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Anyone have updates on past Hell's kitchen winners?

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Just curious: I'd sure like to hear how past winners on Hell's kitchen have gone on to thrive (or not) in Ramsay's restaurants. Prior to the show's third season, I passed through several preliminary rounds of the show's casting process armed with precious little professional cooking experience. Point being, I was left with the distinct impression that the show was looking more for real characters than true culinarians, so I'd like to hear how the last chefs standing from prior seasons have fared to help prove my theory either right or wrong.

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  1. I'd like to know too. I have tried to find info on both previous Hell's Kitchen winners as well as updates on Kitchen Nightmares' restaurateurs but no luck. Anyone?

    1 Reply
    1. re: tuttebene

      This site has updates on the UK KN and season 1 of US KN. Unfortunately it hasn't been updated in a while

      http://gordonramsayskitchen.com/

    2. The prize really has nothing to do with Ramsey's restaurants. Ramsey has no affiliation with the Red Rock Casino or the Borgata. Thus far the winners don't have a lot to show for the effort. The season one winner declined the prize opting instead to go to London to train under Ramsey. Apparantly he wasn't too thrilled once he got there as he turned right around and came home with in days. No doubt he arrived and discovered that he would not be working any where near Gordo.
      Heather was promised the executive chef position at the steak house in the Red Rock Casino as well as a % of the take however the Casino and Ramsey welched on the deal. She has been given a job which amounts to a sous chef position the the italian restaurant. No word on what the actual compensation was.
      In short the reward has been rather pathetic.
      As far as your theory I don't see how you tie that to the prize since all of the "winners" had culinary degrees and/or prior experience. This season alone there are multiple CIA grads.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Fritter

        Season 4's prize was at one of Ramsay's restaurants.

        As far as whether the winner's get the job that is advertised, I'm sure the contract they sign before going on the show allows the restaurants in question get out of giving the winner the prime job. I can't imagine they would go along with it if it didn't. Even though some of these jokers come into the competition with titles like 'executive chef', titles don't always mean the same thing at every restaurant. It's easy to be exec chef, when you are the only person in the kitchen.

        1. re: Sooeygun

          Season one was for one of GR's places as well.
          I don't really have any idea whether Heather went along with the Red Rock backing out or if she obtained counsel and negotiated a settlement. AFAIK the details were never released. Either way she was promised an "Executive Chef" position and wound up working under the Executive Chef at a different restaurant. I completly agree that the title Executive chef may be the most miss-used title ever. Even with 30 people in the kitchen if you are working that is not IMO an Executive Chef. That is a Working Chef or as the ACF currently defines it Chef de Cuisine.

          1. re: Fritter

            A little off topic, but your comment about the executive chef title made me laugh. KFC is running a TV ad locally where they talk about what's in the chicken, then the woman says, I should know, I'm the cook, and there is one of us in every kitchen. I was thinking... um... i'd hope there are a LOT of cooks in every kitchen because that's a lot of food to crank out. Did you mean you're the "chef?"

            1. re: Firegoat

              LOL Like The Olive Garden sends "All" of their Chef's to Italy.
              Would that be the ONE Executive Chef they have in charge of national operations?
              I just gotta laugh every time I see theese people coming on claiming titles like Exec Chef or Culinary Instructor and they can't find their own rear end in the kitchen.

              1. re: Fritter

                I think it's more than just one. I met several at a bar in Rome a few years ago, all there for training. I'm not suggesting that all of their cooks train in Italy, but, neither do they.

                1. re: tommy

                  Indeed it is more than one. I was being slightly facetious. I believe the OG commercial stated they send all of their "Chef's" to Italy to their school. IIR OG employes four Executive chef's nationally.
                  However I have read that they send a number of managers every year.

      2. Christina from last season is an executive sous chef. She writes a blog weekly about the current hell's season cast/show as well as talks about what it is like working for Ramsey and what kind of work she does.
        http://www.buddytv.com/articles/hells...

        Rock from season 3 is currently executive chef at Ben's Next Door in Washington D.C. and has a website up.
        http://chefrockinc.com/?p=16

        2 Replies
        1. re: Firegoat

          I thought the London in LA was closed due to lack of business.

          1. re: Blueicus

            I thought that London West Hollywood location was sold to the hotel it's located in, and they're managing it now.

        2. Here's an interesting article about Michael Wray with some nice photography. I think his knife line has stalled due to a lack of investors.

          http://www.prickmag.net/chefmichaelwr...

          1. Last seasons prize seemed to diminish as the season went on. If I remember correctly it went from running the whole place to being an assistant. Her title was Executive Sous Chef don't that in a traditional kitchen brigade there is such a thing. (They made it up.) Either way the winner Christina never even appeared on the restaurant website as a member of staff.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Withnail42

              There is a title of executive Sous Chef. The Executive Sous chef is at the top of all the other Sous chefs in an operation where you have multiple sous chef's. Epcot is a good example of a place that uses executive Sous Chef's as do some large hotels.

              1. re: Fritter

                We had one at the resort hotel I worked at for several years (and I assume there still is one). He was in charge of all the sous chefs (I think there were about 8-10 sous chefs) and making sure what the Executive Chef wanted for all the kitchens got done. The EC tended to work more with the management of the hotel and all that administrative stuff than being in the kitchen. And cause he didn't come into the main parts of the kitchen often, it always scared us a little when he did.

                1. re: Fritter

                  Oops I stand corrected.

                  But I still don't think that was the job the 'winner ' was supposed to get was it?

                  1. re: Withnail42

                    The winners of each season were all promised jobs as execututive chefs or at least that's what the show leads us to believe.

              2. Anyone know what happened to Julia? The one Ramsay said he'll pay for culinary schooling?

                1. I was wondering about Rachel Brown – the one who was murdered in her home in Texas. Was the case ever resolved?

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: StewieBoy

                    I remember at the time hearing that it was suspected suicide, but I don't recall any confirmation on that.

                    1. re: Firegoat

                      That’s sad. I went back and watched some of the old clips (gotta love Hulu!). She didn’t seem like the type to internalize defeat.

                      BTW - the current season is also on Hulu.

                  2. I think out of all six seasons so far. The best and truest prize has been Christina's. She is still with the London West Hollywood and was promoted to Executive Chef in early 2009. Ramsey still owns the LA one. The New York one he sold back to the Hotel and keeps a consulting role, staffing plus a share of profits. Basically he supplies the quality control and chefs and the Hotel takes over the day to day admin and majority of risk. It is a win win for him.

                    I read an interview with Gordon saying he did send Julia to culinary school and stays in touch with her. He is very excited about her future. Danny did not get his promise of his own place but was given a role working under a very good Head Chef and is hard at work.

                    Heather was Gordon's sous chef for season six which was nice to see. She seemed to take the role very seriously. I read she is Head Chef at a place in Long Island now.

                    What I like about the show is all of the winners could of taken the prize money and ran. Which I think a few that didn't win would of i.e. Bonnie or Petrozza.

                    But all chose to work at the venues they were offered. Well I guess except Michael in season 1 in London. But it seems his new wife could not adjust to living in London and quit becuase of that and not becuase of working under Ramsey.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Apple_

                      Actually, Christina is Executive Sous Chef @ the Gordon Ramsay at the London in West Hollywood, still working under EC Andy Cook, according to several sites.

                      And no one "gets their own restaurant" as is stated on air. All of them end up in sous positions, I think.

                      1. re: LindaWhit

                        Actually, Christina was hired as Executive Sous Chef. As I stated above she was promoted in 2009. She is still part of the team, it does not mean she is above Andy Cook he is Chef de Cuisine, it is more she has more responsibility and runs a team. My only correction to the above post is he did sell the LA London and has a consultancy role for menu, quality, staffing and profit sharing.

                        http://benzee.wordpress.com/2009/07/1...

                        Rock was given the Head Chef title in Terra Verde but he left after a year so it seems like it was a title in name only deal.

                        Heather got screwed over the most out of the 6 winners so far. The hotel welched on their deal and stuck her in an open kitchen venue to show her off like a zoo animal.

                        Dave will be working under a Head Chef, at least Fox was more honest about the title and role this season.

                        1. re: Apple_

                          I'm not sure where that blogger got that information about her supposed promotion. Christina's own bio doesn't say she was ever promoted to Executive Chef. Just the ESC position (I think she'd certainly mention that she was promoted in her own bio!). And she's no longer there...she will be helping to open Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills.

                          http://www.chefcmac.com/webpage/Bio.html

                          1. re: Apple_

                            No dave was given a lousy position like a like cook or not lead that he quit weeks later.