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Chef Gordon Ramsay grills choicest cut of new culinary competitors on 'Hell's Kitchen'

by jmaloni
Mon, Jun 27th 2011 01:40 pm

Season premiere airs Monday, July 18, on FOX 

Winner to receive head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City

Get ready for the heat of "Hell's Kitchen" as superstar chef Gordon Ramsay ushers in the series' red-hot ninth season with 18 new competitors Monday, July 18 (8 p.m. ET/PT) on FOX. These aspiring restaurateurs will brave Ramsay and his wrath as he once again puts the competitors through rigorous challenges to see who has the skill and passion to win a life-changing prize: a head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City.

Ramsay's culinary challenges will range from the cute and cuddly as the chefs cook a "mommy and me" meal for a room full of moms and toddlers - to the sublime as the chefs are challenged to cook using different types of beer as the basis for their recipes. The winning teams will get to enjoy a private jet to Palm Springs, Indy-car racing, a $20,000-per-night suite in Las Vegas or a four-story yacht excursion, while the losing teams will be required to decorate for a high school reunion, take delivery of and butcher an entire side of beef, create ice sculptures and put together an entire children's playground for family night.

In the season premiere, Ramsay launches the competition with the signature-dish challenge and is both impressed and disappointed right from the start. Before the dinner service can even begin, one contestant is rushed to the hospital and things go downhill quickly from there until one chef is eliminated from "Hell's Kitchen."

As the teams are whittled down, the chefs get one step closer to earning the coveted black chef jacket. Eventually two finalists will compete head-to-head to try and impress Ramsay with their skills. Only one lucky chef will walk away with the ultimate prize and fulfill their dreams as a head chef at one of the finest restaurants in America.

Below are the 18 chefs of this season's "Hell's Kitchen."

The members of the Red Team (women) include:

  • Elizabeth Bianchi, 27, a line cook from New York City. Her signature dish is pan-roasted quail.
  • Natalie Blake, 23, a sous chef from Harrodsburg, Ky. Her signature dish is lamb chops.
  • Amanda Colello, 26, a personal chef from Sun City, Calif. Her signature dish is eggplant rollatini with creamy polenta.
  • Jamie Gregorich, 24, a sous chef from Bradenton, Fla. Her signature dish is a lollipop lamb chop with red onion confiture.
  • Carrie Keep, 31, a pantry chef from Dallas. Her signature dish is chicken-fried rib eye with Yukon mashed potatoes and white truffle cream gravy.
  • Gina Melcher, 34, a restaurant consultant from Cape May, N.J. Her signature dish is pistachio scallops.
  • Jennifer Normant, 34, a chef de cuisine from Boston. Her signature dish is special secret pork with mashed sweet potatoes.
  • Krupa Patel, 30, a private chef from Queens. Her signature dish stuffed naan with cilantro chutney.
  • Elise Wims, 26, a line cook from Pittsburgh. Her signature dish is pesto-seared scallops with sautéed escarole.

The members of the Blue Team (men) include:

  • Chino Chang, 39, an executive chef from Hatboro, Pa. His signature dish is Korean BBQ beef.
  • Brendan Heavey, 31, a head chef from Hoboken, N.J. His signature dish is salmon with basil cream sauce.
  • Monterray Keys, 34, a line cook from Darby, Pa. His signature dish is pan-seared sea bass.
  • Will Lustberg, 31, a sous chef from Jersey City, N.J. His signature dish is sheep's milk ricotta gnudi.
  • Paul Niedermann, 26, a junior sous chef from Davie, Fla. His signature dish is eggplant involtini.
  • Steven Paluba, 44, a sauté chef from Ridge, N.Y. His signature dish is seared diver scallops with wild mushroom risotto.
  • Jonathon Plumley, 34, a head cook from Memphis. His signature dish is punch-drunk chicken.
  • Tommy Stevens, 31, a line cook from Brewster, N.Y. His signature dish is toasted coconut crab cake.
  • Jason Zepaltas, 29, a line cook from Chicago. His signature dish is pork tacos.

"Hell's Kitchen" is produced by ITV Studios America in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Ramsay serve as executive producers. Become a fan of "Hell's Kitchen" on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hellskitchen and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hellskitchenonfox (@hellskitchenonfox).

Owned by Jimmy Haber and Keith Treyball, BLT Steak is overseen by BLT Restaurant Group, a division of parent company ESquared Hospitality. Renowned for its high-quality food and service, BLT Steak first introduced diners to the modern American steakhouse in 2004 with the flagship BLT Steak in New York City. Since then, 10 additional BLT Steak restaurants have opened in Washington, D.C. (2006); San Juan (2006); White Plains, N.Y. (2007); Los Angeles (2008); Scottsdale, Ariz. (2008); Atlanta (2009); Miami (2009); Hong Kong (2009); Charlotte (2009); and Waikiki (2009). For more information about BLT Steak, visit www.e2hospitality.com or www.esquaredhospitality.com.

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