Kimberly-Ann Ryan's Stellar Win in Hell's Kitchen Season 16 (2017)

Hell’s Kitchen Season 16: Redefining Culinary Excellence (Sep 23, 2016 – Feb 2, 2017)

Hell’s Kitchen Season 16 on Fox from September 23, 2016, to February 2, 2017, unveiling fresh twists and ramping up the kitchen pressures that pushed the chefs to their breaking point. Chef Kimberly-Ann Ryan from Traverse City, Michigan, came out on top, securing a Head Chef role at The Venetian’s Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Las Vegas. This season stands out for its unprecedented moves, such as Ramsay axing a chef without nomination, a double elimination in one round, and the post-challenge removal of a chef.

Only female chefs made it to the top three for the third season. The Black Jacket Lounge and Andi Van Willigan, the sous chef for the red team, appeared. Notably, the red team broke records by winning eight dinner services, while the blue team set a new series record by getting kicked out seven times. Each contestant had to face at least one unexplained punishment throughout the season.

The season was packed with intriguing challenges, including the Signature Dish Challenge, the Crepe Race, and a challenge focused on ostrich. This season also saw the end of the intro tradition of showcasing all contestant names and marked the first use of original episode titles.

Key Takeaways from Hell’s Kitchen Season 16

  • Chef Kimberly-Ann Ryan from Traverse City, Michigan, won Season 16 and was awarded a Head Chef position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas.
  • Season 16 aired on Fox between September 23, 2016, and February 2, 2017, and had an all-female final three, making it the third consecutive season to have this.
  • Ramsay eliminated chefs without being nominated, nominated chefs for elimination, and eliminated two chefs in one elimination.
  • Season 16 introduced original episode titles and featured the Black Jacket Lounge; every contestant participated in at least one punishment.

Season 16 Winner and Yardbird Prize

Chef Kimberly-Ann Ryan from Traverse City, Michigan, emerged as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 16, earning the coveted Head Chef position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

With her culinary prowess, she conquered the fiery challenges and proved worthy of this prestigious title. Her journey on the show was a rollercoaster of intense flavors and high-stakes pressure.

From her exquisite plating skills to her impeccable taste combinations, Kimberly-Ann Ryan showcased her talent and impressed renowned chef Gordon Ramsay. Now, she stands tall as the victor, ready to take charge at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar and elevate the dining experience to new heights.

With her passion and expertise, she’s set to redefine culinary excellence at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Las Vegas.

Elimination and Challenge Format

During the sixteenth season of Hell’s Kitchen, contestants faced weekly elimination and challenges. Under the watchful eye of renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, the pressure was intense as they fought to prove their culinary skills.

One of the most memorable challenges was the signature dish challenge, where each chef had to showcase their unique style and creativity. This allowed them to leave a lasting impression on Chef Ramsay and set themselves apart from the competition.

However, the elimination process was unforgiving. Ramsay would either eliminate a chef without being nominated or nominate someone for elimination. Sometimes, two chefs were eliminated at once, adding an extra layer of tension. It was a ruthless battle where only the best could survive.

Trivia: Record-Winning Dinner Services and Ejections

In Hell’s Kitchen Season 16, you witnessed a record-breaking performance, with the red team winning eight impressive dinner services. Their culinary prowess was unmatched as they consistently delivered mouthwatering dishes that tantalized the taste buds. A true display of culinary excellence left the blue team in their wake.

On the other hand, the blue team faced a series of ejections from service, a staggering seven times, making it the most in the show’s history. The chef elimination process in Hell’s Kitchen is notoriously unforgiving, and this season was no exception.

As with many reality cooking shows, the stakes were high, and the pressure was intense. But the red team’s determination and skill ultimately secured their place as the winners of Hell’s Kitchen Season 16.

All-Female Final Three and Original Episode Titles

Throughout Hell’s Kitchen Season 16, you experienced an unprecedented all-female final three and the introduction of original episode titles.

Chef Kimberly-Ann Ryan emerged as the winner of this thrilling season, earning the prestigious Head Chef position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

As you followed the intense competition, you couldn’t help but be captivated by the culinary skills and determination displayed by these talented chefs, including an all-female final three that showcased women’s immense talent and potential in the culinary world.

Additionally, introducing original episode titles added a unique and exciting element to the Hell’s Kitchen reality cooking show. The season pushed boundaries, empowered women, and left viewers eagerly awaiting the next culinary adventure.

Black Jacket Lounge and Red Team’s Sous Chef

In the Black Jacket Lounge of Hell’s Kitchen Season 16, the red team’s sous chef, Andi Van Willigan, was pivotal in guiding and mentoring the contestants. Chef Andi brought a wealth of expertise and passion to the kitchen as a seasoned chef, pushing the chefs to their limits and aiding them in honing their culinary abilities.

During the signature dish challenge, Chef Andi’s insights were invaluable. She encouraged the chefs to showcase their unique flavors and techniques, an aspect of her mentorship emphasized on

Her role was also crucial in the high-stakes cooking challenges, where she urged contestants to think innovatively and raise their culinary creations to new heights. With her guidance, the red team was well-equipped to meet the rigorous standards set by Chef Ramsay, as detailed on

Under Chef Andi’s mentorship, the contestants thrived in an environment fostering growth and learning, proving their mettle in Gordon Ramsay’s reality TV series.

Season Facts: No Subtitle and Participating in Punishments

You were actively involved in the punishments and the absence of a subtitle throughout Hell’s Kitchen Season 16. It was a season filled with intense challenges and high stakes.

Here are some fascinating facts about the season:

  • Every contestant, including you, had to participate in at least one punishment. Whether it was cleaning the Kitchen, peeling mountains of potatoes, or scrubbing pots and pans, no one was exempt from the consequences of their mistakes.
  • Unlike previous seasons, Season 16 didn’t have subtitles. It was known as Hell’s Kitchen Season 16, signaling a departure from the usual thematic approach.
  • Each episode was packed with drama and excitement as Chef Ramsay eliminated one chef from the losing team at the end of every episode. The tension was palpable, and the pressure to perform was relentless.
  • From the boot camp to the final dinner service, every episode showcased the ups and downs of the competition. Each challenge pushed you to your limits, testing your culinary skills, teamwork, and ability to handle the intense pressure.
  • Ultimately, Chef Kimberly-Ann Ryan emerged as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 16. Her talent, determination, and exceptional cooking skills earned her the coveted Head Chef position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian in Las Vegas.

Throughout the season, you experienced the highs and lows of the culinary world, pushing yourself to the limit and embracing the challenges that came your way. It was a season filled with unforgettable moments, and you were right in the middle.

Last Season’s Intro and Culinary Excellence Defined

Without a subtitle, Hell’s Kitchen Season 16 captivated viewers with its intense challenges and showcased the culinary excellence that defined the competition.

From the moment the season premiered, it became clear that the chefs would be pushed to their limits in skill and determination. The elimination process was ruthless, with Chef Ramsay eliminating chefs without being nominated and even eliminating two chefs in one elimination. This heightened the stakes and created an atmosphere of constant tension and pressure.

However, this rigorous process revealed the contestants’ true culinary excellence. Each dish presented was a masterpiece, displaying creativity, precision, and passion.

Hell’s Kitchen Season 16 redefined what it meant to strive for culinary excellence, leaving viewers in awe of the talents and dedication of these extraordinary chefs.


Jessica Boynton32University ChefRaleigh, NC
Genaro Delillo26Sous ChefLebanon, PA
Paulie Giganti34Executive ChefBrooklyn, NY
Shaina Hayden28Banquet ChefLong Island, NY
Matt Hearn27Sauté ChefLos Angeles, CA
Johnny McDevitt29Burger ChefPhiladelphia, PA
Wendy Mendez32Line Cook & Pastry ChefBronx, NY
Heidi Parent33Executive ChefAuburn, ME
Andrew Pearce27Sous ChefProspect Park, PA
Kimberly Roth34Sushi ChefOntario, NY
Kimberly-Ann Ryan*29Event ChefTraverse City, MI
Devin Simpson33Assistant Restaurant ManagerMount Pleasant, SC
Aaron Smock22Culinary StudentFrankenmuth, MI
Pat Tortorello47Culinary InstructorBelleville, NJ
Heather Williams26Sous ChefEaston, PA
Koop Wynkoop28Kitchen ManagerCarey, OH
Aziza Young34Kitchen ManagerHarrisburg, PA
Gia Young31Catering ChefQueens, NY
Hell’s Kitchen Season Winner *

Episodes Rundown and Highlights:

01Ep 1601 – When the Wall Comes Tumbling DownThe eighteen new chefs were put into boot camp, the Signature Dish Challenge took place, and one chef got put in their place when they tried to break the fourth wall.September 23, 2016
02Ep 1602 – Crepe Grand PrixA race featuring crepes took place, one team struggled at dinner service, and Ramsay sent home a chef who lacked passion.September 30, 2016
03Ep 1603 – The Yolks on ThemRamsay tested the chefs’ surf and turf knowledge, and a shocking but satisfying elimination of an early bitchy chef occurred.October 7, 2016
04Ep 1604 – Surf Riding & Turf FightingOstrich was the main ingredient; one chef threatened to quit the competition, and another lied about an injury during service.October 14, 2016
05Ep 1605 – Walking the PlankA race featuring crepes took place, one team continued to struggle at dinner service, and Ramsay sent home a chef who lacked passion.October 21, 2016
06Ep 1606 – Let the Catfights BeginThe chefs cooked by the alphabet, a Family Night dinner service took place, and one team conspired to sabotage one of their own.November 4, 2016
07Ep 1607 – Don’t Tell My FiancéPirates greeted the chefs before the challenge, one chef’s questions annoyed their teammates, and a controversial elimination of a chef who did not do anything wrong during service occurred.November 11, 2016
08Ep 1608 – Dancing with the ChefsSouthern Cuisine was the main theme; one chef almost lost a finger, two station meltdowns caused one team to fall apart at dinner service, and the first team switch occurred.November 18, 2016
09Ep 1609 – Spoon FedThe annual Blind Taste Test occurred, one team set a new low at dinner service, and a temper tantrum at the dorms produced a shocking elimination.December 9, 2016
10Ep 1610 – Dancing in the GrottoHell’s Kitchen hosted an International Dance Competition, and one chef brought their team down by failing to make a simple request.December 16, 2016
11Ep 1611 – Aerial ManeuversThe chefs reunited with their loved ones and competed in a series of challenges to earn a black jacket.January 5, 2017
12Ep 1612 – Fusion ConfusionThe chefs worked with fusion dishes, one team continued their dominance of the other at dinner service, and one team turned on each other at elimination.January 5, 2017
13Ep 1613 – Black Jacket LoungeA red chef joined the blue team, sliders were the main dish, both teams had terrible performances at dinner service, and a shocking double elimination occurred.January 12, 2017
14Ep 1614 – Playing Your Cards RightThe final three’s tableside skills were tested; they took turns running the pass, and Ramsay picked two of them for the finals.January 19, 2017
15Ep 1615 – Tequila Shots?Heather and Ryan competed in their final challenge, picked their brigades for the final dinner service, and one was named the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.January 26, 2017
16Ep 1616 – Leaving It on the LineThe final five competed in their first black jacket challenge and worked as Ramsay’s Sous Chefs, and a shocking double elimination took place.February 2, 2017

In The End

As you bid farewell to the exhilarating journey of ‘Hell’s Kitchen Season 16: Redefining Culinary Excellence,’ you can’t help but be captivated by the intense challenges, dramatic eliminations, and record-breaking accomplishments. With the all-female final three and the Red team’s domination, this season left a lasting impression on viewers.

From the thrilling episodes to the behind-the-scenes trivia, ‘Hell’s Kitchen Season 16’ truly elevated the culinary world to new heights, leaving you hungry for more.

Last Updated on December 17, 2023 by John Siracusa


  • John Siracusa

    Hi, I'm John. I've worked in the Food Service industry for over 25 years, working in my family's business. Cooking for me has always been an art infused with traditions. My career was inspired by Hell's Kitchen, the West Side of Manhattan, which has one of New York City's best independent restaurant communities. I also admire Gordon Ramsay's no-nonsense approach to always being your best.

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