Christina Machamer

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Christina Machamer
Born (1982-03-13) March 13, 1982 (age 39)
EducationThe Culinary Institute of America (2008)
Culinary career
Current restaurant(s)
Previous restaurant(s)
Television show(s)

Christina Machamer (born March 13, 1982) is an American chef who won in 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 then-new restaurant at The London West Hollywood, 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, 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 spring 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 5 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 and 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 nine 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 of which he didn't see nearly enough 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 restaurant in The London West Hollywood hotel, Machamer, as the winning contestant, was instead given the position of senior chef under executive chef Andy Cook.

Thereafter, while she waited for the show to air again so she could gain 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 also began BCBC Blends, a small artisan spice company they launched nationally.[3]

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

Later, it was announced that Machamer would be blogging for after each episode of Hell's Kitchen season 5. At the time, she also recently completed her sommelier diploma in wine service.[4]

Since being invested with celebrity status from her Hell's Kitchen win, Machamer was invited to a number of culinary events. She and the 2007 Hell's Kitchen winner Rock Harper competed in a cookoff,[12] and both were among those who presented at the 2009 Scottsdale Culinary Festival in Arizona.

After Gordon Ramsay at The London in 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 to be part of the opening team at Bouchon in Beverly Hills for celebrated chef Thomas Keller.

In January 2009, she was featured as a host at the St. Louis Food & Wine Experience.[14]

In 2011, she relocated to the Napa Valley, where she found a new niche, bridging the gap between food and wine at the much-celebrated B Cellars in Calistoga, California.[15]

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.

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


  1. ^ a b "A Moment With: Hell's Kitchen Winner Christina", Eater LA, July 11, 2008
  2. ^ "St. Louis chef takes the cake in finale of 'Hell's Kitchen'", STL , July 9, 2008 Archived August 23, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b c d e Christina's autobiography Archived March 24, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Ramsay is 'just Gordon' to St. Louis winner", STL , January 30, 2009[dead link]
  5. ^ "'Hell's Kitchen' Insider: Another One Gigabytes the Dust!" Archived 2009-02-27 at the Wayback Machine, January 23, 2009
  6. ^ "Kitchen Q&A: Christina Machamer", St. Louis Magazine, June 2008 Archived August 28, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c "Christina Machamer talks about her 'Hell's Kitchen' win", Reality TV, July 11, 2008
  8. ^ This was mentioned numerous times by various other contestants during the one-on-one interviews during the show.
  9. ^ "Christina Machamer defeats Louis Petrozza to win 'Hell's Kitchen'", Reality TV, July 9, 2008
  10. ^ "Q&A with Season 4 Winner Christina Machamer" Archived 2011-07-27 at the Wayback Machine, Riverfront Times , July 9, 2008
  11. ^ 2009 Michelin Guide Starred Restaurants: Los Angeles Archived February 18, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Hell's Kitchen Chefs Compete in Local Cookoff", Ozarks 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. ^ "Food and wine for the rep", STL, January 14, 2009[permanent dead link]
    - "St. Louis Food & Wine Experience has a taste of something for everyone", St. Joe, January 4, 2009[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Sweet, Carey (April 19, 2011). "Calistoga's B Cellars sizzles with new Hell's Kitchen chef Christina Machamer". Retrieved April 7, 2012.

External links[edit]