Source: http://foodiegossip....e-are-they.html Hell’s Kitchen Winners: Where Are They Now?
With the end of the 9th season of Hell’s Kitchen, it seems appropriate to follow the previous winners of Hell’s Kitchen and catch up with their successes… or lack thereof. How many chefs actually received the prizes they were promised? How many of them went on to become successful chefs in the culinary world? Do any of the winners still have a chip on their shoulder from their experiences at Fox TV's Hell's Kitchen? With no further ado, the winners of the first 8 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen!
The winner of Hell’s KitchenSeason 1
was Michael Wray
. Chef Gordon Ramsay
offered Wray the choice of opening a restaurant, or going to London and to learn under Chef Ramsay. Michael chose to learn under Chef Ramsay. Michael later changed his mind before going on the trip because he thought the experience would be too stressful for his family. Now he works as the Executive Head Chef at The Standard in Los Angeles, California. He also owns his own custom chef's knives company called, appropriately, Skull and Cleavers.
was the winner of Hell's Kitchen Season 2
. For the prize, she was to become Executive Chef at an Italian restaurant called Terra Rossa at Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas. However,
Heather only became Senior Chef
. She now works as head chef in a restaurant called Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, New York.
Rahman "Rock" Harper won Hell's Kitchen Season 3. His prize was to become the Head Chef at Terra Verde at Green Valley Ranch in Henderson. He fulfilled his contract as Head Chef for one year. Rahman later worked in restaurants throughout Washington, DC. Rahman joined the staff of a DC restaurant called Next Door in 2008. He supported and helped in the March of Dimes Signature Chef’s Auction in Louisville, Kentucky on November 11th, 2010.
Christina Machamer won Hell's Kitchen Season 4, and the prize to become Executive Chef at the Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood Hotel. Instead, she was given the position of Senior Chef under Executive Chef Andy Cook. She then took some time off to study wine and viticulture at The Culinary Institute at Greystone in Napa Valley. Currently, she is a member of the opening team at Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills.
Danny Veltri won Season 5 of Hell's Kitchen. He became Sous Chef under Stephen Kalt at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Originally, he was supposed to be the Head Chef at another restaurant built at the Casino. When he didn’t become Head Chef, Danny quit and began consulting. He then created a catering company called Back From Hell Catering, poking at his experience in "Hell's Kitchen.” He then joined with a group of investors that wanted to create a surf bar with food. He is now Chef of the Gnarly Surf Bar & Grill near the Intracoastal Waterway in Central Florida.
Dave Levey won Hell's Kitchen Season 6, and the prize of Head Chef at Araxi Restaurant and Bar in Whistler, British Columbia. However, as we mentioned earlier, he was treated like a line-cook. He worked at Araxi Restaurant until the end of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Currently, he is in Nashville helping his sister with her music career.
Holli Ugalde won Hell's Kitchen Season 7, which was supposed to follow with the position as Executive Chef at The Savoy in London. However, she could not get a visa to work in the UK. Ugalde called that explanation an excuse, saying, "I don't know if they even applied for my visa." Ugalde accepted an undisclosed amount of cash instead. She now has a job as the Signature Chef of a new restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida called B Ocean.
Nona Sivley won Hell's Kitchen Season 8, along with the prize position as Head Chef at LA Market at JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles as well as the opportunity to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines. She is now working as Chef de Cuisine at LA Market with Celebrity chef Kerry Simon.It seems there is a serious trend that either HK winners do not get their prize, get the title of the prize, but not the responsibility, or they leave their position as soon as their contract is fulfilled. It almost seems pointless to go through all the pain and suffering that we witness season after season. However, every winner seems to say the same thing about the show… it is the BEST experience of their lives!