Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 11)
|Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 11)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||March 12– July 25, 2013|
This is the first season of Hell's Kitchen to feature 20 contestants. Unlike previous seasons, this was also the first season to open up in Las Vegas, where the chefs presented their signature dishes to Chef Ramsay in front of a live audience of 2,500 at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace. This season was also the first season where there wasn't always a challenge per dinner service (with some occasions there being dinner services without there being challenges or vice versa). This was also the second season to feature two female finalists (the first being season 2's Virginia Dalbeck and Heather West).
Executive chef Ja'Nel Witt won the competition and received a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace at Las Vegas. However, on August 23, 2013, it was announced that Witt was denied the position at the restaurant after testing positive for cocaine, though she retained her salary and her title as the winner of season 11. Jon Scallion, who finished third and was deemed by Ramsay the only great chef in the worst team in Hell's Kitchen history, became sous chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak under season 10 winner Christina Wilson.
Gordon Ramsay returned as head chef as well as Andi Van Willigan as the red team's sous chef. Long-time maître d' Jean-Philippe Susilovic returned for the first time since season 7 due to his work commitments at Ramsay's London restaurant, Pétrus. However, previous blue team sous chef Scott Leibfried did not return due to his work obligation at Fleetwood's restaurant in Maui and was replaced by newcomer James Avery from Wall, New Jersey.
The intro of this season depicts the chefs as they fight off Transformers-style robotic kitchen appliances as Hell's Kitchen turns into a battle zone, which ends with Ramsay morphing from one. Since the second episode, another version of the opening is shown featuring Zach saying "Get 'em Jon" just as Jon's name appears.
Twenty chefs competed in season 11.
|Gina Aloise||49||Line Cook||Bronx, New York|
|Raymond "Ray" Alongi[note 1]||51||Executive Chef||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Jacqueline Baldassari||27||Roundsman||Florence, New Jersey|
|Barret Beyer||35||Head Chef||Long Island, New York|
|Danielle Boorn||33||Executive Chef||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Susan Fierro||29||Culinary Student||Whittier, California|
|Amanda Giblin||28||Executive Chef||Orange County, New York|
|Nedra Harris||24||Kitchen Manager||Detroit, Michigan|
|Michael Langdon||33||Executive Chef||Plains, Pennsylvania|
|Jessica Lewis||25||Chef Tournant||New York, New York|
|Jeremy Madden||22||Lead Cook||Los Angeles, California|
|Mary Poehnelt||26||Butcher/Line Cook||Belchertown, Massachusetts|
|Anthony Rodriguez||27||Line Chef||New Orleans, Louisiana|
|Christian Rosati||38||Line Cook||Boston, Massachusetts|
|Sebastian Royo||32||Sous Chef||Brooklyn, New York|
|Daniel “Dan” Ryan||27||Head Cook||Westchester, New York|
|Jon Scallion||27||Chef de Cuisine||York, Pennsylvania|
|Cyndi Stanimirov||25||Head Chef||Queens, New York|
|Ja'Nel Witt||31||Executive Chef||Houston, Texas|
|Zach Womack||34||Head Line Cook||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Original teams||First switch||Second
|6||Zach||BoW||LOSE||WIN||WIN||LOSE||LOSE||LOSE||WIN||NOM||NOM[n 1]||NOM||LOSE||NOM[n 1]||OUT|
- Chef was nominated by Ramsay
- Although nominated, chef was not called down by Ramsay
- Chef was eliminated by Ramsay despite being on the winning team
Each episode consists of a challenge with a reward, a service and an elimination.
|Title||Original air date||U.S. viewers
|145||1||"20 Chefs Compete Part 1"||March 12, 2013||5.30|
20 contestants arrived at Los Angeles International Airport to board a bus to Hell's Kitchen, but the bus instead took them to LAX, where Chef Ramsay arranged them a flight via Southwest Airlines to Las Vegas. The contestants cooked their signature dishes at Caesar's Palace, in front of a live audience for the first time in Hell's Kitchen history.
Team challenge/signature dish: The men and women had 45 minutes to prepare their signature dish, judged by Ramsay. Neither Barret's pork loin roulade or Danielle's parmesan encrusted chicken breast scored a point, Nedra's rosemary-glazed lamb and potatoes scored over Sebastian's shrimp corndogs, and neither Jeremy's stuffed ribeye or Susan's lamb and couscous scored a point (Susan was even threatened with elimination for serving raw lamb). Ja'Nel's grilled prawns and asian pesto and Raymond's stuffed veal cutlet both scored a point, neither Gina's pasta and meatballs or Dan's eggs benedict scored a point, Amanda and Jon both scored a point, Michael scored over Cyndi, Jessica's pan-seared wahoo scored over Anthony's barbecue scallop po' boy, and Christian's pasta and eggplant scored over Mary's pan-seared duck breast. Lastly, Jacqueline's roasted duck breast scored over Zach's grilled pork chop, giving the women a 5–4 win.
Reward/punishment: While the men faced the dreaded 8-hour ride back to Los Angeles in a no air conditioning school bus, the women received the VIP treatment at Caesar's Palace where they met and saw Celine Dion.Gina's illness: Ramsay guaranteed that service would be completed, but Gina, feeling unwell, left the kitchen as the episode ended.
|146||2||"20 Chefs Compete Part 2"||March 12, 2013||5.78|
Gina's illness - continued: Continued from the previous episode, Gina returned just before service.
Service: Deborah Ann Woll and Owain Yeoman were in attendance for opening night. Amanda and Christian served table-side mussels. In the blue kitchen, eight men were thrown out; Sebastian for referring to Zach as "Zacky Wacky" (though he attempted to return three times before being threatened with elimination), Michael and Barret for serving raw lamb and overcooked wellington, Jeremy for not being able to repeat orders, Jon and Dan for serving undercooked risotto and garnish, Raymond for tasting risotto with his fingers, and Anthony for serving bland risotto, leaving Zach and the sous chefs to complete their service, as well as Christian. In the red kitchen, Gina was kicked out for serving raw scallops (even though she cooked the first set of scallops perfectly), followed by Susan for serving undercooked potatoes, Danielle, who thinks she never worked at a brigade before, for getting orders mixed up, and Jacqueline for drinking water instead of helping Mary. However, Cyndi and Jessica had strong performances on meat, despite Jessica taking over three minutes to slice lamb, and the red team also completed service. The women were named winners for having a more consistent service, though Ramsay praised Zach. This marked the third season in a row where the women won the opening night dinner service.
Elimination: Jeremy and Sebastian were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Sebastian for his comical attitude during service.Ramsay's comment: "Sebastian tried to be funny, but it was his cooking that was the joke."
|147||3||"19 Chefs Compete"||March 19, 2013||4.59|
Pre-challenge: The contestants received a wake-up call from a team of soldiers, who ordered the contestants outside for their next challenge.
Gina's exit: Prior to the challenge, Gina tendered her resignation from the competition, saying she had a personal issue to attend to (in reality, she didn't want to be there anymore as she believed that she wasn't being treated fairly by her team). This marked the first time a contestant withdrew prior to a challenge.
Team challenge: Following a wall-climbing demonstration from the soldiers, each team had five minutes to climb the wall and retrieve as many lobsters as possible. Anthony sprained his ankle, but decided to continue. The men win that challenge, but won nothing and thought that was the challenge. Ramsay then announced that the real challenge was to remove meat from as many lobsters as possible in ten minutes. The women won 11–8.
Reward/punishment: The women were rewarded with sushi and a massage on a yacht with Ramsay. The men dealt with deliveries of fish and prep them for service. In addition, the guys dined on fish head soup for lunch.
Service: Jalen Rose was a guest for this service while Nedra and Jeremy served table-side lobster. In the red kitchen, Mary and Danielle both put too much white wine in risotto, and the team was kicked out after Susan undercooked lamb. In the blue kitchen, Christian overcooked scallops, Jeremy struggled on tableside lobster, to a point where Ramsay forced Jeremy and Christian to eat their mistakes, and the team was kicked out after Jon overcooked lamb. Ramsay named both teams losers.Elimination: Jeremy, Christian, Danielle and Mary were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Christian for being the main reason for the men's collapse. Ramsay then told Jeremy to stay behind as the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|148||4||"17 Chefs Compete"||March 26, 2013||4.68|
In the recap, Gina and Christian's jackets were hanged and their pictures were burned.
Elimination – continued: Ramsay told Jeremy to be more vocal and step up his game after two poor performances.
Team challenge: A volunteer from each team raced with runners including Maurice Greene, Natalie Coughlin, and Danell Leyva in a special "HK3K" mini-marathon for obesity awareness, while their teammates prepped the kitchen for a lunch service that would follow; service would then start when one chef returned to the kitchen, and the first team to complete their service would win. Ramsay chose Dan and Mary to run the race; Dan returned to Hell's Kitchen before Mary, causing the women to fall behind, but once their service began, the women caught up, mainly thanks to Zach using previously disapproved fish and lying to Ramsay about it. The women won their third consecutive challenge and were forced to help the men. This marked the second season in a row where the men lost the first three challenges as well as the first two services.
Reward/punishment: The women flew on a private jet to Temecula Valley's Wine Country, where they spent the day enjoying wine and making their own. The men were forced to clean the marathon route and prep both kitchens.
Service: In attendance for this service were Kristi Yamaguchi and Ryan Hollins. Cyndi and Jeremy served table-side Greek salad. In the blue kitchen, Raymond served crunchy risotto, but recovered, and Dan struggled on meat while constantly arguing with Michael on garnish. In the red kitchen, Jessica served too many portions of risotto, but recovered, Danielle served several unacceptable Beef Wellingtons and Jacqueline served raw chicken. Both teams completed service; Ramsay named the men winners for their improvement, deeming the women's service as their worst yet.
Elimination: Danielle and Jessica were nominated. Ramsay also nominated Jacqueline. Ramsay eliminated Danielle for her lack of improvement.Ramsay's comment: "Every dinner service Danielle looked like a deer in the headlights, and that's why she ended up as dead meat."
|149||5||"16 Chefs Compete Part 1"||April 2, 2013||4.91|
Team challenge: Both teams sampled five meat dishes and had to correctly guess the protein used in the dish. The team to guess all five quicker would win. The men finished in 10 minutes and 33 seconds, mostly due to Michael and Jon being slow on turkey meatballs and swordfish. The women won by finishing 3 minutes and 56 seconds faster than the men, marking the second time in Hell's Kitchen history that a team had lost four challenges in a row, since season 9's blue team.
Reward/punishment: The women spent a day at the beach in Malibu where they got a 101 wakeboarding lesson with Laird Hamilton in addition to playing volleyball. The men baked bread by hand. During the punishment, Jeremy collapsed due to exhaustion and was sent to the emergency room, but later returned.
Service: For the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, breakfast would be served as in main service instead of dinner. The customers were emergency medical technicians and emergency room personnel, and the first team to complete service would win. The women took a huge early lead as Raymond underseasoned scrambled eggs and Jeremy served one of Ramsay's sample dishes. However, Nedra struggled on Eggs Benedict until Amanda helped her and Jacqueline burned pancakes. The men caught up, and due to Jacqueline again burning pancakes for the final ticket, finished their service first, earning them their second successive service win.Elimination: The women initially agreed on Jacqueline and Nedra, but Nedra angirly refused to be nominated and pushed the team to nominate Mary instead (even though she didn't make any mistakes this service) Because of this, Jacqueline and Mary were nominated, but Ramsay sent them back in line and announced that someone else would be eliminated as the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|150||6||"16 Chefs Compete Part 2"||April 9, 2013||4.53|
Elimination – continued: Ramsay eliminated Jeremy as he considered his attempt to serve a sample plate unforgivable and felt he was in over his head along with a string of poor performances, making him the fourth chef to be eliminated despite being on a winning team. He then told the men that since they won service, their "reward" was losing dead weight.
Service: Ramsay announced that there will be no team challenge and instead announced the next dinner service. Prior to service, Jean-Philippe and the wait staff talked about their horror stories working with the diners. Ramsay then named Barret and Jessica waiters for service, but both struggled with poor handwriting. In the blue kitchen, though Anthony put in a strong performance on meat, Raymond and Dan were unable to work together on fish as Raymond declined Dan's help, but overcooked halibut and scallops. In the red kitchen, Amanda and Susan had communication issues on appetizers, and Mary and Nedra served raw pork. After Raymond served raw halibut and Nedra served raw pork, Ramsay threw both teams out of their kitchens and had the sous chefs finish service. Sous Chef James came into the men's dorm with a plate of halibut, berating the team and threatening to quit. In addition, Ramsay stopped both teams in the stairwell, where he ordered them to nominate two chefs for elimination.Elimination: Mary, Nedra, Dan and Raymond were nominated. Ramsay had the four remove their jackets, and promised to do something he had never done before on Hell's Kitchen as the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|151||7||"15 Chefs Compete"||April 16, 2013||4.77|
In the recap, Jeremy's jacket was hung and his picture was burned.
Elimination – continued: Ramsay put Dan, Mary, Nedra and Raymond on probation and kept their jackets. He stated they would have to individually accomplish a task by the end of the next dinner service that was worth earning their jackets back, or they would be eliminated.
Team challenge: The contestants had five minutes to select five ingredients for each of the six Oriental dishes that each team would make; the ingredients were chosen by opening oversized fortune cookies with chopsticks. Each team then had 40 minutes to create the dishes. Judging the challenge was Oriental chef Martin Yan. Thanks to Anthony's chow mein dish, the men won their first challenge. In addition, Raymond and Dan earned their jackets back, as both had good-tasting dishes despite not earning a point for the team.
Reward/punishment: The men enjoyed their first challenge win with a game of paintballing. The women spent the day making potstickers and dumplings for the next service in addition to eating balut eggs.
Service: Ramsay announced the VIP guests at the chef's tables with actor Rex Lee in the blue kitchen and director Adam Shankman in the red kitchen. Ja'Nel and Raymond served additional appetizers tableside, but Raymond was slow and caused his team to have to recook their appetizers. Nedra and Mary earned their jackets back through serving approving appetizers, but both teams had trouble on entrées; Despite Dan's strong performance on meat, Barret accidentally left parchment paper on fish, while Jessica repeatedly overcooked and undercooked fish and Susan constantly got her times wrong and accidentally dropped a lamb after re-firing it. Both teams successfully completed service, but Ramsay named both teams losers.
Elimination: Jessica, Susan, Dan (despite having a perfect service) and Raymond were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Jessica for her disintegrating performances after her strong start.Ramsay's comment: "When Jessica first arrived, I had high expectations for her. Unfortunately, she let us both down."
|152||8||"14 Chefs Compete"||April 23, 2013||4.83|
Team challenge: The contestants had ten minutes to herd animals, representing a protein, into pens marked with the names of starches, creating a protein/starch combo that they were told to cook in 45 minutes for judging by Jon Shook, the head chef at Animal. The women won 3–2 after Ja'Nel scored over Michael, whose dish was selected by the men over Dan's, whose dish was deemed much better by Shook and Ramsay.
Reward/punishment: The women spent the day at the Aquarium of the Pacific, feeding penguins and swimming with fishes. The men had to tend to the animals at the petting zoo in addition to setting up family night the next night.
Service: Ramsay announced that his family would be in attendance. Also in attendance that night was Gretchen Rossi. Both kitchens had a decent run on appetizers, though Dan burnt and under-seasoned pizza, while Jacqueline burnt scallops. In the blue kitchen, Raymond undercooked a burger for Ramsay's son, Jack, but recovered, while Barret made numerous mistakes on meat, serving lamb he knew was raw and undercooking chicken for Sous Chef James's pregnant wife. The women, however, were almost flawless on entrées, mostly thanks to Mary on meat, and after they finished service, Ramsay ordered them to help the men.
Elimination: Barret and Dan were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Dan for his bad attitude and lack of teamwork.Ramsay's comment: "Dan was just too much of a wild card. There's no way I'm betting a restaurant in Vegas on him."
|153||9||"13 Chefs Compete"||April 30, 2013||4.79|
Team challenge: The chefs were each given a cut of steak, and were challenged to cook it to medium rare and serve it with a spice rub and/or sauce of their own making. Since the women had an extra member, Nedra and Susan were told to work as a team. Jon scored over Cyndi on porterhouse steak, both Zach and Nedra and Susan earned a point on filet steak, neither Amanda or Michael earned a point on New York strip, both Anthony and Jacqueline earned a point on ribcap, and Ja'Nel scored over Barret on hanger steak. Lastly, Mary scored over Raymond on ribeye, giving the women a 4–3 win.
Reward/punishment: The women were treated to an afternoon of pampering by a swimming pool. The men prep both kitchens and the steak for the next service's steak night.
Service: Zach and Susan served table-side prime rib. In the blue kitchen, Barret cooked fishcakes not on order and forgot salad for a table of appetizers. Raymond then undercooked steaks, resulting in Michael taking over, but the men completed service smoothly afterwards. In the red kitchen, Mary forgot an order of sliders and then accidentally left hair in an order served. The team managed to serve appetizers, but on entrées, Jacqueline and Amanda, thinking that since the first table had ordered prime rib, no other steaks had to be served, were scolded for stalling. They then repeatedly served raw filets, and Nedra's attempt to help proved ineffectual. This resulted in Ramsay ejecting the trio, plus Cyndi, after which he called Susan into the kitchen to help Ja'Nel and Mary complete service. Ramsay named the men winners for having a more consistent service.
Elimination: Amanda and Jacqueline were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Jacqueline for her lackadaisical attitude and consistently mediocre performances.Ramsay's comment: "Jacqueline talked a good game. But unfortunately for her, I need someone who can deliver."
|154||10||"12 Chefs Compete"||May 7, 2013||4.71|
Team challenge: To mark Hell's Kitchen's first quinceañera service, each team made a five course tasting menu, based on the suggestions of Breanna, the girl celebrating her quinceañera, along with her mother Jennifer and Godmother Josette. The women won 3–2: their seventh challenge win out of eight.
Reward/punishment: The women spent the day at the Knott's Berry Farm. The men prepped the dining area for the quinceañera under the supervision of Breanna's Godmother who was the event's party planner.
Service: Ramsay stated that after appetizers, Breanna would perform a traditional waltz, so appetizers needed to be finished on time in both kitchens. Both kitchens worked together to serve Breanna's 13-guest table, and they managed to do this despite a brief slip-up by Amanda. The men's appetizer stage went almost flawlessly, thanks to Jon and Anthony, and they finished well before the women, who once again were held up by Amanda, as well as Nedra who was attempting to help. After Nedra dropped tuna on the floor, the guests began the waltz before appetizers were finished in the red kitchen. The entrée stage went better for the women, though Nedra and Cyndi undercooked meat. The men, however, struggled, as Zach served less potatoes than needed and Barret struggled making pasta and left a splinter in a burnt kebab. Ramsay named both teams losers, calling the women a "disaster" and the men "embarrassing".Elimination: Barret, Zach, Amanda and Cyndi were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Amanda for getting overwhelmed too easily. However, Ramsay then stated that he was not finished, leaving the fates of Cyndi, Barret and Zach uncertain.
|155||11||"10 Chefs Compete"||May 13, 2013||4.19|
Elimination – continued: Ramsay sent Cyndi back in line and gave Zach and Barret ten seconds to plead their cases before eliminating Barret for his third poor service performance. This marked the first time in Hell's Kitchen that two people were eliminated on the same night as a result of the traditional elimination process.
Team challenge: A representative from each team had 30 seconds to collect as many slips of paper as they could while in a wind chamber. Then, each team had 45 minutes to cook five dishes based on those ingredients, in which they were judged on taste, texture, and aesthetic appeal. From each team, Ramsay chose three of the five dishes based on looks alone, choosing Ja'Nel, Mary, Cyndi, Jon, Anthony, and Zach. The dishes were then scored by Ramsay and the editor of People magazine, Jennifer Garcia, out of 50; the team with the most points would win. For the men, Jon scored 92, Anthony scored 82, and Zach scored 83. For the women, Ja'Nel scored 89, and Cyndi and Mary both scored 90, giving them a 269–257 win.
Reward/punishment: The women were rewarded their own Vitamix blender and joined Ramsay in a photo shoot for People magazine, where Mary's dish from the challenge was showcased. While the men cleaned the dorms, Jon and Zach were called to deliver champagne to the women by tricycle.
Service: Ramsay called both teams to his office to inform them that returning U.S. Army servicemen would be dining that night in a special private service. Two twelve-tops were set, in which a team of wait staff would serve each appetizer and entrée simultaneously. The men got off to a good start under Jon, but they hit numerous problems with Raymond's lack of leadership, and Zach deciding to sabotage him by serving cold sauce. On the red team, Nedra attempted to cook pasta in cold water, and Susan mistimed her steaks. Ramsay named both teams losers and had them nominate one chef for elimination.
Elimination: Nedra and Raymond were nominated as well as Zach who was nominated by Ramsay. Raymond was eliminated for his lack of leadership and inconsistent performances, but Ramsay expressed his respect for him coming into the competition.Ramsay's comment: "Ray's age was not the issue, it was his cooking. And I was not getting any younger waiting for him to improve."
|156||12||"9 Chefs Compete"||May 13, 2013||3.89|
There was no team challenge. Instead, Ramsay asked the teams to spend the day creating their own menu for service. The men did this easily, despite Zach barely participating at first. The women, however, had trouble as Nedra kept making suggestions that the other women hated, but they finally let her put a gumbo on the menu. Ramsay liked the men's menu, but hated the women's, requiring numerous changes before service several minutes later.
Service: Guests in attendance for this service were Ian Ziering and Nikki Soohoo. The women had only a few minor problems, while Michael had problems on fish station, causing Ramsay to send him for a time-out, and Zach served raw pork.Elimination: While the men had to nominate one chef for elimination, Ramsay called the red team to his office and told them to nominate one member willing to go over to the men. The men failed to decide between Michael and Zach, so Ramsay called them both down. Ramsay eliminated Michael for being the worst performer of the night. Ramsay then asked the women for their nominee to go over, but Ja'Nel announced they all wanted to go and had a lottery to decide who would, angering Ramsay.
|157||13||"8 Chefs Compete"||May 23, 2013||5.62|
Team change: Ramsay ordered the women to discuss amongst themselves on who should move to the blue team. Most of the women were shocked Zach had not been eliminated and withdrew their interest. Ultimately, Nedra was transferred over.
Team challenge: A chef was paired up with a member from the opposite team to spin a wheel to decide which style of ethnic dish they should cook in 45 minutes alongside a protein of their choice. Each dish would then be judged by Ramsay and the editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray magazine, Dana Bowen. The red team won their fifth consecutive challenge, scoring three dishes to the blue team's one, with Jon scoring the blue team's only point.
Reward/punishment: The red team split $2,000 ($500 each) amongst themselves for clothes shopping at a boutique, followed by a private dining service at Mr. Chow. In addition, each chef won a set of copper-clad cookware. The blue team was forced to take in a delivery of wine, slice 40 pounds each of lemons and limes, and prep both kitchens for service.
Service: Amongst the red team's diners for this service was Kelly Hu. The blue team failed to serve any entrées. Jon undercooked scallops, but Nedra was unorganised and angrily shoved Zach and Anthony aside when they tried to help her. In the red kitchen, Susan cooked four orders of risotto when only two were required, and Ja'Nel undercooked scallops and halibut. Ramsay ordered both kitchens to shut down, and had Jean-Philippe apologize to the diners, saying the service was the worst ever in Hell's Kitchen history. Ramsay stopped both teams in the stairwell, wondering if he had sent the wrong chefs home, and ordered them to nominate one chef for elimination.
Elimination: Susan and Nedra were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Nedra for her declining performances and constantly blaming her teammates for her mistakes. Nedra was paid a retrospective montage during her exit.Ramsay's comment: "Nedra wore a red jacket and a blue jacket. But after tonight's performance, I knew that she wouldn't be wearing a black jacket."
|158||14||"7 Chefs Compete Part 1"||May 30, 2013||5.22|
Team challenge: The chefs were tested on their ability to determine food by touch. Anthony and Cyndi volunteered with Anthony winning the challenge 3–2. Ramsay then revealed the real challenge was the blind taste test. With the men down a member, they were asked to choose one chef to go twice, which was Zach. Zach identified three ingredients compared to Mary's one, Ja'Nel scored three while Anthony scored zero, Jon and Cyndi both scored two, and Susan and Zach both scored one, giving the women a 7–6 win, marking the red team's tenth challenge win out of eleven, giving them the best challenge record in Hell's Kitchen history. This also marked the first time in Hell's Kitchen history that one team won six consecutive challenges.
Reward/punishment: The women ate seafood at the Nobu restaurant in Malibu and a were treated to a horseback ride in the Santa Monica Mountains. The men were forced to take in deliveries of supplies, including flour and ice, and prep both kitchens for dinner service. Anthony accidentally misread the delivery order notice which forced the men to take in more deliveries than needed, angering Jon and Zach.Surprise immunity challenge: Ramsay revealed the season's first individual challenge, in which each chef would be competing to earn immunity from elimination in the next dinner service. The chefs had 45 minutes to prepare a dish of their choice. Ja'Nel was the first to sit in the "immunity chair", beating out Anthony and Susan, but Jon took her place, beating out Mary and Zach. Last up was Cyndi, however, before Ramsay announced his decision, the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|159||15||"7 Chefs Compete Part 2"||June 6, 2013||5.28|
Surprise immunity challenge – continued Ramsay decided to give Jon the immunity, ensuring him safe from elimination.
Service: Ramsay announced the chef's tables for this service with Maria Menounos in the blue kitchen and Jeremy Sisto in the red kitchen. In addition, Jim O'Heir was also in attendance. In the blue kitchen, Jon served a bland risotto, but recovered quickly, while Anthony failed to understand Ramsay's instructions on scallops, gave the wrong number of lobster tails for Jon's risotto, and then overcooked them. Anthony and Zach then suffered communication issues when Anthony served fish too early, but served it raw, causing Ramsay to send him to the storeroom. Zach, serving raw wellingtons, eventually ran out, forcing Ramsay to kick him off and take over. In the red kitchen, Cyndi produced too much risotto, had a messy station and did not call out orders to the other chefs despite producing good food. However, Susan had a strong performance on meat, serving perfect lamb (Even though she served raw in the Signature Dish, the served raw lamb in the 2nd dinner service this season, & served raw lamb at the immunity challenge.), as well as wellingtons, which Ramsay was forced to use to help Zach in the blue kitchen. Ramsay named the women clear winners and asked Jon to nominate either Anthony or Zach for elimination, asking the women for one volunteer to move to the men's team.
Elimination: Jon nominated Anthony but Ramsay also nominated Zach. Anthony was eliminated for his lack of confidence and worsening performances, but gave him encouragement.
Team change: Ramsay transferred Ja'Nel to the men's team.Ramsay's comment: "Anthony hobbled through Hell's Kitchen, and even though his leg eventually got better, his cooking didn't."
|160||16||"6 Chefs Compete"||June 13, 2013||5.14|
Team challenge: The final team challenge was the communication challenge. The contestants had to prepare three dishes of Ramsay's choosing, all from the regular Hell's Kitchen menu. Only one chef from each team was allowed in the kitchen at a time, for only five minutes. When their time was up, the next chef took his or her place, with the previous chef having 15 seconds to brief them. Ramsay then compared the same dishes from each team for completeness, taste, and appearance. The blue team won their second challenge 2–0 and ending the red team's six challenge winning streak.
Reward/punishment: The blue team took a tour of Los Angeles on a helicopter and visited the Gillette Ranch to sample caviar. The red team had to unload a truck of potatoes to prepare meals for the Los Angeles Mission and prep both kitchens for service. Cyndi experienced an asthma attack, resulting in her needing to see the medic, but was able to continue the punishment after receiving treatment.
Service: In the blue kitchen, Jon and Ja'Nel served perfect risotto and scallops on appetizers, but Zach struggled on wellingtons and was non-communicative to Ramsay despite preparing good dishes. Zach overcooked lamb, but recovered. In the red kitchen, Cyndi and Susan prepared perfect risotto and lobster tails, but Cyndi started preparing entrées early before all appetizers were served. After Mary served raw lobster tails, Ramsay took the team to storeroom. Both teams finished service; Ramsay named both teams winners, but had them nominate one chef for elimination.
Elimination: Zach and Cyndi were nominated. However, Ramsay questioned Cyndi's nomination. After explaining again he wanted the weakest chef nominated, Cyndi nominated Mary, Mary nominated Susan and Susan nominated Cyndi. After asking Ja'Nel, Ramsay called Susan down but eliminated Zach, deciding he had been given too many chances and was not fulfilling his expectations.Ramsay's comment: "There once was a chef named Zach, for words he didn't lack. But in the kitchen, he was no magician, and he won't be coming back."
|161||17||"5 Chefs Compete Part 1"||June 20, 2013||5.19|
Before the first individual challenge, the remaining chefs were shown a video from Ramsay that showed each of the chef's families wishing them luck. Ramsay then added that the chefs would face one more challenge and unveiled a curtain which actually had the family members in the restaurant (Susan's mother and brother, Ja'Nel's mother and sister, Jon's mother and sister, Cyndi's mother and sister and Mary's mother and brother). After each chef spent time with their loved ones, Ramsay gave the five remaining chefs black jackets.
Challenge: Each chef had 45 minutes to use a pressure cooker to prepare a dish using one of five cheap cuts of meat, each hidden in a pressure cooker, and fashion the dish as a five-star entrée. Ramsay judged the dishes alongside James Beard award-winner and owner of Osteria Mozza, Nancy Silverton, and Los Angeles magazine's Dine editor Leslie Barger Suter, the first person to receive the James Beard award for culinary journalism. Each judge rated the dish from 1–5; the contestant with the most stars wins. Mary won with a perfect score of 15, Ja'Nel came in second with 14, Jon was third with 10, Susan finished fourth with 9, and Cyndi was last with 7.
Reward/punishment: Mary dined with her family at Wolfgang Puck's WP 24 atop The Ritz-Carlton in downtown Los Angeles. The others had to work maintenance for Tree People at Coldwater Canyon before sorting out recyclables and organics for Recycling Day at Hell's Kitchen.Pre-service: Ramsay called the chefs down to the kitchen to remind them that would be the most challenging service yet forthcoming because they will all work as one single team. Ramsay then announced that they would be competing against a team of five chefs that he has worked with before and proclaimed they are some of the best he has worked with as the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|162||18||"5 Chefs Compete Part 2"||June 27, 2013||5.54|
Pre-service – continued: Ramsay welcomed the chefs who will compete in the opposing kitchen against the five winners. They include Rahman "Rock" Harper from season 3, Christina Machamer from season 4, Dave Levey from season 6, Nona Sivley from season 8 and Paul Niedermann from season 9. The chefs of both teams had to come up with signature dishes to add to the menu. Ramsay also left it up to the teams to decide who would be on each station. Both teams had difficulty deciding on food, with Susan wanting the menu to be simple, and Nona wanting an exclusively southern-themed menu. On the black team, Susan was made to float, Cyndi took the meat station, Jon on fish, Mary on garnish and Ja'Nel on hot appetizers. The returning team had few issues preparing their dishes while the current chefs had issues with their duck confit, having to serve their dish without it. Ramsay felt that their steak tartar was underseasoned and that failing to serve the confit was unacceptable, ordering the team to recook both dishes from scratch. On presenting again however, Ramsay approved them. The returning chefs presented a rendered duck breast with toasted pistachios and veal lamb chop with collard greens and ham-hock for their entrée.
Service: Service started strong with Jon and Mary cooking perfect scallops, while Nona forgot Ramsay's recipe for risotto and underportioned them. Dave jumped in to help her, and while Nona initially refused the help, the two quickly served appetizers. Susan and Ja'Nel generally did a good job on appetizers, but Susan underdressed the salads, forcing Ja'Nel to help her. Christina and Paul both generally did well on fish and meat, though Paul was twice called out for serving undercooked meat. Cyndi had issues with timing on lamb, and though the black team almost finished first, a lamb being returned stalled them until after the returning winners had finished theirs. The winner was decided by comment cards; the returning winners received a score of 95% customer satisfaction, while the final five narrowly lost, scoring 93%.Elimination: Susan and Cyndi were nominated. Ramsay decided that since the final five almost matched the five returning champions, no one would be eliminated. However, he warned them that the next day, one, two or even three of them could be eliminated.
|163||19||"5 Chefs Compete Part 3"||July 11, 2013||5.25|
Challenge: The contestants had to create ten gourmet burgers, which would then be judged by Ramsay and Jean-Phillippe along with people associated with some of the finest restaurants in the country, including Darren Kim of Nobu, and David Rosoff and Joseph Bastianich of Osteria Mozza. Susan's "Healthy Burger" was named the worst, while almost 40% of the diners named Jon's "Roman Burger" the best.
Reward/punishment: Jon spent the day at the local spa, and chose Cyndi to join him. The others were forced to do chores listed by JP, including steaming linens, polishing the silverware, and washing his car. They also had to prep the kitchen for dinner service.
Service: Antonio Sabàto, Jr. and his friend were given a position at the chef's table, at the request of Ramsay. Alex Tagliani, and Challen Cates were also in attendance. Ja'Nel served properly cooked risotto to the chef's table, as did Cyndi with lobster for the risotto and Mary on sliders. Ja'Nel then had issues on risotto, but quickly recovered while Mary forgot a patty for one of the sliders and then overcooked burgers. With Susan's help, the sliders were served, but Susan then burnt garnish while Mary overcooked one side of a sole, though both recovered. Susan then tried preparing entrées for a ticket before appetizers were served, causing Ramsay to leave the kitchen with sous chef Andi, which makes the 3rd time Ramsay leaves the kitchen since season 6, but not leaving through the front door like season 6, leaving Susan to run the kitchen. Ramsay then returned to the kitchen and the chefs eventually complete service. However, Ramsay called the service "dreadful" and said they "had better services than that weeks ago", ordering them to nominate two for elimination.
Elimination: The team nominated Mary, but could not choose between Ja'Nel and Susan, so Ramsay nominated both of them. Ramsay eliminated Susan for her worsening performances in the past three services, but gave her encouragement, stating that he would maybe have a job for her in the future.Ramsay's comment: "Susan had little experience, but she came a long way. She's not ready to lead my kitchen in Vegas, but I'm happy to say that she'll be leaving Hell's Kitchen as a real chef."
|164||20||"4 Chefs Compete"||July 18, 2013||4.90|
Challenge: The contestants were split into teams of Ja'Nel and Cyndi and Jon and Mary. Each team then had to put together a puzzle which had an image of a dish. Ramsay then revealed the real challenge was the "Taste it, now make it" challenge, in which the chefs had 30 minutes to replicate the sample dish, using taste, touch and sight alone to make it, determine the protein, the sauce and all other components. Mary chose bison, but halfway into cooking, switched to lamb, leading to it being undercooked, while Cyndi and Ja'Nel chose venison and Jon chose beef. All four decided on butternut squash for the sauce. Ja'Nel and Jon chose parsnip for their vegetable, Cyndi chose turnip and Mary chose celery root. Ramsay told the chefs that the correct protein was venison, eliminating both Jon and Mary. All four were incorrect in choosing butternut squash as the puree, as it was carrot, but Cyndi won the challenge as turnip was the correct vegetable.
Reward/punishment: Cyndi was rewarded with a shopping spree with JP at Sur La Table with $1,000 to spend followed by lunch with Ramsay at The Fat Cow, his restaurant at The Grove at Farmers Market in Los Angeles. Ja'Nel, Mary and Jon had to load all the furniture not being used in the dorms and load them into the moving truck and also prepare the kitchen for that night's service.
Service: Each of the chefs took turns running the pass and had to spot acts of sabotage that Ramsay and sous chef Andi deliberately set up. Cyndi was the first chef to take on the pass; she led well, but failed to spot crab in a risotto instead of lobster. Ja'Nel led well despite little respect from the other chefs and spotted cod being served instead of halibut. Jon struggled in leadership and served a wellington with prosciutto in it, despite the order requesting no pork. He also didn't notice Andi using butterfish instead of scallops. Lastly, Mary led well with her assertiveness, and spotted lamb being stuffed into a beef wellington instead of beef.Elimination: Ramsay asked the four to explain why they deserved to stay. Ramsay then eliminated Cyndi, feeling she was not yet ready for the job awaiting in Vegas, but urged her not to give up on her culinary career. Then, Ramsay announced Mary as the first chef in the final. As Ramsay was about to name the other finalist, the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|165||21||"2 Chefs Compete"||July 25, 2013||5.29|
Elimination – continued: Ramsay announced Ja'Nel as the second finalist, eliminating Jon. Ramsay praised Jon for his performance and told him that he would be leaving as his lone shining star from this year's men's team (which Ramsay otherwise deemed to have been the worst ever team in Hell's Kitchen), and told him to stay in touch because he may have a job for him in the future. He allowed Jon to keep his jacket, making him the first male contestant to be allowed to keep his jacket upon departure.[note 2]
Reward: Ja'Nel and Mary flew via private jet to Las Vegas where they received their own suite at Caesar's Palace. They then planned out four appetizers, four entrées and two desserts with help from Sous Chefs James and Andi for their service before meeting the President of Caesar's Palace Gary Selesner and Hell's Kitchen season 10 winner Christina Wilson at Gordon Ramsay Steak. They were then given chef's jackets for the upcoming service. After arriving back in Los Angeles, the women then received a call from Ramsay to join him at Union Station. Upon arrival, they met him and their families. Ja'Nel and Mary then walked through a curtain, only to find themselves in front of a large audience.
Challenge: Ja'Nel and Mary had to prepare two appetizers and three entrées to present to a panel of esteemed judges. Ja'Nel won 3–2.[note 3]
Reward: Ja'Nel was granted first pick in drafting a team using the ten chefs eliminated from the competition prior to the final.[note 4] Ja'Nel picked Cyndi, Susan, Zach, Amanda and Raymond, while Mary picked Jon, Anthony, Nedra and Michael, and was left with Dan.Before heading back to Hell's Kitchen, Ja'Nel and Mary were given envelopes with instructions not to open them until they returned to Hell's Kitchen. Ja'Nel and Mary were given the opportunity to trade a team member before the start of service, but Ja'Nel told Mary she was happy with her team when Mary said she wanted to trade Dan. Mary's team liked her menu, but Ja'Nel's team, Susan in particular, voiced concerns over feeling her menu was too complex, annoying Ja'Nel. Ja'Nel told the team she planned to speak to Mary before the episode ended in a cliffhanger.
|166||22||"Winner Chosen"||July 25, 2013||5.61|
Ja'Nel decided to keep her team and told her team she wanted the menu to represent her.
Service: Ramsay then informed the chefs that, for the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, the final service would include two chef's tables. In Ja'Nel's kitchen is Anthony Anderson and his son, and in Mary's kitchen is Kat Graham and Tony Hawk. Also among the diners for service were talk show host Leeza Gibbons, actor John Schneider and former Olympic diver Greg Louganis in addition to the finalists' family members. In the blue kitchen, Raymond underdressed salads and Susan had issues with the bread to go with Cyndi's mussels, but thanks to Amanda, they served appetizers. In the red kitchen, Nedra did not taste her hot apps and struggled with seasoning, being slow to get orders to the pass, though she recovered after prompting by Mary. Mary unknowingly called for one portion of scallops when two were on order, but Michael caught her mistake. On entrees, Dan struggled on meat, serving it rare twice. After prompting by Mary, Dan again served it rare, causing Mary to kick him out, marking the first time a finalist threw a chef out of the kitchen. Nedra took over, and though Dan overcooked almost all the steaks, she found one that was properly cooked. Meanwhile, Susan served cold potatoes and Zach failed to communicate from the meat station, though both recovered. After Ja'Nel's kitchen slowed down considerably, she took control and got her team to rally back, finishing just after Mary.
Winner: After deliberating, Ramsay brought Ja'Nel and Mary to his office and gave them final praise before sending them in front of a door each. Ja'Nel's door opened, making her the eleventh winner of Hell's Kitchen. Ja'Nel hung her portrait on the Wall of Fame, while Dan reconciled with Mary.Ramsay's comment: "In all my years in Hell's Kitchen, I have never seen a more composed individual than Ja'Nel. And that is why I am so happy to have this ambitious, creative and talented woman as my Head Chef."
- At age 51, Ray is to date the oldest contestant in Hell's Kitchen.
- This marked the second all-female final since Season 2.
- This was Ja'Nel's twelfth challenge win, the most in Hell's Kitchen history.
- Barret did not return; Jacqueline, as the last chef eliminated prior to the top twelve, was slated to take his place, but also did not return, so Dan, as the last chef eliminated prior to the top thirteen, took Barret's place.
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