Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 2)
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|Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 2)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||10|
|Original run||June 12, 2006– August 14, 2006|
(U.S. season 1)
This article contains contestant information and episode summaries from Season 2 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen.
Cast during November 2005, the second season aired starting on June 12, 2006 and concluded on August 14, 2006. The winner was Heather West. Her prize was the position of executive chef at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas with a salary of $250,000, where she worked as chef at the Terra Rossa Restaurant.
Taping for the second season was done in the same building where the first season was taped.
This was the last season to be aired in standard definition.
The second season featured the following 12 contestants, who were initially separated onto Blue and Red teams by gender:
|Giacomo Alfieri||21||Pizza maker||Euless, Texas|
|Rachel Brown||39||Personal chef||Dallas, Texas|
|Gabe Cunningham||27||Marketing executive||Chicago, Illinois|
|Virginia Dalbeck||25||Garde manger||New York, New York|
|Keith Greene||28||Chef & bartender||Southampton, New York|
|Polly Holladay||45||Caterer||Ben Franklin, Texas|
|Sara Horowitz||31||Deli Manager||Dallas, Texas|
|Maribel Miller||31||Cafeteria chef||Brooklyn, New York|
|Tom Pauley||43||Former stockbroker||Belleville, New Jersey|
|Larry Sik||38||Fishmonger||Arlington, Texas|
|Garrett Telle||27||Executive chef||Cedar Park, Texas|
|Heather West||25||Sous chef||Port Jefferson, New York|
Credit Order: Gabe, Heather, Garrett, Maribel, Giacomo, Polly, Keith, Rachel, Larry, Sara, Tom, Virginia
Signature Dish Order: Keith, Rachel, Polly, Larry, Maribel, Tom, Heather, Garrett, Gabe, Giacomo, Sara, Virginia
Contestant progress 
Each week, the best member from the losing team during the latest service period ("best" as determined by Ramsay) is asked to nominate two of their fellow teammates for elimination; one of these two is sent home by Gordon Ramsay.
- Contestant was nominated for elimination but prevailed
- Contestant was nominated for elimination by Chef Ramsay
- Contestant was eliminated
- Contestant was excluded from competition due to illness
- The winner of Hell's Kitchen
- The runner up of Hell's Kitchen
Episode 1 
- Original airdate: June 12, 2006
- At the start, Ramsay asked each contestant to make their signature dish. Ramsay selected Giacomo's dish as the best. Heather and Rachel received some praise for the taste of their dishes, but Chef Ramsay felt that Heather's dish was a bit too stodgy, and disliked the chocolate and chilli sauce that Rachel's dish was served with. The rest of the contestant's signature dishes were not up to Ramsay's standards, with Ramsay spitting out Maribel's soup and Tom's scampi, Garret's meat and Sarah's pasta were overcooked, Gabe's fish and Larry's crab cakes are under-cooked, Gordon did not even bothered tasting Polly's half-baked focaccia bread, Keith's tuna dish was far too large and hot and Ramsay was really disappointed with Virginia serving a salad that requires virtually no cooking.
- Service: During preparation, Tom's sweat landed in the boiled tomatoes and Ramsay asked him to start over making the men work much longer. In the service, Polly spent over an hour and a half trying to cook the appetizers, but did not manage a single acceptable serving. Eventually, Chef Ramsay threw her off of the station and put Heather on, and within ten minutes she had the appetizers moving. After food finally came from the women, Sara let out a cheer which infuriated Ramsay. Virginia also had extreme trouble on the meat station, as she was overwhelmed with orders and was lost, and matters weren't helped by the fact that the team had mistakenly prepared veal stock rather than lamb stock, which led to Virginia fruitlessly begging for the men to give her some of theirs. For the men, Tom caused a fire on the apps station, then chef yelled at him "You're about as far away from your own restaurant as I am from fucking home." Moreover, when putting the fire out Tom unknowingly extinguished the pilot light on his burners, and didn't realize for nearly ten minutes that he wasn't actually cooking anything. Larry also got told by Ramsay to get more energy, and Gabe undercooked some Wellingtons. Three hours into service, the patrons started chanting, "We want our food!" which finally pushed Chef Ramsay over the edge, and shut down the kitchen.
- Chef made it clear that there were no winning team; but Ramsay selected the men as the winners since they had served a few entrees and the women did not. Heather was deemed the best of the worst during the service.
- Nominees for elimination: Heather nominated Polly for her inability to get the starters out, she then nominated Virginia for her troubles on the meat station (initially it appeared that she would nominate Maribel alongside Polly, but Heather became convinced that Virginia's heart wasn't in the competition while speaking to her after service). Chef chose Polly to go for holding her team back and showing a lack of passion during service.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "This is a journey, and right now we're going to hell and back, each and every week, to make sure we find the right person. And Polly? No chance."
Episode 2 
- Original airdate: June 12, 2006
- The teams were awakened early, and told to dig into the trash bin containing all the food that was wasted during the previous service.
- Team Challenge: The teams were challenged to cut the most steaks to exactly 10 oz. and the winning team would win a dinner out with Chef Ramsay. Keith had to sit out to even out the teams. For the women, Sara and Rachel had 3 steaks that Ramsay liked, Heather disappointed Ramsay by having only 2 steaks that met Chef's standards. Both Virginia and Maribel got 2 steaks that Ramsay would accept making the women's total 12. Gabe went first for the men and was happy with 3 steaks Ramsay approved, Garrett only had one acceptable steak. Giacomo added two more steaks the mix because most of his steaks were decent looking, but they were cut only around 4 oz. Larry couldn't add any steaks for the men. Tom needed 6 steaks to even the score, and he felt good after his first five steaks were accepted; however his last three steaks got turned down, which only gave the men a total of 11 steaks. The losing men had to cut steak for the next service.
- Early Exit: The night after the challenge, Larry started having trouble breathing and was rushed to hospital. The following morning, he called the remaining chefs from his hospital bed and told them that he would not be returning, due to health problems caused by the stress in Hell's Kitchen.
- Service: One member of each team, Keith and Sara, were servers for the evening's service. Sara was average as a waitress, while Keith had trouble. During service, Heather severely burned her hand and had to leave service which damaged the Red team's service, but she was still helping them out before she went to hospital by saying where the food was and how long it needed to be cooked for. Sara asked Ramsay if she could come in the kitchen and cook and Ramsay thought that was a great idea. Virginia put the wrong sauce on the monkfish, and she told Ramsay that she would serve the tortellini in her kitchen, even though it didn't meet his standards. In the blue kitchen, Gabe was not listening to Chef, because he asked if quail was on the order that Ramsay read and there was no quail on the order, and he couldn't give Ramsay an exact time on his starters after the other men swarmed his station. Tom and Giacomo were having trouble working together on the meat and garnish stations. Tom had the meat ready but Giacomo couldn't get the sides out, because he didn't know what sides went with what dish, and he also wasn't ready when Tom was because he fried the cabbage. Chef continuously taunted Giacomo for his long hair (he called him names like "mophead" and that he had "women's hair."). After many customers left hungry, Chef closed the kitchen down. After service, Chef declared the Blue team the losers; while the women had improved and served some of their entrees, the men had gone backwards, serving no entrees and not even managing to complete the appetizers. Garrett was best of the worst, since was the only team member not to make any serious mistakes during the service.
- Nominees for Elimination: Garrett nominated Giacomo and Tom. However, Chef decided that the blame for the team's failure to serve any entrees lay with Giacomo rather than Tom, and after making Tom promise to communicate better in the next service, sent him back in line and called up Gabe to take his place. Chef chose Gabe to go because of his politeness and lack of desire, as well as holding up the men in two consecutive services. Chef told him "You're a sweet guy, but sweet guys don't make great cooks".
- Chef Ramsay's Reason:
- Larry: (No reason was given for Larry's departure; however, his photo was shown to be burned alongside Gabe and Giacomo's photos in a montage at the start of Episode 4.)
- Gabe: "It's absolutely crucial in Hell's Kitchen to have finesse and passion. It was pretty obvious that Gabe had no passion."
Episode 3 
- Original airdate: June 19, 2006
- Challenge: Both teams were challenged to cook three entrees (chicken, tortellini, and salmon) in 20 minutes with one person in the kitchen at a time. During the switch off each team member would only have 15 seconds to give information to their replacements. Heather sat out because she feared her hand injury would slow her team down, which Sara thought was ridiculous. Ramsay caught Tom in the act of using old tortellini from the refrigerator instead of making fresh ones from scratch. Maribel did not hear the tortellini entree from Rachel, which caused the women to only come up with two entrees. The men misunderstood each other, which led to the tortellini being remade twice by Keith and then Garrett. When the dishes were about to be judged, Tom kept interrupting Ramsay with "May I speak?". Ramsay criticized Tom for his slouching against the counter, which began a pattern of Ramsay belittling Tom throughout the episode until Tom gave up. The men won the tortellini entree by default. The women won because their two entrees were complete, they won. All three of the men's entrees were good; however, they were incomplete because each dish were missing their sauces, and the chicken entree had burnt lettuce.
- Reward/Punishment: The women were taken on a yacht with Chef Ramsay, while The men had to do both team's laundry by hand. When the women returned from the yacht, Heather taunted the men and Garrett told the women to cook for them since they had done all the laundry. Heather took great offense at his remark and railed at him for what she saw as chauvinism.
- Dinner: Service got off to a good start, with Sara and Keith both turning in good performances on the appetisers, though Chef Ramsay accused Keith of being a slob for handling the risotto rice with his bare hands, and for having his underwear visible above his waistline. Heather tried to control stations other than her own and was rebuked by Ramsay. Tom gave up after burning his hand (Ramsay called him a "drama queen") and arguing with Keith, while Giacomo forgot to turn the oven on, then lost track of his orders and served up overcooked food. Ramsay felt Giacomo being in charge of the meat had ground his team to a halt, and he broke his usual rules by ordering Giacomo to switch stations. Unfortunately, Giacomo and Tom had used up virtually all of the Blue kitchen's food during their unsuccessful attempts to serve the entrees, making it impossible for Keith and Garrett to get the service back on track. Maribel (who was homesick) almost single-handedly caused the Red team to slow down when she was unable to prepare the lamb wellington entrees quickly enough. Chef Ramsay was angry at Maribel and disappointed in Heather, and praised Sara as the Red's best for that night. Once again neither team managed to serve a full service, and many customers left. However, the Red team served the vast majority of their tables while the men only managed to serve three tables of entrees, resulting in an easy victory for the women.
- Elimination: While Keith was acknowledged as the best performer on the Blue Team, Chef Ramsay decided that he did not deserve to select two people to face elimination, due to his sloppiness and failure to step up as a leader. Instead, the men each individually nominated one other teammate for elimination. Despite three votes being cast against Tom and only one against Giacomo, Chef Ramsay eliminated Giacomo because of his failure with the oven.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "Before you can even attempt to run a restaurant, the first thing you've gotta do is make sure you know how to cook. Giacomo? He was lost beyond belief."
Episode 4 
- Original airdate: June 26, 2006
- Team Shakeup: Chef Ramsay, saying the men had "lost the battle of the sexes, big time", cited Rachel, Sara, and Heather for emerging as leaders. Wanting to give the Blue team a leader, he transferred Heather to Blue to join Tom, Garrett, and Keith.
- Field Trip: The teams were taken to Pink's Hot Dogs, the busiest restaurant in Los Angeles. Ramsay then surprised them with the news that they would be opening for lunch for the first time, forcing them to run back to Hell's Kitchen, all except for Keith who merely half jogs, half walks his way back to Hell's Kitchen.
- Challenge: The teams had to cook lunch for a rowdy group of children. Heather (the new leader of the Blue team) clamped down on the bickering between Garrett and Tom, and helped the Blue team to finally come together. Meanwhile the Red team was marred by a power struggle between Rachel and Sara. Both teams for the first time managed to serve a full course, finally impressing Ramsay. Ramsay told the Red team that the kids gave them a score of 9.84 out of 10 points. The Blue team garnered a winning score of 9.85.
- Reward/Punishment: The Blue team got to go to have an amusement park all to themselves; Keith formed an alliance with Heather. The Red team had to clean up the dining room, which was full of balloons, food on the floor, and silly string. Sara repeatedly joked during the cleanup, irritating both Rachel and sous chef Mary Ann, who asked them if they were hungry, and threw a cake onto the carpet, forcing them to clean it up. Tensions rise within the Red team. This was the only punishment that Virginia received during the season, as the Red team won all the other team challenges, and Virginia won two of the three individual challenges and was allowed to join Keith on the reward he earned for winning the third individual challenge.
- Dinner: The Blue team was held back when Garrett failed to properly taste several dishes. Rachel struggled to make risotto, and a conflict erupted over the turbot. Sara told Virginia she was "ready and waiting for [her] call" on the turbot, but when Ramsay came to get the meal, Sara said she hadn't started it yet. Virginia tells Ramsay that Sara had told her she was ready when Virginia was, but Ramsay berated Virginia, accusing her of lying as well as bringing the others down to make herself look good. Sara, thinking of strategy, allowed Ramsay to think Virginia was a liar. Ramsay was unhappy with Maribel's poor mashed potatoes, and Rachel and Virginia for leaving the bones and wing on the quail. Rachel went to get ice (the ice machine was broken and the losing team had to get the ice), had to beg people at the store when she realized she had no money, and fell on one of the bags while running back to Hell's Kitchen. Meanwhile, Tom made bigger and bigger mistakes which included cooking in a burnt pan until Ramsay blew up at him, finally barring him from doing anything else in the kitchen. Virginia cooked wellington rare when the order was medium. Finally, when Ramsay realized the women were glazing all night with egg whites instead of egg wash, and that the women have run out of wellington, he had enough. He shut down the restaurant and did not even let either team clean its kitchen.
- No Winner: Once again a full course was not served and many customers spent hours waiting for food. Infuriated, Ramsay shut down the kitchen and declared both teams lost, demanding they each pick one person from their team to nominate for elimination. Team Blue quickly decided on Tom, while Team Red was torn between Virginia and Rachel as both women had made major mistakes. Keith and Sara (chosen by Ramsay as being the best of their respective teams that night) were asked to make the announcement. The nominees were Tom and Virginia.
- Elimination: Ramsay was baffled that Sara nominated Virginia instead of Rachel. Rachel offered to take Virginia's place, to which Ramsay said, "That's tempting.". However, Ramsay decided to give Rachel and Virginia another chance and eliminated Tom,for his string of bad services, failure to improve, and having no experience whatsoever. After the elimination, we see in a cutscene with Sara that she is prepared to continue to sabotage her teammates, and warns them to "watch out". Ramsay closed the elimination by saying that was the worst service he had ever seen and he was close to throwing in the towel, but he wouldn't give up on them if they didn't give up on him.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "Tom has a big heart, but sadly, he's a really crap cook. Why on earth he ever decided to attempt to become a chef, I'll never know."
Episode 5 
- Original airdate: July 10, 2006
- Challenge: The teams were told to taste various high cuisine dishes such as caviar, paté, kebab and fondue, not realizing they were made of low quality processed foods such as catfish eggs, ground-up hot dogs, kebab from a TV dinner and melted spray cheese. After this embarrassment, they had to go through a taste test. Rachel sat out to make the teams even. A member of each team had to guess the correct item. Team Red won with 7 points, Team Blue narrowly trailing with 6 points. All of the chefs correctly identified 2 of the 4 items except for Virginia, who managed to identify 3, leading to the Red Team's victory.
- Reward/Punishment: The Red Team participated with Chef Ramsay in a photo shoot for TV Guide; at one point Garrett was forced to bring them extra champagne. During the shoot, Sara disgusted everyone by breaking wind (though admittedly Ramsay seemed amused.) While the Blue Team had to clean up the dirty kitchen.
- Dinner: At the start of service Heather cooked a pasta starter that wasn't on order, and Chef Ramsay began to harshly criticise her whenever she made any mistake. This in turn caused Heather to attempt to prove herself to Ramsay by trying to take control of the meat station from Garrett, but she only succeeded in causing disarray, eventually forcing Keith to step in and take control of the kitchen. Ramsay was furious at Heather and told her that she had become the worst performer on the Blue Team, rather the leader he was hoping she would be. Meanwhile, a black hair was found in one of the Red Team's entrees, but Maribel, when asked, denied she was responsible. Rachel ran the meat station and was the center of many problems, as she was unable to properly cook the wellington. At one point Ramsay took her to a storage room to get her to regroup, but she continued to struggle. Finally, after she overcooked the wellingtons for some of their few remaining tickets, Ramsay had had enough and shut down the kitchens. However, the Blue Team managed to complete an entire service, a first for Hell's Kitchen therefore leading to their victory. Keith's lack of focus made Ramsay give him a rare pep talk. We find out that Keith had never received a compliment for his cooking in his life. Ramsay told Keith that he was a good cook and that if he gave up attitude he used with Ramsay, he would shine as a top cook. Chef Ramsay congratulated Virginia for vastly improving herself and asked her to nominate two teammates for elimination.
- Elimination: Upon returning to the kitchen, Virginia first chose Rachel for her problems on the meat station, and after informing Ramsay of Sara's schemes against her in a long-winded speech, Virginia chose Maribel, since Maribel had argued with Ramsay about the hair in the food. Ramsay praised her choices and eliminated Rachel. Although he felt she had worked harder than anyone else in the kitchen, he could not overlook her many mistakes.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "Rachel clearly couldn't handle it. She buckled, panicked, and actually screwed the kitchen completely. You've got no chance of running a successful business if you can't handle one section."
Episode 6 
- Original airdate: July 17, 2006
- Challenge: Both teams had to go to the market (Grand Central Market) and be inspired by what could help them create a three-course meal. They then had to buy the right ingredients in 20 minutes. Virginia took control of the Red Team, which continued in the meal preparation (they had 60 minutes to fix the meal). Appetizers were first - Ramsay was bothered by the sharp shrimp tail in Garrett's roasted corn scallop and shrimp bisque, and felt Sara's bell pepper soup was too burnt (due to Virginia asking Sara to "char the (bleep) out of" the peppers)[sic]. For the entree, Ramsay was pleased with Virginia's chicken roulade stuffed with Mexican heart salamis, sliced tomatoes and garlic, as well as Keith's bone in pan roasted ribeye with a tomatio and smoked chill demi. The final course, dessert, ended in a victory for the Red Team, due to Maribel making a strawberry shortcake made with lagu latin ingredients Ramsay found tasty albeit uninspired, while Heather's fresh fruit crepes with a mango peach puree were soggy.
- Reward/Punishment: The Red Team got to spend a night on the town with Chef Ramsay, while the Blue Team were forced to help with the restaurant's delivery service. The members of the Blue Team were infuriated, because they felt the burned peppers should have caused the other team to lose. Heather and Keith felt sure that the Blue Team would end up being the final three, while Garrett gave the finger to the Red Team's limo as they left the restaurant, not knowing that Chef Ramsay was inside. At dinner, Virginia's constant talking irritated her teammates.
- Dinner: Before giving the teams their instructions, Chef Ramsay laid into Garrett for flipping him off, and threatened to eliminate him if it ever happened again. Ramsay felt confident enough in the teams' abilities to allow them to create their own menu. Virginia and Sara (shutting out Maribel) came up with exotic ideas for the Red Team including sashimi and a rack of lamb which Sara claimed she was an expert on making. Over in the Blue Team, Keith and Heather came up with the ideas for their menu; Garrett offered a few suggestions, such as a lobster wellington, but Keith and Heather kept shooting down his ideas as too complex for the time they had, which led to Garrett becoming frustrated and not making any more contributions. The Blue Team had to stop in the middle of the service to unload more deliveries but in the end, they still managed to complete the service. In the Red Kitchen, Sara and Virginia had major problems with their overly ambitious menu, while Maribel did not help them very much. Sara didn't manage a single acceptable serving of her rack of lamb, and eventually changed her story and claimed that she'd never actually cooked it before, which led Chef Ramsay to order it struck off the menu to avoid any further embarrassment. The Red Team barely managed to send out a few appetizers, and the first appetizer was immediately sent back. The complexity of the salmon dish led Ramsay to suggest it just be cut into a slice. Sara rebutted that changing the dish might be inconsistent, and Ramsay angrily told her off. This resulted in Ramsay ordering the Blue Team to help the Red Team finish their service while Ramsay left the kitchen in disgust. At the end of the service, Ramsay told Garrett how lucky he was to be on a team with Keith and Heather, which Garrett agreed with, and that the Red Team had clearly lost.
- Elimination: Ramsay felt there was no best of the worst and asked the Red Team to come up with nominees. Yet, when they arrived at the elimination ceremony, Ramsay told them he didn't want to hear their suggestions, and that the entire team would be up for elimination. After some back-and-forth between the team, Ramsay eliminated Maribel because he felt although she was a nice person, she didn't have the drive to be a leader. Ramsay told Sara that she had "dodged a bullet," as he considered her to be the person most at fault for the failure of the Red Team's service, and added that Maribel's consistently underwhelming performances had saved Sara from elimination.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "I'm trying to find someone that deserves a restaurant, now to run that restaurant properly, you need a leader, and Maribel clearly can't lead a section, let alone a kitchen."
Episode 7 
- Original airdate: July 24, 2006
- Challenge: Ramsay assigned the remaining five contestants to a single kitchen team, wearing black, with each contestant now competing as an individual. Each contestant was given 20 minutes to cook a special dish for Ramsay. Ramsay selected Keith as the winner, with Virginia a close runner-up.
- Reward/Punishment: Keith received a trip to Las Vegas to visit the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino, and was allowed to bring a guest; he chose Virginia. This infuriated Garrett, since he and Keith promised to invite the other if one of them won a challenge. The remaining contestants fumigated the kitchen; Sara gave a passable impression of Darth Vader while wearing a fumigation mask.
- Dinner: For the first time, 5 people had to serve the whole restaurant. Chef Ramsay was so pleased with Keith's stuffed veal chop that he put it on the menu for the evening's service. Sara and Heather got off to a slow start on apps, but eventually rebounded. Garrett gave chef several unacceptable dishes and Virginia slowed down the meat station because she couldn't get the garnish out. There would also be a late-arriving 12 top to serve in the kitchen. The service suffered a setback at one point when a customer arrived at the kitchen to complain about not being served, and when Ramsay did not immediately respond to the customer, she attacked him and threw several plates full of food in his direction before security was called to eject her. Ramsay escaped injury, but the table that was about to be served had to be started again from scratch. Adding to the problems, this coincided with the arrival of the bachelorette party that would be occupying the 12 top. When they were to be served, Garrett gave chef a dangerous, undercooked chicken, and Virginia continued to struggle on garnish, but service was completed.
- Elimination: Keith was considered the best cook (Thus being Best of the Best/Worst 4 times in this competition, which is still currently a record in Hell's Kitchen history) and told to nominate two for elimination. Virginia and Garrett were nominated for troubles on their respective stations. Ramsay eliminated Garrett; despite acknowledging that Garrett seemed to have more passion than Virginia, Ramsay considered his attempt to serve raw chicken to be unforgivable.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "I'm trying to find someone here that deserves a restaurant. Each and every step of the way, Garrett fought me, and his team. That's why he's not here any longer."
Episode 8 
- Original airdate: July 31, 2006
- Challenge: The task given to the four contestants that remain - Heather, Sara, Keith, and Virginia - is to serve a group of construction workers, each in their own catering truck. Each construction worker sampled all four dishes and was instructed to vote for the best and the worst entree. Virginia's entree, a turkey and feta sandwich, was voted the best and Heather's entree, a chicken sandwich with french fries, was voted the worst.
- Reward/Punishment: Virginia's award was a shopping spree at Sur La Table and a guaranteed spot in the Final 3, while the three others had to remove meat from crabs. They were very upset when Virginia (whom they considered out of her depth) won, with their hostile attitude toward her increasing when she returned and gave them what they felt were cheap gifts.
- Dinner: Chef Ramsay informs the team that three master chefs will be dining in Hell's Kitchen tonight (Michael Mina, David Myers and Josie Le Balch). Things started off well that evening, with the remaining chefs working together and getting dishes out. Within 30 minutes, Keith gets all of his appetizers out. However, Virginia on vegetable garnishes cannot keep up with Heather, on meat, who is working the fastest, and receives a compliment from Chef Ramsay for her perfectly cooked Wellingtons. The three master chefs arrive, and the team must choose the meal that they will serve to them. Keith decides to serve three spaghetti lobsters for appetizers. However, part of his spaghetti is undercooked, and the master chefs are not really impressed. Meanwhile, things begin to unravel when Sara's fish station falls back, holding up Heather's meat station. Things get worse when Sara realizes she doesn't have enough salmon to get through the night. She asks Jean-Phillipe to substitute with turbot. Chef Ramsay gets even angrier and is about to replace her with Heather, when Sara declares that she made one mistake and doesn't need to be replaced, and succeeds in "defending her territory". Next Sara's scallops reach the master chef's table, where it receives mixed reviews. The situation gets much worse when Virginia can't handle her garnish station, slowing Heather's entrees. Ramsay orders Heather to get the garnish herself if Virginia can't handle it. When Heather's entrees reach the master chef's table, they said that the Wellingtons were cooked perfectly, but the peas were burnt, which angers Ramsay, who gives Virginia an earful. Sara and Heather are both prepared to serve the final 10 tables, but Virginia couldn't keep up with them. Virginia kept disappointing Chef Ramsay again and again, forcing Chef Ramsay to take away Virginia's guaranteed spot in the Final 3 (in Chef Ramsay's words to Virginia: "You're... no longer... safe!!!"). However, despite the obstacles, the 4 remaining chefs were able to pull off their second consecutive complete service in 2 and a half hours. Going over the master chef's comment cards, Ramsay says that they had mixed reviews on Keith's appetizers, and Sara's fish, though they loved Heather's Wellingtons. Ramsay said that it was Heather's best performance ever and that she was easily the best chef and asked her to nominate two chefs for elimination.
- Elimination: Between the dinner service and elimination time, Virginia expressed that she felt that she didn't deserve to continue to the Final 3 to Heather. Heather told Keith and Sara that Virginia was planning to take herself out and decided to nominate Sara as her second choice, much to Sara's disapproval, though she was reassured several times by Heather that Virginia was taking herself out and that Sara would stay. At elimination time, Virginia and Sara were nominated by Heather. When Chef Ramsay asked Virginia why she should stay in Hell's Kitchen, Virginia broke down and said that she shouldn't. However, Chef Ramsay decided to be a man of his word, and gave Virginia back her guaranteed spot in the Final 3, meaning that Virginia now had to choose whether she or Sara goes home. Virginia told Chef Ramsay that she didn't want to stay because she was guaranteed a spot, but wanted to stay only if she deserved it. However Chef Ramsay wouldn't choose for her, and the choice once again fell into the hands of Virginia. After a moment of thought, Virginia stunned the group by changing her mind and deciding to stay in Hell's Kitchen, thus eliminating Sara. Sara bade Chef Ramsay farewell with, "Kiss my grits," a popular catchphrase from the character Flo (Polly Holliday) on Alice.
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "Sara's not good enough as a cook. She makes so many simple mistakes, she definitely didn't merit running her own restaurant. Hello, sweetheart. Kiss my grits."
Episode 9 
- Original Airdate: August 7, 2006
- Challenge: The contestants were given 20 minutes to re-create Ramsay's signature dish. They were given a wide array of ingredients and had to taste the original dish to determine what ingredients to use. Ramsay then tasted the dishes to determine who came the closest to the original dish. Although he enjoyed all three dishes, Virginia was the winner of the challenge. After Virginia won, Keith and Heather's anger at Virginia continued to grow. Keith accused Virginia of spying on his selection of a key ingredient. Heather accused Virginia of copying a recipe from one of Chef Ramsay's cookbooks. Virginia denied both accusations.
- Reward/Punishment: Chef Ramsay showed Virginia how to run a restaurant. Keith and Heather were sent to see Jean Phillipe to polish the restaurant's collection of glasses and silverware. Keith and Heather spent their punishment frequently complaining about the unfairness of the reward. As Heather and Keith felt they were destined for the final two, they shunned Virginia.
- Dinner: In a new test of their ability to run a restaurant, each of the contestants spent part of dinner service in the expediter role usually filled by Chef Ramsay. Sous-chefs Scott and Mary-Ann, assisting with the cooking, were secretly instructed by Ramsay to make a deliberate mistake. Keith went first, and correctly realized an order of pasta was overcooked. However, he struggled in leadership. Virginia had difficulty following his orders, and Heather took over much of the work. Heather was next, and led well if abrasively. However, she discovered lumps in the potatoes, but failed to send them back to be recooked. Meanwhile, Chef Ramsay warned Keith he was not showing him enough respect, and Keith cursed at him, sending Ramsay into outrage. Virginia was the final chef to lead, and impressed Ramsay with her leadership. She correctly recognized that a dish was prepared with bass instead of salmon. The three then had to finish the service as a team.
- Elimination: Chef Ramsay asked each of the three to nominate one person for elimination. Virginia was nominated by both Keith and Heather, while Virginia nominated Keith, this being Keith's first time up for elimination and Virginia's sixth time. In the end, Chef Ramsay chose Keith, citing poor leadership. Keith confronted Chef with an accusation of bias, claiming that Chef had "a hard-on" for Virginia. Chef responded with "Why do you have to be so fucking rude?" Upon being rebutted with his own rudeness, Ramsay replied, "So? Now I definitely know I made the right decision." Chef Ramsay believed that under Keith's disrespect there is a very talented and aspiring chef. Keith complained, "He doesn't like my personality, so fuck him."
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "You got two choices. You run the team or the team runs you. Sadly, the team ran Keith. If Keith could only lose the attitude, underneath all that, there's one talented, talented cook." (Keith did not receive a coat hanging and burning picture sequence.)
Episode 10 
- Original Airdate: August 14, 2006
- Surprise reward: Heather's parents, and Virginia's mother and husband, come in for a surprise visit. Heather screams "Daddy!" while Virginia is excited to see her husband.
- Challenge: The two final contestants, Virginia and Heather, were each given control of half of Hell's Kitchen and instructed to remodel it in their own theme for the season ending service as well as designing their own menus. They were then whisked off to Las Vegas where they cooked their signature dishes to be in a taste contest with twenty random participants as testers. After a tie at 10-10, a tie-breaker was issued and Virginia won the challenge with the score of 11-10.
- Reward/Punishment: For the last night of service, Chef Ramsay brought on six of the past contestants to be part of each chef's kitchen staff. Because Virginia won the challenge at Las Vegas, she was granted the first, third, and fifth picks, with which she chose Keith, Tom, and Giacomo (Maribel did not return, so Giacomo came in her place as the last contestant to be eliminated prior to the final eight). Heather followed, choosing Rachel with the second pick, Sara with the fourth, and receiving Garrett as the sixth and final pick. Virginia's team was all male; Heather's had one man and two women. Virginia got on a bad foot with her team by telling them she chose them (save Keith) because she felt they were the weakest and she wanted to give them another chance. They asked her for money in exchange for their help; she finally agreed to pay each of them $1,000 if she won.
- Remodeling: Heather and Virginia were given the opportunity to remodel the dining room per their wishes. Heather chose to make the walls look like a blank canvas, with a video wall and graffiti written in various places. Ramsay liked most of her ideas, but suggested she remove the graffiti. Virginia had a waterfall built behind the walls so that water to create an atmosphere akin to a desert sunset. Chef Ramsay was impressed, though stated the waterfall made him feel like he needed the bathroom.
- Dinner: Heather was exceptional in the rate of service while suffering in the field of quality control. Virginia, however, was proficient in quality control at the expense of her service rate. Virginia's team was also less helpful than Heather's team; while Giacomo was generally co-operative with Virginia, Keith and Tom had little respect for her (Tom also had issues with the idea of being ordered around by a woman) and decided not to do anything that Virginia didn't expressly tell them to do. Late in service, Tom cut himself and left the kitchen for over ten minutes while he saw a medic. Heather's service wasn't entirely without trouble, as Sara made several mistakes and didn't take Heather very seriously. Garrett also got annoyed at Heather's abrasive leadership as the service went on, though he decided to not complain and get on with it. Overall, both finalists did a very good job, according to Chef Ramsay. Unbeknownst to them, the President of the Red Rock Resort was among the clientele sampling each dishes from each menu.
- Ultimate Decision: Chef Ramsay based his decision on the comments from the President of the Red Rock resort, customer opinion cards (which were slightly in one person's favor, according to Chef Ramsay) and his own observations. He judged Heather to be the winner as she displayed remarkable control of her kitchen staff from beginning to the end. However, he told Virginia she'd done a wonderful job and that she had nothing to be ashamed of.
- Last Scene: Chef Ramsay ended the season by good-naturedly telling the viewers, "My work is done. It's been a phenomenal journey. I'm ready for the next challenge. So (Beep) you all (laughs)."[sic]
- Chef Ramsay's Reason: "Heather won Hell's Kitchen because of her determination. She stuck to what she knew best, and she controlled her kitchen from start to finish. Heather clearly has great leadership qualities. This, for a 25-year old cook, is a phenomenon. This woman is going to be a big success!"
Heather West 
- In September 2006, Heather was named senior chef (not executive chef, as was promised) of Terra Rossa at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino. As of September 18, 2007, West's name is no longer listed on the Terra Rossa website. A spokesperson for the resort stated that the prize was a one-year contract. She made an appearance in the eighth episode of the third season, where she greeted challenge winner Julia and tag-along Jen at Terra Rossa.
- Heather appeared in the third season finale where she, along with other cooks, judged the finalists' dishes.
- Heather made an appearance along with all other winners during the fifth season finale to commemorate the start of the Hell's Kitchen Wall of Fame.
- Heather was the sous chef for the red team on season 6 of Hell's Kitchen, replacing Gloria Felix, who was sous chef for seasons 4 and 5.
Other contestants 
- A year after the season ended, Rachel committed suicide.
- Virginia later returned in Season 10, along with other Hell's Kitchen runner-ups, to face against that season's final six chefs.
- On August 15, 2012, Keith drowned in the ocean near Southampton Village, NY.