The 11th season of HELL’S KITCHEN came to an exciting close as Gordon Ramsay announced Ja’Nel Witt the winner during the two-hour season finale on FOX. Witt, 31, an executive chef from Houston, TX, earned herself a “head chef” position working under Executive Chef Jeremy Berlin at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
“From the very first day in HELL’S KITCHEN, I knew this competition would be unlike anything I had ever experienced,” said Witt. “This has been a life-changing journey, winning HELL’S KITCHEN is even more proof that I made the right decision to follow my heart and turn my passion into my career.”
“Ja’Nel is an incredibly passionate chef and a strong leader, and I am thrilled that she will join our team at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill,” said Ramsay. “From the very beginning, she was determined to succeed, and I look forward to seeing her grow even more as a chef.”
Witt will bring her own style of cooking to the Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill team, recently opened in December of 2012. The lunch and dinner menus are comprised of items consistent with Gordon Ramsay’s take on authentic English pub food—bangers and mash, fish and chips and roasted chicken—as well as some of Ramsay’s favorites like bone-in beef rib-eye prepared on a wood-burning grill, all part of a rustic menu that changes seasonally. Paying homage to a true pub, the restaurant features a wide selection of craft and microbrews from around the world, offering beer enthusiasts 24 beers on tap in addition to 63 bottled beers.
Witt competed against thousands of hopefuls and was awarded an esteemed spot among the Top 20 finalists. In the end, she went head-to-head with Mary Poehnelt, a butcher from Belchertown, MA. For the final challenge, both contestants created their own menus, and were able to select and lead a team of their past competitors through the most important dinner service of their lives. The final two chefs cooked their way through an intense dinner service, but it was Witt’s inspired and creative menu and determined leadership in the kitchen that propelled her to victory.
With its 11th season split between the broadcast season and the summer, HELL’S KITCHEN has ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 entertainment program of the night among Adults 18-49 for each night it has aired this summer. HELL’S KITCHEN ranked No. 1 in its Thursday night 8:00-9:00 PM time period among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Teens. Moving to 9:00 PM, HELL’S KITCHEN currently ranks No. 2 in the hour among Adults 18-49 and No. 1 with Adults 18-34. HELL’S KITCHEN ranks among the summer’s Top 5 programs among Adults 18-49.
HELL’S KITCHEN is produced by ITV Studios America in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Gordon Ramsay serve as executive producers.
Photo Credit: Denise Truscello/WireImage