Best Hell's Kitchen Contestants

The Top Ten

Dave Levey, Season 6

Was this guy real?... The stuff he was pulling off on the show was like deep blue hero tale from some Greek epic. One handed almost throughout the season, he never screwed on the line, won a challenge over an Indian cuisine of which he had no experience and never ever gave up on his fellow team members. He was totally inspiring. I have never seen anyone like him ever on HK. I was compelled to ask, if he was so good with just 1 hand, how awesome would he be with both.?

Dave was the best chef of season 6. I think Kevin may have been a better leader though. When it comes to cooking in the kitchen Dave was a monster. He was fast, he always listened to Chef unlike Kevin in some instances. Kevin was a really good chef but Dave was just a little better despite only working with one hand so I think Dave did deserve to win. I do think Dave was a good leader too but I think Kevin was a little better. But still Dave was a slightly better cook so either of them deserved to win in season 6.

Dave is definitely the best contestant in Hell's Kitchen history. This guy only had one hand working properly, and he was still cooking like a steam train. He won tough challenges with only one hand. Overcame excruciating pain, and won Season 6. No doubt, the best chef in Hell's Kitchen. Hands down.

Dave Levey is a prodigy. The only other person who could've beat him in a competition is the one who ended up as the runner up (Kevin). Even with a broken arm he was able to make amazing food, become a great leader, and inspire everyone. No one has even SCATHED the achievements of Dave ever since. Too bad the Araxi treat him as poorly as they did. Best Chef ever.

Christina Wilson, Season 10

Christina was a badass on her season and a badass whenever she's called in as Red Kitchen sous chef. Being able to see how far she's advanced within the Gordon Ramsay Group is amazing.

The only humble woman on the red team: now, she is practically Gordon's right hand woman.

A direct copy of Gordon Ramsay: Very friendly, but stern to contestants when they have an ego.

Only one to keep her cool and not get catty! Strong person on and off T.V.. She seems to be the most successful post Hells Kitchen too!

Will Lustberg, Season 9

Will was the best chef of season 9. One thing that irritated me throughout the season was the way Paul would copy what Will said. In episode 2 when Will tells Chino and Jonathon to stop arguing Paul then also tells them to stop arguing. And in episode 11 when Natalie leaves Will tells Natalie to keep her head up and then Paul says the same thing to her. And then when Elise is arguing with Jennifer Will says that Elise is going about it all wrong and then Paul says the same thing right after. Think for yourself Paul. stop copying Will! Also I liked Will because he was a boss in the kitchen. Will was a team player. He helped Natalie, Tommy and so many people. Will was the best leader hence why everyone chose him to be the leader. Even after Paul won he even said Will was the best. Even the winner said that and for good reason. Will was robbed.

He deserve to win hell's kitchen season 9.
He is a better chef than Paul.
I don't know how chef Ramsay give Paul won.

I was SO disappointed when Paul won over Will, one of the few times I felt Chef Ramsay made the wrong call. Will was rock solid through out the competition & was never put up for elimination by his teammates. He was an outstanding chef, leader & teammate. Definitely a Hell's Kitchen All Star! (How awesome would it be if they did a season of Hell's Kitchen All Stars with former runner ups & chefs who made it to final 3 all gunning for redemption? )

They are doing an All Stars series now, but people who made it to black jackets but didn't make it to the top two are taking part, so no Will and no redemption - Aquaturtle

One of the few chefs with so much respect. Doesn't let anything personal get towards himself. No such thing as a threat to him and like he's been calling it since the first day at hells kitchen, his only real threat is himself. With a great personality like that, anybody would be glad to cook under him. Like everyone says, I kinda wished he won over Paul and felt that they just wanted to Paul to win just because they played the deceased family card.

Rahman "Rock" Harper, Season 3

He was the most competent in that season.

Are you CRAZY?!?! Rock was a beast in the kitchen, 100% deserved to win. None of the chefs in season 3 came close to matching Rock's talent!

He completely deserved to win

He showed great leadership, passion and determination! He deserved the win!

Jon Scallion, Season 11

He's a really good chef his style is amazing he could have been in the finals the only person that was amazing on the blue team

Pure injustice that he didn't win Season 11. Consistent, confident, always very calm (The only contestant that didn't get flustered at any point) The insult lies in that the winner lost her job at Caesar Palace leaving the real winner unrewarded.

Him not giving up or asking to be switched to the red team just proves who he is. I think Chef Ramsay regretted his decision by giving him Sous Chef in Gordon Ramsay steak.

While the other Season 11 Blue Kitchen chefs basically backstabbing each other, Jon on the other hand, was just staying on course (or staying on target), to earn the black jacket, finished on the final three, and got the job offer on one of the Ramsay's restaurant. He deserved my respect!

In a season where the women DOMINATED (the blue team only won 1 challenge all season) it was only right that 2 women made it to the finale. Having said that, Jon was the shining star of the blue team. Talented chef with an awesome attitude.

Michael Wray, Season 1

The Original Hell's Kitchen Champion. A very manipulative and strategic person, very intelligent, and even though he backstabbed his teammates a few times, and I was rooting for Ralph, he deserved his win because he worked smart instead of just working hard.

So consistent, never failed and dominated. He even has his own knife company. I think he was more professional than some of the other chefs throughout the seasons.

The best chef I've ever seen in hell's kitchen

Michael was a good cook shuted up and won

Heather West, Season 2

Hard to choose between heather Dave and rock for best contestant but have to give the edge to heather Dave worked harder but I think heather's natural talent was better

Cute, friendly and hard working girl.

How is she not first? Burned her hand and stayed in service, got the first apps for the red team out, never gave up. Good enough to become Sous Chef for season six - best so far!

From the first service she was in a league of her own, could see she was the winner from the start

Meghan Gill, Season 14

There was no way that she wouldn't win. She could cook and teach. And she shares my aversion to fish. And she has a sense of humour. And beautiful. She's just perfect.

The most beautiful contestant ever, and never seen such a consistent attitude ever. From the first two episodes I could see she would win, I was 99% certain the entire time. So many moments you could see she would win - For example the steak night, she had about 10-12 steaks resting at all times, then you remember Giovanni from season 5, the steak house executive, that fell flat on his face even with a helper (Robert) on his station. Meghan handled it flawlessly on her own.

Very impressive person and maybe my most favorite contestant ever, maybe after Keith from season 2 or Petrozza from season 4.

She is consistent in almost every service and a great leader. She is one of the best chefs I have ever seen on Hell's Kitchen that she should be around at least the top 20.

This is the best contestant ever in Hell's Kitchen history not one bad dinner service flawless all throughout the competition great leader has a strong passion for cooking and a strong chef. See at first I thought Jillian from season 8 was the best chef ever but when I saw Meghan I saw she was even better and an even stronger chef.

Petrozza, Season 4

Petrozza is awesome! He should have won, why does Chef keep choosing the younger contestant? ITS NOT FAIR! Petrozza deserved to win, he was very, very talented and he was kind, selfless and hardworking. Who else would you want as your chef?

Inspiring, great guy. Definitely a person people would love to work with in the kitchen. Too bad he was sabotaged by Jen in that season. Completely deserved to win.

True Chef, right here. If you had taken out the Jen incident, there wouldn't have been a competition. He was also so honest and seemed very nice.

How did he not win!?

It's never felt so painful so see a guy come SO CLOSE to winning something but just BARELY, BARELY missed it and it happened EVERY TIME. I feel sorry for the poor guy because he is bloody talented and like most fans, I too believe he was better than Christina

Agreed. That was highway robbery. Petrozza should have been the winner. Just goes to show Ramsay favors the women (see also Christina season 10).

Kevin Cottle, Season 6

Amazing guy. Had he been in pretty much any season besides Season 6 he would have won. Great chef, leader, palette, creativity, and personality.

He would have easily have defeated the winner of any other season, with the possible exception of Heather in season two. It was unfortunate that he had to compete with Dave, who was in a class by himself.

I wish they'd stop bringing him back. He crashed and burned so hard in season 18. He may have done really well the first time he competed, but I don't think he cares about Hell's Kitchen as much as he used to.

I know that Dave went through so much pain to win but Kevin just did better and had way more creativity and passion. He was the Michael of season 6. (the Michael from season 1)

The Contenders

Scott Commings, Season 12

Shined exactly the moment he needed to. Really deserved that win

He wasn't always consistent but he did make a comeback. His comeback is definitely due to his willing to learn which was on show when he asked Chef Andi how to deal with Chef Ramsay's lashings. He had determination and passion and truly came back from a rocky path.

I can't even begin to go into how much I don't want to vote for Scott. I thought he was an absolutely ridiculous competitor the entire competition, and I didn't think he'd even make it past the final ten. But honestly, I'm glad he won, he had the single biggest comeback I've ever seen on Hell's Kitchen, and, although I personally was rooting for Jason for most of the season, I can definitely say he was deserving.

He had a really rough start, but now he's made a comeback and is in the final 2. Like Gordon Ramsay has said, it's not how you start, it's how you finish.

Paula DaSilva, Season 5

She took her defeat in the finals the best out of all the runner ups of the show. Plus, she's very talented, has a great attitude, and is an amazing chef overall. Definitely one of the best contestants on the show.

She was just perfect as it comes to cooking, having always delivered in the highest standard. She might not have been maybe the most exciting or extravangant, but in my opinion the best COOK in HK. Also very intelligent, friendly, hard-working, funny and beautiful. Ramsay did see that and I think she was one of his all-time favourites contestants.

I think Season 5 might be the only season I disagree on the choice of the winner. During most of the season, Paula had better services than Ramsey and she also made a lot less mistakes than Danny overall. Her lone elimination nomination wasn't really one.

Paula is amazing, yea Danny is great but he was not as talented as Paula, why she didn't win I have no idea.

Kimberly Ann Ryan, Season 16

She's genuinely my favourite, she rarely made mistakes throughout her whole stay! She was easily the winner of that season from day 1

I knew from the very start Ryan was going to win, she had all the qualities needed to be a head chef. She was carrying every team she was on Red, Blue and Black. What I love most is how she found her voice. I am so happy she is a head chef.

She consistently won challenges and rarely if ever messed up on the line. She had personality and style and masterful technique. She is a master of the kitchen, and should be regarded as one of the greatest, easily up there with Dave and Christina.

An absolute legend in Hell's Kitchen. Nearly flawless since day 1, Ryan is a force to be reckoned with!

Robert Hesse, Seasons 5 & 6

This guy has a heart of gold, he's humourous and he's very talented. Especially considering Ramsay's hatred towards fat chefs

He was great during Season 5, but he was awful during Season 6.

He is so nice but in season 5 he was a hero and in season 6 he went to zero.

THANK GOD he isn't another Jimmy from Season 1

Ja'Nel Witt, Season 11

A lot was said about Ja'Nel losing the prize position, but she was flawless on her season and was usually the reason the Red Team won so many challenges. Ja'Nel was so good that when she switched teams, she still kept her challenge streak going despite how bad that season's Blue Team was. Thankfully, she seems to have gotten her life together and is working as a chef today.

Put your personal feelings aside people.. She messed up a magnificent opportunity but she was no doubt 1 of the strongest and most consistent chef ever on the show. Definitely top 5!

Top 50 maybe but not top 18 you give up a reward for drugs your pathetic

She just got busted for drugs, and lost that position in season 11, failed drug test

Justin Antiorio, Season 10

He was extremely strong. His palette was on point and his abilities were on show. He was one of the nicest chefs and only came to blows with Robyn who wasn't the most liked.

Justin was a damn fine chef and a damn fine leader. Even though he though I think Christina deserved her win, he definitely deserved second.

Great chef, great leader, only contestant to get perfect score in blind taste test, should have won.

5/12/2015 Milly just got a perfect score on the blind taste test. Justin is now the first contestant to get a perfect score on the blind taste test instead of the only.

One of the top guys ever

A very talented chef. Although Christina's win was kind of a given, I would have liked to see Justin win.

Ariel-Contreras Fox - Season 18
Sterling Wright, Season 13

When he said that he was 100, I thought he was going to be cocky and awful, but he truly was 100.

He had was truly one of the most determined, compassionate chefs in all of Hell's Kitchen, with a drive like no other.

Even thought he didn't win or get a black jacket, he was one hell of a chef to watch and gained many people's friendship

Ok, he wasnt the best chef but he was a joy to watch and sometimes, you need a Sterling. He had to go but even Ramsey was sad to lose him.

He may not look like a serious competitor but his passion, drive, and determination proves that he's always 100 despite not making it to the black jackets.

Jeezus.. he better be back for the new seasons. His eliminations was one of the only times where I almost cried!

Jillian Flathers, Season 8

Easily one of the most robbed in Hell's Kitchen her elimination was so unfair. Russell has a terrible attitude and she is way more consistent than Nona. When she was eliminated and cried I cried with her because she deserved to be in the Final Two.

She was more skilled than Nona and had a way better attitude than Russell! How did she not win?

She was the best of her season

Let's see, is it because she has been frequently defended Sabrina, that she is not at least in the top 20

Danny Veltri, Season 5

What a beast. I honestly didn't think he had a chance of winning but man he won it all. He was a great chef.

This guy started out as a douchebag but quickly matured during the show & gained the talent but most important maturity that allowed him to win Hell's Kitchen 5.

Danny was just awesome. He didn't whine that much. hell's kithcen is full with pussies. Danny wsn't one of them

I don't think he was a douchebag, I think he really saw the other chefs cook and knew he was better. Never complained and always seemed competent. Competed well in every challenge.

Anthony Rodriguez, Season 11

I wish he'd gone further. At least a black jacket as he was good. Jon was better but he made the series fun for me.

He's funny, kinda cute and deserved a black jacket. Or at least to outlast Zak who was a crap cook and made me want to throw things at my screen.

He is better than Zack and Susan and should have gotten a black jacket but he should be at least top 50 not top 20

To this day, I never understood why Anthony got eliminated over Zach. He was consistent, funny, and hard-working. The only bad thing about him is that he has a bad palate.

I'll never understand why Jon even nominated him over Zach in the first place. Sure, Anthony struggled in the beginning of the service, but he bounced back and was more consistent overall. Zach, on the other hand, only continued to go on a downward spiral, and in that service, not only did he struggle, but he also kept making excuses for his poor performance. - ResistOppression

Torrece "T" Gregoire, Season 14

T was on the cast a season too early. She was absolutely perfect, but there was no way Meghan could lose. She definitely would've won Season 15, and screwed herself out of winning Rookies vs. Veterans.

T for "Terrific" is definitely true. She ran the pass very well. Very impressive.

"It's just suddenly donned what T stands for: Terrific" -Gordon Ramsay

T was the most consistent and the most composed and steady of season 14. Probably the best runner up so far.

Nick Peters, Season 14

I am tired of all the hate he gets just because the only time it happened was when he was rude to Bret's medical exit, but that was a small wrongdoing in his run (apart from having setbacks due to a lack of confidence, persistency, and leadership). Basically, how can his shortcomings define who he is as a chef? In season 14, he was doubted by his teammates only because he isn't willing to stand out early in the competition (stated in episode 13) and was a good enough contestant for a black jacket though he was not on Meghan's, Milly's, or T's level to be in the finale. But when the All-Stars season kicked off, he not only became the most improved chef of the season (by Ramsay), but was one of the reasons why this season's blue team can be one of the best teams of the show's history.

I wasn't very fond of him in season 14, but after watching season 17, I have a hell of a lot more appreciation for him. Great attitude and extremely consistent that season. He should have won.

I laughed so hard in season 14 when the blue team lost a challenge and were all upset on the patio and he says 'Why's everyone crying? '. He was so funny. And in season 17, he was the funniest. Would have liked him to be in the final instead of Benjamin

Shaky in season 14, but when he returned on all stars he was extremely consistent. And his comments were so funny it made the all stars season way more interesting to watch than it was.

Milly Medley, Season 14

He's not a bad chef, but I definitely would not rank him as one of the top contestants. I think he lacked a lot of respect, and had a very poor attitude (particularly in the all stars season). I was glad to see him get eliminated.

Top 4 in a very strong season. Could easily have won some of the previous seasons.

Very talented, hard-working, and has a lot of passion. If he ended up in season 15, I think he could have easily won.

In Season 17, he may have had a few bumps in my mind he is but one of the most humble yet greatest contestants and All-Star chef to grace Hell's Kitchen.

Paul Niedermann, Season 9

I wouldn't put him this high.
I'd put him higher if he was the runner-up instead. With Will being the winner.

He was a deserving finalist but wasn't a deserving winner.
He would be a deserving runner-up though.

How come Paul, the winner is ranked lower than Steven the first chef eliminated by Chef Ramsey (that means I don't include Jason's medical emergency)?

Great chef. I loved it when Jennifer told him she had a crush on him

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