Hell’s Kitchen’s Johnathan Benvenuti discusses cooking from his heart, interview

Hell's Kitchen Season 22 runner-up Johnathan Benvenuti became a fan favorite by showcasing how much this American Dream opportunity to cook for Gordon Ramsay meant to him and his family. In this interview, the Orange County chef shares a glimpse into his culinary journey.
Hell's Kitchen Season 22 Johnathan Benvenuti
Hell's Kitchen Season 22 Johnathan Benvenuti / FOX

Although his door did not open in the Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 finale, Johnathan Benvenuti endeared himself to fans of the show. While his food was always impressive, it was how he wore his heart on his sleeve that made him a fan favorite. During a recent interview with FoodSided, Johnathan shared how supportive people have been, a few of his favorite dishes, and where his culinary career is going.  

Throughout the season, Johnathan was open and honest saying that this experience was not just about him; it was about his whole family. During the conversation, Johnathan mentioned, “I have received so many positive messages, about how inspiring it is, and it felt good go use the kitchen as a platform to be true to myself. You start to realize the sacrifices that some chefs make for the accolades.” 

“I am very proud of the man that I was on camera and proud of the food that I cooked. Many people who have kids understand that your family is your driving force. No matter your passion or what you are into, parents would tell you that they do it for their kids. It was really special to be able to portray that on television and I am very happy with how things turned out.”  

Looking at Hell’s Kitchen Season 22, Johnathan excelled challenge after challenge. Even though there was a blip in the road, he continually impressed with stunning plates and well-executed dishes.  

Reflecting on the competition, Johnathan admitted that he would like a do-over on pasta day. He said his sauce was too salty and it was not his proudest moment.  

As seen on several occasions, the feedback and the criticism were words that he truly took to heart. When asked why it affected him so deeply, Johnathan shared, “I never had a chef of this caliber taste my food and Gordon Ramsay may never taste my food again. It is not just another day at work. It is time to rise to the occasion and people can see how badly I wanted it. In this platform, you do not want to take the opportunity for granted.”  

Going into the competition, Johnathan looked to take it one challenge at a time. Whether or not he thought that he might go home in week one was replaced by the digging down and finding a way to pull out a dish worthy of Gordon Ramsay’s praise.  

Reflecting on one dish, Johnathan recalled his take on pork chops and applesauce. He said, “that is the dish that I grew up eating at home.” While the ingredients on the show were slightly different, it had the heart that flavors every one of his dishes. He mentioned that “the complements that I received on that dish will stay with me forever.”  

As an Orange County native, Johnathan uses his home as inspiration for his culinary point of view. He explained, “being from Orange County, we have the Orange curtain and we were not known for our food. It would be really cool for me to bring some of those comforting dishes, like the pork chop and crab cake, and show how they can be elevated and chef driven. Food made from scratch and approachable is what I want to celebrate.”  

For now, Johnathan Benvenuti is cooking from the heart for anyone and everyone who wants to sit at his table. Fresh, seasonal ingredients that offer a taste of home presented in a way that makes everyone feel special are being served. Luckily, many people will be picking up a fork to enjoy that flavor.  

Johnathan Benvenuti was the runner-up in Hell’s Kitchen Season 22. The entire FOX television season can be streamed on Hulu.