Characters / Hell's Kitchen

Warning: Contestants are listed in order, starting with the winners (or in alphabetical order if the season is still in progress). Spoilers will be unmarked.

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Gordon Ramsay

Head Chef, all seasons
"YOU FUCKING DONKEY!"

  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Sometimes he gets so angry that he forgets how to pronounce words, a notable example coming from Season 8's third dinner service.
    Gordon: What? I've got three on or-DAAAAAAAAAAHR!!
  • Actually Pretty Funny: As long as it's not during service, Gordon will usually laugh at the contestant's jokes or antics, usually during challenges. The one time he actually found something funny during service was when Jean Philippe told him there was a language barrier between him and Van because Van was from Texas.
  • Badass: Obviously. Ramsay is not only a great chef, but he is an intimidating presence in the kitchen.
    • Cultured Badass: It's a requirement to be a chef of course; he knows a lot about cooking and the culture associated with it.
    • Badass Armfold: This is the pose he takes in every season's opening and every episode's elimination for a portion of it.
  • Berserk Button: He has several, as you might expect with his Hair-Trigger Temper in the kitchen.
    • Don't lie to him, don't talk over or talk back to him, and don't disrespect him. Even customers who do that aren't above his anger (patrons who have a problem should talk to the Maître, since that's his job).
    • Bringing up overcooked food will get him annoyed, but bringing up undercooked food makes him furious in direct proportion to how badly it's undercooked, since undercooked food could pose a health hazard.
    • During special nights like Family Night or charity dinners, he gets angrier than usual when chefs screw up because it's a special night and he expects more from tham.
    • Every year, during the opening signature dish challenges, someone makes the mistake of using ingredients from a can/jar. Ramsay will often refuse to taste the dish and just give them the lowest score he can.
  • Brutally Honest: One of his signature traits but it's never malicious.
  • Catch Phrase:
    • "It's RAW!!!!!!!" Said in response to what you'd expect.
    • "Hey, all of you! Come here!" when something brought up to the pass is unacceptable. Usually followed by "touch that" or "taste that" where he orders the chefs to do so and tell him the problem with the dish.
    • "GET OUT!" when throwing chefs out of the kitchen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Ramsay has a very dry wit and unleashes it regularly.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Invoked by Ramsay every time a cook laughs mid-tirade.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Unless he's providing constructive criticism in the kitchen, he's this.
    • Sink-or-Swim Mentor: In some ways, this is part of Chef Ramsay's modus operandi in the kitchen. While he does insult chefs when they screw up cooking food or aren't working as a team, he does it to encourage them by getting them to show backbone and improve as chefs and not make the same mistake again.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Gordon is a TOTAL Momma's Boy, and whenever she appears on the show, he makes sure to watch his language and expects the same from the contestants. As he puts it in season 3, "Never ever swear in front of your mum".
  • Even Mean Brits Have Standards: Frequently tries to provoke the contestants but will draw the line and apologize if he feels like he's gone too far. For example, in season 5, he called Robert "Bobby," a nickname that bothered him because it reminded him of his uneasy relationship with his father. As a result, Robert copped a bit of an attitude and performed poorly that night. Robert later explained it to Chef Ramsay, who, having endured an abusive father himself, was very understanding. Chef Ramsay apologized and promised to never call Robert "Bobby" again.
  • Flat "What.": There's more then a few occasions when this is the only reaction he has to give.
  • Formerly Fat: Used to be fat, but lost weight in order to be a better chef. Puts a new light on all the times he's insulted the contestants' weight.
  • Friend to All Children: He always reins in his temper and language as much as he can when he's serving kids and is incredibly friendly to them.
  • Grumpy Old Man: He often acts very gruff and moody in the kitchen once the fuckups start.
  • Hypocrite: Warned Nilka not to curse in the kitchen because there were children in the dining room. Watch the episode, and count the number of times he swears in front of them. JP actually had to tell the children not to repeat what they heard from Chef Ramsay.
  • Jerkass: In the kitchen, he is a screaming, yelling, short-tempered boss who will throw you out of the competition then and there if you make too many wrong moves.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Outside the kitchen, he's comparatively soft-spoken, polite, and friendly. He demands to be called "Chef" during the competition, but during rewards where he joins the winning team, he asks to be called "Gordon." He regularly arranges special dinners for firemen, law enforcement, military personnel as well as charity organizations and gets particularly upset when chefs screw up on those services. Overall, he lets the chefs know when they do an excellent job on a challenge or dish, and it isn't uncommon for him to single out particularly good chefs for compliments.
  • Large Ham: You think your boss shouts? You haven't seen Chef Ramsay in the kitchen when someone brings up raw food.
  • Mean Boss: During dinner services, he's a foul-mouthed hothead who will continuously insult his fellow chefs whenever they screw up.
  • The Mean Brit: One of the most legendary examples out there. It's so legendary due to this show that a Guru working in a monastery in India (In one of Ramsay's spinoff shows Gordon's Great Escape) told him he should consider calming down, by becoming a vegetarian no less.
  • Momma's Boy: Gordon doesn't hide the fact that he adores his mum, calling her macaroni and cheese his favorite dish ever and even reining in his foul mouth around her as well as making the contestants do likewise when she shows up.
  • One of Us: In-universe. Sophisticated chef he may be, he also appreciates simple dishes as well. He's taken the contestants to some pretty cheap joints that served good food. In interviews, he's mentioned his love for In-n-Out burgers.
  • Papa Wolf: Whenever his family is in the dining room, GOD HELP YOU if you screw up their order. Season 8's Vinny and season 11's Ray found this out firsthand.
    • This extends to the families of his sous chefs, as well. Season 11's blue team, fresh off screwing up an order for his family, felt his wrath even more when they tried to serve sous chef James' pregnant wife uncooked chicken.
    • And to the families of his maître d's. Chef Ramsay kicked season 15's red team out of the kitchen after they continually screwed up the order for Marino's family.
  • The Power of Friendship: Is very big on teamwork and communication. When three or four chefs are working on separate dishes that have to be cooked and timed to be ready to send out together, it's required to be a good chef.
    • That said, he doesn't care if the contestants hate each other, but he expects them to put their personal problems aside during service.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite his tendency to yell and insult the chefs, he is this. He listens to the nominations and why people up for elimination think they should stay and sometimes asks other chefs on the team that nominated what they think. If there is a major concern that needs addressing (Like when Robert from Season 5's Berserk Button was pressed.), he takes the chef aside and finds out the source in a respectful manner.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: It's not at all uncommon for Ramsay to circumvent the typical rules of the show, because he's the boss and he has free rein to do as he likes. Examples include sending chefs home during service if they're particularly bad, sending home chefs that aren't nominated by their teams, and giving both teams a point or denying them both a point in challenges. When it comes time to elimination, he's even liable to eliminate someone from the winning team if he thinks it's time for them to go, and will let the losing team off the hook. On the rare occasion both teams perform well that night, he rewards them by not eliminating anyone, though that usually open happens once a season..
  • Self-Made Man: Built his worldwide culinary empire from the ground up.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Chef Ramsay swears a lot during service to the point that at least 50-75% of what he says involves the words fuck or shit.
  • Supreme Chef: Definitely one of the top chefs in England, if not the world. Anytime he does the "Taste it now Make It" challenge, everyone loves his food.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: Whenever he ends up having to kick both teams out of the kitchen or when they're just screwing up really badly after the first couple of services.
  • Tranquil Fury: When Joseph was getting in his face and swearing at him, Chef Ramsay refused to stoop to his level; he (relatively) calmly told Joseph that he had no respect and to get out.
    • When he's so pissed off for whatever reason (usually because the teams did such a horrible job), he resorts to this and it's terrifying.
    • The most memorable occasion was during Season 3 for Melissa's Sweet 16 when the Red Team gave him an overcooked duck breast and nothing else, he ripped them a new one after Melissa and her mother left and ended it with "GET.OUT.MY.SIGHT" while wearing a calm expression.
  • Troll: Ramsay loves to have fun at the expense of the other chefs.
    • In one season, Ramsay took aside a contestant during the signature dish challenge and began making out with her. The other chefs, who know Ramsay is married, were stunned. Turns out it was just his wife undercover, and Ramsay was having some fun.
    • The various ways he has the contestants woken up at least Once Per Season. Usually it involves loud noises, bright lights, and people rushing into the room shouting at them to hurry and get dressed.
    • Every so often, when he tells a contestant to take off their jacket (which usually precedes an elimination) he gives them a new one for the opposite team, congratulates them for making it to the black team and hands them a black jacket, or gives them a new jacket simply because the one they were wearing was filthy.
    • And in episode 3 of Season 4, he had a load of live chickens released into the dorms, and ordered the contestants to catch them and bring them down to the kitchen. Once they were all assembled, he strongly implied that they would have to slaughter the chickens themselves, and prepared to slice one's head off right in front of them, much to the discomfort of the contestants. This wasn't the case however, and the contestants got freshly plucked hens for the morning's challenge.
    • In the Season 5 finale after dinner services, he announced that the winner... lived in Florida. Paula's jaw dropped as she exclaimed to the Confession Cam "Oh my God! That's me! I live in Florida!" Then she frowned, as she quickly remembered that so did Danny.
    • Similarly, in the Season 10 finale, Chef Ramsay declared that he would try something different and announce the winner right at the end of dinner service. "The winner of Hell's Kitchen is...Tavon!" (the first contestant eliminated that season, and long forgotten.)
    • Often, after a dish has been delivered to the pass, he will intensely shout at the contestant who cooked that dish in an angry tone, sending a feel of dread through their bodies, only to follow up by saying the dish is cooked beautifully, his voice mellowing significantly.
    • Episode 13 of Season 6, starting with the Mini-Gordon and ending with the vegetarian dish challenge that required each contestant to serve 80 portions of food... to children. Gordon just has a huge grin on his face the entire time because it's that much fun for him.
    • The season finale of Season 8, Chef Ramsay tells the finalists they have to parachute jump into the final challenge. Nona is prepared to do it when Chef Ramsay, with a big grin on his face, quickly tells the group he was kidding.
    • This side of him came through a couple of times in episode 14 of Season 12. In the lead-up to the blind taste test challenge, he gave the contestants some sample foods which looked delicious... and had a huge grin on his face when he saw their repulsed reactions to how awful they were. The second time happened just at the end of that night's service. He called all of the blue team over to the pass after a Wellington had been delivered. Usually, this is a very bad thing indeed as he wants to show everyone that someone among them has REALLY screwed up... but instead he shows them all that the Wellington was beautifully cooked and congratulates the blue team on one of the best services so far.
    • Season 14, he opens the first episode by greeting the chefs on the roof of the building with a stunt airbag below, kicks a ladder down to them, and invites them to come up to the roof and jump off. After a couple of chefs do it, the others begin to get over their fears and volunteer, only for Ramsay to reveal the first two were professional stunt people, and he calls the actual contestants insane.
    • In Season 15, with six chefs left (the usual point at which they merge into one team and get the black jackets), Ramsay unveils a blast jacket display to them, and has gifts brought out for each chef, a silver box wrapped in black ribbon. The excited chefs open the gifts to reveal... straightjackets. A grinning Ramsay lampshades "not quite the jackets you were expecting, yes?"
  • Verbal Tic: He says "Yes?" at the end of sentences when he says or asks for things from the chefs. For example, "Let's get x food cooked, yes?" He also says "Let's go" when prompting someone to do something. "Let's go, yes?" is common too.

Scott Leibfried

Blue and Black team sous chef, Seasons 1-10
"We don't have any fucking chicken, we don't have any more wellingtons, we don't have any fucking lettuce... we haven't served any food, how can we be out of anything?!"

  • Badass: There's a reason he's Chef Gordon Ramsay's right hand man.
    • Badass Armfold: He does as good a job at it as Chef Ramsay.
    • His smackdown of Benjamin in Season 7 is the crowning example. Benjamin made the mistake of reading out the order after Chef Ramsay left the kitchen briefly and Scott was left in charge. Scott immediately ripped him a new one and outright screamed in his face to never try to take his place again.
    • He also ripped the Blue Team in Season One a new one when Andrew's caught trying to tape a door with a lock code on it so they don't have to keep putting the code in and then makes the punishment even worse by only allowing them to get one thing at a time.
  • Bald of Awesome: Lampshaded in the first episode of Season 10, where he reveals that he can still grow a full head of hair if he wants to, but people take him more seriously with his head shaved.
  • Berserk Button: Hates losing teams that try to escape their punishments, as well as contestants who try to take control of the kitchen whenever Ramsay's not around.
    • He got really pissed at Andrea when she got to temporarily run the kitchen and constantly criticized his work endlessly due to overconfidence and expecting all of his dishes to be sabotaged instead of just one or two dishes. It got to the point that he actually insulted and threatened her and thanked Chef Ramsay with relief when he took over again.
  • Blatant Lies: When he's sabotaging dishes to test contestants on quality control, he answers with this and it is hilarious.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Even moreso than Chef Ramsay himself.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: During prep and service, he's a very tough and firm sous chef who will rip anyone who deserves it a new one just as bad as Chef Ramsay will, but he's generally pretty affable and polite to the Blue Team and praises them when they're doing well.
  • Put on a Bus: Was unable to return from Season 11 onwards due to taking the position of corporate chef at Mick Fleetwood's Maui restaurant.
  • The Reliable One: As a sous chef, he has to be this and always shows that he can be counted on by Gordon and by the Blue Team when needed. He along with Gordon and Andi successfully completed services when a team was so terrible they had to be kicked out from Season 7 onwards.

MaryAnn Salcedo

Red team sous chef, Seasons 1-3
"What was that? What did you just say? I want you to say it louder!"

  • Badass: She didn't have as much chance to show it as Scott or future sous chefs, but she was definitely a badass. She once overheard a contestant badmouthing Chef Ramsay and forced him to repeat it in front of him.
  • Old Shame: Despite being one of the more popular sous chefs, in the years since leaving she's revealed that she actually hated working on the show due to the general inexperience of the contestants in earlier seasons, and only really took the sous chef's role in exchange for Ramsay helping her set up her own restaurant. On the other hand, she did say that she'd probably be a lot happier working on the show nowadays, since only chefs with a minimum of two years of professional experience are allowed to enter.
  • The Pete Best: Left after the third season, just as the show was starting to become more popular.

Gloria Felix

Red team sous chef, Seasons 4-5
"Wake up! Are you sleeping?!"

  • Put on a Bus: Was supposed to remain in her role for Seasons 6 and 7, but either quit or was fired at a late stage.
  • The Silent Bob: Very rarely said or did anything of note while on the show, and usually just stood by the pass looking vaguely annoyed.

Andi van Willigan

Red team sous chef, Seasons 7-14 and 16-present
"You have such a fucking attitude! Why don't you take a walk?"

  • Badass: Without a shadow of a doubt the most popular of the four female sous chefs, and a strong rival to Scott as the most popular sous chef overall.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Unlike Scott or Ramsay, Andi tends to be the quieter of the brigade; stoic but rarely shouts. Until you get her mad. Oh boy. In the few instances she's become annoyed, she'd easily give Scott a run for his money, as season 12's Anton can attest.
  • Character Focus: Since Scott Liebfried left after Season 10, Andi has been getting more focus out of herself and Sous Chef James. During black team services, she's usually the one helping out Chef Ramsay on service and helping test the chefs when they get to run the pass.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Gets a noticeable amount of screentime in Season 12, arguably more so than Scott did during his time. She tells the red team her Hidden Depths (see below) during one of their punishments, gives Anton a smackdown, escorts a winning black jacket contestant to their reward, and tries to convince Joy from quitting in the middle of an on-going service.
  • Deadpan Snarker: She doesn't have many moments, but she can snark with the best of them.
  • Hidden Depths: She reveals in Season 12 to the Red Team that she knows it can be incredibly hard to be a woman in the chef field, not least of all due to the long work hours, and that she was a workaholic in her 20s so she could not have to work so extremely hard in her 30s. She's also stated that she's not opposed to marriage or kids, she's just really busy with her career.
    • In Season 15, she's revealed to have gotten married.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: She's often polite to the chefs and she always keeps an eye on them to make sure everything runs smoothly and if it doesn't, she quickly fixes the problem, like when she kicked Tiffany out in Season 10.
  • Nice Girl: Despite her quietness, she's always happy to give good advice to the chefs if they ask for it.
  • The Reliable One: As a sous chef, she has to be this (She wouldn't be working with Gordon Ramsay if she wasn't.) and if it gets too bad, she usually along with Scott (Seasons 7-10) or James (Seasons 11-Present) and Chef Ramsay finish service. During the finals, she always helps out the finalist leading the Red Kitchen with their menu as well as the final service and ripping one of the chefs a new one if need be.
  • The Stoic: Her facial expression rarely changes and she is rather quiet.
    • Not So Stoic: But when she gets mad or annoyed, she won't hold back. See Beware the Quiet Ones.
    • During punishments, she can be a lot more friendly and lighthearted and smile a little.

James Avery

Blue team sous chef, Seasons 11-14
"You guys fucking disgust me! I'm embarrassed to be a part of this."

  • Bald of Awesome: A little more subdued than Scott, but still more than capable of chewing the contestants out, not least when one of them tried to serve raw chicken to his pregnant wife.
  • The Gadfly: During punishments that involve the blue team eating or drinking something really horrible, he often has a huge grin on his face.
  • Hidden Depths: Along with Andi, he revealed that he's had to make a lot of sacrifices to be a chef and be as successful as he had and that it's really hard to balance work and his personal life with his wife and kids.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Like Scott, he's big, bald, and someone who you definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of.
  • Put on a Bus: Is not on season 15.

Aaron Mitrano

Blue team sous chef, Seasons 15-present

Jean-Philippe Susilovic

Maître d', Seasons 1-7 and 11-12
"Good evening, welcome to Hell's Kitchen."

  • Adorkable
  • Berserk Button: He really doesn't like Francisco, the party planner.
  • Butt Monkey: Often has to deal with irritated customers due to the failures in the kitchen and the Epic Fail of some of the contestants. That and Chef Ramsay loves picking on him. Fully morphed into this when he was forced to sumo wrestle with Ramsay.
  • Camp Straight: Often mistaken for Camp Gay by viewers and even some of the contestants, but he confirmed to being heterosexual when indirectly questioned by season 7's red team, and can occasionally be seen flirting with female diners.
  • Commuting on a Bus: Didn't appear from Season 8 until Season 11. It turned out that he was busy opening Gordon's restaurant Petrus. He then returned for Seasons 11 and 12, only to leave AGAIN for Season 13.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While not a moron per say, he's often seen as a soft, uptight Funny Foreigner. But he's actually more Badass than most people think. It's one thing to know that the errors you made in the kitchen are going to lead to several unhappy customers. It's another to have to actually deal with said customers for each and every error. Throughout 8 entire seasons. And he does it all with a smile on his face. Even Chef Ramsay acknowledges this from time to time and berates the cooks for putting him through such grief.
    • And let's not forget, it takes a strong person to work with Chef Ramsay (and his temper) for as many years as he has.
    • Beware the Nice Ones: There are times where people push him too far, and he pushes back. One of the best examples of this is his tussle with Van at the beginning of season 6.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He doesn't get as many moments as Chef Ramsay does, but he gets many moments to shine, like during a punishment in Season 3 where Josh asked him for help with how to use a machine.
    J.P: Well first, it doesn't run on solar power, it runs on electricity.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Is very polite to all the contestants, even though their flubs in the kitchen cause him a lot of grief. There's also him having to deal with angry, rude customers with a polite smile. And let's not forget Chef Ramsay constantly picking on him, but he takes it all in good stride. But of course, even he has his limits.
  • Foil: To Chef Ramsay. They're basically polar opposites. But are both heavily invested in the restaurant business and have a good repertoire with each other.
  • Funny Foreigner: Belgian. Something Chef Ramsay constantly makes fun of him for.
  • Genre Savvy: If there's anyone who knows how Chef Ramsay works, it's JP. He sometimes encourages cooks to not give up, saying that he is just trying to bring out the best in them and is expecting them to fight back.
  • He's Back: When he returned for the start of Season 11, Gordon asked him where he'd been for the last three years.
  • Plucky Comic Relief
  • Stealth Insult: He's been known to occasionally insult both contestants and guests but being polite about it-for instance, he called out a guest in Season 1 for being "an interesting jerk" and patronised him behind his back to Elsie and stated "Ladies first" to Van after their little blowup.
  • The Reliable One: As the Maître d, he runs the entire dining room and you never hear any complaints about the dining room service outside of when a chef is a waiter. He's been described as one of the best Maître d's in the world by Chef Ramsay.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Ramsay makes fun of him quite a bit, and throws a few insults his way as well. But JP takes it in good heart and know that Ramsay means well. They have been working together since 1995 after all. They both play practical jokes with each other a lot too.
    • Chef Ramsay admitted a few times to having a lot of respect for him. He once described JP to Season 11 contestants as one of the best Maître d's in the world.

James Lukanik

Maître d', Seasons 8-10
"Everybody's really happy, apart from your family, chef."

Marino Monferrato

Maître d', Seasons 13-present
"Si, chef?"

  • Ascended Extra: Appeared as a challenge judge in Season 11, before taking over as the show's maître d' two seasons later.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Almost never swears, which makes the following quote upon seeing a raw snapper made out to the dining room even funnier:
    "Oh, minga (Italian for "fuck")! That's...that's no good at all."

Jason Thompson->Narrator, Seasons 1-12, 15-present

"And now, the continuation of Hell's Kitchen."

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Characters/HellsKitchen