Hell's Kitchen' Stars: Where Are They Now?
Gordon Ramsay's "Hell's Kitchen" has become a television sensation, prompting a look back at past "Hell's Kitchen" stars: where are they now? The culinary show is so popular, Fox has already picked it up for an additional season, and the chef contestants are becoming like rock stars to cooking fans.
- Season one, Michael Wray. Michael Wray beat Ralph Pagano to become the first winner of "Hell's Kitchen." As a prize, Wray accepted an offer to go to London and apprentice under Gordon Ramsay, but changed his mind after considering the strain on his family. Where is he now? After working as head chef in two Los Angeles restaurants—Tatou and The Standard—Wray moved to Arizona in hopes of starting his own fine dining experience, HK One ("Hell's Kitchen"—Season One). But according to reports last fall, Michael was unable to raise the capital for the business and plans have been scrapped. In the meantime, he announced he'll be teaching cooking classes at a local Arizona college.
- Season two, Heather West. Season two of "Hell's Kitchen" was the first time the teams were divided by the sexes and the women came out triumphant. Heather West went head-to-head with Virginia Dalbeck and emerged the winner. Where is she now? West won a one-year contract as senior chef at the Terra Rossa Restaurant at the Red Rock Casino in Las Vegas. She also has been back to "Hell's Kitchen"—first as a guest judge in Season three and then as a sous chef in Season six. She recently started a new gig as executive chef at Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, New York.
Season three, Rahman "Rock" Harper. Season three started with Gordon Ramsey telling the contestants he was going to be nicer, then adding a "just joking." But Rock Harper took the heat and prevailed over runner-up Bonnie Muirhead. Where is he now? Harper's grand prize took him to Henderson, Nevada, where he became head chef at Green Valley Ranch's Terra Verde. After one year, he moved to D.C. as executive chef at Ben's Next Door. Most recently, Rock signed on to teach culinary arts at Stratford University's Woodbridge and Falls Church in Virginia.
Season four, Christina Machamer. Machamer won Season four over Louis Petrozza, with Gordon Ramsay saying, "Christina had the least amount of experience... but I saw something in her that was quite special." Where is she now? Machamer spent a year working with Gordon Ramsay at the London West Hollywood Hotel. She then went on to get her Sommelier certificate at The Culinary Institute at Greystone in Napa Valley. This past fall she became the chef de partie at Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro in Beverly Hills. In addition she has her own line of spices called BCBC Blends and gives cooking demonstrations nationwide.
- Season five, Danny Veltri. Danny went up against Paula DaSilva in the Season five final and walked away victorious. Where is he now? After his May 2009 win, Veltri began his prize job as sous chef at Fornelletto at the Borgata in Atlantic City working under Stephen Kalt. He reportedly worked only until August of 2009 before quitting and moving back to Florida.
- Season six, Dave Levey. Levey will go down in "Hell's Kitchen" history as one of the strongest contestants, having worked for twelve weeks with one hand after spraining his wrist in episode three and earning the name "the one armed bandit." Where is he now? Levey started his winning gig in January at the Araxi Restaurant in Whistler, B.C. He worked through the end of the Winter Olympics, when the Araxi posted a message on their website saying, "Dave Levey was part of the kitchen brigade under acclaimed Executive Chef James Walt until the end of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. The team at Araxi wishes him all the best in his future endeavours." No word on exactly what those endeavors might be.