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Gordon Ramsay
Hell's Kitchen Logo.jpg
FOX: 5/30/2005-present
A. Smith & Co. Productions
Granada America (2005-2009)
ITV Studios (2009-2011)
ITV Studios America (2012-present)

Hell's Kitchen is the reality show based on the British series of the same name that has several chefs competing to create gourmet dishes while at the mercy of Gordon Ramsay.

The format of the program is similar to the UK version, with a red team and a blue team competing in various cooking challenges for most of the season; once the number of remaining contestants is reduced to five (or six in seasons 4 and 5), the two teams combine to become a single black team and compete individually.

After the players are split into teams, the series begins with each chef preparing a signature dish and presenting it to Gordon Ramsay to taste. After that, each chef is presented with a set of utensils (theirs to keep), a menu and/or book to study (also theirs to keep), and a chef's jacket of their team color (which they must earn the right to keep). In later seasons, the signature dish has now been presented as the first team challenge.

Each remaining episode begins with a team or individual challenge; the winning chef or team may get a reward, while the losing team or players are required to perform some form of manual labor, usually consisting of kitchen duty in preparation for the dinner service. Often the losing team or chef(s) will have to prepare a meal for the winning team or chef(s) to enjoy during their reward.

During dinner service, teams are responsible for preparing food to Gordon Ramsay's very demanding taste and appearance requirements as well as within a limited time frame. Ramsay may throw away an entire plate of food due to one element being off, requiring the team to re-prepare the dish or the entire table if necessary, and usually sends a barrage of insults and obscenities to the responsible player or team. If Ramsay sees failure in the kitchen, he may force one player to take over for another. If the entire kitchen is in a debacle, Ramsay may end the dinner service prematurely, often using his catchphrase "Shut it down!" or "Switch it off!"

After the dinner service, Ramsay will select the winning team who may get an additional reward, and then will select the best player on the losing team to make a decision about which two fellow teammates to nominate for elimination. Alternatively, if the service is exceptionally bad (or good), Ramsay may declare no team the winner, or no specific player on the losing team as the best, requiring the team(s) to nominate someone for elimination. When the game is down to a single team but still more than three people, the winning player will select the two to be nominated. Each nominated player has a chance to plead their case to Ramsay, but he makes the final decision, at which point the eliminated player hands over their chef's jacket, which he forcefully hangs up on a sharp hook until the hook pokes a hole in the jacket and also sends an above photo of the player up in flames to symbolize their elimination. On rare occasions, if one player's performance is especially bad, Ramsay may even eliminate them in the middle of the service. An additional elimination may also occur at the end of the episode as normal; usually this occurs if the already-eliminated chef's team was still able to win despite losing a member. Often players will voluntarily exit the competition either due to medical conditions or their own free will. Depending on how well they've done in the competition overall, Ramsay may or may not let the eliminated chef(s) keep their jacket(s) upon exiting.

When the competition is down to the final two players, Ramsay splits the Hell's Kitchen dining area into two sections, and each of the two final contestants runs their own restaurant; each contestant is allowed to choose the decoration, style, and menu for his or her restaurant. Six previously eliminated contestants return to help the two finalists to prepare the meals. Ramsay will use his observations of how the finalists work in the kitchen and with their teams, as well as feedback from the patrons of each restaurant, to select the ultimate winner of the show.

Hell's Kitchen is somewhat rare among elimination-style reality shows in that all of the responsibilities of judging and eliminating fall to a single person, Ramsay, instead of a full panel of judges, or a majority vote by the contestants. Additionally, Ramsay has the power to override the basic format of the competition, such as ignoring team nominations, eliminating contestants in the middle of dinner service, or changing team members.


  • Season 1 - Michael Wray
  • Season 2 - Heather West
  • Season 3 - Rock Harper
  • Season 4 - Christina Machamer
  • Season 5 - Daniel "Danny" Veltri
  • Season 6 - David "Dave" Levey
  • Season 7 - Holli Ugalde
  • Season 8 - Nona Sivley
  • Season 9 - Paul Niedermann
  • Season 10 - Christina Wilson
  • Season 11 - Ja'Nel Witt
  • Season 12 - Scott Commings
  • Season 13 - La Tasha McCutchen
  • Season 14 - Meghan Gill
  • Season 15 - Ariel Malone
  • Season 16 - Kimberly-Ann Ryan
  • Season 17 (All-Stars) - Michelle Tribble
  • Season 18 (Rookies vs. Veterans) - Ariel Contreras-Fox
  • Season 19 - Kori Sutton
  • Season 20 - Trenton Garvey

International Versions[]

The following list of countries that have aired their versions of Hell's Kitchen includes:

Australia: Their version featured ten celebrities playing for their favorite charities (i.e. AU$50,000) and was short-lived ran on Seven Network in 2017. This was hosted by Marco Pierre White who formely hosted The Chopping Block in the U.S. on NBC in 2009.

Brazil: Their version was called Hell's Kitchen: Cozinha sob Presao (Hell's Kitchen: Kitchen Under Pressure) airs on SBT in 2014.

Finland: Their version was called Hell's Kitchen Suomi airs on MTV3 since 2013.

Italy: Their version was called Hell's Kitchen Italia airs on Sky Uno since 2014.

UK/British: The original British version ran on ITV1 & ITV2 from 23 May (May 23) 2004 until 2 May (May 2) 2005 and again on ITV1 from 3 September (September 3) 2007 until 27 April (April 27) 2009. the first version was originally hosted by Angus Deayton from 2004 until 2007 followed by Claudia Winkleman in 2009. Additionally, this also featured Gordon Ramsay along with Angela Harnett and Mark Sargent in 2004.


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Matt Koskenmaki
Main 2009 - "Fire" by Ohio Players


Based on the British show of the same name.


Official Website
Article about the original British version (courtesy of