Dave Levey's Epic Win in Hell's Kitchen Season 6 (2009)

Hell’s Kitchen Season 6: High Stakes Cooking (Jul 21 – Oct 13, 2009)

Hell’s Kitchen’s Season 6, which ran on Fox from July 21 to October 13, 2009, truly tested the chefs’ mettle with surprises and culinary challenges. It all led up to one of the most exhilarating finales to date. Dave Levey, a top-tier chef from San Diego, California, clinched the title. His victory landed him the role of Head Chef at the Araxi Restaurant & Bar in Whistler, British Columbia – the first time the grand prize had been awarded in Canada.

The season introduced various elimination categories such as voided chef nominations, chefs eliminated without nomination, chefs nominated and subsequently eliminated, and chefs personally nominated by Ramsay. A former contestant, Robert returned to the season after the inaugural dinner service.

The season didn’t skimp on the excitement, starting with introducing the new contestant Robert’s return in Episode 601 and escalating an existing feud in Episode 605. This season also marked the first time a returning chef graced the show.

In terms of trivia, both finalists ended up with physical injuries during the season. The blue team set a near-record with the second-highest number of dinner service wins in a season. With Robert’s addition, the contestant count bumped up to 17. The red team, on the other hand, holds the record for the fewest dinner service wins in the show’s history. Ramsay also notably made a post-mortem elimination in the kitchen.

Key Takeaways from Hell’s Kitchen Season 6

  • Season 6 of Hell’s Kitchen aired from July 21 to October 13, 2009, with the winner being executive chef Dave Levey from San Diego, California.
  • This season was significant as it was the first time the prize was awarded in Canada. Dave became the Head Chef at the Araxi Restaurant & Bar in Whistler, British Columbia.
  • The season featured various elimination categories, including chefs having their nominations voided, elimination by Ramsay without being nominated, and elimination after being nominated by Ramsay.
  • Notable episodes included the first elimination in the kitchen during the post-mortem, the return of a former contestant, and a disastrous dinner service with a chef doing something unprecedented.

Season 6 Air Dates and Winner

Season 6 of Hell’s Kitchen aired on Fox from July 21 to October 13, 2009, crowned its winner, Dave Levey, as the executive chef. This season was filled with intense competition and high-stakes cooking. From the moment the show premiered, viewers were captivated by the culinary battles that unfolded week after week.

Dave Levey, hailing from San Diego, California, emerged as the victor, showcasing his exceptional skills and determination. Dave’s talent and passion for cooking shone through with each challenge, leaving a lasting impression on the judges and the audience. His journey on Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 was a rollercoaster ride, filled with ups and downs, but ultimately culminating in a well-deserved victory.

Dave Levey’s win was a testament to his unwavering dedication and ability to thrive under pressure.

Unique Elimination Categories

Elimination categories in Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 included chefs having their nominations voided, elimination by Ramsay without nomination, and elimination after being nominated by Ramsay. This season of Hell’s Kitchen introduced some unique and intense ways for contestants to be sent home.

Their nominations could be rendered useless, and Ramsay could eliminate a chef without any prior nomination. This added an extra layer of unpredictability and raised the stakes for all the contestants.

Additionally, the chefs Ramsay nominated faced the risk of being eliminated if they didn’t meet his high standards. These unique elimination categories brought extra excitement to the season and kept the contestants on their toes.

Behind the Scenes Moments

Experience the intense and revealing moments behind the scenes of Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 with a glimpse into the contestants’ journey towards culinary excellence.

In this season of Hell’s Kitchen, the behind-the-scenes moments were filled with drama, passion, and determination. Every moment was dedicated to perfecting their craft, from the contestants’ late-night practice sessions to their early-morning wake-up calls.

The pressure was palpable as they faced grueling challenges, sustained injuries, and pushed themselves to their limits. Behind the scenes, the contestants formed alliances, dealt with rivalries, and supported each other through the ups and downs of the competition.

These behind-the-scenes moments revealed the true character of the contestants, showcasing their resilience, creativity, and unwavering dedication to their culinary dreams. From the intense moments in the kitchen to the emotional conversations in the dorms, Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 gave viewers a raw and authentic look at the journey of these aspiring chefs.

Interesting Trivia About Season 6

You’ll be intrigued to learn some interesting trivia about Season 6 of Hell’s Kitchen.

This season featured a unique group of Hell’s Kitchen contestants who battled it out in a high-stakes cooking competition.

One of the standout facts is that the winner of Season 6 was executive chef Dave Levey from San Diego, California. Dave went on to become the Head Chef at the Araxi Restaurant & Bar in Whistler, British Columbia, making this the first time the prize was awarded in Canada.

Another interesting tidbit is that Season 6 had the first elimination by Ramsay in the kitchen during the post-mortem.

These little nuggets of information add to the excitement and drama of this thrilling culinary competition.

High Stakes Challenges

Prepare for intense culinary challenges in Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 as contestants face high-stakes scenarios. Chef Ramsay pushes the limits of these aspiring chefs, putting their skills and composure to the test. The pressure is palpable as they battle against the clock, their competitors, and their self-doubt.

The challenges are more demanding this season than ever, with each task having tremendous consequences. One wrong move could mean elimination and the end of their dreams. The contestants must prove themselves in high-pressure situations, showcasing their talent and determination.

The stakes are raised even higher when the winner of this season earns the opportunity to become the Head Chef at the prestigious Araxi Restaurant & Bar. The journey to success is filled with sweat, tears, and the thrill of high-stakes challenges.

Notable Contestant Injuries

Contestants in Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 endured significant physical injuries throughout the intense culinary competition.

One notable injury occurred to Tennille, a determined and passionate chef. While rapidly chopping vegetables, Tennille sliced her finger during a particularly hectic dinner service. The sight of blood splattering onto the cutting board sent shockwaves through the kitchen. Despite the pain, Tennille bravely soldiered on, refusing to let her injury hinder her performance.

Another contestant, Kevin, also experienced a daunting injury. While skillfully maneuvering a hot pan, he accidentally burned his hand, leaving a painful and blistering mark. Despite the agony, Kevin persevered, determined to impress Chef Ramsay with his culinary skills.

These notable injuries testify to the physical demands and high-stakes nature of Hell’s Kitchen Season 6.

Team Performances and Records

In the high-stakes environment of Hell’s Kitchen Season 6, the teams were in fierce competition, each striving to outdo the other and set remarkable records. Under the exacting gaze of Chef Ramsay, famed for his critical role in Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares, they pushed their culinary skills to the limit, each team eager to claim victory and prove their mettle.

The blue team made a significant mark by recording the second-highest number of dinner service wins of the season, a testament to their talent and teamwork, as highlighted on ew.com. Meanwhile, the red team faced more hurdles, achieving the least dinner service wins in the show’s history, as noted on tvguide.com.

Throughout the season, the intense scrutiny from Chef Ramsay kept the pressure at an all-time high. This atmosphere was pivotal in shaping the contestants’ performances, which were crucial in deciding the winner. This winner would claim the prestigious title of Head Chef at Araxi Restaurant & Bar in Whistler, British Columbia.

Chef Ramsay, serving as host and mentor, relentlessly pushed the contestants, demanding excellence at every turn. The team performances and records from Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 were a display of culinary highs and lows and a profound journey that left a lasting impression on the contestants and viewers alike.

Ramsay’s Unprecedented Elimination Decision

As the teams battled it out in high-stakes cooking, Chef Ramsay shocked everyone with his unprecedented elimination decision. The tension in the kitchen was palpable as the chefs anxiously awaited their fate. The atmosphere was thick with anticipation, and you could feel the nerves of each contestant as they awaited Ramsay’s verdict.

But then, the unexpected happened. Ramsay called forward a chef who’d shown promise throughout the competition. The room fell silent as Ramsay delivered the news. This talented chef, whose culinary skills were admired by all, was eliminated from the competition. Gasps filled the air, and disbelief washed over everyone.

Whistler, British Columbia, known for its stunning natural beauty and world-class ski resorts, seemed a world away from the chaos unfolding in Hell’s Kitchen. The chef, devastated by the news, left the kitchen with a heavy heart, their dreams shattered instantly.

Amid the chaos, Ramsay remained resolute in his decision, refusing to back down. This unprecedented elimination left everyone questioning their abilities and wondering what it would take to impress the formidable chef from across the pond.

The journey to culinary greatness continues, but this shocking elimination decision will forever be etched in the memories of those who witnessed it.


Ariel Contreras-Fox27Sous ChefLos Angeles, CA
Louie Cordio45Diner OwnerFitchburg, MA
Kevin Cottle35Executive ChefMiddletown, CT
Tony D’Alessandro30Culinary Store ManagerChicago, IL
Amanda Davenport27Sous ChefNew York, NY
Sabrina Gresset34Restaurant ManagerPhoenix, AZ
Robert Hesse[5]30Executive ChefQuogue, NY
Van Hurd26Fish CookDallas, TX
Andy Husbands39Executive ChefBoston, MA
Lovely Jackson23Camp ChefChicago, IL
Dave Levey *32Executive ChefSan Diego, CA
Jim McGloin34Sous ChefNashua, NH
Melinda Meaney38Private ChefPhiladelphia, PA
Tennille Middleton28Executive ChefFairfax, VA
Tek Moore27Line CookGreenwich, CT
Suzanne Schlicht24Sous ChefMilwaukee, WI
Joseph Tinnelly27Former US Marine & Sous ChefMassapequa Park, NY
Louie Cordio45Diner OwnerFitchburg, MA
Hell’s Kitchen Season Winner*

Episode Rundown and Highlights:

601Episode 601 – 16 Chefs CompeteThe individual challenge resulted in two winners, the punished chefs did compensatory work, and the biggest loudmouth of the seas was eliminated.July 21, 2009
602Episode 602 – 15 Chefs CompeteAn early morning wake-up call occurred; two chefs sustained fractures, and nobody was sent home because of the previous double elimination.July 21, 2009
603Episode 603 – 14 Chefs CompeteA special welcome event happened; one team dominated the other at dinner service, and an existing rivalry intensified when one refused to admit their mistakes.July 28, 2009
604Episode 604 – 13 Chefs CompeteThe individual challenge resulted in two winners, the punished chefs did compensatory work, and the biggest loudmouth of the season was finally eliminated.August 4, 2009
605Episode 605 – 12 Chefs CompeteOne of the most desired rewards occurred: one chef returned for service despite their teammates’ annoyance, and a fan favorite made a deadly mistake twice during service.August 11, 2009
606Episode 606 – 11 Chefs CompeteAn embarrassing punishment occurred, one chef did not participate in service for health reasons, another one fought back like nobody before or after her did, and a shocking elimination that nobody was looking forward to.August 18, 2009
607Episode 607 – 10 Chefs CompeteFrench cuisine was the main theme; one chef suffered an injury during prep, and a walking wounded made one of the craziest performances ever during service.August 25, 2009
608Episode 608 – 9 Chefs CompeteThe annual Blind Taste Test occurred, an incredible comeback by one of the most unlikely chefs during service happened, and an unexpected elimination.September 1, 2009
609Episode 609 – 8 Chefs CompeteThe new contestants arrived in Hell’s Kitchen, one did not make it through dinner service, and a former contestant got offered a second chance to win the competition.September 8, 2009
610Episode 610 – 7 Chefs CompeteOne team mistook their main protein during the challenge; both teams created their own menus and a total meltdown by two chefs during service.September 22, 2009
611Episode 611 – 6 Chefs CompeteThe remaining chefs received black jackets, an exuberant celebration happened after the challenge, and half of the chefs let Ramsay down during a special Date Night service, leading him to do the unthinkable.September 22, 2009
612Episode 612 – 5 Chefs CompeteThe individual challenge resulted in two winners, the punished chefs did compensatory work, and the biggest loudmouth of the seas was eliminated.September 29, 2009
613Episode 613 – 4 Chefs CompeteShrimp was the main ingredient; the maitre almost got assaulted once again, a disastrous dinner service occurred on both sides and at elimination, one chef did something that nobody before or after he ever did.October 6, 2009
614Episode 614 – 3 Chefs CompeteThe chefs began the day in the best way possible, cooked for supposed vegetarians during the challenge, and one chef took too much from their injury, which would have forced them to leave the competition.October 13, 2009
615Episode 615 – Winner AnnouncedDave and Kevin worked on their menus, participated in their final challenge, chose their brigades for the final service, and one of them was declared the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.October 13, 2009

In The End

Step into the fiery world of professional cooking with Hell’s Kitchen Season 6: High Stakes Cooking. As you witness the intense competition, you’ll be captivated by the thrilling challenges, unexpected twists, and mouth-watering dishes. With Chef Gordon Ramsay at the helm, the stakes are higher than ever as the chefs battle for a prestigious position at Araxi Restaurant & Bar. Get ready for a rollercoaster of culinary drama and see who emerges victorious in this season of high-stakes cooking.

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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