Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series)
|Created by||Gordon Ramsay|
|Narrated by||Jason Thompson|
|Opening theme||"Fire" by the Ohio Players|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||12|
|No. of episodes||165|
|Running time||42 minutes|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original run||May 30, 2005– present|
|Related shows||Hell's Kitchen (UK TV series)|
Hell's Kitchen is an American reality television cooking competition (based on the British series of the same name) broadcast on Fox. It is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Season 12 premiered on March 13, 2014.
The U.S. version of Hell's Kitchen follows the format of the UK version though the show is recorded and not performed live, nor is there audience participation in the elimination of chefs. Each season brings twelve to twenty aspiring chefs to Hell's Kitchen, a modified warehouse in Los Angeles that includes the restaurant, dual kitchen facilities, and a dormitory where the chefs reside while on the show. Gordon Ramsay breaks the chefs into two teams most often based on gender, with women on the red team, and men on the blue, and are given a chef's jacket with labels of that color. The chefs compete in these teams, barring any reassignments by Ramsay, until only five or six chefs are left, which they are brought into a single common team wearing black-labeled jackets, though they now compete individually to be one of the final two. Each episode typically includes one challenge and one dinner service, following which a chef is eliminated from the game.
In challenges, the teams or individual chefs are tasked with a cooking challenge by Ramsay. The type of challenges are varied, ranging from ingredient preparation, meal preparation, taste tests, and other challenges. The first challenge of each season is a signature dish cookoff, giving the chefs the opportunity to show Ramsay their cooking. Each season typically includes one or more challenges that allows teams to construct several dishes either for a banquet to be held the next dinner service or as part of designing their own menus. Other challenges typically include a "taste it, make it" task where chefs must try to recreate a dish Ramsay has prepared by taste only, and a taste-test challenge where chefs identify ingredients without sight or sound. The winner of the challenge is either determined by a scoring system set for that challenge, or based on Ramsay's and guest judges' opinions. The winning team or chef is typically rewarded with an activity away from Hell's Kitchen and other potential prizes, while the losing team or chefs are forced to do a menial task, such as cleaning the kitchens, preparing a specific ingredient for the dinner's meal, or having to prepare the food for both kitchens.
For dinner services, the chefs are expected to work their station (such as meat, fish, or garnish) on the kitchen line to prepare food in coordination with their teammates and to Ramsay's high standards for quality and presentation during a dinner service for about 100 guests (volunteers for the show), with each diner expecting to receive an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. The chefs are given menus and recipe books by Ramsay to study and memorize, which include some of Ramsay's more difficult plates including risotto and Beef Wellington, and are given a few hours before each service to prep their ingredients. They are also given silverware sets that they get to keep, regardless of their progress.  Ramsay demands that all orders for one course for a table go out together, and will send back entire orders if one item is improperly prepared, such as being over- or undercooked or not seasoned correctly. While the chefs are in two teams, Ramsay is assisted by two of his trusted sous-chefs, each monitoring one of the kitchens who will also demand the same standards. The sous-chefs shift to helping to fill available positions once the chefs are on a single black team. One such service in this time period allows each chef to run the pass as part of a quality-control test (i.e. spotting mistakes that are sent up by either Ramsay or one of his sous-chefs).
Ramsay desires to complete every dinner service, but poor kitchen performance by one or both teams will cause him to close one or both sides of the kitchen and send the team(s) back to the dorms. Once the dinner service is complete, Ramsay determines which team (if not both) is the losing team and informs them to come up with chefs to be nominated for elimination. This may be a task assigned to the "best of the worst" on the team, or may be a group consensus. Ramsay regroups the teams and hears out the nominations from the losing team(s). After giving these nominees the chance to defend themselves, Ramsay selects one to hand over their jacket and "leave Hell's Kitchen", later symbolically placing that jacket on an empty sharp hook below a picture of that chef, in a row in his office, which pokes a hole in the jacket and ignites that chef's picture signalling their departure. Ramsay is free to ignore these elimination rules if he sees fit. He has frequently eliminated chefs during the middle of the service if their performance is abysmal, or may override the provided nominations with his own selection. If an eliminated chef has performed exceptionally well, he may allow that chef to keep their jacket as a token of their success up to that point, if he sees fit. At the end of each episode, as he is seen heading back to his office to hang up the eliminated chef's jacket, there is a voice-over of him explaining his reasons for eliminating that chef.
Once two chefs remain, they are each given the opportunity to develop their own menu and lead a brigade of former competitors through a full dinner service on their own. In some seasons, this has included the opportunity to decorate half of the Hell's Kitchen restaurant to their liking. Ramsay will assure that all menu items meet his standards for high cuisine, and will oversee the service to make sure the high quality standards he expects are retained but otherwise does not get involved, allowing the two remaining chefs to demonstrate their ability to run the line to him. Ramsay will use his observations, those from the diners, and other sources to make a decision on who is the winning chef. This process is announced by having the two chefs stand at two different doors from his office, and telling them to turn the door handle and open it; only the door of the winning chef is unlocked. The winning chef receives numerous prizes including the opportunity to work as the head chef or executive chef at a restaurant of Ramsay's choosing, as well as a cash prize.
Gordon Ramsay is the head chef. The narrator is Jason Thompson. Jean-Philippe Susilovic, a Belgian maître d' comes from Petrus, one of Ramsay's London restaurants and appeared in the first seven seasons and later returned for the 11th season. Susilovic was also the maître d' for the first series of the original British version. James Lukanik replaced Susilovic for the eighth-tenth seasons.
Each team also has the services of one of two sous-chefs. The sous-chefs are Andrea "Andi" Van Willigan (from season 7 onwards) and James Avery (from season 11 onwards). Previous sous-chefs were Mary Ann Salcedo, Gloria Felix, Season 2 winner Heather West, and Scott Leibfried.
The theme song is "Fire" by the Ohio Players. When the U.S. version is broadcast in the UK, Italy, Portugal and some countries (shown on the table below), it features only the instrumental version of this song.
|Middle East||MBC 4||Season 7||Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity.|
|Southeast Asia||Star World||Season 9 (ended)||Premiered on October 17, 2011, but aired only three times a week. First new season to be aired outside of the USA, Canada, Australia and the UK.|
|Fox||Season 11||Premiered on September 5, 2013.|
|Australia||One Season 5 air 2012/13, Lifestyle Channel||Season 9||Previously broadcast on GEM, Channel Nine, GO! and Lifestyle Food Network. Airings are usually uncensored.|
|Belgium||VIJF||Season 5||Broadcast as Hell's Kitchen USA and left uncensored. Also shown on AB3 (Season 5)|
|Brazil||TLC (Travel & Living Channel)||Currently Broadcasting Season 6 (one episode from Monday to Friday), and Season 7 (One episode every Monday) and Season 8 (ended)||Bleep Censored|
|Bulgaria||Nova Television||Unknown||Previously broadcast on Nova+|
|Current||Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity. Simsubbed with Fox in most areas. Reruns available on Food Network Canada which may be run uncensored. Also translated in French for Évasion in Quebec.|
|Czech Republic||TV Barrandov||Season 4||Translated as Pekelná Kuchyně. Dubbed, profanity censored. After the seventh season was broadcast the fourth started over again.|
|PrimaFamily||Season 1 (Upcoming)||/2O13 ?/, Czech version of Ramsay's original show . Translate as (Pekelná Výzva)|
|Estonia||Kanal 12||Season 3||With uncensored Estonian subtitles.|
|Finland||MTV3||Season 7||The title is translated as Kauhukeittiö which means "The Kitchen of Horrors". Profanity uncensored.|
|France||TMC||Season 5 (ended)||Season 5 has debuted in France on April 1, 2012 and has ended on July 2012.|
|Greece||Makedonia TV||Season 3|
|Hungary||Viasat3||Season 10||Season 7 and 8 ran simultaneously on Viasat 3. Airing of Season 10 begun on May 6, 2013.|
|Iceland||Stöð 2||Season 5|
|India||TLC||Season 6 (ended)|
|Ireland||TV3||Season 6 (ended)|
|Israel||yesStars Drama||Season 9||Previously broadcast also on yes Next HD Profanity is censored.|
|Italy||Sky Uno||Season 11 (ended)||Mutes some profanity. SKY Uno airs 2 episodes a night.|
|Cielo||Season 11 (begin)||The curse words are not censored|
|Sky Uno||Season 1 (Hell's Kitchen Italia)||The curse words are not censored|
|Japan||Fox Life||Season 1, 2||Season 1 started on November 8, 2009 and Season 2 started on May 7, 2010. Profanity is bleep censored.|
|Lithuania||BTV||Season 1 in
|Malaysia||Star World||Season 9||Bleeped and pixelated to mask profanity. Astro mutes all profanity. The ninth season premiered on October 17, 2011, but aired only three times a week. Season 9 is the first new season to be aired outside of the USA, Canada and the UK.|
|Fox||Season 10 (ended)||Premiered on October 20, 2012 and it airs twice a week. aired with dual language English and Bahasa Malaysia.|
|TLC (Latin America)||Season 8||Previous broadcast on Liv (Season 5) and Casa Club TV (Season 1–4).|
|Netherlands||NET 5||Season 9||Profanity is censored|
|New Zealand||TV2||Season 10||All profanity censored during the daytime. Late night re-screenings of Hell's Kitchen on TV2 are mostly uncensored.|
|Norway||TV3||Season 8||Profanity is censored during the daytime. Late night airings are usually uncensored.|
|Pakistan||TLC||Season 6 (ended)|
|Philippines||2nd Avenue||Season 4||Mutes all profanity.|
|Star World||Season 9||Same with Asia feed with the premiere date shown above, but only five times a week.|
|Fox||Season 11||It premiered on September 2, 2013. Episodes completely uncensored.|
|Poland||TVN Style||Season 8||Previously carried by Polsat and kuchnia.tv|
|Portugal||SIC Radical||Season 11||Season 4 subtitled and onward uncensored|
|Singapore||Star World||Season 9||Subtitled in Chinese and censored|
|Fox||Season 9 (ended)||Premiered on February 27, 2012 and concluded on April 2, 2012, airs three times a week.|
|Slovakia||WAU||Season 8||airs every work day|
|Slovenia||Kanal A||Season 1 in
|Spain||Discovery MAX||Season 1|
|Sweden||TV3||Season 10 (Start October 31, 2012)||Bleep censored when shown during the daytime, night time airings not censored.|
|Taiwan||Star World||Season 9||Profanity is bleep censored and pixelated. Uncensored when shown after watershed hours.|
|Fox||Season 10 (ended)||Premiered on October 20, 2012 and it airs twice a week.|
|Thailand||Star World||Season 9||Subtitled in Thai and censored|
|Fox||Season 9 (ended), continues season 10||Premiered on February 27, 2012 and concluded on April 2, 2012, airs three times a week.|
|Ukraine||CITI||Season 7 (ended)|
|United Kingdom||ITV2||Current (Starts: 6/17)||Broadcast as Hell's Kitchen USA (Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen USA for Season 8/9). Uncensored during watershed hours.|
|United States||Fox||Current||Bleep censored and pixelated to mask profanity|
For the show's first two seasons, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant set itself was housed in the former studios of Los Angeles television station KCOP at 915 North La Brea Avenue, in Hollywood, which at one time hosted production of game shows Tic Tac Dough and The Joker's Wild. KCOP was acquired by News Corporation in 2001 and its studios were integrated with those of Fox affiliate KTTV in 2003, leaving the La Brea facility vacant. Originally the studio was put up for sale, but in the end they were retooled for the production of Hell's Kitchen. The dining room area was the location of the former KCOP news studios, and living quarters for the contestants were built behind the restaurant. Before season three, the Hell's Kitchen facility was moved to Century Studios at 3322 La Cienega Place in Los Angeles. Since the fourth season, Hell's Kitchen's venue has been located at 8660 Hayden Place in Culver City. According to Arthur Perkins, the soundstage is only open for audience members when taping is taking place. The studio sits on the former location of the famous RKO Forty Acres backlot, which was used in movies such as Gone With The Wind and television series such as The Andy Griffith Show and The Adventures of Superman. The studio building sits on the location of the military camp seen in the television series Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C..
Accusations of staging
The series has drawn numerous online and editorial accusations of staging and dramatic license, mostly due to editing techniques of the producers which splice together several hours of footage from a dinner service, in order to make certain contestants appear as poor performers, later justifying their elimination. This was most obvious when one episode featured clips showing an already eliminated contestant in the background, still cooking.
One of the most controversial accusations of staging on Hell's Kitchen relates to an incident with contestant Joseph Tinnelly, who, during one elimination round, angrily confronted Chef Ramsay, challenging him to fight, and was then escorted off the set. The incident drew immediate fire from critics as an overplayed and possibly faked scene, conducted to cause action and tension on the show in order to spark viewer interest.
|Season||Original run||Winner||Runner-up||Reason for winning||Contestants||Winner's prize|
|1||May 30 – August 1, 2005||Michael Wray||Ralph Pagano||High standards||12||Tatou in Los Angeles[n 1]|
|2||June 12 – August 14, 2006||Heather West||Virginia Dalbeck||Determination||Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas|
|3||June 4 – August 13, 2007||Rahman "Rock" Harper||Bonnie Muirhead||Leadership||Terra Verde at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson|
|4||April 1 – July 8, 2008||Christina Machamer||Louis "Petrozza" Petrozza||Potential||15||London West Hollywood in Los Angeles|
|5||January 29 – May 14, 2009||Daniel "Danny" Veltri||Paula da Silva||Maturity||16||Fornelletto at the Borgata in Atlantic City|
|6||July 21 – October 13, 2009||David "Dave" Levey||Kevin Cottle||Ability||17||Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler|
|7||June 1 – August 10, 2010||Holli Ugalde||Jason "Jay" Santos||Confidence||16||Savoy Grill at Savoy Hotel in London[n 2]|
|8||September 22 – December 15, 2010||Nona Sivley||Russell Kook II||Palate||LA Market at JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles|
|9||July 18 – September 19, 2011||Paul Niedermann||William "Will" Lustberg||Enthusiasm||18||BLT Steak in New York City|
|10||June 4 – September 10, 2012||Christina Wilson||Justin Antiorio||Passion||Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Las Vegas|
|11||March 12 – July 25, 2013||Ja'Nel Witt||Mary Phoenelt||Composure||20||Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas[n 3]|
|12||March 13 – TBA 2014||TBA||TBA||TBA||London West Hollywood in Los Angeles|
- Wray was offered the alternative choice of working at Gordon Ramsay in London, which he initially accepted, but subsequently reverted to the original prize due to not wanting to be separated from his family.
- Ugalde was refused a UK work permit, and so was awarded the cash prize in lieu of the job at the Savoy Grill.
- Witt's job offer was withdrawn after she failed a drug test, but she kept the cash prize.
Analyst Arthur Perkins credits the show's success with four factors:
- Numerous cameras (up to 72) allow tight editing and capturing every action
- A confessional booth reveals insights into competitors' characters
- Ramsay's "enfant terrible" personality, impeccable credentials, and overall showmanship
- Casting relatively unknown chefs
Ramsay's personality is so unusual that many watch him rant, rave and throw things. I consider him the "enfant terrible" of reality television. ... He has a fiery temper ... He practices ritual humiliation, verbal abuse and even occasionally physical abuse.—Arthur Perkins, in Chef Wars: Hell's Kitchen, 2011
Awards and nominations
Hell's Kitchen has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction Programming category in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It has also been nominated for two Art Directors Guild Awards in the Television — Awards Show, Variety, Music or Non-Fiction Program category in 2007 and 2008, winning one in 2008. It has also been nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Series.
In 2009, Gordon Ramsay won an Astra Award for Favourite International Personality or Actor.
At the 2011 People's Choice Awards, Hell's Kitchen was nominated for Favorite Reality Show and Gordon Ramsay was nominated for Favorite TV Chef.
|DVD title||No. of
|Region 1 (CAN)||Region 1 (US)||Region 4|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 1: Raw and Uncut||10||April 8, 2008||December 1, 2008|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 2: Raw and Uncut||10||October 27, 2009||May 11, 2010||February 2, 2009|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 3: Raw and Uncut||11||August 10, 2010||September 21, 2010||February 2, 2009|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 4: Raw and Uncut||15||November 16, 2010||November 9, 2010||April 1, 2009|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 5: Raw and Uncut||15||August 30, 2011||November 27, 2009|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 6: Raw and Uncut||15||November 1, 2011||April 10, 2012||March 9, 2011|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 7: Raw and Uncut||15||June 5, 2012||May 11, 2011|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 8: Raw and Uncut||15||December 4, 2012||May 11, 2011|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 9: Raw and Uncut||16||August 27, 2013||September 10, 2013||TBA|
|Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 10: Raw and Uncut||20||October 8, 2013||October 1, 2013||TBA|
|Hell's Kitchen USA - Season 11: Raw and Uncut||22||April 15, 2014||April 15, 2014||TBA|
Hell's Kitchen: The Game
|Hell's Kitchen: The Game|
|Release date(s)||September 11, 2008|
On September 11, 2008, Ubisoft released Hell's Kitchen: The Game for the Wii, Nintendo DS, Windows, and iOS which features the likeness of Ramsay, and the many important tasks shown in the U.S. version of the show.
|Hell's Kitchen on Facebook|
|Developer(s)||Ludia / Social2u|
|Release date(s)||April 2, 2009|
On April 2, 2009, Ludia and Social2u released the official Facebook version of the Hell's Kitchen game.
- Perkins, Jr. 2011, p. 7.
- Perkins, Jr. 2011, p. 5.
- "James Lukanik – Hell's Kitchen on FOX". FOX Broadcasting Company.
- Retrieved October 16, 2010[dead link]
- "Hell's Kitchen : la saison 5 arrive le dimanche 1er avril sur tmc". Retrieved November 4, 2012.
- http://www.btv.lt September–November 2011
- "Retrieved February 8, 2011". Tvnz.co.nz. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- [Finished July 14, 2012]
- http://www.starworldasia.tv/Programmes/HellsKitchen/Guide STAR World – Hell's Kitchen S8
- "See 20.00". Itv.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Reality TV Calendar. June 3, 2007. "Hell's Kitchen — Everything You Want To Know".
- Latzman, Darrell. Los Angeles Business Journal. June 30, 2003. "KCOP studio sale is latest chapter in duopoly shifting. (Up Front).(Fox Broadcasting puts television studio facility up for sale)".
- Kaplan, Don. New York Post. June 29, 2005 (TV Wednesday section). "DRESSED TO GRILL ; 'HELL' ISN'T A REAL RESTAURANT".
- Perkins, Jr. 2011, p. 3.
- Hayden, David (July 12, 2011). "hell’s kitchen fake". Foodie Knowledge. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Is Hell's Kitchen too fake, even for a reality show?". Aoltv.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Just Hungry. "Why Hell's Kitchen is not a real food show". Just Hungry. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Joseph Just a Ploy on 'Hell's Kitchen'?". Buddytv.com. July 30, 2009. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Perkins, Jr. 2011, p. 264.
- Posted: March 28, 2012 2:29 pm Updated: March 28, 2012 2:34 pm (March 28, 2012). "'So You Think You Can Dance,' 'Hell's Kitchen' And More: Fox Announces Summer Premiere Dates". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- Huth, Kelly (May 18, 2012). "Phillipsburg chef to compete on new season of 'Hell's Kitchen'". The Express Times. Retrieved May 19, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen winner Ja'Nel Witt loses Las Vegas head chef job after 'failing drug test' (but keeps $250k salary)". Daily Mail. August 24, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2013./
- Perkins, Jr. 2011, pp. 3–4.
- IMDB "Astra Awards (2009)"
- "People's Choice Awards 2011 Nominees". PeoplesChoice.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen on DVD, Release Info, News at". Tvshowsondvd.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- EzyDVD Search – Hell's Kitchen
- "Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 6: Raw & Uncut (4 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. March 9, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 7: Raw & Uncut (4 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. May 11, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen USA – Season 8: Raw & Uncut (4 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. May 11, 2011. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen: The Game". Hellskitchenvideogame.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
- "Hell's Kitchen on Facebook". Apps.facebook.com. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Hell's Kitchen|
- Official website
- Hell's Kitchen at the Internet Movie Database
- Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series) at TV.com