Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 9)
|Hell's Kitchen (U.S. season 9)|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of episodes||16|
|Original release||July 18– September 19, 2011|
Season 9 of the American competitive reality television series Hell's Kitchen premiered on July 18, 2011, on Fox and concluded on September 19, 2011, with a two-hour season finale. Jr. sous-chef Paul Niedermann won the season and was awarded a "head chef" position at BLT Steak in New York City, New York.
The entire season took about six weeks to film. It also saw the show return to its original one season per year schedule, having run two seasons each in 2009 and 2010 due to the after-effects of the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike.
The intro features Ramsay playing pinball with the chefs inside trying to dodge the pinball and the machine's bumpers.
18 chefs competed in season 9.
|Paul Niedermann||27||Jr. Sous Chef||Davie, Florida||Winner|
|William "Will" Lustberg||31||Sous Chef||Jersey City, New Jersey||Runner-Up|
|Elise Wims[a]||26||Line Cook||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||Eliminated before Finals|
|Thomas "Tommy" Stevens||31||Line Cook||Brewster, New York||Eliminated before Finals|
|Jennifer Normant[b]||34||Chef de Cuisine||Boston, Massachusetts||Eliminated after Fourteenth Service|
|Elizabeth Bianchi||27||Line Cook||New York, New York||Eliminated before Black Jackets after Twelfth Service|
|Natalie Blake||23||Sous Chef||Harrodsburg, Kentucky||Eliminated after Eleventh Service|
|Carrie Keep||31||Pantry Chef||Dallas, Texas||Eliminated after Tenth Service|
|Jamie Gregorich||24||Sous Chef||Bradenton, Florida||Eliminated after Ninth Service|
|Jonathon Plumley||34||Head Cook||Memphis, Tennessee||Eliminated after Eighth Service|
|Krupa Patel||30||Private Chef||Queens, New York||Eliminated after Seventh Service|
|Monterray Keys||34||Line Cook||Darby, Pennsylvania||Eliminated after Sixth Service|
|Gina Melcher||34||Restaurant Consultant||Cape May, New Jersey||Eliminated after Fifth Service|
|Hee Jun "Chino" Chang||39||Executive Chef||Hatboro, Pennsylvania||Eliminated after Fourth Service|
|Amanda Colello||26||Personal Chef||Sun City, California||Eliminated after Third Service|
|Brendan Heavey||31||Head Chef||Hoboken, New Jersey||Eliminated after Second Service|
|Steven Paluba||44||Sauté Chef||Ridge, New York||Eliminated after First Service|
|Jason Zepaltas[c]||29||Line Cook||Chicago, Illinois||Left before First Service|
- Chef returned to Hells Kitchen again on Season 17.
- Chef returned to Hells Kitchen again on Season 17.
- Chef returned to Hells Kitchen again on Season 12.
1 At time of filming.
|Original teams||Switched teams||Individual||Finals|
|5||Jennifer||WIN||WIN||NOM[n 1]||LOSE||LOSE||WIN||LOSE||WIN||LOSE||LOSE||LOSE||NOM[n 1]||NOM||OUT|
- Chef was nominated by Ramsay
- Chef was hospitalized and withdrew for health reasons
|Title||Original air date||US viewers|
|109||1||"18 Chefs Compete"||July 18, 2011||5.84|
Eighteen new chefs were brought to the Orpheum Theatre, where they walked onto a stage behind a curtain with their covered platters bearing their names and the sounds of an audience cheering and chanting could be heard. But after an announcer introduced the chefs, the curtain opened to reveal an empty theatre. Chef Ramsay appeared and reminded them they were not stars yet and announced the prize was a "head chef" position at BLT Steak in New York City. He then told the chefs to return to Hell's Kitchen and cook their signature dishes.
Team challenge/signature dish: The women (red team) competed against the men (blue team), and had 45 minutes to prepare their signature dish, judged by Ramsay. Will's sheep's milk gnudi scored over Carrie's chicken fried ribeye (as she put sugar in the mashed potato she used), Amanda's eggplant rollatini and Brendan's salmon both scored a point, Jennifer's pork scored over Jonathon's "punch-drunk" chicken (he was even threatened with elimination on the spot after he revealed to Ramsay that he used canned pineapple slices for his dish and claimed he had "limited time"), Paul's eggplant involtini scored over Krupa's stuffed naan, neither Jamie's lamb lollipops nor Steven's seared diver scallops earned a point (Ramsay even compared Steven's scallops to dinosaur toenails), Elise's scallops scored over Chino's dish as he used too much miso, Monterray's sea bass and Natalie's lamb both scored a point, both Elizabeth and Tommy earned a point for their dishes, and finally Gina's pan-roasted pistachio scallops lost to Jason's pork tacos as the scallops were burnt on the top. The men won 6-5.
Reward/punishment: The men were treated to lunch at the L.A. Market restaurant with last season's winner, Nona Sivley, while the women were forced to clean the kitchens for dinner service.
Jason's exit: Shortly before dinner service, Jason became short of breath and was rushed to the hospital; he would not return to Hell's Kitchen.[note 1] Jason is responsible for the fastest exit in Hell's Kitchen history for any reason. No elimination sequence was given for Jason, but his jacket and burned photo was seen next to Gina's. He later returned in season 12 and finished as the runner-up.
Service: In the blue kitchen, Chino burnt cod, while Steven served appetizers in the wrong order, and he and Tommy both overcooked scallops, causing Ramsay to send them all to chef's table. While Jonathon put in a strong performance on meat, Monterray served garnish too early and Brendan burnt potatoes. In the red kitchen, Elise served poor risotto, prompting Krupa to take over, and attempted to take over fish from Carrie after Carrie overcooked scallops, causing Ramsay to send her to chef's table, though Krupa put in a strong performance on meat. After customers began leaving, Ramsay shut the kitchens down. Ramsay declared the women winners for at least serving entrees, and the men were ordered to nominate two chefs for elimination.[note 2]
Elimination: Steven and Monterray were nominated; Ramsay also nominated Chino. Ramsay eliminated Steven for being the worst performer of the night.Ramsay's comment: "I realized early on that Steven has much chance of being the head chef of BLT Steak as I do of winning a gold medal in figure skating."
|110||2||"16 Chefs Compete"||July 19, 2011||5.77|
The chefs were awakened to the sound of a kid playing an electric guitar, and were brought outside.
Team challenge: The chefs worked in pairs to grill four pieces of meat to Ramsay's standards in 20 minutes: a medium rare New York strip, a medium ribeye, a medium well filet mignon, and a well-done burger. Jennifer, Gina and Elizabeth formed a trio, while Will worked alone. The men won 11-10 after Will achieved a perfect score of four.
Reward/punishment: The men were rewarded with a trip to Palm Springs, California via private jet, where they had lunch with Ramsay in the mountains. The women cleaned the grills, drank blended meat and prepped a side of beef.
Service: Carrie and Will served table-side caesar salad, after which Krupa and Monterray served table-side prime ribs. In the red kitchen, Jennifer served squab in a brisket and Carrie was slow serving Caesar salads, causing Ramsay to send Krupa to help her, before Krupa later dropped a prime rib on the floor. In the blue kitchen, Chino burnt risotto twice, Brendan fired a sea bass too early and then later served the same bass, lying to Ramsay it was a new one, Tommy overcooked duck, and the men were kicked out after Brendan served raw seabass. The women completed service and were deemed clear winners.
Elimination: Brendan and Chino were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Brendan for his arrogance and poor performance on fish. Ramsay then announced that one woman would be moved to the men's team the next morning as the men were now three members down.Ramsay's comment: "The only thing bigger than Brendan's ego are the lies that he tells, and I can't have that in Hell's Kitchen."
|111||3||"15 Chefs Compete"||July 25, 2011||5.95|
Team change: Carrie volunteered to move to the blue team, but Ramsay chose Natalie.
Team challenge: Ramsay welcomed 50 children and their mothers for a special "Mommy and Me" service. Each team served quesadilla and macaroni for the children and panini for the mothers. In the red kitchen, Jamie burnt quesadilla and Elise and Carrie argued. Both teams got to the last ticket, but the blue team narrowly won their third straight challenge.
Service: Ramsay assigned Chino and Gina to be assistant maitre d's. Each table served Margherita pizzas, assigned to Elise and Jonathon. Both teams did well on appetizers, but in the red kitchen, Jennifer and Carrie cooked the wrong entrees for a ticket, Amanda forgot to cook a cod, and after Carrie served raw lamb, Ramsay forced the red team to apologize to the diners before kicking them out. In the blue kitchen, Chino struggled as a waiter, and Natalie's beef wellington came out raw, but she recovered quickly, and the blue team, thanks to Natalie and Will's leadership, then finished the red team's service, being deemed clear winners.
Elimination: Ramsay made his own nominations; Jennifer, Carrie and Amanda. Ramsay eliminated Amanda for her lack of fightback.Ramsay's comment: "Amanda lost the will to cook on the line tonight. I lost the will to keep her here."
|112||4||"14 Chefs Compete"||July 26, 2011||6.04|
Team challenge: Each team had five minutes to capture chickens in a pen, with each one earning an ingredient that could be used for the challenge; each team then had 30 minutes to use a single chicken to cook four chicken dishes, using only ingredients earned in the chicken roundup. Ramsay joined the editors of People and Entertainment Weekly magazines. The red team won 3-2 for their first challenge win.
Service: Each kitchen served two former Olympic athletes with Misty May-Treanor and Jen Kessy for the red team, and Janet Evans and Mark Spitz for the blue team. While both teams did well on appetizers, both struggled on entrees. In the blue kitchen, Chino served raw beef wellingtons and lamb, Tommy overdressed salad, and Monterray argued with Sous Chef Scott after his sea bass crumbled. In the red kitchen, Elise undercooked bass and Gina served raw lamb. Ramsay kicked both teams out and declared both teams losers. However, after kicking the teams out, Ramsay, Scott and Andi cooked the entrees for the VIP tables. While in the dorms Chino attempted to blame Natalie for sabotaging him during service, causing her to break down crying.
Elimination: The blue team nominated Chino and Monterray while the red team nominated Carrie and Elise. Ramsay eliminated Chino for being a consistently poor performer and his third straight nomination.Ramsay's comment: "Chino took his time in Hell's Kitchen very seriously. The problem is he seriously couldn't cook."
|113||5||"13 Chefs Compete"||August 1, 2011||5.60|
Team challenge: Chefs from the Moto restaurant in Chicago demonstrated how to make an orange sorbet using oranges, a sound wave generator liquid nitrogen. The chefs then had 45 minutes to make six protein dishes using only fire and water, with Ramsay and the Moto chefs judging. Since the red team had an extra member, they made two prawn dishes before choosing Elizabeth's over Carrie's. The challenge ended in a 2–2 tie, but Ramsay declared the blue team winners, as he preferred Carrie's dish over Elizabeth's and Krupa mistook filet mignon for veal.
Reward/punishment: The blue team spent the day at a spa at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills. The red team cleaned the dorms and prep the kitchens for service.
Service: Jennifer and Natalie served tableside halibut sashimi, Jennifer started to sweat in the halibut, prompting Ramsay to give her a towel. In the red kitchen, Krupa served soupy risotto and undercooked lobster spaghetti, while Gina undercooked seabass and had a communication breakdown with Elise; Ramsay ejected the trio. In the blue kitchen, Monterray and Tommy made numerous mistakes on the beef wellingtons, resulting in their ejections and Paul took over garnish after Jonathon struggled. Both teams finished service, but Ramsay declared no winner.
Elimination: The red team nominated Krupa and Elise while the blue team nominated Monterray and Tommy. After Elise blamed Gina, Ramsay agreed with her and eliminated Gina for her disintegrating performances and lack of communication and fightback.Ramsay's comment: "They say good things come in small packages. But unfortunately in Gina's case, her talent matched her size: Tiny."
|114||6||"12 Chefs Compete"||August 2, 2011||6.32|
Team challenge: The Culver City High School class of 1991 celebrated its 20 year reunion at Hell's Kitchen. Both teams prepared three meals for a Hawaiian-themed high school reunion; Elizabeth and Paul were tasked with meeting the reunion committee and relaying the information to their teammates, but Elizabeth struggled and told her team the wrong information, resulting in the red team cooking the wrong dishes and giving the blue team an easy 3–0 win.
Reward/punishment: The blue team spent the day on a luxury yacht, and their three dishes were added to the menu for dinner service. The red team decorated Hell's Kitchen for the reunion. However, Ramsay was not impressed with the cake they made and he decided that he will not serve it.
Service: The red team had a near flawless service under Elise's leadership and Elizabeth's strong performance on fish, their only problem being Ramsay catching Carrie trying to add old rice to new rice and reheating it. The blue team served appetizers quickly thanks to Natalie's leadership, but on entrees, Paul held up the kitchen completely, undercooking and then overcooking snapper twice, angering Chef Ramsay, who kicked Paul out of the kitchen. Monterray then served raw bass, and Chef Ramsay caught Jonathon walking around with his hands behind his back, not cooking anything. After Monterray served another raw fish, the blue team was thrown out.
Elimination: Monterray and Paul were nominated; Ramsay also nominated Jonathon. Paul, despite being the blue team's worst performer that night, was sent back in line first because of a very convincing plea. Ramsay eliminated Monterray for his inconsistent performances, but praised him for his efforts.Ramsay's comment: "It was high school reunion night in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, for Monterray, he flunked the test."
|115||7||"11 Chefs Compete"||August 8, 2011||6.51|
Team challenge: Each team had 45 minutes to cook five dishes containing a type of beer, judged by two beer sommeliers. The blue team won 3–2, their third consecutive victory.
Reward/punishment: The blue team attended the 2011 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach as VIP guests, and met Arie Luyendyk, Jr. and Simona De Silvestro. The red team had to take in deliveries of food, including ice and kegs of beer.
Service: Andre Carter and Matt Leinart were guests for beer night. In the red kitchen, Elise forgot to drain her salad despite notice from Carrie and caused confusion by yelling out tickets, Jamie served raw sea bass and Krupa served raw venison and overcooked wellingtons. In the blue kitchen, Natalie struggled on scallops as she failed to turn her pan on hot enough, causing Will to help her, and Jonathon struggled on wellingtons, attempting to blame Tommy, causing Ramsay to kick them out. Both teams finished service, but Ramsay declared both teams losers.Elimination: The blue team nominated Natalie and Jonathon while red team nominated Krupa and Jamie. Ramsay eliminated Krupa for disintegrating after her strong start, but praised her for her heart. Ramsay gave no comment on Krupa's elimination and the burning of her picture and hanging of her jacket were not shown. The episode ended in cliffhanger after Ramsay told the chefs that he's not done.
|116||8||"10 Chefs Compete"||August 9, 2011||6.41|
In the recap, Krupa's jacket was hung and her picture was burned.
Elimination - continued: Ramsay asked each chef to choose who they thought would be the strongest leader in their team. Jennifer and Will received the most votes. Ramsay then asked Jennifer and Will who they thought would be the weakest leader. Jennifer chose Carrie and Will chose Tommy.
Reward/punishment: The red team spent the day at the Laugh Factory in Hollywood. The blue team prepped both kitchens for service and cleaned the dorms. Jonathon irked his teammates by sitting out most of the punishment due to a proclaimed "neck injury."
Service: Servicemen of the United States Coast Guard were guests for service. The red team had some problems on appetizers, but had a near perfect performance on entrees. The blue team struggled on appetizers due to Natalie and Jonathon's poor communication, Jonathon's poor performance because of his neck pain, causing Ramsay to send him to the storeroom, and Tommy failing to communicate from the meat station. Both teams finished service; the red team were named clear winners, with Ramsay in particular praising Elise for her stellar performance on the meat station.
Elimination: Jonathon and Natalie were nominated. Ramsay eliminated Jonathon for struggling in three consecutive services and his refusal to take responsibility for his mistakes.Ramsay's comment: "The only thing worse than the pain in Jonathon's neck was listening to him blame everyone else for all his mistakes. I was glad to put him out of his misery."
|117||9||"9 Chefs Compete"||August 15, 2011||6.99|
Team challenge: Each contestant had 60 minutes to make a dessert for a romantic dinner. Jordan Kahn, owner of Red Medicine, and Waylynn Lucas judged each dessert on a scale of one to three stars; the team with the most stars would win. Since the red team had an extra member, they chose Elise's dessert to sit out, much to her disdain. The red team won 14-13, with Ramsay agreeing with the decision to drop Elise's dessert.
Reward/punishment: The red team spent the night at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas and won passes for a future three day, two night stay with Holly Madison, as well as signed copies of her book. The blue team had to prep for date night.
Service: Tommy undercooked the scallops, causing Ramsay to send him out for a timeout, before cooking sea bass before appetizers were served, though he recovered after talking with customers. Paul was thrown for serving raw chicken, but Natalie and Will both put in strong performances. Carrie and Elise struggled with communication; Carrie was kicked out after overcooking sea bass, Elise cooked lobster capellini for a vegetarian diner and was kicked out for overcooking oysters, and Jamie left a strand of hair in garnish before burning it. Both teams completed service; the red team were named clear losers.
Elimination: Carrie and Elise were nominated. However, Ramsay spared them and eliminated Jamie for her lack of fightback, much to the dismay of Elizabeth and Jennifer.Ramsay's comment: "Jamie's lack of fight-back told me she's not ready to be a head chef. The remaining chefs need to know it's not about what they've done in the past. It's what they do here that counts."
|118||10||"8 Chefs Compete"||August 22, 2011||6.07|
Team challenge: The chefs took part in the blind taste test challenge. Carrie and Tommy both scored one, Will scored one while Elizabeth failed to get any and Jennifer and Paul both scored one. Lastly, Elise scored three while Natalie scored one, giving the red team a 5-4 win.
Reward/punishment: The red team received a horseback ride, champagne and a view of the Los Angeles skyline in Hollywood Hills. The blue team prepped both kitchens for steakhouse night in addition to making grape jam by hand.
Service: Service included two 90-minute time periods; the teams swapped between cooking and serving diners. Both teams did well as servers, but encountered problems in the kitchen. For the blue team, Tommy failed to communicate on appetizers and Natalie overcooked steaks. For the red team, though Jennifer did well on appetizers, Elise served raw bass and Carrie struggled on garnish. Neither team managed to serve all of their tables, resulting in both teams being named losers.Elimination: The red team nominated Carrie and the blue team nominated Tommy. Ramsay eliminated Carrie, feeling she needed more experience, but praised her for her ambition and heart. Carrie's exit was paid in a retrospective montage. Ramsay gave no comment on her elimination. He then tells Elise to take off her jacket as the episode ends on a cliffhanger.
|119||11||"7 Chefs Compete"||August 22, 2011||6.42|
In the recap, Carrie's jacket was hung and her picture was burned.
Elimination - continued: Instead of one chef, Ramsay had all the chefs remove their jackets and told them that they would be leaving Hell's Kitchen, only to be flown to New York City for a culinary tour of BLT Steak to inspire them.
Team challenge: When they returned to Hell's Kitchen, they were presented with a slot machine, which assigned them ingredients and style of cuisine to cook. Each chef was judged on their dishes, and whoever had the best dish would win the challenge for their team. All of the chefs got good reviews, except Natalie, but Jennifer's dish was considered best. This marked the first time in Hell's kitchen that a team lost four challenges in a row, which occurred again to Season 11's blue team.
Reward/punishment: The red team were rewarded with a trip to Venice Beach, where they rode in a plastic bubble with James. The blue team prepped both kitchens ahead of service.
Service: Tommy served greasy onion rings. Natalie served uneven scallops and had sea basses returned for being dry. Elizabeth struggled on fish, causing Ramsay to send her to the storeroom. Elise's beef wellingtons fell apart due to being cut too deep and she unsuccessfully attempted to blame Tommy. Ramsay kicked Elise and Elizabeth out (on her way out Elise kicked down a bin and Ramsay made her pick it up before bombarding her with insults), leaving Jennifer to finish service by herself. Both teams finished service, but Ramsay declared both teams losers and had them nominate one chef for elimination.
Elimination: The blue team nominsted Natalie and the red team nominated Elise. Despite being a major frontrunner, Ramsay eliminated Natalie for her disintegrating performances, but praised her for her energy and heart. Natalie's exit was paid in a retrospective montage.Ramsay's comment: "Natalie was lucky enough to get to see BLT Steak in New York. She may get to see it again... as a customer."
|120||12||"6 Chefs Compete"||August 29, 2011||6.21|
Team challenge: The teams were told to cook three entrees; one that would take 30 minutes to cook, one in 20 minutes, and one in 10 minutes. Jennifer scored over Tommy on the 30 minute dish, but Paul scored over Elizabeth in the 20 minute dish. Will then beat out Elise in the 10 minute dish, giving the men a 2-1 win. Elise was berated by Ramsay for crying after he announced the results, telling her to suck it up.
Reward/punishment: The men headed to a Ted Baker outlet to buy designer clothing. The women prepped the dining room for service.
Service: Before service, Ramsay revealed that every chef surviving elimination after service would be rewarded with a black jacket.. Hell's Kitchen was "closed" for a black-tie charity dinner event, with both teams serving a twelve-top each. The red team cooked for American Cancer Society while the blue team cooked for American Humane Association. Each chef took charge of a course. Paul attempted to serve plates without Ramsay's permission, but was strong in leadership, Tommy served watery salad and inconsistently seasoned risotto, but led well after prompting by Ramsay, and Will was strong in leadership on desserts; the blue team finished service well before the red team. Elizabeth struggled in leadership, and the team struggled plating lobster cappelini, before Elizabeth cooked chicken too early. Elise demoted Elizabeth and Jennifer to garnishes on her beef wellington course and was berated, and though Jennifer led well on desserts, the apple dessert was served raw. Ramsay deemed the men clear winners and announced the women would be nominated for elimination.
Elimination: Ramsay gave Will, Paul and Tommy black jackets before giving Jennifer a black jacket. He then eliminated Elizabeth, feeling she was not ready to lead a brigade, before giving Elise the final black jacket.Ramsay's comment: "Tonight was all about charity in Hell's Kitchen, and after watching Elizabeth's performance, I'm now ready to donate her jacket to a worthy cause."
|121||13||"5 Chefs Compete Part 1"||September 5, 2011||5.89|
Challenge: The first individual challenge was to take five comfort foods and create fine dining versions judged by Michelin-starred chefs out of 100 (50 for presentation and 50 for taste). The final ranking was: Will (87), Elise (86), Tommy (74), Paul (60) and Jennifer (52).
Reward/punishment: Will went on a culinary tour of several Los Angeles restaurants via Rolls Royce, and he chose Elise to go with him. The others had to do Hell's Kitchen laundry, including Ramsay's jacket.
Service: For the first time in Hell's Kitchen history, Ramsay announced the team would compete against a team of "returning chefs", consisting of Ben Walanka from season 5, Tennille Middleton and Van Hurd from season 6, and Jillian Flathers and Trev McGrath from season 8, chefs who all received black jackets. The teams made their own menus in a one-hour time limit. During that time, Will have a huge argument with Elise's behavior, and almost walked out of Hell's Kitchen, though chose to stay. David Krumholtz was a guest for this service. The black team had a strong performance, their only problems being Paul overcooking lobster, Jennifer undercooking garnish and Elise trying to push the other chefs too quickly. Trev became a leader as instructed by Ramsay but made a salad for the wrong ticket, while Van undercooked meat and Tennille struggled on fish. The black team won with a 96% approval rate, compared to 80% for the returning chefs, though Ramsay had them nominate two chefs for elimination.
Elimination: Jennifer and Elise were nominated. Ramsay called Jennifer forward, but gave her a new jacket, retaining all chefs after they won dinner service.Ramsay's comment: "Tonight's service was the best yet in Hell's Kitchen. Just like the returning chefs received a second chance, I decided to give Elise and Jennifer a second chance as well. Hopefully, they'll make the most of it."
|122||14||"5 Chefs Compete Part 2"||September 12, 2011||5.78|
Challenge: The chefs were each given a portion of Alaskan salmon and assigned to create restaurant quality dishes with them. Whoever's dish was considered most valuable by Ramsay and a panel of three judges would win the challenge. Paul won the challenge, with Will second, Jennifer third, Tommy fourth and Elise last.
Reward/punishment: Paul received a helicopter trip with Ramsay followed by lunch at the Water Grill, and he chose Tommy to go with him. Also, his dish was put on the menu for service, with the others having to prep it.
Service: Tito Jackson was in attendance for this service. Jennifer struggled on appetizers, and though Tommy came over to help her, Jennifer failed to give him correct times, resulting in the appetizers he served being undercooked. Elise failed to have scallops ready on time and blamed Jennifer, though Jennifer had given her prior notice. Ramsay decided to make the team to work entrées to speed things up, but Elise overcooked salmon after ignoring Paul and Ramsay's instructions on how to cook it, and chased Tommy away when he attempted to help her. After she served unacceptable salmon for the sixth time, Ramsay kicked the team out, though he then brought Will and Paul back in to finish service by themselves.
Elimination: Jennifer and Elise were nominated.[note 3] Prior to the elimination, Elise pulled Will and Paul to one side and made them promise to back her up if Ramsay asked them who was the weakest chef. After Paul and Will honored their agreement (though Tommy thought Elise was weaker), Ramsay agreed and eliminated Jennifer feeling she didn't have the personality necessary to be a head chef, though he praised her exceptional cooking ability.Ramsay's comment: "Jennifer finally found her voice in Hell's Kitchen. Unfortunately, it was when she was being eliminated."
|123||15||"4 Chefs Compete"||September 19, 2011||6.04|
Before the challenge, Ramsay surprised the remaining chefs with a visit from their loved ones (Elise's husband, son and aunt, Tommy's girlfriend and mother, Paul's older brother and Will's mother and wife).
Challenge: After eating a dish made by Ramsay, the chefs had to recreate it in 35 minutes. Paul won by correctly identifying every ingredient, Elise and Will both finished second, correctly identifying everything bar the fish, while Tommy finished last after misidentifying the fish and ham.
Reward/punishment:Paul and his older brother attended a Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago Cubs baseball game, where they met Tommy Lasorda, Jamey Carroll, Steve Lyons and Don Mattingly. The others had to move furniture that have not been used out of the dorms.
Service: Rex Hudler attended as a guest. Each chef took a turn running the pass, while also having to spot acts of sabotage Ramsay and sous chef Scott set up. Paul initially failed to spot shrimp in a cappelini instead of lobster, but was strong in leadership, rejecting Tommy's raw cod. Tommy read tickets slowly by not removing them from the pass and initially failed to notice James giving him a ticket with a fillet on it, despite none being on the menu, but improved. Elise put potato puree instead of cauliflower puree on a dish despite tasting it, but recovered. Will lead well and spotted lamb wellingtons instead of beef wellington, but got into a massive argument with Elise over garnish.Elimination: Ramsay firstly eliminated Tommy, but praised him for his energy and passion. Ramsay then named Will and Paul to advance to the final, eliminating a teary-eyed Elise.[note 4] Ramsay praised Elise for her resilience, allowing her to keep her jacket. Ramsay did not give a comment on Tommy and Elise's eliminations, and both did not receive the coat hook and burning picture sequence.
|124||16||"2 Chefs Compete"||September 19, 2011||5.94|
Paul and Will prepared a menu featuring four appetizers, four entrées and three desserts, and were given new white jackets. Ramsay then sent them to BLT Steak Los Angeles for with their relatives before they walked into a room filled with a cheering crowd.
Challenge: Paul and Will cooked five dishes to be judged by executives of BLT Steak. Will won 3-2.
Reward: Will was granted first pick in drafting a team using the eight chefs eliminated from the competition prior to the final.[note 5] Will picked Tommy, Natalie, Jennifer and Krupa, while Paul picked Elise, Elizabeth, Jonathon, and was left with Carrie.
Service: Among the guests for service were the final two's relatives and BLT Group President Keith Treyball. Krupa consistently undercooked fish, but their service turned around after Will replaced her with Natalie. Elizabeth overcooked scallops and Jonathon's steaks came out raw, but after Paul assigned Elise to help the other three, their service turned around.
Winner: Ramsay then chose the winner based on the customer comment cards and his own observations. Ramsay gave Will and Paul final praise before having them step in front of a closed door. Paul's door opened, making him the ninth winner of Hell's Kitchen. Paul dedicated the win to his mother, who had died a few months before he came to compete, while Will took his defeat graciously.Ramsay's comment: "Paul won tonight because he's probably the most passionate, determined chef ever to enter Hell's Kitchen. He'll make a great head chef because his enthusiasm is contagious. I'm so proud to hand him over to BLT Steak in New York City."'
- Jason returned in season 12.
- This was the first season where the Best of the Worst did not get to choose the nominees for elimination, though they were still guaranteed to be safe from elimination.
- Elise's nomination count ties with Autumn Lewis of season 7, Sabrina Brimhall of season 8, Clemenza Caserta in Season 10 and Scott Commings of Season 12.
- This is the third season to feature an all-male final, after seasons 1 and 6.
- Jamie did not return, so Krupa took her place as the last person eliminated prior to the top ten.
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