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The Best 'Hell's Kitchen' Winners, Ranked

Updated June 10, 2021 25.8k votes 4.2k voters 53.9k views19 items

List RulesVote up the best 'Hell's Kitchen' winners.

Who are the most successful Hell's Kitchen winners? Chef Gordon Ramsay's hit TV show, which debuted in 2005, features food professionals from a wide range of backgrounds and expertise, preparing dishes for the notoriously temperamental Ramsay. Whether they competed on the red team or blue team, it's not easy being a Hell's Kitchen chef, given the show's title is pretty apt! While all the contenders made an impression on audiences, who are the best Hell's Kitchen contestants? 

Perhaps your favorite is the original winner, season one's champion, Chef Michael Wray. Or maybe you're more into Heather West, who was the season two winner, as well as the show's first female winner. These winners are some of the most memorable Hell's Kitchen contestants either because of their attitudes, personality, or just unbelievable culinary abilities. Christina Wilson and Rock Harper are also fan-favorite winners. 

Past winners of Hell's Kitchen used their skills in the kitchen to score coveted prizes, ranging from their very own restaurants to prestigious Head Chef positions. Their signature dishes were imbued with personal style, often incorporating regional elements and adding new twists to classics. The most popular winners faced a lot of challenges along the way, from squabbles with fellow contestants to poor reviews from Ramsay himself.

Are you a fan of Ariel Malone or Scott Commings? What about the Season 17 winner Michelle Tribble, who returned after being defeated in Season 14? You'll find all the past winners below! Check out every Hell's Kitchen winner below, and then vote up your favorites!

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  • 1

    Winner: Season 10 (2012)
    Occupation: Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak (Paradise, NV)
    Signature Dish: Pork chop

  • 2
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    468

    Winner: Season 6 (2009)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Araxi Restaurant (Whistler, British Columbia)
    Signature Dish: Ostrich with pan-seared Brussels sprouts 

  • 3

    Winner: Season 18 (2019)
    Occupation: Chef de Cuisine
    Prize: Head Chef at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant at Caesars Palace (Las Vegas, NV)
    Signature Dish: Scallops with parsnip purée

  • 4
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    450

    Winner: Season 3 (2007)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Terra Verde (Henderson, NV)
    Signature Dish: Scallop and gnocchi

  • 5
    1,010
    420

    Winner: Season 2 (2006)
    Occupation: Sous Chef
    Prize: Executive Chef at Terra Rossa (Las Vegas, NV) 
    Signature Dish: Chocolate raspberry empanadas  

  • 6
    1,003
    466

    Winner: Season 14 (2015)
    Occupation: Executive Chef 
    Prize: Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Pup & Grill (Atlantic City, NJ)
    Signature Dish: Pan-seared rainbow trout

  • 7

    Winner: Season 16 (2017)
    Occupation: Event Chef 
    Prize: Head Chef at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar (Las Vegas, NV)
    Signature Dish: Seared scallops with seasoned rice crispies

  • 8

    Winner: Season 17 (2018)
    Occupation: Line Cook
    Prize: Hell's Kitchen Restaurant (Las Vegas, NV)
    Signature Dish: Huevos rancheros/scallops

  • 9

    Winner: Season 1 (2005)
    Occupation: Professional Chef
    Prize: Own restaurant (Tatou in Los Angeles, CA)
    Signature Dish: Scallops 

  • 10

    Winner: Season 5 (2009)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Sous Chef at Fornelletto (Atlantic City, NJ)
    Signature Dish: Grilled bananas

  • 11

    Winner: Season 12 (2014)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Pus & Grill (Paradise, NV)
    Signature Dish: Herb-roasted rack of lamb

  • 12

    Winner: Season 4 (2008)
    Occupation: Culinary Student
    Prize: Senior Sous Chef at London West Hollywood (Los Angeles, CA)
    Signature Dish: Not revealed, but disliked by Ramsay

  • 13

    Winner: Season 13 (2014)
    Occupation: Kitchen Supervisor 
    Prize: Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay's Pup & Grill (Atlantic City, NJ)
    Signature Dish: Grilled hickory watermelon

  • 14

    Winner: Season 19 (2021)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Hell's Kitchen Restaurant at Lake Tahoe
    Signature Dish: Yogurt-marinated chicken breast

  • 15

    Winner: Season 7 (2010)
    Occupation: Banquet Chef
    Prize: Promised Head Chef position in London, but unable to take it due to visa issues 
    Signature Dish: Halibut wrapped in a banana leaf

  • 16

    Winner: Season 15 (2016)
    Occupation: Country Club Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at BLT Steak (Las Vegas, NV)
    Signature Dish: Shakshuka

  • 17

    Winner: Season 11 (2013)
    Occupation: Executive Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Pup & Grill (Paradise, NV) 
    Signature Dish: Grilled prawns and Asian pesto

  • 18

    Winner: Season 8 (2010)
    Occupation: Sous Chef
    Prize: Head Chef at JW Marriott Hotel (Los Angeles, CA)
    Signature Dish: Fried chicken and asparagus

  • 19

    Winner: Season 9 (2011)
    Occupation: Line Cook 
    Prize: Head Chef at BLT Steak (New York City, NY)
    Signature Dish: Eggplant involtini