra some of her crab cakes that had to go to the VIP table were cooked ten minutes ago and accuses her of sabotaging Jason and he tells her to hurry up calling her a dumbass, Sandra gave attitude and Jason asked if she wanted to leave but she declines. When moving to entrees Jessica's potatoes were rejected and when Kashia finishes the beef Scott sends her to watch Jessica and also sends Rochelle over. Gabriel overcooks the filet and Jason under his breath threats him. Jessica was still stalling Scott on the garnish and Kashia receives praise for her well-cooked meat. Gabriel was still taking a while to cook the filets and Jason really wanted him to hurry up but Gabriel manages to deliver. Jessica serves more bad garnish and Ramsay and Scott were irritated that nothing was coming out and then Scott sends out Jessica for her constant problems on the garnish station marking the second time a chef was sent out by a finalist. Rochelle is ordered to take control of the garnish station. Jason was once again displeased with Sandra on garnish and she gave more attitude. But both teams complete dinner service successfully despite their few problems. Chef Ramsay announces both results were very close.

After thinking for a period, Ramsay called both Scott and Jason to his office giving them final praise and send them to the two doors; the contestant who opens their door becomes champion. Scott's door opened and he became the 12th chef to win Hell's Kitchen as well as the sixth male winner. Jason took his defeat graciously like the other runner-ups (except Russell from Season 8, who took his defeat sorely) and felt Scott deserved to win. Scott gave a victory speech and thanked people for supporting him.[note 10]

Ramsay's comment: "Scott won tonight because he has all the qualities I'm looking for in a head chef. He is passionate, determined and a true leader. He's an artist plating food and has a phenomenal palate. There's no doubt in my mind that he's got a great career ahead of him."

Notes

  1. ^ Jason previously competed in Season 9, but dropped out due to illness. He became the first chef to present Ramsay a second signature dish.
  2. ^ This marks the third consecutive season where the women have won the signature dish challenge.
  3. ^ Episode 3 marks the third service in a row in which both teams lost, making the season's contestants the worst start in the show's history.
  4. ^ In episode 3, Ramsay's request for the teams to nominate three chefs each is a first time it has happened in a Hell's Kitchen episode.
  5. ^ In episode 4, the men had one extra member for the duos, so DeMarco, Gabriel, and Mike were placed as a trio.
  6. ^ Gabriel's mid-service elimination was the first chef since Nilka Hendricks in Season 7. Therefore, he was not given the coat hook and flaming picture sendoff at the end of the show or having it shown at the beginning of the next episode, despite being the only one eliminated this episode.
  7. ^ Scott's nomination ties Autumn from season 7 and Elise from season 9 as the most nominated contestant in the history of the show, at seven nominations.
  8. ^ This marks the fourth time in the show's history that there would be an all-male final, and the first time that a drop-out from a previous season, Jason, advanced to the final.
  9. ^ In episode 1220, the ten returning chefs returned to help with the two finalists. However, only eight of the last ten eliminated chefs are present in the final service. Joy and Richard did not return, so Bev and Chris took over their places as they were the last two contestants to be eliminated prior to the top twelve.
  10. ^ At age 36, Scott is to date the oldest winner of Hell's Kitchen.

References

  1. ^ "Hell's Kitchen – Season 12". tvgrapevine.com. March 11, 2013. Archived from the original on March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 15, 2014. 
  2. ^ Kondolojy, Amanda (2014-03-10). "‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season 12 Premieres Thursday, March 13 on FOX - Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved 2014-06-15. 
  3. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (March 14, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Hell's Kitchen', 'Parks and Recreation' & 'Scandal' Adjusted Up; 'Reign', 'The Crazy Ones', 'Two and a Half Men' and 'The Millers' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (March 21, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Vampire Diaries', 'American Idol', 'Hell's Kitchen' & 'Parenthood' Adjusted Up Plus Final NCAA Tournament Numbers". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved March 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (March 28, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Hell's Kitchen', 'Once Upon a Time in Wonderland', 'The Vampire Diaries' & 'Grey's Anatomy Adjusted Up + Final NCAA Basketball Ratings". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved March 28, 2014. 
  6. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (April 4, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Scandal' & 'Hell's Kitchen' Adjusted Up; 'American Idol', 'The Millers', 'The Crazy Ones' & 'Elementary' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 4, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (April 11, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Community', 'Grey's Anatomy', 'Shark Tank', 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'American Idol' Adjusted Up; 'The Millers' & 'Elementary ' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved April 11, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b Bibel, Sara (April 18, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'Grey's Anatomy' Adjusted Up". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved April 18, 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Kondolojy, Amanda (April 25, 2014). "Thursday Final Ratings: 'The Big Bang Theory' & 'The Vampire Diaries' Adjusted Up; 'The Millers' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers. Zap2It. Retrieved April 25, 2014. 
  10. ^ "(HK-1219) "4 Chefs Compete"". The Futon Critic. Retrieved July 2, 2014. 

External links