As Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 begins, Gordon Ramsay shares a twist that the chefs didn’t expect.
While Las Vegas provides an exciting backdrop to Hell’s Kitchen Season 19, Gordon Ramsay wanted more from the chefs who are looking to earn a position at his Lake Tahoe restaurant. After so many seasons, many of the chefs thought that they knew what to expect when the kitchen opened. But, nothing is as it seems in Hell’s Kitchen.
Of course, certain aspects that have made Hell’s Kitchen one of the most successful culinary competitions still apply. Chefs will have to execute dishes, both in challenges and in the dinner service. They will have to prove that they have the palate, the leadership and the drive to become part of the Ramsay restaurant group.
During filming of Season 19, I had the opportunity to speak with Chef Ramsay. While many people see the fiery side of his personality in the middle of dinner service, our conversation showed how much he is invested in the success of each and every chef that stands in his kitchen. From his thoughtful answers to his desire for everyone to succeed, that bold retort during dinner service is his way of expressing the importance of the opportunity.
One item that Ramsay revealed during our conversation was a big change that happened in Hell’s Kitchen Season 19. Since the chefs expect to make their signature dishes as a baseline challenge, Ramsay wanted to throw them a curve ball.
Ramsay said, that he wants to bring the best out of these chefs and see their true talent. He mentioned that the individual challenge is where he can gain insight on a chef’s ability.
For this season, that signature dish challenge isn’t a challenge anymore. Since Ramsay wants to bring the best out of these chefs, he wants them to push themselves. Given that the chefs thought that they knew what to expect, it was time to switch it up.
Ramsay said, “we want to see them on a plate.” Still, Ramsay understands that a “signature dish has been tried and tested.” He mentioned that one chef “cooked his dish 52 times.” Of course, that dish will be good.
But, Ramsay wanted more for Hell’s Kitchen Season 19. He said, “do you think that I’m that stupid that I want to see the dish that you have rehearsed.”
Instead, the chefs are challenged to cook some of the most popular proteins on Las Vegas restaurant menus. From lobster to halibut, the chefs need to step up their game.
While the change makes for an exciting start, it also brings a key revelation. It shows that “how vulnerable they are” and “what they need to do to get them to the premiere league.” No one ever said that working for Chef Ramsay would be a walk in the park.
As Arthur Smith mentioned, the Hell’s Kitchen dinner service is real, unscripted television. By keeping the chefs in the moment and changing what is expected of them, they learn to appreciate the complexities of working in the Ramsay environment.
If the first challenge is any insight to Hell’s Kitchen Season 19, the chefs need to be prepared for anything. While many chefs want this opportunity, only some will thrive in Hell’s Kitchen.
Be sure to watch Hell’s Kitchen Season 19 on FOX Thursday nights at 8 p.m. ET/PT. More reveals from my conversation with Gordon Ramsay will be coming throughout the season.