Real Time Web Analytics Foodie Gossip: Hell’s Kitchen: A Hell of a Let Down

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hell’s Kitchen: A Hell of a Let Down

Becoming a head chef is a great reward for winning “Hell’s Kitchen” and surviving the ever-so-abrasive Gordon Ramsay. Holli Ugalde, the Season 7 winner of the reality cooking-show, was ecstatic over winning the Hell’s Kitchen grand prize: to step in as head chef for the newly-remolded Savoy Grill in London.

However, that excitement quickly turned when Ugalde was told by Hell’s Kitchen representatives that she wasn’t going to London and the promised position at the Savoy was being rescinded. Gordon Ramsay put out several press releases last week announcing that Andy Cook will be stepping in as the new head chef at Savoy and that Ugalde’s visa was denied. But what doesn’t make sense: The producers have had over two years to get the visa in approved.

And the reason for the alleged visa rejection has yet to be provided. Holli Ugalde has no criminal record and has proven her unique skill-set by winning the Hell’s Kitchen competition. The HK producers claim they submitted the visa application, but Holli says that she never received paper work for the visa or heard a word from Ramsay in regards to the promised position falling through. Doesn’t something seem to be a bit off about this story?

When competing on a reality show, the winner (and audience) expects the producers to actually deliver on the publicly declared prize. What shouldn’t be expected: Producers and the world-famous chef to renege on that prize. Ramsay didn’t even bother to tell contact Ugalde himself - she only heard about her visa rejection through the public media channels. The publicity gave her all sorts of opportunities that she had to turn down because of the work she was promised. Ugalde said, "I've had my life on hold for almost two years, because I was committed to going to London."

You would think Gordon Ramsay would be outraged and find a way to ensure Holli Ugalde is fairly compensated. He has the power and the vocal capacity to fight – and the motivation. After all, Ramsay’s reputation is on the line as well. And while acting like a verbally-abusive asshole generates viewers (Gordon’s signature trait), loss of integrity is guaranteed to lose them. But I guess if any reality TV show is going to fall through on its promises, it would be Hell’s Kitchen.

It looks like Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares isn’t just about the restaurant anymore. According to The Daily Mirror, the Kitchen Nightmares’ star and executive producer has added a number of irrelevant questions to the Kitchen Nightmares contestant application. How much a contestant weighs, as well as their height, eye and hair color are just a few of the questions that have been added. But my favorites of all of them are these:
  • Have you ever had a restraining order filed against you?
  • Does your family have a history of depression?
  • Are you easily upset?

Actually, the one regarding a history of depression seems to be fair.

A friend of mine had filled out an application for Chef Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen (as a joke) and told me that they had similar questions on the application he filled out, which he thought was strange. Considering that Kitchen Nightmare’s is supposed to be focused on the restaurants and not the contestants, asking such personal questions doesn’t seem right.

Moreover, Chef Gordon Ramsay should be focused more on cleaning up his muddied image instead of adding to his laundry list of drama and evil doings.

Are those questions even legal? But then again, does he really care?

More on Gordon Ramsay and Hell's Kitchen:
The Sharks that Gordon Ramsay Killed: The Movie (warning: video contains graphic violence)
Gordon Ramsay Tossed to the Sharks (Warning: Contains graphic photo)


  1. That is terrible, She has been one of my favorite winners- She was doing this all for her young song. He really needs to step up!

  2. Totally agree Erica. Gordon Ramsay's response was a complete cop out.

  3. a similar thing happened to the guy who won the prize of being head chef at Araxi in Whistler. He came, worked for 2 weeks shucking oysters, and then quit because the promised job was not what he received.

  4. You're totally right, Adam! Apparently Hell's Kitchen renegged on Dave Levey's agreement as well (2009 winner).

  5. And also the three seasons before as well. Has HK delivered the promised prize even once?

  6. Get it together people, they only put these people on tv because they cause drama (and are of below average intelligence, that's what makes Gordo so mad). Most of these winners are more qualified to be a head chef of say... an Olive Garden, not some big fancy restaurant.

  7. Take time to read the post. It doesn't matter how qualified WE THINK THEY ARE. What DOES matter is who the judges pick for the winner - in this case it's the producers and Ramsay.

    That said, THEY pick the contestants and, from what I've heard, they don't care about cooking talant. If they know they're dealing with inexperienced cooks they shouldn't promise coveted positions to inexperienced cooks.

    Fact is: They pick the prize. They pick the winner. Stop misleading the audience.

    Do you disagree??

  8. The shows are basically scripted like Pro-Wrestling. I would guess that out of the 16 contestants there are 8 real people and 8 actors/actresses, All the other guests etc are all Holliwood people - the Restaurant is on the Stage where Tic-Tac-Dough used to be filmed for goodness sakes. Its funny but its definetley NOT real. They do Act like the prize is real though and Ramsey/Fox are real Donkeys for doing this, especially to those who believe its on the up-and-up.

  9. Everybody has enjoyed this tv show a lot. Me and my brother like this reality show a lot.

  10. Reality TV....just leave off the term "reality", it's entertainment, 95% of the show is well edited (manipulated), the outcome is prepared, etc....

  11. they should just give out a cash price and a letter of recommendation. I wouldn't care that much about what was promised if i were hollie. id just use the fact that i won to get a good job. even the runner ups are doing fine in executive chef positions around the US

  12. The questions are legal because they are considered contestants and not employees.