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Characters / Hell's Kitchen

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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.

If you are looking for characters from the Hell's Kitchen manga, see here.

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Gordon Ramsay

Head Chef, all Seasons

  • Ac CENT Upon The Wrong Syl LA Ble: Sometimes he gets so angry that he forgets how to pronounce words, a notable example coming from Season 8's third dinner service.
    Raj: Chef, we're out of the sole special...
    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. Only four times he actually found something funny during service, during Seasons 1, 5 and 6: The first was when Ralph praised Dewberry by calling him "[Scott's] diamond; my Gibraltar" to which Dewberry responded with: "I would rather you be calling me 'Brad Pitt's wife'". The second was when Michael suddenly yelled "You cook like old people fuck!" out of nowhere to his team during the first season finale. The third was when Robert split the back of his pants and continued cooking with his underwear exposed, and the fourth time was when Jean-Philippe told him there was a language barrier between him and Van because Van was from Texas.
    Gordon: (To Van and Jean-Philippe) Hey, what's the matter between you two?
    Jean Philippe: There's a language barrier.
    Gordon: What do you mean, "there's a language barrier?" He's speaking English, you dick.
    Jean Philippe: I know, but he's from Texas.
    Gordon turns away, trying to stop himself from smiling.
    • During one of Season 15's challenges, one of the contestants, Frank, made a dish with not enough potatoes in the plate, he explained he didn't want to put too much potatoes, causing Chef Ramsay to crack up.
  • Angry Chef: One of the most famous examples. He is portrayed as having a Hair-Trigger Temper, is Drill Sergeant Nasty, and never holds back in calling out the contestants for their incompetence.
  • 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 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 them.
    • 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.
    • And don't imitate him, as Boris from Season 8 learned the hard way.
    • It's worth noting that Ramsay is more angry when customers are served inedible food rather then when it's him. He can spot the mistake very easily and only he's suffering, whereas with customers they could end up eating it and get horribly sick.
    • Don't ever accuse him of trying to sabotage you in the kitchen under any circumstances. Season 4 and 18's Jen was perhaps the first to try this and was swiftly booted for it.
    • A more subtle one is any chef who shows no passion or drive in the kitchen; if you demonstrate yourself to be one of these, Ramsay will have you in his crosshairs at elimination.
    • Screwing up an order for a VIP is another way to get on Ramsay's bad side. This factored into the eliminations of Season 5's Colleen (who sent raw pastry to Tanya Steel's table) and Season 8's Vinny (who kept messing up on the lamb meant for Josiah Citrin).
  • Brutally Honest: One of his signature traits but it's never malicious.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "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. If multiple chefs have screwed up, it will be preceded by "You, you. you and you!"
    • "WAKE UP!" every time a chef loses concentration during dinner service.
  • Catchphrase Insult: "Donkey" is his most famous one, but there's also "donut," "bozo" and "muppet."
  • Cultured Badass: It's a requirement to be a chef, of course; he knows a lot about cooking and the culture associated with it.
  • 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.
  • Everyone Has 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.
    • If contestants seriously get hurt, he'll drop everything to make sure they get the proper medical attention they need, even if the service gets temporarily slowed down.
  • 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".
  • Flat "What": There are more than 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 fuck-ups 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.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: Any attractive female chef who thinks they can seduce their way into Ramsay's good graces has got another thing coming. He's married and much more interested in the girls' cooking skills than their bosoms.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: In the kitchen, he is a screaming, yelling, short-tempered boss who will not tolerate any disobedience or attitude in return, and will throw you out of the competition then and there if you make too many wrong moves. But outside the kitchen, he's a soft-spoken, polite, friendly man who likes joking with the competing chefs. In Hell's Kitchen he demands to be called "Chef" but on rewards where he joins the winning team, he prefers to be called "Gordon" and will chat with them and have fun with them. He regularly arranges special dinners for firemen, law enforcement, military personnel, and charity organizations, and will get particularly upset when chefs screw up on those services because they are special guests and the chefs should be putting in extra effort for them.
  • 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. Ramsay naturaly disagreed, but he did see the funny side of that statement.
  • 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.
  • 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's 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.
    • Season 18 had his youngest daughter Tilly celebrate her Sweet 16 at Hell's Kitchen, and when the blue team produced a raw halibut meant for her table... well, to say that Ramsay was not happy is a mild understatement.
  • Parental Substitute: In a way. Milly from Seasons 14 and 17 views Chief Ramsay as a father figure to him. Given Milly's troubled past and Ramsay showering him with kindness and (more often than not) praise, it makes sense as to why.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Whenever someone brings up particularly well-cooked food to the pass, Ramsay won't hesitate to compliment them on it. On the (admittedly rare) occasions when a chef shows consistent high skill across multiple services and challenges and makes few mistakes, Ramsay will take note of their talent and lets them know he's noticed them.
    • When a chef is seriously injured or unwell, or if they are clearly not in the game mentally and psychologically, Ramsay will show concern for them and take them aside to make sure they're alright, possibly even in the middle of service. When injury or emotional matters cause a chef to withdraw from the competition, Ramsay will send them off with kind words (if they deserve them, of course) and invites them to come back in the future for another season.
    • Sometimes, particularly when it comes down the black jacket services, Ramsay will send a chef home due to the belief they have not shown they have what it takes to run a kitchen, but if they have shown legitimate talent and passion nonetheless, he tells them so and encourages them not to give up on their career due to this setback. He may also let the chef keep their jacket as a sign of respect, also avoiding the usual disgrace of them removing and handing it back to him as part of their departure.
  • 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, sending home chefs on the winning team, and sending home more than one chef a night (though that one is very rare). During challenges where he scores performances he may refuse to even issue a score to a chef that does particularly bad, or if the challenge has chefs going head-to-head for points and they both do well, he'll give them both a point. On the rare occasion both teams perform well that night, he rewards them by not eliminating anyone, though that usually only happens once a season.
  • Self-Made Man: Built his worldwide culinary empire from the ground up.
  • 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.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Chef Ramsay swears a lot during service and eliminations, 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. Any time he does the "Taste it now Make It" challenge, everyone loves his food.
    • Sometimes both teams will screw up so badly that Gordon will dismiss them all and finish the rest of the service, the work of two full brigades, by himself.
  • 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.
  • Tantrum Throwing: He throws unsatisfactory dishes back at chefs when chewing them out.
  • Tranquil Fury: While he's infamous for his shouting and screaming most of the time, when he's really pissed, Ramsay keeps his voice relatively calm and even, and he's even more intimidating than usual when he does.
    • 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.
    • During a Season 3 wedding reception, when the Red Team gave him an overcooked duck breast and nothing else; he ripped them a new one after the bride and groom left, and ended it by wearing a calm expression and declaring, "GET. OUT. MY. SIGHT."
  • Troll: Ramsay loves to have fun at the expense of the other chefs.
    • In one season opener, Ramsay takes aside a contestant during the signature dish challenge, claiming her dish was amazing, and begins making out with her. The other chefs, who know Ramsay is Happily Married, are visibly stunned. The contestant turns out to be just his wife undercover, and Ramsay's having some fun.
      • To keep the audience in the dark, the episode even has a separate opening montage to include the fake contestant - he was trolling us, too!
    • 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 service, 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.
    • In the Season 8 finale, 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 black 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... straitjackets. 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?" and "let me tell you" is common too.

Scott Leibfried

Blue 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 Armfold: He does as good a job of it as Chef Ramsay.
  • 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. Just ask Benjamin Knack.
    • 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.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Scott was born and raised in New York City and is as much of a no-nonsense chef as Ramsay is.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Even more so than Chef Ramsay himself. He doesn't talk as much as Chef Ramsay, but when he gets angry; it's even louder.
  • 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 onward, due to taking the position of corporate chef at Mick Fleetwood's Maui restaurant.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ironically, he's the aggressive Red Oni to the other Red Team Sous Chefs, who are all more reserved Blue Onis.
  • 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 onward.
  • Trickster Mentor: When he's cooking for the black team, he would sometimes deliberately sabotage his dishes to test the sous chefs on their quality control.

MaryAnn Salcedo

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

  • Put on a Bus: Left after the third season, just as the show was starting to become more popular.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ironically, she's the calmer Blue Oni to Chef Scott's aggressive Red Oni.

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.

Heather West

Red Team sous chef, Season 6
Also Season 2 contestant
See here for tropes regarding her.

Andi van Willigan

Red Team sous chef, Seasons 7-14 and 16

  • Beware the Quiet Ones: Unlike Scott or Ramsay, Andi tends to be the quieter of the brigade; she's stoic but rarely shouts. Until you get her in Mommie Dearest-mode. 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 Chefs James and Aaron. 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 screen time 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, having an episode at Anton, giving Scott (the contestant) advice when he asks her for some, escorts a winning black jacket contestant to their reward, and tries to convince Joy from quitting in the middle of an ongoing 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 would 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. And in Season 15, she's revealed to have gotten married.
  • Not So Stoic: But when she gets mad or annoyed, she won't hold back. See Beware the Quiet Ones. And during punishments, she can be a bit friendly and lighthearted and smile a little.
  • Put on a Bus: Wasn't in Season 15 as the Sous Chef because she got married, so Christina filled in for her.
  • 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.
  • The Bus Came Back: Returns as Sous Chef in Season 16. She leaves again next season, where Christina replaces the following season onwards.
  • 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/James/Aaron 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.

James Avery

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

  • 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.
  • Put on a Bus: Left in Season 15.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Like Scott, he's big, bald, and someone who you definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Gives one to the Season 11 blue team in Episode 6 where he threatens to quit if they deliver another service like that.
  • You Look Familiar: Makes a cameo appearance on an episode of 24 Hours to Hell and Back.

Christina Wilson

Red Team sous chef, Seasons 15 and 17-present
Also Season 10 contestant
See here for tropes regarding her.

Aaron Mitrano

Blue Team sous chef, Seasons 15-16
"Will you stop with that?!"

  • Distaff Counterpart: To Gloria as both were sous chefs for 2 seasons and didn't get much screentime.
  • Out of Focus: Doesn't really get much screen time, even when compared to James before him.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Like Scott and James before him, he's a big bald man that you don't want to get on the wrong side of.

James "Jocky" Petrie

Blue Team sous chef, Seasons 17-18
"This is still bland, this is still bland."

  • Beware the Nice Ones: While for the most part he's much laid-back than his three predecessors, he didn't hesitate to call out Jen on her attitude during Season 18.
  • Hidden Depths: He showed some soccer skills during the All-Stars blue team's second reward when they competed with soccer Olympians.
  • The Stoic: Much more calm and softly-spoken compared to his three predecessors, for the most part. Though he still doesn't hesitate to call out mistakes when he sees them being made.

Jason "Jay" Santos

Blue Team sous chef, Seasons 19-present
Also Season 7 contestant
See here for tropes regarding him.

Jean-Philippe Susilovic

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

  • Berserk Button: He really doesn't like Francisco, the party planner.
  • 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.
  • 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 stayed for Seasons 11 and 12, only to leave again for Season 13.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: While not a moron per se, 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 9 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.
  • 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: He's Belgian, for which Chef Ramsay constantly makes fun of him.
  • He's Back!: When he returned for the start of Season 11, Gordon asked him where he'd been for the last three years.
  • Not So Above It All: In Season 5, he started speaking high-pitched gibberish to Lacey when she complained she never served tables before.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: In a kitchen whose staff are known for being serious, JP stands out as being more comical.
  • Politeness Judo/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 blow up.
  • 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 humor, 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."
  • Hidden Depths: Aside from being the maître d', he helps manage two successful pizzerias. In Season 17, a team challenge takes place in one.

Jason Thompson

Narrator, Seasons 1-12 and 15-present
"And now, the continuation of Hell's Kitchen."

Roger Craig Smith

Narrator, Seasons 13-14
"Next time, on Hell's Kitchen..."

Yes, that Roger Craig Smith.

  • Sucksessor: People were so used to and liked Jason Thompson's narration so much that when Roger Craig Smith replaced him in Seasons 13 and 14, people didn't like it. Jason came back in Season 15.