Sammi Tarantino is ready for her next chapter after Hell’s Kitchen, interview

Hell's Kitchen Season 22 finalist Sammi Tarantino was the last member of the Red Team standing. From her signature dish to her finale meal, the bright, vibrant flavors impressed Gordon Ramsay.
Sammi Tarantino on Hell's Kitchen Season 22
Sammi Tarantino on Hell's Kitchen Season 22 / FOX

As the final member of the Red Team in Hell’s Kitchen Season 22, Sammi Tarantino impressed not only Gordon Ramsay but also her fellow chefs throughout the FOX culinary competition. Now that Hell’s Kitchen has closed its doors on this season, Sammi is ready to walk into a multitude of opportunities.  

Throughout Hell’s Kitchen Season 22 Sammi had always been the one to watch. Even though she might not have been the most flashy chef, she proved herself as a leader in the kitchen.  

When asked about her thoughts about the competition, Sammi said, “I felt that I had a really good chance of being the last person from the Red Team standing. I was the one from that team with the most culinary experience and I felt that I could sense what Gordon Ramsay was looking for. I was really trying to prove myself to him.”  

While all the chefs appreciate that they must be technically superior, it is more than just the perfectly seared ribeye. Sammi believes, “being a leader and seeing when someone is possibly going down is important. When that person is having a problem cooking scallops, they want to see which chef is going to jump in, help, and avoid having that person go down. I was that chef.”  

Although it took a few challenges to get to that place, Sammi’s signature dish set the tone for her time at Hell’s Kitchen. Speaking about this linguini and clams, she said, “I wanted to get a 5 but I was blown away by actually winning the signature dish. I was looking at everybody else’s dishes and I did not know if I was going to make it because everyone was putting up gorgeous food. I just made pasta, but I realized that Gordon was actually impressed that I made fresh pasta in 45 minutes. I felt that it showed my technique.”  

Throughout Hell’s Kitchen, Sammi, like the other chefs, had to cook Gordon’s dishes, but in the finale she was able to create her own five-course meal. Speaking to how and why she chose those dishes, she explained, “growing up in Ohio, I was in a landlocked state and I didn’t have that much culinary diversity around me. Plus, I was a picky eater. When I moved to California, my eyes were opened to so many different cuisines. I became drawn to Asian cuisine and how it is differentiates from different regions. Asian food is what I crave and enjoy eating the most. It helped me make that finale meal.” 

Based on colorful, fresh, seasonal produce, her dishes were vibrant and flavorful. It was a strong presentation, even if she did not make the final two.  

While she loves her signature dish, Sammi is equally as proud of the scallops dish that she presented in the Instagram challenge. She mentioned that she would definitely want to create that dish again.  

For now, Sammi can be found at Layla Bagels in LA, where she is a part owner, and she is working as a private chef. What is next for this talented chef? The future is as bright as her flavors on the plate.  

Hell’s Kitchen Season 22, which aired on FOX, can be streamed in its entirety on Hulu.