Hell's Kitchen winners: What do they win and where are they now? (profiles and photos)

Hell's Kitchen winners: What do they win and where are they now? (profiles and photos)

Hell's Kitchen is a reality television show where aspiring chefs learn how to work in a real-life kitchen. Some chefs have kitchen experience, and others have the distinction of being excellent home cooks. They get pushed to their limits to improve their cooking and learn how to handle a demanding dinner service. Many consider the experience an opportunity of a lifetime despite the intense training. In the end, the winner gets a prize. But what do the Hell's Kitchen winners get, and who are they?

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Hell's kitchen winners
Ja'Nel Witt (2nd R) with chef Ramsay (R) wins in the two-hour season finale of HELL'S KITCHEN. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images

Hell's Kitchen has run on TV for 20 seasons. Thus, there have been 20 Hell's Kitchen winners since the show first aired in 2005. The first winner got the chance to work with Gordon Ramsay in London. While the rest had short stints with Ramsay, others opted to venture into other endeavours, including establishing their restaurants and becoming private chefs.

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Hell's Kitchen Winners and where are they now

What do Hell's Kitchen winners get? After winning in Hell's Kitchen, a chef receives two prizes. The chef gets the opportunity to work as a head chef or executive chef at a restaurant chosen by Gordon Ramsey. But who won every season of Hell's Kitchen?

1. Michael Wray

Hell's kitchen winners
Contestant Michael during dinner service in the all-new 17 Chefs Competes for an episode of HELLS KITCHEN airing Tuesday, March 10 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Photo: FOX Image
Source: Getty Images

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  • Date of birth: 17 April 1977
  • Age: 45 years old (as of 2022)
  • Zodiac sign: Aries

Michael Wray was the first Hell's Kitchen winner when the series started in 2005. He came from Fort Collins, Colorado, United States, and was 27 when he won his series.

After winning the series, Wray worked with Ramsay in London. However, he declined the chance to work at the Standard Hotel in Los Angeles and moved to Arizona to run a knife company and teach cooking. In 2018, he started a funds drive to help him purchase a food van.

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2. Heather West

  • Birth name: Heather Marie West
  • Instagram: @cheffy22
  • Hometown: Port Jefferson, New York

Heather West is the second person on Hell's Kitchen winners list. She came from Port Jefferson, New York, and won her season when she was 25.

After the win, she worked at the Terra Rossa restaurant at the Red Rock Ca*sino in Las Vegas, Nevada. As of 2022, West is the co-founder of the non-profit organisation East End Play Dates.

3. Rahman Harper

  • Date of birth: 17 December 1976
  • Age: 45 years (as of 2022)
  • Wife: Tamara Harper

Rahman Harper won the third season of Hell's Kitchen was she was 30. He came from Spotsylvania Courthouse, Virginia, and worked at the Terra Verde restaurant for a year after the win.

He moved on to become an executive chef, wrote a book titled 44 Things Parents Should Know About Healthy Cooking For Kids, and now owns and operates Queen Mother's in Arlington, Virginia.

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4. Christina Machamer

all hell's kitchen winners
Season 5 winner Danny Veltri (L) and Season 4 winner Christina Machamer (R) attend the Hell's Kitchen season 5 finale at Borgata Hotel Ca*sino & Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo: Bruce Glikas
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 13 March 1982
  • Age: 40 years (as of 2022)
  • Nationality: American

Christina Machamer from St. Louis, Missouri, was 25 when she won season four of Hell's Kitchen. She became a senior chef, worked at London in West Hollywood, Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, and trained as a sommelier.

After the training, she worked at B Cellars Vineyards & Winery, Caldwell Vineyard in Napa, and opened the Napa Valley Experiences.

5. Danny Veltri

Hell's kitchen winners
Danny Veltri season 5 winner of the hit Fox TV Show "Hell's Kitchen" speaks during the showing of this season finale at the Borgata Ca*sino Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Photo: Tom Briglia
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of birth: Sarasota, Florida, United States
  • Popular for: Winner of Hell's Kitchen
  • Occupation: Executive chef

Danny Veltri from Edgewater, Florida, was the season five winner at 23. He then worked as a sous chef at the Fornelletto in the Borgata Hotel. After working for the establishment, he started a catering company called Back From Hell Catering and later launched Salt Life Food Shack in Florida.

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6. Dave Levey

  • Age: 44 years old (as of 2022)
  • Zodiac: Virgo
  • Nationality: American

Dave Lavey from San Diego, California, won the sixth season at 32 in 2009. He then worked for a few months at Araxi Restaurant in Whistler, British Columbia for a few months. After that, Lavey left Araxi and returned to New Jersey to work at several restaurants.

7. Holli Ugalde

  • Place of birth: San Bernardino
  • Zodiac: Virgo
  • Date of birth: 22nd September 1986

Holli Ugalde won the series' seventh season in 2010 at 24. The San Bernardino, California, resident did not take the London's Savoy Grill job promised by Hell's Kitchen.

Instead, she moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and became the executive chef at B Ocean's. Ugalde left the job to run the SENS Wellness lifestyle programme and market the produce from her farm.

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8. Nona Sivley

Hell's Kitchen winners
Chef Nona Sivley attends the opening night of the Los Angeles Food & Wine Festival at Nokia Plaza L.A. LIVE on August 9, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: John M. Heller
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Atlanta, GA
  • Occupation: Sous Chef
  • Husband: Nona Johnson

Nona Sivley was the winner in season eight of Hell's Kitchen. She worked as the head chef at LA Market in Los Angeles, California, for three years. Sivley then opened her restaurant called Pork and Beans in Las Vegas, Nevada, and later launched a catering and grocery store company called the Fizzy Peach in Norcross, Georgia.

9. Paul Niedermann

Hell's kitchen winners
Chef Paul Niedermann shucks oysters at The Great GoogaMooga - Day 1 at Prospect Park on May 19, 2012 in New York City. Photo: FilmMagic
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Davie, FL
  • Occupation: Jr. Sous Chef
  • Culinary education: Johnson & Wales University

Paul Niedermann from Davie, Florida, was 27 when he won Hell's Kitchen season nine in 2011. He then worked for the BLT Group in New York City, New York. Later, he returned to the Sunshine State and worked at Hudson at Waterway East and SALT7 in Delray Beach, Florida.

10. Christina Wilson

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Hels kitchen winners
Chef Christina Wilson, the winner of season 10 of the television show "Hell's Kitchen," appears at Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit's Grand Tasting event in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller
Source: Getty Images
  • Date of birth: 15 January 1979
  • Age: 43 years (as of 2022)
  • Place of birth: Phillipsburg, New Jersey

Christina Wilson became the tenth winner of Hell's Kitchen at 32 in 2012. A resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Wilson worked at the Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Ca*sino and later became the executive chef at Gordon Ramsay BurGR. As of 2022, she works as the Culinary Director for Gordon Ramsay North America, making her the most successful winner in the show's history.

11. Ja'Nel Witt

Hell's kitchen winners
Hell's Kitchen season 11 winner Ja'Nel Witt poses for a photo at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace on July 25, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Denise Truscello
Source: Getty Images
  • Occupation: Executive chef
  • Age: 40 years old (as of 2022)
  • Hometown: Houston, Texas

Ja'Nel Witt from Houston, Texas, won season 11 of Hell's Kitchen in 2013 at 31 years old. But unfortunately, she did not take on the job at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas as promised. Instead, she returned home, worked as the executive chef at the Corner Table in Houston, and moved to Richmond to work at Sammy's Steakhouse.

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12. Scott Commings

Hell's kitchen winners
Chef Scott Commings poses at the Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill booth during Vegas Uncork'd by Bon Appetit's Grand Tasting event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller
Source: Getty Images
  • Place of birth: Woodstock, Illinois
  • Twitter: @fork2mouth
  • Occupation: Executive chef

Scott Commings won the 12th season of Hell's Kitchen in 2014 at 36. The Woodstock, Illinois, resident then worked as the head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas, Nevada. After that, he left the job and became an executive chef at Freedom Beat at the Downtown Grand Hotel in Sin City.

13. La Tasha Mccutchen

Hell's kitchen winners
Chef LaTasha McCutchen attends the #Ramsay500 celebration of Gordon Ramsay's 500th episode at Walt Disney Studio Lot on April 22, 2015 in Burbank, California. Photo: Chelsea Lauren
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Winter Haven, FL
  • Occupation: Kitchen Supervisor
  • Culinary Education: Johnson & Wales University

La Tasha Mccutchen was 33 when she won season 13 of Hell's Kitchen in 2014. Mccutchen was a Winter Haven, Florida resident and worked as the head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She left the job after a year and now works as a private chef.

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14. Meghan Gill

Hell's kitchen winners
Contestant Meghan during dinner service in the all-new, "5 Chefs Compete episode of HELLS KITCHEN airing Tuesday, May 26 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Roanoke, VA
  • Occupation: Executive chef
  • Culinary education: L'Academie de Cuisine

Meghan Gill from Roanoke, Virginia, was 28 when she became the season 14 winner in 2015. She then moved to Atlantic City, New Jersey, to work as the head chef at the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill. After that, Gill left the job and went to work for the Dormie Network as an executive chef.

15. Ariel Malone

Hell's kitchen winner
Ariel Malone in the all-new Winner Chosen season finale episode of HELLS KITCHEN airing Friday, April 29 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Hackensack, NJ
  • Occupation: Country Club Chef
  • Culinary education: Bergen Community College

Ariel Malone won season 15 of Hell's Kitchen in 2016 at 26. Although she resided in Hackensack, New Jersey, she moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, where she worked as a head chef at BLT Steak. However, a year later, she left the job to focus on her new career as a private chef.

16. Kimberly-Ann Ryan

Hell's Kitchen winners
Kimberly-Ann Ryan. Photo: @kimmi_churri on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: Instagram
  • Hometown: Traverse City, MI
  • Occupation: Event Chef
  • Culinary education: Culinary Institute of Michigan

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Kimberly-Ann Ryan, a Traverse City, Michigan resident, won season 16 of Hell's Kitchen in 2017 at 29. She then moved to Las Vegas, Nevada, to work as a head chef at the Yardbird Southern Table & Bar. Later, she returned to Michigan to run The Cook's House.

17. Michelle Tribble

Hell's kitchen winners
Winner, Michelle Tribble in the all-new Final Three/All-Star Finale special, a two-hour season finale episode of HELLS KITCHEN airing on FOX. Photo: FOX Image Collection
Source: Getty Images
  • Occupation: Line cook
  • Kitchen experience: 4 years
  • Culinary education: El Centro College

Michelle Tribble won the 17th season of Hell's Gate in 2018 and became the first individual to win the all-star edition of the show at 24. A native of Dallas, Texas, Tribble went on to work as the head chef of the new Hell's Kitchen Restaurant in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tribble now works on the corporate culinary team for Gordon Ramsay North America as the Culinary Development Executive Chef.

18. Ariel Contreras-Fox

Hell's Kitchen winners
Ariel Contreras-Fox. Photo: @chefarielfox on Instagram (modified by author)
Source: Instagram
  • Kitchen experience: 8 years
  • Culinary inspiration: Grandmother
  • Culinary education: Le Cordon Bleu Schools of North America

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Ariel Contreras-Fox was the season 18 winner in 2019 at 35. The Brooklyn, New York native, became the executive chef at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant in Las Vegas. However, she returned to New York to work for the Del Frisco restaurant group and later became a judge on Beat Bobby Flay.

19. Kori Sutton

  • Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
  • Occupation: Executive Chef
  • Date of birth: 19th March 1981

Kori Sutton from Los Angeles, California, won season 19 of Hell's Kitchen at 37 in 2021. She became the head chef at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant in Lake Tahoe. However, she moved on to become the Culinary Face of the Five Star Garza Blanca Preserve Resort & Spa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

20. Trenton Garvey

Hell's kitchen winners
Chef/host Gordon Ramsay ( L) with contestant Trenton (R) in the "2 Young Guns Shoot It Out" season finale of Hell's Kitchen airing Monday, Sept. 13 (9:01-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Photo: FOX
Source: Getty Images
  • Hometown: Union, MO
  • Occupation: Executive chef
  • Culinary education: East Central College

Trenton Garvey won season 20 of Hell's Kitchen in 2021 at 23. After that, the Union, Missouri, resident went to work at the Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, where he is the current head chef.

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FAQs

  1. How many Hell's Kitchen winners still work for Ramsey? Only four winners still work for Ramsey, including Christina Wilson, Michelle Tribble, Kori Sutton, and Trenton Garvey.
  2. Who is Hell's Kitchen's most successful winner? The most successful winner from Hell's Kitchen is Christina Wilson of season ten.
  3. How long does it take to film Hell's Kitchen? It takes 18 production days to film one season of Hell's Kitchen, but the post-production process takes at least six months.
  4. Where do Hell's Kitchen contestants go after elimination? Hell's Kitchen producers send the eliminated contestants to a rehab facility for psychiatric evaluation and decompressing before returning home.
  5. Do guests at Hell's Kitchen pay? Guests that appear in Hell's Kitchen do not have to pay for their meals; they even receive compensation of around $50.
  6. Is Hell's Kitchen staged? Producers do not stage Hell's Kitchen but follow a careful casting process that allows them to film organic feuds and tempers as they happen.
  7. Do Hells Kitchen contestants get paid? The contestants receive modest pay each week, but the amount remains unknown.

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Hell's Kitchen has run on TV for 20 seasons and produced 20 winners. Once declared a winner, Hell's Kitchen winners can work as head chefs or executive chefs at a restaurant chosen by Gordon Ramsey and get a cash prize of $250,000. Since the show started in 2005, only four winners still work for Gordon Ramsey. The rest started their businesses, and others went to work for different establishments.

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