Twenty Aspiring Restaurateurs Brave the Heat of “Hell’s Kitchen” on the Season 12 Premiere

hells kitchenWe are so excited and ready for the next season of Hell’s Kitchen. Host, executive producer and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay welcomes 20 new competitors on the Season 12 premiere of Hell’s Kitchen airing Thursday, March 13 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. These aspiring restaurateurs will endure an intense culinary academy, including a series of grueling team challenges and dinner services to prove they possess the right combination of ingredients to win Season 12.

In the premiere episode, Chef Ramsay offers the newest batch of contestants a never-before-seen welcome: the first-ever flash mob in Hell’s Kitchen history. Then, after splitting the chefs into two teams – men (blue) vs. women (red) – Ramsay asks them to present their signature dishes in another battle of the sexes.  The twist? This time they will be cooking in front of a live audience.

Throughout the season, the contestants must prove their ability to work in teams, before Chef Ramsay determines which chefs are worthy of a black jacket. The rewards for the winners include a luxurious spa day, a surprise trip to Las Vegas and an extravagant shopping spree, while the punishments include churning ice cream, cleaning the dorms and separating trash and recyclables. As the competition progresses, the number of contestants will be narrowed down until only two chefs are left to compete for the ultimate prize: a Head Chef position at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant with a salary of a quarter of a million dollars, and the opportunity to fulfill his/her dreams of working in the culinary industry as the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.

Now….drum roll’s time to meet the 20 chefs competing on this season of Hell’s Kitchen:

The Red Team (Women) includes:

Beth Taylor

Beth Taylor  Age: 43  Hometown:  Independence, LA   Occupation:  Line Cook   Signature Dish: Pecan Crusted Catfish with Wilted Spinach andSmoked Gouda Grits –  photo left

 Bev Lazo-GonzalezBev Lazo-Gonzalez  Age: 42 Hometown: Whittier, CA Occupation: Food Truck Chef  Signature Dish: Southeast Asian-Style Fish Tacos – photo right

Jessica VogelJessica Vogel  Age: 28  Hometown: Sparta, NJ Occupation: Line Cook  Signature Dish:  Rosemary Crusted Venison Loin with Cranberry Ancho Chili Gastrique over Goat Cheese Polenta and Roasted Brussels Sprouts –  photo left

 Joy Parham-ThomasJoy Parham-Thomas  Age: 25  Hometown: Philadelphia, PA  Occupation:  Kitchen Supervisor  Signature Dish: Chilled Corn Soup –  photo right

Kashia ZollicofferKashia Zollicoffer  Age: 23  Hometown: Carthage, MS  Occupation: Line Cook  Signature Dish:  New York Strip and Blue Cheese Crab Butter with Roasted Asparagus –  photo left

Melanie FinchMelanie Finch  Age: 23  Hometown: Woodland Hills, CA  Occupation: Line Cook  Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Scallops with Mashed Lentils, Roasted Pear and Crispy Raspberry Gastrique – photo right

Nicole RutzNicole Rutz  Age: 33  Hometown: Morganville, NJ  Occupation:  Baker  Signature Dish: Halibut Filet with Squash and Tomatoes in an Herb Butter Sauce  – photo left 

Rochelle BergmanRochelle Bergman  Age: 27  Hometown: Riverside, CA  Occupation: Caterer  Signature Dish: Mushroom Chicken with Asparagus – photo right 

hk Sandra FloresSandra Flores  Age: 36  Hometown: Queens, NY  Occupation: Sous Chef  Signature Dish: Tender Cod Filet with Macadamia Nut Fig Butter and Fire-Roasted Corn with Applewood Bacon – photo left 

hk Simone HammondSimone Hammond  Age:  43  Hometown: Henderson, NV  Occupation: Buffet Cook  Signature Dish: Peach and Crab Apple Chutney Pork Chop, Cornbread Dressing with Pecans and Haricot Verts with Fig and Cranberries in a White Wine Butter Sauce – photo right

The Blue Team (Men) includes:

hk Anton TestinoAnton Testino  Age: 39  Hometown: Butler, NJ  Occupation: Head Chef  Signature Dish: Pork with Crabmeat Crust – photo left

hk Chris EversoleChris Eversole  Age: 27  Hometown: Las Vegas, NV  Occupation: Line Cook  Signature Dish: Poule Rotie – photo right 

hk Guarav NavinGuarav Navin  Age: 34  Hometown: East Stroudsburg, PA  Occupation: Head Chef  Signature Dish:  Afreen Tuna Met Komyn Parfume Pulao – photo left

hk Jason ZepaltasJason Zepaltas  Age: 31  Hometown: Chicago, IL  Occupation: Sous Chef  Signature Dish: Seared, then Braised Wild Salmon with Vegetables – photo right

hk Mike ArestaMike Aresta  Age: 38  Hometown: Keyport, NJ  Occupation: Chef Instructor  Signature Dish: Herb-Fried Tortellini with Romesco – photo left

hk Michael DeMarcoMichael DeMarco  Age: 29  Hometown: Scranton, PA  Occupation: Line Cook  Signature Dish: Ricotta Gnocchi with Roasted Tomato Creme and Sausage – photo right

hk Michael GabrielMichael Gabriel  Age: 25  Hometown: Spring, TX  Occupation: Executive Chef  Signature Dish: Stuffed Chicken Breast with Asparagus and Diced Rosemary Yukon Potatoes – photo left

hk Ralph JohnsonRalph Johnson  Age: 28  Hometown: Boston, MA  Occupation: Chef De Partie  Signature Dish: New England Lobster Dinner – photo right

hk Richard ManciniRichard Mancini  Age: 48  Hometown: Bloomingdale, IL  Occupation: Executive Chef  Signature Dish: Pan-Roasted Sea Bass with Roma Tomato and Basil Sauce over Sauteed Kale and Pancetta – photo left

hk Scott CommingsScott Commings  Age: 36  Hometown: Woodstock, IL  Occupation: Executive Chef  Signature Dish: Herb Roasted Rack of Lamb with Parsnip Puree and Sherry Jus – photo right

Are you hungry for more?  Visit Hell’s Kitchen on Facebook, @HellsKitchenFOX and @GordonRamsay

Follow the link here to watch/share the incredible opening to the most star-studded, vicious and merciless season of Hell’s Kitchen ever.




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