Gordon Ramsay Weighs In on the Rookies & Vets of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ Season 18

HELL'S KITCHEN - Gordon Ramsay - HELL'S KITCHEN: Host / chef Gordon Ramsay (C) in the
Patrick Wymore/FOX

After 17-plus seasons, the motivated chefs of Hell’s Kitchen are still cooking their hearts out to please demanding boss Gordon Ramsay (and win a $250,000 gig at the very first Hell’s Kitchen restaurant).

This time, the top chef has changed things up by inviting back HK losers to face rookies. Ramsay offers his take.

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The rookies are holding their own with the vets. How do you rate these first-time competitors?

Gordon Ramsay: They’re a little edgy, a little bit rough. Hell’s Kitchen is about discovering that next tier of culinary magic across America.

Which returnee has surprised you the most?

Bret Hauser, who left the competition early on last time with a severe back injury. It’s been nice to see him develop and grow stronger.

HELL"S KITCHEN: Contestant Bret in the “Hell Freezes Over” episode of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Friday, Oct. 19 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. © 2018 FOX Broadcasting. CR: Patrick Wymore / FOX.

Contestant Bret Hauser

After all these years, what’s the dish you can’t forget?

Christina Wilson, the Season 10 winner, cooked the most amazing venison served on a bed of braised cabbage with smoked bacon done with a puree of parsnips. It was breathtaking. She’s now the executive chef for the Gordon Ramsay Group in the U.S.

Is there a dish your wannabe employees keep messing up?

Rack of lamb! Do you know how many times I could put the f****ing rack of lamb back in the field with fur on it? The lamb needs to be seared, then you rest it for as long as you cooked it.

This season, you’re as angry and volatile as always, but on MasterChef Junior, you’re a pussycat. Which is the real Gordon Ramsay?

That’s a good question! I’m a dad with four amazing young kids who I’m very honest with. [The difference is] that MasterChef Junior is a confidence-booster for young kids to cook with no fear, and Hell’s Kitchen is a culinary boot camp that pushes professionals to the absolute extreme.

Tell us about this week’s pivotal episode.

All you need is one or two individuals from each team to screw up at service and the whole thing comes to a halt. I had to resurrect our reputation in front of customers [only a few feet] away! I don’t like that, so I switched things up for the rest of the season.

Hell’s Kitchen, Friday, October 19, 9/8c, Fox