Where are 'Hell's Kitchen' winners now?
Let's find out what the former contestants of the reality cooking show are doing now after winning their respective seasons ahead of the Season 21 premiere
Popular cooking reality show 'Hell's Kitchen' is back for another season. That's right, the fierce cooking competition will premiere its much anticipated Season 21, and viewers can be assured it will be just as entertaining as all of its previous seasons. From brutal honesty to plain old classic insults thrown about in abundance, this Fox reality cooking series has it all served on a silver platter. If you can't keep up, you better get out of Gordan Ramsay's kitchen.
'Hells Kitchen' has a reputation for being one of the most brutal cooking shows out there, with cut-throat competition. Helmed by Michelin Star chef Gordan Ramsay, it's a hell of a ride for all the contestants and viewers alike. As last season focused on the theme "Young Guns", this season's theme is "Battle of Ages". And we're sure it will be a battle to witness. The season promises the return of some older faces from its previous seasons. You can read more about the cast of Season 21 here. Which brings us to the question: What have the winners of the last 20 seasons been doing? Let's find out what these ex-contestants are cooking after the show. Other similar shows to watch if you love 'Hell's Kitchen' are 'Iron Chef', 'Masterchef' and 'Next Level Chef'.
Season 1: Michael Wray
Season 1 winner Michael Wray declined to work under Ramsey due to family reasons. Later, he became Head Chef at The Standards restaurant in Los Angeles before opening his own restaurant called Tatou. He tried opening a second restaurant called HK One but due to financial reasons, it was an unsuccessful attempt. Wray then opened his knife company called Skull and Cleavers and teaches cooking classes. After his daughter's tragic death, Wray, a recovering drug addict, succumbed back to the habit and spent a few years of his life on the streets. He is now back on track with his recovery and is cooking again.
Season 2: Heather West
Heather West was the first female winner of the show. After her win, West didn't receive an executive chef position. Instead, she was offered a senior chef position at Terra Rossa at the Red Rock Resort & Spa in Las Vegas, plus a $250K salary. After the year-long contract ended, West moved from Washington to North Carolina and then to California. She worked as the head chef at Monterey's, Jellyfish Restaurant, and Broadway Grill. She is now married and the mother of two sons. West has bravely shared her postpartum depression struggles on social media. She had returned for 'Hell's Kitchen' Season 6 as the red team's sous chef.
Season 3: Rahman "Rock" Harper
After his stint at Terra Verde, Season 3 victor Rock Harper moved to Washington, DC, where he became the executive chef at Ben's Next Door. Harper also started a podcast titled 'The Chef Rock Xperiment' about "empowerment, education, and entertainment for the food and beverage industry." Harper has even taken his love of all things culinary to the publishing world. In 2010, he wrote a best-selling book called '44 Things Parents Should Know About Healthy Cooking for Kids' to help parents teach their children about healthier eating and food habits. He also reappeared on 'Hell's Kitchen' for some of its most recent seasons.
Season 4: Christina Machamer
The least experienced chef on the show, Christina Machamer, broke the then-standing record of the most challenge wins with a total of nine to win the entire season. She was offered the option of accepting her $250,000 prize all at once or earning it via a salary while working in Ramsay's newest restaurant London West Hollywood as a senior sous chef. After a ten-month stint there, Machamer moved on to Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro. She later returned to school to become a sommelier, relocated to Napa Valley, and became a certified Sommelier. She assisted in the planning and developing of the demonstration kitchen and culinary programming at B Cellars Vineyards & Winery. Many luxury Napa brands have consulted with her to help build their culinary and hospitality branches. Currently, Machamer is engrossed in her personal business Chef C Mac. She's also reappeared in later 'Hell's Kitchen' seasons.
Season 5: Danny Veltri
Danny Veltri, the winner of Season 5, relocated to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and worked as a sous chef at Fornelletto at Borgata. After which, he returned to Florida and started his own business called Back From Hell Catering. It didn't last long, and he helped open Gnarly Surf Bar and Grill, where he worked as the general manager. Currently, he is working on his own personal website and stated he would love to have his own show.
Season 6: Dave Levey
After his win, Dave Levey initially thought he would be working as a head chef at Araxi Restaurant & Bar, but he was told he'd be a line cook instead. It didn't sit well with him, and he eventually let go of the position after a year, heading to his hometown, Chester in New Jersey. He keeps his personal life under wraps but posts an occasional selfie with his pet dog and plenty of pictures of the delicious food he whips up. It's speculated that he works as a baker at Mara's Café & Bakery and is thriving.
Season 7: Holli Ugalde
Season 7 winner Holli Ugalde was offered a position at the prestigious Savoy Grill in London but couldn't take on the job due to visa troubles and only accepted the prize money. Ugalde worked in Florida at B Ocean's as an executive chef. Later, she switched to working as a designer and also launched a lifestyle program called SENS Wellness. Since, she's worked as an organic farmer at Green Acres Culinary Farm, as a design manager at Beaumont Electric, and as a business owner in the lighting industry. She's also acted as a spokesperson for her alma mater, Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
Season 8: Nona Sivley
After her win, Nona Sivley started working at LA Market in Los Angeles. Sivley, who now goes by the name Nona Johnson, has started her own company called Sizzling Peach with her wife, catering to customers in Atlanta, Georgia, and nearby areas, helping them out with their catering needs. As the site describes, "Here at Sizzling Peach, we pride ourselves in doing more than just feeding your guests." She promises the customers a glimpse into healthy and wholesome food options and is branded as a "luxury catering service." She is also working on a specialty grocery store that will specifically focus on organic produce and work with local farmers
Season 9: Paul Niedermann
Paul Niedermann has served as a chef at renowned locations such as Hudson at Waterway East and held a position at Racks Restaurant Management Group as an executive chef. He is currently a corporate executive chef at SALT7. Through his Instagram, he gives his followers a glimpse at what's cooking at SALT7.
Season 10: Christina Wilson
Season 10 winner Christina Wilson has been with host Gordan Ramsay since her first show appearance. Wilson has made numerous reappearances on the show after her win as well. From serving as a sous chef to judge, a mentoring role in recent years. This was especially evident during her 2021 appearance on 'Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns'. She will be back on the show's newest season.
Season 11: Ja'Nel Witt
After her win, Ja'Nel Witt was offered a position as an executive at the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill. But later, she was instead allowed to work instead at Corner Table in Houston. It was revealed the change was due to her being accused of using cocaine before she was supposed to be a part of the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill. Witt later worked at the Corner Table as an executive chef and then moved to Sammy's Steakhouse in Richmond, after things were sorted. She created a special menu suitable for her guests following the Paleo diet and prepared delicious food items such as hummus, lobster and crab salad, wood-fired pizza, and more. She usually posts food updates for her fans on Instagram.
Season 12: Scott Commings
Scott Commings is associated with several restaurants. Currently, he is the executive chef for Freedom Beat at the Downtown Grand Hotel & Casino and the executive chef for Lake Las Vegas. He also pursues other projects as well.
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Season 13: La Tasha McCutchen
La Tasha McCutchen worked as head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey, for one year and currently is a private chef.
Season 14: Meghan Gill
The Season 14 winner of 'Hell's Kitchen' took over as head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Currently, Gill is excelling in her role as an executive chef at Dormie Network, a golf-focused facility that has several courses catered toward those keen on picking up the sport.
Season 15: Ariel Malone
Ariel Malone worked as head chef at BLT Steak in Bally's Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, until the beginning of 2017. These days, Malone works as a private chef and often posts photos of her dishes on social media. She's also had triplets since and is busy being a good parent to her toddlers. Malone shares her thoughts on parenthood and what an unpredictable rollercoaster ride it is with her followers on Instagram.
Season 16: Kimberly-Ann Ryan
Kimberly-Ann Ryan works as a head chef at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas. In 2021, Ryan contracted Covid and went through a harrowing ordeal. She is open on Twitter and shared her experience on the platform.
Season 17: Michelle Tribble
Michelle Tribble worked as the head chef at the new 'Hell's Kitchen' Restaurant at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, but was laid off during the pandemic. After her time there, Tribble decided to return to school and is pursuing a degree in nutrition at Texas Woman's University. Currently, she's working as a culinary development executive chef at Gordon Ramsay North America. Tribble is also quite active on Instagram. She has revealed on her Instagram that she is expecting a child.
Season 18: Ariel Contreras-Fox
Ariel Contreras-Fox had a stint as executive chef at Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen Restaurant at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas but later returned home to work for the Del Frisco restaurant group. She was a judge on the Food Network show 'Beat Bobby Flay'. Contreras-Fox has also made multiple appearances on 'Hell's Kitchen' in later seasons. She's also a published author, with a part children's book, part cookbook, part memoir titled 'Freckle-Faced Foodie: Journey of Young Chef'. The book is based on Contreras-Fox's real-life childhood growing up in a biracial family.
Season 19: Kori Sutton
Kori Sutton worked as head chef at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant in Lake Tahoe. She's also appeared on 'Cutthroat Kitchen' and 'Top Chef: Mexico'. Sutton now works as a private chef.
Season 20: Trenton Garvey
One of the youngest winners, Trenton Garvey, resides in Missouri and Arkansas. After his win, he proposed to his girlfriend of nine years, and the two got married soon. Trenton's next adventure is starting his new job at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas.
'Hell's Kitchen' Season 21 is all set to release on September 29, 2022, at 8 pm ET/PT on Fox.