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Hell's Kitchen is an Americanmarker reality-television cooking competition (based on a series of the same name, broadcast in the UKmarker) broadcast on FOX. It is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

The program debuted on May 30, 2005, and has run every year since on an annual basis. The sixth season premiered on July 21, 2009. and ended October 13, 2009.

Hell's Kitchen is the 2nd highest-rated competitive reality show in the United States, behind Survivor, it has surpassed The Apprentice (hosted by Donald Trump) in its number of non-celebrity contestant seasons, and has not attempted to bolster ratings with major format changes. Also, every season of Hell's Kitchen has been shown consecutively on a yearly (or twice a year) basis since it began in 2005 (as of 2009, six seasons have shown). According to Nielsen, each season has seen enough viewer loyalty to have Fox renew its contract for yet another season. Accordingly, on August 6, 2009, Hell's Kitchen was renewed for an eighth season.


The format of the program is similar to the UK version, with a red team and a blue team competing in various cooking challenges for most of the season; once the number of remaining contestants is reduced to five (or six in seasons 4, 5, and 6), the two teams combine to become a single black team and compete individually.

Each episode begins with a team or individual challenge; the winning chef or team may get a reward, while the losing team or players are required to perform some form of manual labor, usually consisting of kitchen duty in preparation for the dinner service. During dinner service, teams are responsible for preparing food to Gordon Ramsay's very demanding taste and appearance requirements as well as within a limited time frame. Ramsay may throw away an entire plate of food due to one element being off, requiring the team to re-prepare the dish or the entire table if necessary, and usually sends a barrage of insults and obscenities to the responsible player or team. If Ramsay sees failure in the kitchen, he may force one player to take over for another. If the entire kitchen is in a debacle, Ramsay may end the dinner service prematurely, often using his catchphrase "Shut it down" or "Switch it off!" After the dinner service, Ramsay will select the winning team who may get an additional reward, and then will select the best player on the losing team to make a decision about which two fellow teammates to nominate for elimination. Alternatively, if the service is exceptionally bad (or good), Ramsay may declare no team the winner, or no specific player on the losing team as the best, requiring the team(s) to nominate someone for elimination. When the game is down to a single team but still more than three people, the winning player will select the two to be nominated. Each nominated player has a chance to plead their case to Ramsay, but he makes the final decision, at which point the eliminated player hands over their chef's jacket.

When the competition is down to the final two players, Ramsay splits the Hell's Kitchen dining area into two sections, and each of the two final contestants runs their own restaurant; each contestant is allowed to choose the decoration, style, and menu for his or her restaurant with the exception of Season Six in which the dining rooms were not remodeled. Six previously eliminated contestants return to help the two finalists to prepare the meals. Ramsay will use his observations of how the finalists work in the kitchen and with their teams, as well as feedback from the patrons of each restaurant, to select the ultimate winner of the show.

Hell's Kitchen is somewhat rare among elimination-style reality shows in that all of the responsibilities of judging and eliminating fall to a single person, Ramsay, instead of a full panel of judges, or a majority vote by the contestants. Additionally, Ramsay has the power to override the basic format of the competition, such as ignoring team nominations, eliminating contestants in the middle of dinner service, or changing team members and student members.


The show is hosted by Gordon Ramsay and narrated by Jason Thompson. The restaurant's Belgianmarker maître d', Jean-Philippe Susilovic, comes from Petrus, one of Ramsay's Londonmarker restaurants. Jean-Phillipe was also the maître d' for the first UK series of Hell's Kitchen.

Each team also has the services of one of two sous-chefs. Scott Leibfried has appeared in all seasons. MaryAnn Salcedo appeared in Seasons 1-3, Gloria Felix in Seasons 4 and 5, and Heather West in Season 6.



The theme song of the show is "Fire" by the Ohio Players.

Profanity by Ramsay at the chefs, and sometimes even at the customers, is quite frequent on the show. Due to regulations in the United States regarding profanity and broadcasting, the episodes as aired in the United States employ bleep censoring and pixelization to mask the profanity. The words are bleeped in their entirety.

In Australia, New Zealandmarker, Denmarkmarker, Norwaymarker, Finlandmarker, Koreamarker, Netherlandsmarker, Irelandmarker, Mexicomarker and Brazilmarker, all the profane language is transmitted uncensored. After the season is complete it is aired in the United Kingdom a few months later, as Hell's Kitchen USA. First-run broadcast occurs in a late evening timeslot, after the UK 9pm watershed, and retain all profanity. However, re-runs are often air during earlier timeslots (8pm), with censorship restored.Some UK airings were followed by extra uncut footage from the just shown episode, in a spin-off show Hells Kitchen USA: Served Raw

In Polandmarker, the fifth season is currently broadcast by TVN Style. The channel also broadcast season three and four. The first and second season were broadcast in Polandmarker by Polsat and

In Australia it was axed after only about 3 weeks on the Nine Network in June 2007, supposedly due to the very foul profanity, losing viewers to major rival Seven Network. However, in April 2008, Channel Nine began broadcasting the first season from the beginning, in conjunction with the UK-based Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Seasons 1-3 were screened on the 'Lifestyle Food' network (via pay TV) in early 2008, and season 4 started on the 19th Sept 2008, also on Lifestyle Food.

In Canadamarker, it is aired on CityTV, simulcast with the FOX network, and is censored. Reruns air on the Canadian Food Network; originally broadcast uncensored, though broadcasts of later seasons are censored.

Hell's Kitchen is also being shown in Malaysiamarker on ntv7, every Sunday at 10:45p.m.

In Bulgariamarker it is aired on Nova+ and Nova Television.

In Brazil, it is aired by GNT, and also by Latin American network Casa Club TV.


For the show's first two seasons, the Hell's Kitchen restaurant set itself was housed in the former studios of Los Angeles television station KCOPmarker at 915 North La Brea avenue, in Hollywoodmarker, which at one time hosted production of game shows Tic Tac Dough and The Joker's Wild. KCOP was acquired by News Corporation in 2001 and its studios were integrated with those of Fox affiliate KTTVmarker in 2003, leaving the La Brea facility vacant. Originally the studio was put up for sale, but in the end they were retooled for the production of Hell's Kitchen. The dining room area is the location of the former KCOP news studios, and living quarters for the contestants were built on behind the restaurant.


# Airdates New features Winner Prize/epilogue
1 May 30 - August 1, 2005 Michael Wray Accepted an offer to work with Ramsay in London, but later chose not to go; formerly the head chef at Tatou in Los Angeles, CA
2 June 12 - August 14, 2006 Divided teams by gender Heather West Former senior chef of Terra Rossa at the Red Rock Resort Spa and Casinomarker (contract has since expired); currently the executive chef at the Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, NY and a sous chef for Hell's Kitchen starting season 6
3 June 4 - August 13, 2007 Rahman "Rock" Harper Head chef of Green Valley Ranch's Terra Verde; served as the executive chef at Ben's Next Door in Washington D.C.marker in early 2009
4 April 1 - July 8, 2008 15 chefs competing Christina Machamer Senior sous chef under Gordon Ramsay at the London in West Hollywood with a $250,000 salary
5 January 29 - May 14, 2009 16 chefs competing Danny Veltri Chef working under head chef Stephen Kalt at the Italian restaurant Fornelletto in the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jerseymarker with a $250,000 prize
6 July 21 - October 13, 2009 17 chefs competing, including Robert Hesse, who had to make a premature exit from Season 5 due to medical reasons. Dave Levey Head chef at the Araxi Restaurant, in Whistler, BCmarker


Awards and nominations

Hell's Kitchen has been nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards in the Outstanding Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction Programming category in 2007,2008 and 2009. It has also been nominated for two Art Directors Guild Awards in the Television - Awards Show, Variety, Music or Non-Fiction Program category in 2007 and 2008, winning one in 2008. It has also been nominated for a Teen Choice Award for Choice Summer Series.

In 2009, Gordon Ramsay won an Astra Award for Favourite International Personality or Actor.

Other media

DVD releases

On April 8, 2008, Visual Entertainment released Season 1 of Hell's Kitchen on DVD in Region 1. . On October 27, 2009, Visual Entertainment released Season 2 of Hell's Kitchen on DVD in Region 1. . In Australia, the first four seasons were released on DVD during 2009; it is unknown when or if these will be released in the US.

DVD Name Ep # Release Date Additional Information
Hell's Kitchen: Season 1 10 April 8, 2008
December 1, 2008 (Australia)
  • Interview With Kent Weed: Executive Producer
  • Tour of Hell's Kitchen With Kent Weed
  • Interview With Arthur Smith: Executive Producer
  • Interview With John Janavs: Production Designer
  • Interview With Gordon Ramsay
Hell's Kitchen USA: Season 2 10 October 27, 2009
February 2, 2009 (Australia)
  • Interview With Gordon Ramsay
  • Interview With Sous Chefs Maryann Salcedo & Scott Liebfried
  • Interview With Maitre'd Jean Phillipe Susilovic
  • Interviews With the 12 Contestants
  • All-Access Tour of The Hell's Kitchen Set with Chef Ramsay
  • Tour of the Terra Rossa
Hell's Kitchen USA: Season 3 10 February 2, 2009 (Australia Only)
  • Raw & Uncut
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (4:3 SD)
Hell's Kitchen USA: Season 4 14 April 1, 2009 (Australia Only)
  • Raw & Uncut
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1 (4:3 SD)

Video games

On September 11, 2008, Ubisoft released Hell's Kitchen: The Game for the Nintendo DS, Windows and Wii, which features the likeness of Ramsay, and the many important tasks shown in the U.S. version of the show.

On April 2, 2009, Ludia and Social2u released the official Facebook version of the Hell's Kitchen game.


  1. Hells Kitchen Season 6
  3. See 20.00
  4. Reality TV Calendar. June 3, 2007. "Hell's Kitchen - Everything You Want To Know".[1]
  5. Latzman, Darrell. Los Angeles Business Journal. June 30, 2003. "KCOP studio sale is latest chapter in duopoly shifting. (Up Front).(Fox Broadcasting puts television studio facility up for sale)".[2]
  6. Kaplan, Don. New York Post. June 29, 2005 (TV Wednesday section). "DRESSED TO GRILL ; 'HELL' ISN'T A REAL RESTAURANT".[3]
  7. Eater LA: Tatou: Where's Michael Wray?
  8. Ben's Next Door
  10. [4]
  11. [5]
  12. [6]
  13. JB HI FI
  14. Hell's Kitchen: The Game
  15. Hell's Kitchen on Facebook

External links

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