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who won hells kitchen 1

who won hells kitchen 1

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After a formidable run on "Hell's Kitchen," Marblehead Chowder House sous chef Heather Williams fell short of winning the Fox cooking competition in Thursday's season finale. Host Gordon Ramsay named her opponent, Kimberly-Ann Ryan of Michigan (who went by "Ryan), as the winner of season 16 of "Hell's Kitchen." Williams, the Easton chef who had surpassed 16 other competitors to make to the final two, just missed the show's grand prize, the job of head chef at Yardbird Southern Table and Bar at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas. "I have no regrets," she said after the result was revealed. For the finale, Williams packed about 100 friends, family, supporters and some former competitors into the Buffalo Wild Wings off Route 248 in Lower Nazareth Township. Many sported red t-shirts featuring Williams' photo and the phrase, "There's Always an Angel in Hell's Kitchen." As the episode aired, the hometown crowd cheered enthusiastically for Williams throughout, and occasionally yelled obscenities at her opponent on screen. Monica Fusco, whose son attended preschool with Williams' son Logan, said her friend didn't change her personality onscreen. "How she is on the show is how she is," Fusco said. "She's a spitfire." Former competitors Aziza Young of Harrisburg, Pat Tortorello of Belleville, N.J., and Kimberly Roth, who had made it to the final five, were on hand at Buffalo Wild Wings. Roth drove five hours from Rochester, N.Y., to support her one-time adversary. "She was one of my best friends since we started the show," Roth said. Williams started the final episode feeling self-assured. "I'm gonna snap her like a twig," she said of her opponent in the episode's opening minutes. "I don't see Ryan as competition." In the initial challenge, the two finalists had 60 minutes to prepare an appetizer and three entrees. The winner of each round, determined by a series of high profile chefs, of the challenge got to choose the former "Hell's Kitchen" competitors who would help them in the season's final dinner service. Williams ended up winning three of the four rounds, choosing Roth, Shaina Hayden, Devin Simpson and Andrew Pearce, with whom she'd formed a cuddly relationship throughout the competition. "I'm really happy I kicked her butt with three of four dishes," Williams said after the episode, adding that she valued the praise from acclaimed chefs. Williams faced doubt from some corners, though. "Heather doesn't deserve to be in the finals," said Heidi Parent, who had just missed the finale when she was sent home after making the top three. When the dining service started, both chefs ran into roadblocks. Williams appeared overambitious by preparing too much food at once. "Get a grip," Ramsay implored her. But the team continued to flag. Ramsay took her aside to encourage her to take control of the team, prompting her to switch up the team's assignments. "I need my team to step it up," Williams said. "They are so much better than the quality and the timing they're giving me." Ryan faced struggles of her own. But in the end, Williams hit too many snags in dinner service to claim the "Hell's Kitchen" title. Nonetheless, she won praise from Ramsay for her consistency throughout the competition. Williams said she went into "Hell's Kitchen" as someone who often second-guessed her abilities in the kitchen. But she knew she had to give her all if she was going to leave her young son Logan for several weeks to be on a TV show. Williams resolved not to doubt herself and to approach each challenge with confidence. The new mindset clearly paid off, carrying her from a field of 18 contestants to the show's final two. Williams proved herself a worthy competitor from the season's first episode, when she wowed Ramsay with a signature dish. Week by week, Williams excelled in challenges, winning several prizes that included a trip to Las Vegas. Ramsay noticed her growth, remarking when he invited her to the finale that she had only gotten stronger and stronger throughout the competition. Along with the pressures of competing, Williams encountered some personal drama on "Hell's Kitchen." After Williams got cozy with Pearce, she discovered that he was engaged. Williams insists that she didn't know about Pearce's fiancee when their flirtation started. If Williams had come out on top, she would have been the second chef from the Lehigh Valley triumph in "Hell's Kitchen," following Phillipsburg resident Christina Wilson's win in season 10. Despite not landing the ultimate goal, Williams was happy with her experience. "I made it to the finale," Williams said in the episode. "So I'm proud of myself and I'm proud of the job that I've done." Andrew Doerfler may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @adoerfler or on Facebook.

A night of excitement surrounding a talented local chef who made it to the Hell's Kitchen finale.This year, the show on Fox actually had two Michigan chefs.Aaron Smock of Frankenmuth was eliminated early on, but Kim Ryan, who went by Chef Ryan on the show, seared her way to the final two and won this season's Hell’s Kitchen.Katie Boomgaard joined Chef Ryan at a viewing party at The Parlor in Traverse City.It was such an exciting night for friends, family, locals and of course the winner of Hell's Kitchen, Chef Kim Ryan. “I'm happy to make Traverse City proud.”And that she did. Chef Ryan has come a long way, starting off her career at the Cook’s House in Traverse City.“I couldn't of asked for anywhere better to start, and they just got my foot in the door.”Then it was off and running, taking a chance and making waves on Hell's Kitchen.“My goal was to just not be the first one home. About half way through I just kept getting better and pushing myself,” explains Chef Ryan.Thursday night, Chef Ryan was surrounded by local love and support.“Started watching it from the very beginning of the season and I picked her out in the beginning and I said she's a local, she's amazing,” says supporter Jeannie Stevenson. Chef Ryan says, “Thank you everyone for being here and supporting me. This has been, I'm still speechless.”With Chef Ramsay on her side and winning this year’s Hell's Kitchen, it's off to Vegas.“I won a job of a lifetime, I get to go learn from Chef Ramsay and his group of chefs for a year of my life,” says Chef Ryan.Chef Kim Ryan says she's not sure how long she'll be in Vegas, but she'll come back to her roots here in Northern Michigan.

Heather West won “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 2 on August 14, 2006. She was promised the executive chef position at Terra Rossa restaurant at Red Rock Resort Spa and Casino in Las Vegas. However, Heather only became senior chef, so she left and got the job of head chef at Monterey Restaurant in Long Beach, New York. Chef Ramsay on Heather’s victory: “Heather won ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ because of her determination. She stuck to what she knew best, and she controlled her kitchen from start to finish. Heather clearly has great leadership qualities. This, for a 25-year old cook, is a phenomenon. This woman is going to be a big success!”

Paul Niedermann won “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 9 on September 19, 2011. His prize was the honor of being head chef at BLT Steak in New York City. The day after his season finale aired, Niedermann began working in the kitchen full time, saying, “I feel like I’ve proven tenfold why I was chosen and why I’m capable of running a restaurant and being successful in New York City. Chef Ramsay on Paul’s victory: “Paul won tonight because he’s probably the most passionate determined chef ever to enter ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ He’ll make a great head chef because his enthusiasm is contagious. I’m so proud to hand him over to BLT Steak in New York City.”

Danny Veltri won “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 5 on May 14, 2009. He became sous chef at Fornelletto at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Originally he was supposed to be the head chef at another restaurant built at the Casino, but when he didn’t become head chef, Danny quit and began consulting. He eventually created his own catering company called, appropriately enough, Back From Hell Catering. Chef Ramsay on Danny’s victory: “Danny won ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ because in a very short period of time, he grew more than any other chef I’ve ever seen. He now has the talent, the maturity, to become a great head chef. Borgata Resort should consider themselves lucky. I know I would.”

Holli Ugalde won “Hell’s Kitchen” Season 7 on August 10, 2010. Her prize was supposed to be the position as executive chef at The Savoy in London, however she could not get a visa to work in England. Ugalde called out Fox, reportedly saying, “I don’t know if they even applied for my visa.” Ugalde accepted an undisclosed amount of cash from the network instead. She now has a job as the signature chef at B Ocean restaurant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Chef Ramsay on Holli’s victory: “Holli won because she has grown as a chef more than any other chef in ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’ At the start, she was barely noticeable. But then, she got her confidence. She emerged and there was no holding her back. I’m absolutely thrilled she’ll be working with me at the Savoy Grill in London.”