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    Contestants

    • Anton Testino

      Anton Testino

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I was born to be a chef, it's in my blood. Food has been my family's way of life for generations and it's my duty to bring this passion to a whole new level and carry on their legacy.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Honestly, I love the chaos, the intensity, the screaming and yelling and how everyone works in sync. I felt at home in that kitchen, feeling the passion and pressure that makes me thrive.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Chef Ramsay taught me never to let anyone break me, don't let anything stop me from fulfilling my dreams, to always believe in myself and be willing to sacrifice everything in order to have everything. These lessons made me an all-around better chef and wiser man, in and out of the kitchen.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish is my Avoletta filet mignon. It's created in honor of my stepfather and I think of him every time I make it and get to keep a piece of him alive.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? The main secret I can give is always cook with confidence, using your heart and your mind. Each person holds the key to make themselves become a great chef.
    • Beth Taylor

      Beth Taylor

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? When my father passed away, I remember all of the good times with him revolved around us cooking together. Since I worked in restaurants all of my adult life, I decided to attend culinary school with my inheritance. That way I would have tools to be successful in my field.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? I loved every moment in the kitchen with Chef Ramsay. I loved that he was concerned about my ability to learn new experiences and to have the tools needed to be successful. He wanted me to succeed.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? The most valuable lesson I learned from Chef Ramsay was that I was a talented chef, that I shouldn't let anyone push me around and make me doubt my skills. My self-doubt isn't helpful in the kitchen.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? There are so many things that I love, but my favorite things to cook are always fresh, in season, and on sale!

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Always use as much as you can. If you're using protein, use the bones to make stock. Use the shells on shellfish to make stock.
    • Bev Gonzalez

      Bev Gonzalez

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I started cooking for fun for my friends and family at the age of 11, which led me to culinary school at a later age. From that time on, my passion for food and cooking has been and will always be a big part of my life.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Being on Hell's Kitchen was such an honor and amazing experience. I loved doing all the challenges but I really enjoyed the cooking challenges the most. There I was able to express who I was and show my creative side through my cooking.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? The most valuable lesson that I learned from Chef Ramsay was to communicate clearly. Without clear communication the team will not perform correctly which will lead to unsatisfactory results with the dishes and the service.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to cook is a thin crust pizza topped lightly with a fresh tomato sauce, 5 Italian cheeses, sausage, and mushrooms. Pizza is so versatile you can be creative with it and use it as either a savory dish or a dessert dish. Pizza is was also the first dish I made at the age of 11.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Keep it fresh, keep it simple, make it flavorful, have fun, and let the dish represent you.
    • Chris Eversole

      Chris Eversole

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I started getting serious about a culinary career when I first experienced working a sauté/expediting position in a kitchen. The responsibility of the position was very exciting and yet, also very demanding. I enjoyed this a lot.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? What I enjoyed most about Hell's Kitchen was the challenges that I was able to participate in. Culinary skill and creativity was really able to stand out when presented with a daily challenge.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? The most valuable lesson learned from Chef Ramsay was not to volunteer for elimination thinking that you won't be eliminated!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I have a variety of favorite dishes to cook. It depends on what kind of mood I'm in. However, a simple pan roasted half chicken with charred onion whipped potatoes and asparagus is always nice.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? The only cooking secrets that I have are something we all hold. A love for what you're cooking, patience, and an open mind.
    • Gaurav Navin

      Gaurav Navin

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I started getting serious about cooking when I realized people actually liked what I cooked, which was not until after a few years after graduating from culinary college.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? What I loved most about my experience was finally getting to see Chef Ramsay up close.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? A small culinary mistake can be made to look like the end of the world.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to cook would be goat biryani just because I love to eat it.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Sorry but they are my secrets for a reason.
    • Jason Zepaltas

      Jason Zepaltas

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? When I was younger I liked to create different flavors.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Meeting new people.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Never stop.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? Whatever I am in the mood for.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? No.
    • Jessica Vogel

      Jessica Vogel

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I never knew my potential and passion for cooking until I received a mystery basket at culinary school. After running on impulse to create a balanced dish, I wiped the sweat from my face and I thought, "Wow, I made that! I can do this!"

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Hell's Kitchen, in its entirety, was one of the most unbelievable and life altering experience of my existence! After years of watching a Chef Ramsay on TV, to spend my birthday with him was incredible!

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Chef Ramsay taught me that a sense of urgency is nothing without passion and love for the dish you're creating.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to create goes back to my childhood and cooking with my father and sister. I love creating jambalaya because it's a dish made in bulk and intended to share with people you love.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Cooking secrets?! Cook from your heart, don't hold back and let the ingredients speak for themselves! Don't forget the components to a great dish: flavor, technique, texture and synergy!
    • Joy Parham-Thomas

      Joy Parham-Thomas

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I can't remember when I wasn't cooking, but things didn't get serious until my Great Grandmother passed away.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? I loved everything about Hell's Kitchen and all the crazy it came with.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? The most valuable lesson I learned from Chef Ramsay is to cook with confidence at all times. I had to learn to be more accepting of my natural abilities.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? Any dish I cook is a favorite dish; cooking is my favorite thing to do. It's my passion and hobby.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Secrets aren't meant to be shared, at least that's what I thought.
    • Kashia Zollicoffer

      Kashia Zollicoffer

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I first began getting serious with cooking my freshmen year of college. All the other freshmen couldn't cook a home cooked meal so I would cook comfort foods and take orders from students. My name rapidly grew and I enjoyed making people happy though my food.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Hell's Kitchen taught me a lot about myself, my faith, and my passion for cooking. The experiences gave me an opportunity of a life time and I enjoyed every minute of the good and bad. I loved seeing the world and meeting people who share the same love for cooking.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? The most valuable lesson I learned from Chef Ramsay was to never give up and always believe in yourself. Anything is possible!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to cook is a New York Strip with a loaded garlic mashed potato. I love eating different types of meats, however I love a steak beautifully cooked!

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? I like to season my steak so the seasoning can marinate through the meat, while I prep my potatoes and everything else. Any other secrets you'll have to tune in to FOX!
    • Melanie Finch

      Melanie Finch

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? Around 18 years old, I realized I had a tremendous passion for cooking. I found myself studying recipes and putting my ideas to the test in my mother's kitchen.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Sounds weird, but I fell in love with the stress on the show. I thrive at my breaking points and I was constantly in fight mode.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? I learned to let my pain and my passion push me through all the people that were standing in my way. Chef Ramsay made sure I never lost sight of why I was truly there.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to cook would have to be fresh pasta. From start to finish, the process of kneading fresh herbs into your dough, rolling it out, and serving it with a creamy sauce and fresh parmesan.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Cooking secrets? Be as sharp as your knife. Don't be against yourself in the kitchen. Food is a wonderful thing and quite frankly, there is no secret to it. Love it, apply your passion, and amaze yourself.
    • Michael Aresta

      Michael Aresta

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I started getting serious about cooking at the age of 12 but didn't go to culinary school to get the formal education until 29.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? I loved watching and learning the "tighter" prepping and organizational aspects of how the kitchen is run.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? It was more like valuable reinforcement of portion control and initiation of discipline and organization.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I buy "whole" product and make my dish from scratch because then I know what is going into my dish(es). People today run to prepared foods way too often.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? 1: Homemade stocks (you can portion them and freeze them) instead of buying packaged fake stocks.
      2: Cook with fresh raw proteins; when you buy packaged or precooked proteins they come with a lot of additives so it can have a "shelf life".
      3: Portion control...it spreads your proteins and produce further and will give your body what it needs, not the amount you want to put into it.
      4: Don't be afraid to use fats (oils/butter).
    • Michael DeMarco

      Michael DeMarco

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? My love for cooking first when I would help my grandma, and other family members cook meals. I knew from a very early age that I loved to cook.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? I loved working with Chef Ramsay. It was a dream come true and it has definitely made me a better chef.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Taste everything, and never send something out of the kitchen that doesn't meet high standards.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I love making my crab cakes because they are fresh, simple to prepare, and always a hit.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Always cook with passion.
    • Michael Gabriel

      Michael Gabriel

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? When I was about 8 years old, I'd make Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches for my little brother and sister. That's when I realized I was sent here by God to bring joy to people's lives with food!

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Apart from working with Chef Ramsay, the competition! The Culinary battle from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep, it's "a Food Fight for Chefs!

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? I learned: focus, passion, drive, determination, and dedication. If we combine those and put God first, we can do great things; being here on Hell's Kitchen is one of them!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I don't care for beef myself but I'm going to have to say the wellington! The dish is beautiful! Demi, roasted mushroom medley, and truffle butter fingerling potatoes!

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Preparing compound butters with herbs and spices has a better outcome than plain butter; you can change a dish all together with the change of one ingredient. It's great for basting when roasting whole pigs!
    • Nicole Rutz

      Nicole Rutz

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I knew I always wanted to be in the food industry because no matter what paths I took job wise I always ended back in a kitchen somewhere. I guess I made it official and validated my passion when I decided to put myself through culinary school.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? The fact that I can say that I actually made it in the show amongst all the other applicants, when I just did the audition not thinking anything of it.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Perfect your scallops and risotto at all times.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I do love making a variety of my own sauces, dressings, pickling, and marinating things. I enjoy recreating and experimenting with things and giving my own personal twist on it.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Add vinegar in your poaching water to prevent sticking and breaking; 'smoking' hot oil to get the best sear on fish, and use pieces of bread to absorb the fat and grease off bacon after you cook it.
    • Ralph Johnson

      Ralph Johnson

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I became serious about cooking when I found out that I'm so good at it. I love building relationships with other people by them saying my food is awesome!

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? The thing I liked most at Hell's Kitchen is the whole experience - long days, under pressure, teammates snoring all night so you can't sleep, working with Gordon Ramsay and team. I would do it again!

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Don't fold no matter what's happening; climb yourself out of the situation, present a perfect dish no matter the situation and take it to another level. It's your name on the food!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to make is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. After a long day of work and cooking for everyone else and just nibbling all day, a PB and J is quick! Taste so good!

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Always taste your food, put a show on and have a good time!
    • Richard Mancini

      Richard Mancini

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? When I was 10, I used to wait for my aunt to pick me up from school so we could go to her house and cook. I cooked with her every day and knew from that day on that I wanted to be a chef.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Working with Chef James and Andy. They were really knowledgeable and great to work with. Also, watching Chef Ramsay cook and do his thing was pretty awesome.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? I think it was just stay calm and focused. I feel most people messed up because of nervousness, but if you just stay calm and get it done, you will be fine.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My dish is an herb crusted pan roasted Chilean sea bass with a fresh grape tomato basil sauce. I did it as my signature dish on the show. It's always a big hit.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? If you are making a tomato sauce, always add a spoon of baking soda. It neutralizes the acid in the tomatoes. When cutting steaks, I always put the cut of meat in the freezer for an hour to firm up; it makes cutting consistently a lot easier. When opening raw clams put them in a 350 oven for 2 minutes; the knife will go right in them no problem. When making gnocchi, I add 2 eggs for every 10 lbs; this makes them light as a feather and very soft when chewing.

    • Rochelle Bergman

      Rochelle Bergman

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I decided to pursue the restaurant and food industry because not only do I have a passion to cook but I also have a desire to reach out in my community.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? One of the things I loved most was seeing the power of prayer. They do not call it Hell's Kitchen for nothing!

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? While on Hell's Kitchen I was extremely nervous and obviously lacked confidence because I was the only person who has never worked in a restaurant. Chef Ramsay was very encouraging and while he told me that I have natural talent (still on cloud nine from such a lovely compliment) he was very serious about the importance of perseverance and hard work.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I love experimenting with different bold flavors and ingredients for soup. For instance my favorite Thai dish is gai pad grapow so I decided to make a soup based on this dish. I used the traditional ingredients but with a rich chicken broth base and added fresh vegetables and herbs from my garden like basil, kale, tomatoes, squash and carrots and decided to serve it over quinoa (super yummy!)

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Once you master the technique it becomes about building different flavor profiles, and sometimes it's fun to experiment, so don't be afraid to improvise.
    • Sandra Flores

      Sandra Flores

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I started taking cooking very seriously when I enrolled in culinary school.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Besides getting kudos from Chef Ramsay on my dishes, I loved all the chaos, waking up with pigs and motorcycles, watching Chef Ramsay make ravioli. What hands! Such technique!

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Above all have more confidence in myself. Fight harder, stand up for myself, and don't take anything from anyone!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? Without getting complicated...scallops! So quick, simple and delicious. They can be made into such an elegant dish.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? You can repair a wedding cake with hot water and a spatula. Don't wait to try that new recipe or new ingredient on the day of cooking for something or someone important. Use a micro-plane to shave citrus peels and veggies like carrots, onions, and peppers to make an incredible vinaigrette.
    • Scott Commings

      Scott Commings

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I have always been interested in cooking and raiding my Grandmothers "good cheese" stash was a constant. It wasn't until my late teens that I decided to pursue the industry as a career, however I have worked in the industry since I was 13.

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? Being around that level of professionalism of the highest standards. Being pushed every day to the max was an incredible journey.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? Communication has to be number one. However, being able to watch Chef Ramsay's "kitchen instincts" and the proper techniques make him the incredible Chef he is.

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? I don't have a "favorite" dish. I just like to cook with fresh ingredients. Also I enjoy creating bread. You have to use all of your senses, touch being most important, to create that perfect loaf. It gives you an emotional connection to food.

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? Cooking secrets? Cook from the heart, source great ingredients, and make a connection with your local farmers.
    • Simone Hammond

      Simone Hammond

      1. When did you first start getting serious about cooking and why? I had spent many years job jumping from makeup artist, to costume designer, to sales (retail) jobs and all without the feeling that it would be a lifelong career. In 2010, I asked myself what I could do for the rest of my life that I would enjoy and it was cooking!

      2. What did you love most about your experience on Hell's Kitchen? At the beginning of the show, I was so excited that I had been chosen to be a part of this competition that could possibly change my life. Seeing Chef Ramsay for the first time with my wide eyed hope was overwhelming.

      3. What is the most valuable lesson you learned from Chef Ramsay during your Hell's Kitchen experience? I learned so much from Chef Ramsay about what it takes to make a success story. Hard work is the only way to make ideas and dreams a reality!

      4. What is your favorite dish to cook and why? My favorite dish to cook for myself: a pot of gumbo, chili, stew or soup. My favorite dish to cook for others: Thanksgiving dinner! Especially sweet potato pie!

      5. Can you share a few of your favorite cooking secrets? The only secret I have to share is to use all your resources for answers and inspiration: Internet, cookbooks, food magazines, friends, family and cooking shows of course.