Watch Hell's Kitchen

What do you get when you mix 18 chefs of suspect talent with plenty of fear, toss in a handful of impossible tasks, and liberally spice with one of the fieriest chefs on television? You get Hell's Kitchen, Chef Gordon Ramsay's perfect recipe for disaster. Hell's Kitchen, at its best, is great reality television. It's like a circus from hell with Ramsay as ringmaster. When he cracks the whip, the competitors jump, and If they don't they may end up in tears, scrubbing the floor, or even kicked out the door for good. At its worst it's a mosh pit of contrived drama where dreams are crushed. You wonder who was set up for failure, how much it was scripted, and even who might have been asked to take a dive.

Anyone who has heard of Gordon Ramsay knows he is as good a bully as he is restauranteur. Even in his other shows he comes across as hot tempered when there is no reason to be. In Hell's Kitchen he turns up the attitude, looking for weakness in the chefs and dressing them down at the top of his lungs. You kind of feel sorry for them and wonder if he treats chefs in his own restaurants this way.

But this is what makes Hell's Kitchen so addictive. Not knowing who is going to get it next, what parts are fake, and how long it will be until someone takes Ramsay out back and beats him senseless with a brick or Parmesan Reggiano stuffed into a sock.

Some of the chefs obviously shouldn't be there, but that's part of the fun. You never know when the line cook from a waffle house is going to flame out or how the nanny with no restaurant experience made it this far. There is also always one arrogant jerk who always gets further than he should. Man it's great when they go down!

After 10 seasons you would think that the audience or contestants would have grown weary of Ramsay and his act. Luckily Hell's Kitchen is still going strong and becoming more a part of reality show culture each year. The truth is, as long as the rewards are big enough there will always be people willing to embarrass themselves in front of an audience, and as long as that is true, there will always be an audience for Hell's Kitchen.

Wednesday 9:00 PM et/pt on FOX
17 Seasons, 264 Episodes
May 30, 2005
Food, Reality
Cast: Gordon Ramsay, Jason Thompson, Andi Van Willigan, Scott Leibfried
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Hell's Kitchen Full Episode Guide

  • The final two All-Stars selected one assistant from the series to help in the finale.

  • Chef Ramsay informs the remaining three All-Stars that all of them will compete in the finale. As a reward, Ramsay invites the contestants to a pampered retreat at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu. However, what the contestants think is a relaxing vacation is soon turned upside-down when Ramsay reveals this will be their last challenge before the finale. The three finalists must cook and perfect their menus and only two will advance. Then, the final two All-Stars pick from the season's past contestants to join them on their team for the final dinner service. With a head chef position at the first ever Hell's Kitchen flagship restaurant at Caesars Palace Las Vegas, and a salary of a quarter of a million dollars on the line it all comes down to this. Find out who is named the winner.

  • When the families come to visit, the four remaining All-Stars are feeling extra-motivated to succeed. For this week's challenge, the chefs must choose a gift, each of which contains a secret ingredient on which they must base their dish. They will then anonymously serve their dishes to each family, and whoever gets the most votes, wins a day in Malibu with Chef Ramsay and his/her family. Then, actresses Gabrielle Dennis ("The Game") and Anna Konkle (NEW GIRL) join dinner service, during which each contestant will have the opportunity to run the kitchen, but will be tested, as certain dishes will have the wrong ingredient. Find out who makes it to the final three.

  • The remaining All-Stars must instruct athletes Candice Park (WNBA), Jordan Wieber (2012 Olympic Gold Medalist), Ricky Williams (Heisman Trophy Winner, Univ. Of Texas), Shawne Merriman (NFL football linebacker) and Reggie Miller (NBA Hall of Famer) to cook their signature dishes

  • Chef Ramsay reveals to the remaining All-Stars that they will be competing for the coveted black jacket by facing a series of three difficult challenges: "Taste It, Now Make It," in which contestants must use their senses to recreate a dish; "Five Domes," in which contestants have 30 minutes to create a cohesive restaurant quality dish using mystery ingredients hidden under domes; and "Free For All," in which the All-Stars must make a dish of their choice using ingredients picked out by Ramsay.

  • The All-Stars must make three restaurant-quality pasta dishes with only $20 to purchase ingredients, which tests their ability to maximize their profits.

  • The remaining chefs face a Blind Taste Test Challenge of figuring out what spices they're sampling.

  • Chef Michael Cimarusti joins Gordon while the remaining contestants are challenged to use creatures from the sea.

  • The contestants are challenged to use exotic meats eaten by early humans, such as boar, venison and elk, to prepare a dish with five other ingredients.

  • The remaining chefs recreate six popular dishes in just 25 minutes, but one chef must be removed from the kitchen every three minutes during the challenge.

  • The chefs must create a pizza inspired by their assigned country; Marino and special guest judge Steve Samson determine the winner; a dinner service and elimination.

  • Tensions in the dorms approach an all-time high in light of an unexpected change; the chefs are put in pairs as they prepare various types of fish.

  • The remaining chefs must prepare a dish featuring their chosen protein and ingredient chosen by a certain game of chance they play beforehand.

  • The remaining chefs are divided into teams of two and must construct a four-tiered tower made with shellfish.

  • The chefs have 40 minutes to participate in the first individual challenge before preparing for a dinner service for celebrity guests.

  • It's an all-new season and for the first time ever in HELL'S KITCHEN history, Chef Ramsay invites 16 All-Stars back to the kitchen for a second chance to prove they have what it takes. Old rivalries are renewed and new alliances are formed, but in the end, only one of these all-stars will claim the grand prize – a head chef position at the brand-new Gordon Ramsay Hell's Kitchen Restaurant at Caesars Palace Las Vegas and $250,000. During the premiere episode, Chef Ramsay surprises the 16 former Black Jacket chefs with a twist on the infamous Signature Dish Challenge. The winning team will enjoy the ride of their lives at Skyslide in downtown Los Angeles, followed by a dinner with Chef Ramsay and special guest Wolfgang Puck at his restaurant, WP24. Meanwhile, the losing team will stay behind to clean up and prep both kitchens for the upcoming dinner service. The next day, Ramsay gathers the chefs in the newly redesigned dining room for a huge announcement that will leave them stunned. Fi

  • In the season finale, the final two chefs create their meals for the last dinner service. Meanwhile, Chef Ramsay surprises them with a special trip to the luxurious Ken Paves Salon, where they will receive a makeover. Who will be crowned winner?

  • In this week's challenge, Chef Ramsay provides the first three ingredients for the chefs, but they must compete to hit a buzzer in order to get their final three.

  • Chef Ramsay changes things up from the norm and introduces a series of three challenges that will determine the recipients of a black jacket. For the first time, there will be no reward, no punishment and no dinner service.

  • The chefs must marry the flavors of two countries in their dishes and impress guest judge, Roy Yamaguchi, owner and executive chef of Roy's.

  • The chefs host a private dinner service honoring major contributors to the charity "Stand Up to Cancer."

  • The teams try to impress celebrity diners model Crystal Hefner, TV producer Melissa Rivers, TV hosts Drew and Jonathan Scott and actress Ashley Greene during the dinner service.

  • The remaining contestants compete in a blind taste test and must identify pureed baby foods. Actor Josh McDermitt and TV host Jeannie Mai serve as celebrity diners.

  • The chefs are in for quite a shock as they prepare to host the International Ballroom Invitational.

  • The chefs put their own twist on a Southern staple, which will be judged by chef Chris Hastings. Later, there's a feeling of determination to impress VIP guests J.J. Redick, Blake Lewis, Mircea Monroe and Adrienne Maloof at dinner service.

  • The contestants must incorporate kid-friendly items into the dinner service during a family night with VIP diners.

  • A shocking elimination stuns the chefs and forces them to regroup as they take on the Seven Seas Seafood Challenge. Later, guitarist Joe Perry and singer Estelle are invited to the dinner service.

  • This week the chefs compete in a surf and turf protein relay. Later, things get heated during dinner service when a VIP 12-top are among the night's guests.

  • With things tense at the house, the chefs must set aside their feelings and prepare for their next challenge. This week, the chefs are surprised with their selection of meat as each team will need to prepare eight unique dishes.

  • The contestants race in the first annual Crepe Grand Prix challenge. The winners will experience a luxurious dining experience on a yacht in Santa Barbara. Later, one team struggles at the beginning of dinner service for VIP guests Maureen DeWulf and Dash Mihok.

  • In the 16th season premiere, chef Gordon Ramsey welcomes the newest batch of contestants on the grounds of the U.S. Army training facility. Then, they all get to work as they face the Signature Dish challenge and their first dinner service, during which they cook for VIP guests Nolan Gould and Erica Ash.

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