Christina Machamer

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Christina Machamer
Born (1982-03-13) March 13, 1982 (age 34)
St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.
Education The Culinary Institute of America (2008)
Culinary career

Christina Machamer (born March 13, 1982) is an American chef who won the fourth season of Fox Network's reality cooking show Hell's Kitchen.[1] She was awarded the position of "Senior Sous Chef" (not the Executive Chef position as promised) at Gordon Ramsay's new London West Hollywood restaurant where she earned a $250,000 yearly salary.

Early life[edit]

Machamer, the daughter of Rick and Leasa Machamer,[2] was born and raised in St. Louis, and began working in restaurants at age 16.[1][3] She graduated from Lafayette High School in 2000[4] and after some time in college, she dropped out of pre-law and decided that cooking was her calling in life. After an apprenticeship with chef Larry Forgione at An American Place, she began her formal training at Forest Park Community College in 2003.[3] She moved on to The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, in the spring of 2006 and graduated on February 29, 2008.[3]

At the Culinary Institute,[4] she graduated at the top of her class.[5]

Hell's Kitchen[edit]

Machamer decided to apply to Hell's Kitchen after watching season 3.[6] She went to the open audition in Manhattan and was called back for a screen test. The casting director thought she was "hilarious".[7]

As a culinary student, Machamer was the contestant with the least cooking experience[7] and was nominated for elimination five times (including one from Ramsay), mostly because of what her peers saw as infantile behavior (a good example being at the start of the third episode where Jen was unable to calm her down over her nomination & angrily scolded Corey for nominating her) and a threatening intellect.[8] Despite this, she broke the standing record for the number of challenges won with 9 wins and finished as the final competitor, defeating the season's runner-up, Louis Petrozza.[7] What most impressed Ramsay was her special potential, something he did not see nearly enough of in any of the other contestants.[9] After winning, Machamer had the choice of accepting her $250,000 prize money at once or earning it as a paycheck for working a year at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant.[4]

After Hell's Kitchen[edit]

Although promised the position of executive chef at the new Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood restaurant, Machamer, as the winning contestant, was instead given the position of senior chef under executive chef Andy Cook.[1]

While waiting for the show to be aired and permission to disclose her win, Machamer worked at Revival, a restaurant in St. Louis started by her mentor, chef Cary McDowell.[3][10]

Together with Cory Lemieux,[4] Machamer began BCBC Blends, a small artisan spice company that has recently been launched nationally.[3]

Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood was awarded a Michelin Star in the 2009 Michelin Guide.[11] As of early 2009, Machamer is the executive sous chef at the London West Hollywood, where she works nearly 14 hours a day and is also charged with supervising the kitchen's various stations.[4]

Machamer will be blogging for after each episode of season 5 and has recently completed her sommelier diploma in wine service.[4]

Since being invested with celebrity status from her win, Machamer has been invited to a number of culinary events. She and the 2007 Hell's Kitchen winner Rock Harper competed in a cookoff[12] and both will be among those presenting at the 2009 Scottsdale Culinary Festival in Arizona. After Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood was sold back to LXR hotels, Machamer traveled to Napa to study wine at CIA Greystone in St. Helena, California.[13] Shortly after, she returned to Los Angeles as part of the opening team at Bouchon in Beverly Hills for celebrated chef, Thomas Keller.

In 2011, she relocated to the Napa Valley, where she has found a new niche bridging the gap between food and wine at the much celebrated B Cellars, in Calistoga, California.[14]

In January 2009, she was featured as a host at the St. Louis Food & Wine Experience.[15][16]

She also appeared in the 11th season of Hell's Kitchen (in 2013) as part of a brigade consisting of past Hell's Kitchen winners in order to compete against the final 5 contestants.

Machamer briefly appeared in the 16th-season premiere (in 2016) as a guest with Season 12 winner Scott Commings during the red team's challenge reward (dinner with Ramsay). She gave the women several tips about working under pressure in Hell's Kitchen.


  1. ^ a b c Eater LA A Moment With: Hell's Kitchen Winner Christina, July 11, 2008
  2. ^ STL St. Louis chef takes the cake in finale of 'Hell's Kitchen' Archived August 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., July 9, 2008
  3. ^ a b c d e Christina's autobiography Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ a b c d e f STL Ramsay is 'just Gordon' to St. Louis winner, January 30, 2009[dead link]
  5. ^ 'Hell's Kitchen' Insider: Another One Gigabytes the Dust!, January 23, 2009
  6. ^ St. Louis Magazine Kitchen Q&A: Christina Machamer Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., June 2008
  7. ^ a b c Reality TV Exclusive: Christina Machamer talks about her 'Hell's Kitchen' win, July 11, 2008
  8. ^ This was mentioned numerous times by various other contestants during the one-on-one interviews during the show.
  9. ^ Reality TV Christina Machamer defeats Louis Petrozza to win 'Hell's Kitchen', July 9, 2008
  10. ^ Riverfront Times Q&A with Season 4 Winner Christina Machamer, July 9, 2008
  11. ^ 2009 Michelin Guide Starred Restaurants: Los Angeles Archived February 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ Ozarks Hell's Kitchen Chefs Compete in Local Cookoff Archived January 24, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., October 19, 2008
  13. ^ "Chef-O-Graphy". Archived from the original on March 24, 2012. Retrieved April 7, 2012. 
  14. ^ Sweet, Carey (April 19, 2011). "Calistoga's B Cellars sizzles with new Hell's Kitchen chef Christina Machamer". Retrieved April 7, 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  15. ^ STL Food and wine for the rep[permanent dead link], January 14, 2009
  16. ^ St. Joe St. Louis Food & Wine Experience has a taste of something for everyone[permanent dead link], January 4, 2009

External links[edit]