The 15th season of "Hell's Kitchen" came to an exciting end Friday as host and head chef Gordon Ramsay announced Ariel Malone the winner during the season finale on FOX. Malone, 27, a country club chef from Hackensack, New Jersey, earned herself a head chef position at BLT Steak at Bally's Las Vegas, a total prize value of $250,000.
"I'm living proof that hard work and believing in yourself can make dreams come true," Ariel said. "Winning 'Hell's Kitchen' is an unbelievable honor and I'm happy that I get to make a living doing what I love. With this opportunity, I'm excited to create a better life for my present and future family."
"Throughout the competition, Ariel demonstrated that she was both a leader and a true powerhouse in the kitchen," Ramsay said. "She exemplified impressive culinary skills, and proved to be creative, ambitious and quick on her feet no matter what was thrown her way. I am thrilled to see her joining the team at BLT Steak at Bally's Las Vegas."
In one of the most dramatic seasons to date, Ariel proved to be a consistent leader during dinner services. Her strong attention to detail and determined spirit earned her a spot in the finale, during which she went head-to-head with Kristin Barone, a line cook from Chicago. For the final challenge, both skillful contestants created their own menus, and lead teams of their past competitors through the most important dinner service of their lives.
Although both contestants executed outstanding dinner services, in the end, it was Ariel who was victorious. Her menu items included:
•Charred octopus with manchego croquettes, radish, red onion salad, chorizo aioli and tomato jam
•Red romaine salad with candied walnuts, dried cranberries, picked herbs, Point Reyes blue cheese, grilled asparagus, wild mushrooms, basil and white balsamic vinaigrette
•Savory cheesecake with wild mushrooms frisée, truffle soy vinaigrette, black trumpet mushrooms and pickled radishes
•Maine lobster with white and green asparagus, poached crones, roasted romanesco and lemon vinaigrette
•Grilled hanger steak with garlic, rosemary, roasted cipollini onions, fingerling potatoes and red wine sauce
•Herb garden chicken with carrot purée, English peas, mint and chicken jus
•Pan-seared sea bass with bacon-braised beet greens, roasted red beets, shaved fennel and beet salad and Tabasco lemon vinaigrette
•Pan-roasted pork chop with potato caramelized onion gratin, roasted apples, black pepper and coriander glaze
•Espresso panna cotta with lemon zest, micro mint and vanilla bean ice cream
•Pistachio sponge cake with currant rum caramel and rum raisin ice cream