hell’s kitchen season winners

Hell’s Kitchen Season Winners (1-21): The Cream of the Crop

Since its inception, “Hell’s Kitchen” has been more than a mere cooking competition; it’s a fiery rite of passage for chefs aspiring to make their mark under the fierce tutelage of culinary titan Gordon Ramsay. The winners of Hell’s Kitchen claim the title and earn respect and a springboard into prestigious roles within the gastronomic world. This article is a tribute to their journeys and the post-win achievements of these kitchen warriors.

Alex Belew: Hell’s Kitchen Season 21 Winner’s Tale

Alex Belew

Alex Belew, the seasoned Tennessee chef and ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season 21 champion, is best known for the maturity and expertise he brought to the contest’s unique “Battle of Ages” format. Eschewing the typical route of his predecessors, Alex declined the chance to lead Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Atlantic City, focusing instead on his blossoming project, Alex Belew Hospitality. He also nurtures a passion for podcasting with “Cooking, Cocktails, and Community.” He maintains a harmonious life that marries his culinary career, family life, and love for music, exemplified by his July 2023 single release, “Fallout.”

  • Alex Belew capitalized on his ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ victory by expanding his venture, Alex Belew Hospitality.
  • He chose a unique path by declining the head chef role at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen in Atlantic City.
  • Beyond his culinary endeavors, Alex embraces his musical side by releasing a music single, showing a multifaceted personality that balances.

Trenton Garvey: Hell’s Kitchen Season 20 Culinary Victory

Trenton Garvey

In the high-stakes kitchens of celebrity chefs, Trenton Garvey has managed not only to survive but also to thrive. Season 20’s Hell’s Kitchen champion has taken the fiery gauntlet thrown down by Gordon Ramsay and transformed it into a career that’s as hot as the grills he masters. After his stint as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, Trenton’s star rose further when he tied the knot with his girlfriend Mai, became Chef de Cuisine at Martha Stewart’s outpost, and currently wields his whisk as the Executive Chef at Guy Fieri’s establishment. More than a sequence of job titles, it’s the story of a young Union, Missouri chef marrying his culinary passion with an enviable work-life balance, a heartwarming reminder of where talent and dedication can lead.

  • Trenton Garvey, winner of “Hell’s Kitchen,” is now Executive Chef at Guy Fieri’s Flavortown Sports Kitchen.
  • He has experienced significant personal and professional growth, from winning a competitive cooking show to mastering culinary roles.
  • Garvey’s journey from a small-town chef to a notable figure in the bustling Las Vegas culinary scene is a testament to his ambition.

Kori Sutton: Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 Winning Moments

Kori Sutton

Kori Sutton, a chef from Los Angeles and the winner of Hell’s Kitchen’s 19th season, chose a path true to her heart and professional aspirations following her win. Declining the head chef position at one of Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants for family reasons, Sutton instead cultivated a varied career as a private chef and entrepreneur with her “Mama Kori” sauce brand. With confident strides across the culinary media landscape, she guest-starred on shows like “Top Chef Mexico” and “Cutthroat Kitchen.” Her journey is as much about her kitchen talents as her happiness, marked by her recent marriage. Sutton is an inspiring blend of gastronomic expertise, business acumen, and an unwavering commitment to her personal life.

  • Kori Sutton has leveraged her Hell’s Kitchen win to expand her culinary career beyond the traditional chef role, becoming a private chef.
  • She has declined the prize position to stay closer to home, focusing on her family while successfully managing her sauce brand, “Mama Kori.”
  • Kori’s continued presence in culinary media through appearances on various cooking shows keeps her connected to the food community.

Ariel Contreras: Hell’s Kitchen Season 18 Top Chef Achievement

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Chef Ariel Contreras-Fox (@chefarielfox) stands out from her “Hell’s Kitchen” counterparts as a seasoned victor with a twist. Marking a departure from the predictable path, Ariel veered northeast after winning Season 18, declining the prescribed Vegas executive chef role to spice up New York’s Dos Caminos. Her professional journey continued as she soared to Vice President of Culinary at noted establishments, intertwined with the personal milestones of marriage and motherhood. Authoring a children’s cookbook and judging on TV substantiates her diversified culinary portfolio, balancing the fiery demands of kitchen life with personal contentment and familial joy.

  • Ariel Contreras-Fox diverged from the expected trajectory post-win, opting to enrich her career within New York’s culinary scene.
  • Contreras-Fox’s culinary influence expanded as she climbed the ladder to become Vice President of Culinary.
  • Complementing her illustrious culinary career, Ariel embraced authorship with a children’s cookbook.

Michelle Tribble: Hell’s Kitchen Season 17 Winner’s Culinary Journey

Michelle Tribble

Michelle Tribble (@chefmichelletribble), the tenacious Dallas chef, flipped her third-place finish in Season 14 of “Hell’s Kitchen” into a winning performance in the All-Stars Season 17. Sweating it out under Gordon Ramsay’s fiery glare, Tribble won the coveted title and scored the head chef position at the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in the glitzy Las Vegas. Her career faced an unexpected twist with the pandemic disrupting her tenure, prompting her to stir her life towards nutrition studies. Now wielding a Master’s in Nutrition, Tribble remains a staple in the Ramsay culinary empire, exemplifying dedication and versatility as the Culinary Development Executive Chef at Gordon Ramsay North America.

  • After winning Hell’s Kitchen Season 17, Michelle Tribble advanced her career as head chef at the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Las Vegas.
  • Michelle Tribble upgraded her skills by completing a Master of Science in Nutrition, demonstrating her commitment to knowledge.
  • Her steadfast dedication and culminating expertise earned her the Culinary Development Executive Chef role at Gordon Ramsay North America.

Kimberly-Ann Ryan: Hell’s Kitchen Season 16 Cooking Supremacy

Kimberly-Ann Ryan

Kim Ryan (@kimmi_churri), the triumphant Season 16 champion of Hell’s Kitchen, has faced a storm both in and out of the Kitchen. Post-show, she first worked at Yardbird in Vegas before moving back to Michigan to ignite her passion at The Cook’s House. Behind the professional success, Ryan battled severe personal demons, including a suicide attempt in 2017 and struggles with sobriety. Candidly sharing her battles on social media, she reached a milestone of nine months sober, a beacon of resilience and inspiration. Now, living a sober life alongside her children, Ryan’s journey underscores her culinary finesse and fortitude that extends far beyond the Kitchen.

  • Chef Kimberly Ryan won Hell’s Kitchen Season 16 and took on a head chef role at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar in Las Vegas.
  • She has openly shared her challenges with mental health, sobriety, and personal adversity, including a suicide attempt.
  • Embracing her sobriety as of February 2021 and her role as a mother, Ryan continues to inspire with her story of overcoming hardship.

Ariel Malone: Season 15 Hell’s Kitchen Winning Strategies

Ariel Malone

Ariel Malone (@chefarielisis), the culinary force propelled to stardom as the victor of Hell’s Kitchen’s 15th season, has charted a path as varied and vibrant as her dishes. From the heady highs of winning aboard the grand USS Iowa, Ariel parlayed her competitive triumph into a gig as head chef at BLT Steak in the heart of Vegas. Yet, the culinary landscape shifted like desert sands, and by 2017, her professional journey veered towards even more personal ventures. She now fulfills her gastronomic passions as a private chef while simultaneously embracing the nurturing role of a doula. Residing in Los Angeles with her daughters, she stirs the pot of her career with resilience and a sense of service, as evidenced on her Instagram and even a stint on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” Malone’s journey from the intensity of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen to the serenity of childbirth support mirrors the adaptability inherent in successful chefs worldwide.

  • Ariel Malone’s journey from winning Hell’s Kitchen to becoming a private chef and doula showcases her dynamic career beyond the Kitchen.
  • After her head chef stint at BLT Steak, Malone pursued an opportunity that better suited her evolving career path.
  • Her active presence on Instagram and recent TV game show winnings reflect how her personal life and professional achievements.

Meghan Gill: Hell’s Kitchen Season 14 Culinary Champion Revealed

Meghan Gill

Meghan Gill (@chefmeghan14), the Hell’s Kitchen S14 winner, has successfully transitioned from TV fame to culinary prestige, making her a formidable chef in the industry. With a robust French culinary background, Meghan won hearts and the fierce contest with her historically perfect score in the show’s signature dish challenge. Post-Hell’s Kitchen, she’s demonstrated resilience, leading kitchens from Gordon Ramsay’s establishments to the current executive chef role at Dormie Network. Alongside her professional accolades, Meghan cultivates a strong personal brand and social media presence, contributes to culinary education, and continues influencing future projects with her dynamic presence in the culinary world.

  • Meghan Gill has built upon her Hell’s Kitchen victory to become a respected culinary force as executive chef at prominent venues.
  • Gill’s investment in her personal brand and online engagement has solidified her as a relatable yet aspirational figure in the food industry.
  • Her continued contribution to culinary mentorship and education shows a commitment to shaping the future of the culinary arts.

La Tasha McCutchen: Hell’s Kitchen Season 13 Winning Chef’s Story

La Tasha McCutchen

La Tasha McCutchen (@cheftashamac13), Hell’s Kitchen Season 13 winner, encapsulates the spirit of culinary resilience and ambition. Her impeccable run on the show, never facing elimination and securing a final perfect score, led her to head the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill in Atlantic City with a prestigious $250,000 salary. After leaving Ramsay’s domain, McCutchen embraced her entrepreneurial spirit, establishing “Entertaining with Chef Tasha.” Now a celebrated private chef, she continues to impart her gastronomic wisdom at events and through teaching, illuminating her path and the lives of budding culinarians.

  • La Tasha McCutchen transitioned from an unstoppable force on Hell’s Kitchen to a successful head chef role at the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill.
  • After her tenure at Ramsay’s establishment, she pivoted to entrepreneurship, becoming a private chef.
  • Passionate about mentorship, Chef McCutchen dedicates time to teaching and inspiring upcoming chefs.

Scott Commings: Season 12 Hell’s Kitchen Culinary Showdown Winner

Scott Commings

Scott Commings (@scottcommings) remarkable journey from the Season 12 winner of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ to a successful chef is a testament to his resilience and culinary prowess. Despite facing numerous nominations, he emerged as the ultimate underdog, taking home the title and a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill at Caesar’s Palace. Not one to rest on his laurels, Commings expanded his horizons, co-founding BLT Foods and establishing his culinary management company. Today, he continues to inspire with his creations at the Daily Bread Bakery, balancing his passion and family life beautifully.

  • Scott Commings won Season 12 of ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ showcasing resilience by surviving a record seven nominations.
  • Post-show, he served as head chef at Gordon Ramsay’s Pub and Grill and later engaged in entrepreneurial pursuits.
  • Commings remains active in the culinary scene, running Daily Bread Bakery in Nevada, partaking in pop-up events, and connecting with fans.

Ja’Nel Witt: Hell’s Kitchen Season 11 Victorious Chef

Ja'Nel Witt

In the cutthroat culinary world of “Hell’s Kitchen,” Ja’Nel Witt (@chefjanel) emerged as a beacon of gastronomic prowess with her Season 11 victory. The stars, Anthony Anderson and Tony Hawk witnessed her crowning as she prepared to enter the hallowed halls of Gordon Ramsay’s empire. But there’s a twist to every well-crafted dish; Ja’Nel’s ascent was stalled by a failed drug test, yet like the best chefs, she improvised beautifully. Her stints at Corner Table, Sammy’s Steakhouse, and other Texas eateries signify her relentless pursuit of culinary innovation, while her Instagram serves a daily dose of personal and professional zest, marking her as one resilient chef in the digital age.

  • Ja’Nel Witt’s triumph in “Hell’s Kitchen” launched her into celebrity chef status, but she faced an immediate hiccup, failing a drug test.
  • Continuing her culinary journey, Witt demonstrated adaptability and penchant for reinvention, helming kitchens in notable Texas restaurants.
  • Despite career challenges, Witt sustained her love for culinary arts as an executive chef and an online influencer, showcasing resilience.

Christina Wilson: Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 Cooking Excellence

Christina Wilson

Christina Wilson’s (@chefchristinamwilson) culinary ascent since seizing Hell’s Kitchen’s title is the stuff of kitchen legend. She commenced at Gordon Ramsay Steak and swiftly vaulted to the role of executive chef at Ramsay’s burger joint in Vegas. Not resting on her laurels, Wilson amplified her trajectory, securing the vice president of culinary position for Ramsay’s North American restaurants. Her deft touch on social media, reflective of the times, garners a following that extends her influence beyond the Kitchen, while her professional bond with Ramsay remains robust, underpinning an inspiring tale for gastronomes.

  • Christina Wilson advanced from Hell’s Kitchen victor to Vice President of Culinary for Gordon Ramsay North America.
  • She maintains a prominent social media presence with over 100,000 followers, blending modern influence with her culinary expertise.
  • Wilson’s journey exemplifies the resilience and dedication required in the competitive culinary world, inspiring aspiring chefs.

Paul Niedermann: Season 9 Hell’s Kitchen Top Culinary Talent

Paul Niedermann

Paul Niedermann (@ChefPaulN) / X post “Hell’s Kitchen” career is a savory narrative of success and culinary passion. Emerged as the winner in a poignant tribute to his late mother, the Floridian chef took the title home with a mix of heat and heart. Post-victory, Paul seized the head chef spot at New York’s BLT Steak before returning to the Sunshine State, continuing to refine his culinary narrative at locations like Hudson at Waterway East and Salt 7. Today, as Jupiter Grill’s executive chef, he balances professional innovation with personal life, crafting a journey as rich as his dishes, proving his spice in life far beyond the show’s theatrics.

  • Niedermann’s win in Season 9 of “Hell’s Kitchen” was a heartfelt homage to his mother, demonstrating his emotional and culinary resilience.
  • He expanded his career in New York before returning to Florida, indicating adaptability and a strong connection to his roots.
  • As the executive chef at Jupiter Grill, Paul’s ongoing innovation and dedication to fresh flavors affirm his growth beyond the reality show’s fame.

Nona Johnson: Season 8 Hell’s Kitchen Winner’s Journey

Nona Johnson

Nona Johnson (@NonaSizzle) / X win in Hell’s Kitchen Season 8 was a triumph of passion over struggle, as she sacrificed personal moments, like her son’s first birthday, for culinary glory. Her final face-off with Russell Cook was filled with victory and class, starkly contrasting with Cook’s sour resignation. Post-show, Nona’s journey took her from the head chef at LA Market to helping launch Pork & Beans in Las Vegas. After personal upheavals, including a divorce, she found love and business harmony with a partner, creating The Local Peach, a community-focused grocery and catering hub that solidified her dedication to fostering local food culture.

  • Nona Sivley showcased resilience and culinary excellence by overcoming personal sacrifices to win Hell’s Kitchen Season 8.
  • Following her stint in Los Angeles, Nona continued to build her career by assisting in opening Pork & Beans in Las Vegas.
  • Her journey through divorce and remarriage led her to co-found The Local Peach, marrying her passion for food with community service.

Holli Ugalde: Hell’s Kitchen Season 7 Culinary Champion

Holli Ugalde

In a true twist of fate well-suited to the drama of reality TV, Holli Ugalde’s (@chefholli) / X victory in Hell’s Kitchen Season 7 saw her met with more than applause and a title; it came accessorized with disappointment when the head chef position at London’s Savoy Grill slipped through her fingers due to visa complications. Undeterred, Holli channeled her culinary craft into various ventures, including leading a kitchen in Florida, hosting a cooking show in Portugal, and promoting holistic wellness through her Senn Wellness Lifestyle Program. What’s clear in the tapestry of Holli’s post-show career is a story of persistence and adaptability, revealing a chef who’s as versatile with her career choices as she is with flavors in the Kitchen.

  • Despite winning Hell’s Kitchen Season 7, Holli Ugalde could not claim her London head chef role due to visa issues.
  • Ugalde expanded her expertise into eco-friendly farming and wellness, demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and healthy food practices.
  • Beyond her continued influence in the culinary world through sustainable initiatives, Holli Ugalde maintains a lower profile.

Dave Levey: Hell’s Kitchen Season 6 Ultimate Winner

Dave Levey

In the bustling and ever-competitive realm of culinary showdowns, Dave Levey’s (@chef_dave_levey) victory in Season 6 of “Hell’s Kitchen” was nothing short of a culinary coup. Known as the “one-armed bandit,” he rose above a fractured wrist and intense pressure to emerge as the true kitchen maestro. Post-win, Levey set roots as head chef at Araxi Restaurant before returning to his New Jersey origins to stir the pots at IL Giardino Sul Mare. A brief scuffle with the law didn’t dampen his spirit, as he embraced sweetness as a pastry chef at Mara’s Cafe and Bakery. While Dave has since shifted away from the spotlight, his legacy endures in pastry crafting at the bakery until recent closures.

  • Dave Levey overcame a wrist fracture to win “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 6, showcasing tenacity and skill.
  • Following his victory, he worked in Canada and then various establishments in New Jersey, including a stint as a pastry chef.
  • Despite legal woes and a move away from the public eye, Levey remains celebrated for his resilience and culinary contribution.

Danny Veltri: Culinary Mastery in Hell’s Kitchen Season 5

Danny Veltri

In the culinary coliseum that is Hell’s Kitchen, Danny Veltri (@veltridanny) emerged a kitchen gladiator at 23, a youthful victor in the rigorous gauntlet of Gordon Ramsay’s renown. Breaking the over-25 winning streak, he dedicated his win to his late mother, his motivation and unseen guide. Post-victory, Veltri helmed the Kitchen at Fornelletto but soon returned to Florida for a new chapter, marred briefly by a DUI but rerouted towards entrepreneurial success with Salt Life Food Shack and his catering venture. Now, balancing a white-hot passion for gastronomy with fatherhood’s tender flame, Veltri continues to chart a path that serves both ambition and family with zest.

  • Danny Veltri broke the norm as the youngest Hell’s Kitchen winner at 23, demonstrating exceptional prowess and dedication.
  • Though his tenure as head chef at Fornelletto was brief, he built upon his fame by launching his own catering business.
  • Despite a setback with a DUI, Veltri rose to combine his culinary career with fatherhood, keeping it private.

Christina Machamer: Hell’s Kitchen Season 4 Top Chef Triumph

Christina Machamer

Christina Machamer’s (@chef.cmac) victory in Season 4 of Hell’s Kitchen was a defining moment that launched her career from a culinary student to a Michelin star achiever at The London in West Hollywood. Her aptitude for exquisite flavors and composed demeanor in the face of pressure won Gordon Ramsay’s approval and set her on a trajectory of success. Not one to rest on her laurels, Christina swapped her chef’s hat for a sommelier’s palate, mastering the fine arts of wine at the Master Court of Sommeliers in London and subsequently founding Napa Valley Experiences. In tandem, her culinary enterprise, The Clandestine Table, caters to Napa Valley’s elite, while her role in Gordon Ramsay’s empire as a culinary director underscores her influence within the industry.

  • Christina transitioned from winning Hell’s Kitchen to receiving a senior chef position at The London, quickly making her mark with a Michelin star.
  • She embraced education and entrepreneurship, expanding into the wine business with her company The Clandestine Table .specialized catering.
  • Machamer continues her culinary journey as the culinary director for Gordon Ramsay Restaurants.

Rock Harper: Hell’s Kitchen Season 3 Victory Culmination

Rock Harper

Rock Harper (@rockharper), Season 3 champion of “Hell’s Kitchen,” has cooked up a career as fulfilling and diverse as a well-balanced dish. Since his televised triumph, Harper has seasoned his chef’s hat with entrepreneurial and educational ventures, leaving an indelible mark in and out of the Kitchen. He spent a year at Terra Verde before returning to his roots in D.C., stirring the pot with his brand of community enrichment through culinary education, writing, and opening eateries. Harper’s palate for change extends to fighting food-related social issues, penning a book on healthy kids’ cuisine, teaching, and speaking out on his podcast.

  • Rock Harper transitioned from “Hell’s Kitchen” Victor to Washington D.C.’s culinary scene, blending his experience into multiple ventures.
  • Harper fervently embraces opportunities to impact the culinary world, such as his book on healthy cooking for children.
  • His entrepreneurial spirit shines through in his food establishments, like Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken, which serves as extensions of his ethos.

Heather West: Champion of Hell’s Kitchen Season 2

Heather West

In the bustling world of gourmet showdowns, not every victor clings to the limelight post-culinary combat. Heather West (@cheffy22), the spirited contender who clinched the title in Hell’s Kitchen Season 2, has carved out a multifaceted niche in the food universe. Her path, peppered with genuine zest and pragmatic shifts, led her from the anticipated Las Vegas executive chef tenure to a more intimate grounding back east. West’s saucepan journey merged with her passions, like her nonprofit work for mothers, providing a piquant example of how food professionals nourish the body and community. She now stirs the pots and pans as a practiced chef and nourishes her growing family, perpetually adding depth and flavor to her storied kitchen life.

  • Heather West’s career extends beyond her expected executive chef role in Las Vegas, showcasing her adaptability in the culinary arts.
  • Her mission intertwines with professional pursuits, as seen in her advocacy and nonprofit support for maternal mental health.
  • West continues to enrich the culinary world with her seasoned expertise, now as a chef and mother, balancing vibrant family life and cooking.

Michael Wray: Winner of Hell’s Kitchen Inaugural Season

Michael Wray

In his evocative tale embodying the highs and lows of culinary stardom, Michael Wray (@skullandcleavers13), “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 1 victor, serves a storyline richer than a hearty bourguignon. Despite clinching a win in Gordon Ramsay’s fierce arena, Wray’s triumph was laced with personal affliction as he struggled with addiction following back surgery. He chose a different path from the prize offering and ventured into establishing his eatery, an endeavor punctuated by personal tragedies and stumbles into homelessness and crime. His rebirth, through love and rehabilitation, steered him back to the gastronomic world with newfound roles: a chef, knife entrepreneur, and an inspirer with dreams of mobile feasting.

  • Michael Wray declined the opportunity at Ramsay’s London restaurant due to his struggle with addiction, later regretting this decision.
  • Following his setbacks, Wray rebounded, founded a knife company, and returned to the culinary scene as a head chef.
  • Resilient and renewed, Wray shares his life through social media and harbors ambitions to own a food truck.

As we plate up the final course of our journey through the scorching battles and sterling victories of the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ champions, we are reminded that the show’s real heat isn’t just the searing pans or the fire from Gordon Ramsay’s critiques. It lies within the indomitable spirits of each chef who has walked through those notorious doors. These culinarians have sliced through challenges, diced through doubts, and reduced obstacles to mere garnishes on their paths to success.

Their stories, rich with flavor and seasoned with hardships and triumphs, continue to inspire the palates and dreams of food enthusiasts around the globe. As we close this chapter on the titans of ‘Hell’s Kitchen,’ we raise our glasses to their relentless pursuit of culinary perfection and the beautiful, often untold, post-show journeys affirming every committed chef’s fortitude. Bon appétit, and here’s to the next season’s group of chefs ready to face the heat and carve their names into the coveted list of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ victors.

Last Updated on January 15, 2024 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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