ariel contreras

What Happened to Hell’s Kitchen Season 18 Winner Ariel Contreras, Where is She Now?

Ariel Contreras-Fox, who initially placed third in the sixth season of a renowned cooking competition, returned triumphantly in a subsequent season that pitted veterans against rookies. In this season, Ariel emerged victorious, winning a $250,000 prize. Interestingly, although she earned the position of executive chef at the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant at Caesar’s Palace, Ariel made the decision to return to New York. There, she took up the role of concept executive chef at Dos Caminos, a Mexican restaurant. This choice marked a significant deviation from the norm, as she was the first to turn down the executive chef position at Hell’s Kitchen since Michael Ray.

Ariel’s career path post-show has been both successful and diverse. She became the Vice President of Culinary at Del Frisco’s Double Eagle, Del Frisco’s Grill, and Dos Caminos. Personal milestones complemented her professional achievements; she married and welcomed a daughter.

In addition to her culinary career, Ariel ventured into publishing with a children’s cookbook titled “Freckle-Faced Foodie: Journey of a Young Chef,” released in 2020. She also appeared on television as a guest judge on the TV show “Beat Bobby Flay.” Ariel’s journey through and beyond the competitive cooking show has been marked by her ability to make strategic career choices, expand into different facets of the culinary world, and balance her professional growth with her personal life.

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The Rise of a Culinary Champion

Chef Ariel Contreras-Fox (@chefarielfox) first graced television screens with her confident demeanor and exceptional culinary skills on “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 6, where she finished third. Her determination and talent returned her for Season 18, where she emerged victorious. Ariel’s journey in “Hell’s Kitchen” was marked by her consistency, creativity, and leadership qualities that Ramsay himself lauded.

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From Television to the Vegas Strip

Following her win on “Hell’s Kitchen season 18,” Ariel was awarded the head chef position at Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. This was a job and a platform for Ariel to showcase her culinary vision. With the pressure of a high-profile establishment on her shoulders, she excelled in creating dishes that not only met the standards of the fiery Scotsman’s brand but also brought her flair to the menu.

Embracing New Culinary Challenges

Ariel’s post-show career has seen her embrace a variety of culinary challenges. She has entered the mentor role, sharing her knowledge with aspiring chefs and reflecting on the same mentorship she once received on “Hell’s Kitchen.” Ariel’s commitment to culinary excellence has also been evident in her participation in food festivals and events, where she has demonstrated her skills and connected with fans.

A Personal Touch to Professional Success

A chef’s journey often influences their culinary style; Ariel is no exception. Her Dominican heritage and New York upbringing have played a significant role in shaping her culinary identity. The fusion of flavors she brings is a testament to her background and ability to cater to a diverse palette.

Life Beyond the Kitchen

Outside the hustle of the kitchen, Ariel has been an inspiration for work-life balance. Her presence on social media reveals a person who values family, self-care, and the simple pleasures in life. Ariel’s journey is not just one of a chef rising through the ranks but also of a person finding harmony during a demanding career.

Ariel Contreras-Fox: A Name to Remember

Ariel’s journey since winning “Hell’s Kitchen” is a narrative of passion, resilience, and continuous growth. Her story encourages aspiring chefs to pursue their dreams with tenacity and never shy away from the kitchen’s heat. As Ariel Contreras-Fox continues to make her mark on the culinary world, her story serves as a delectable chapter in the ever-evolving cookbook of “Hell’s Kitchen” alumni success stories.

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Last Updated on December 31, 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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