Best Hell's Kitchen Contestants

The Top Ten
1 Dave Levey, Season 6

This man is the definition of perseverance. He broke his wrist during a punishment, and despite numerous calls for him to leave Hell's Kitchen due to his wrist, he fought back and said "I'm fine". He was able to produce quality food regardless of the pain and fought back hundreds of times. He was also cooperative to his team-mates and had a creative palate. Although Kevin was slightly better in terms of cooking, Dave's heroic story sets him apart from everyone else.

What's there to say about Dave that everyone doesn't already know, he's the one armed bandit, literally the strongest chef on the show, Dave deserved his win.

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.

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.?

2 Christina Wilson, Season 10

Christina is the best winner of Hells Kitchen, working as a sous chef in later seasons and overall only having a single bad service and was one of the more creative chefs.

She was practically the only one who stayed calm and collected throughout the whole season! Christina also, when she makes a mistake, always makes an epic comeback! Not only that, but she is very, very humble and has a great personality! She can also snap like Gordon if you try and mess and provoke her, like she did with Jackie in s15, I think. No wonder why she's slowly becoming (unless she already is! ) Gordon's right-hand! Love you, Christina! Truly my favourite from ANY season!

How is Rock higher than Christina!?! Rock had a terrible attitude and scary temper. Not leadership quality at all! Christina was liked and respected by all who worked with her. She in turn respected everyone in the kitchen. Flawless cooking!

My all time favorite Hell's Kitchen chef, so talented & remained calm, cool & collected with some of the most annoying female chefs ever (Kimmie, Tiffany, Robin, Barbie) Was so happy GR brought her back as sous chef on season 15. She's the most successful of any Hell's Kitchen winner having worked at not one but two of Ramsay's resturaunts)

3 Will Lustberg, Season 9

Will from the start was the one I was rooting for to win, and I'm pissed he didn't. Consistent throughout the whole season and was constantly the one to try and keep everyone in the same boat.

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.

How did this guy not win? He was so strong throughout and had better services and creativity than Paul. On top of all that he was so NICE! He was the first to say 'keep your head up' to athe contestants who left and give them a round of applause. He was humble and I just don't get how Paul won. It winds me up to see Paul judging in future episodes acting like a jumped up jerk! So arrogant and full of himself which you could see in season 9 too. May be the only time I disagree with who won. GO WILL!

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.

4 Rahman "Rock" Harper, Season 3

Seriously? He's talentless! The only reason he won was that he was the least pathetic contestant in Season three. NONE of the contestants that season should have even been in the competition.

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

He was the most competent in that season.

5 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.

He along with Dave, Will Lutsberg were the most consistent chefs on Hell's Kitchen. He never got yelled at by Ramsay and the only time it did happen, it was due to his assertiveness. In my opinion, I believe he should be at least 4th if not 3rd.

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.

Michael's a strong chef, absolute beast on his season and definitely deserved the win.

6 Jon Scallion, Season 11

Jon was robbed, flat out. He was one of the best chefs on the show, great person overall, and he got a job with Ramsay AND Chef Christina after the season.

He should have won.
Look at every fact about the show, it's rigged. going on 12 seasons and every contest is a tie breaker and then the best chef looses to a crack head. the show lost a viewer, both my wife and I have not watched this season and won't. Jon from the beginning always showed he knew how to cook. the 2 girls never did as well as Jon. Isn't rigging a T.V. show illegal, I do belive you can't do that. Over 150+ contests and everyone ends with a tie breaker. that would be over a billion to one odds

After watching through the entire season. I only remeber 2 times where Jon's performance was subpar. On the pressure cooker challenge where his lamb legs were slightly undercooked and on the first dinner service where one of his rossottos was stuck to the bottum of the pan (which automatically got his ejected from the kitchen). Overall he was a great chef and easily one of my favorites.

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!

7 Meghan Gill, Season 14

She's definitely the best chef to ever compete in Hell's Kitchen. Season 14 itself had the strongest overall cast, at least the last 5 or 6, than any other season, and Meghan was still leagues above everyone on her season. Season 14 proved to have a strong cast as 3 of the final 4 in season 17 were from season 14 as well as the winner. If there was a season where the winners compete Meghan would definitely be my pick to win and the only ones who could hold a candle to her would be Dave from season 5 or Christina from season 10.

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.

A chef that's obviously "too good" for Hell's Kitchen. She was outperformed in Hell's Kitchen challenges but a literal beast in services with only 2 mistakes.

She really deserved to win and I was quite flattered to see chef Ramsay give the winning prize to her cause I've been routing for her since the first day I started watching this season. She sort of reminds me of Jillian Flathers from season 8. Meghan chef Ramsay is absolutely right you sure can cook and your an excellent leader and you will do good in any thing you do. Keep up the good work

8 Kevin Cottle, Season 6

Literally the strongest runner up of Hell's Kitchen. He and Dave had the closest final in Hell's Kitchen yet and if I was Ramsay, I'd give them a head chef position of my restaurants each.

Amazing! Truly amazing! Great leadership. Very latented. I was torn between him and Dave but when I was watching the final three contestent, I was mindblown how he control the pass. He was very consistent throughout the competition. Same goes with Dave despite his arm. Sadly Kevin did not won the competition.

I wish the best of luck of him and his career.

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.

9 Petrozza, Season 4

I'm voting for this guy. I've read all of his interview with the media. He has integrity. He is a very good person. Very likeable person. Never picked a fight with others. And he never regretted of losing. He understand why Ramsay chosen Christina over him because she's young and have potential. And he explain Ramsay need a chef for his restaurant so its more like an interview.

I'm sad that he lost though. He won my heart and most of the people here.

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?

I'm sorry to say this. Petrozza passed away before coronavirus thing happened. He became sixth member of Heaven's Kitchen along with Rachel, Aaron the Asian Cowboy, Keith, Paulie and Jessica from season 12.

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

10 Heather West, Season 2

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!

Come on, Raj is higher than Heather?! How does that happen?

Cute, friendly and hard working girl.

She drove her kitchen to start to end.

The Newcomers

? Megan Gill, Season 20
? Trenton Garvey, Season 20
The Contenders
11 Scott Commings, Season 12

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 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.

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.

He made an excellent comeback and proved to Chef Ramsay that it's perseverance and grit that gets you ahead in the competition.

12 Paula DaSilva, Season 5

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.

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 and Will lust are pretty much the best cooks in HK, Too bad when its finals it becomes a popularity contest for the audience. So sad and is the only flaw of the show, you can't even call it 50-50, you just get robed,

13 Kimberly Ann Ryan, Season 16

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.

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.

A lot of people say that Ryan BARELY made any mistakes and...its true! I've seen her do like 2 small mistakes in the dinner services in Season 16 sure I bet she did more from what I remembered but she kept her chill and she excelled.

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

14 Robert Hesse, Seasons 5 & 6

He is the most underrated chef in hell's kitchen history. I would never understand why did ramsay eliminated robert over andy, andy was bad and was so horrible to see him making big mistakes. If I were ramsay, I would give robert a black jacket instead of suzanne, but not only I would do that, I would put him facing either dave or kevin in the finals of hell kitchen season 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 is so nice but in season 5 he was a hero and in season 6 he went to zero.

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

15 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!

Lots of energy, was probably coke'd up on the show as lost job due to drug habit. Should not be in top 20. Stoke an opportunity from the thousands who applied and are straight edge

Too bad she made a bad decision for doing drugs, now nobody would want to hire her.

16 Ariel Contreras-Fox, Season 6

Seeing her on Season 18 easily puts her into the top 10 alongside the likes of Dave, Christina W and Ryan. She's way better than Winners like Scott.

She has grown a lot since Season 18 and I am so proud that she won this season. She truly deserved the win!

She did not deserve to be kicked out in s6 and I was so glad when Gordon let her keep the jacket

17 Sterling Wright, Season 13

Mr. 100 himself. He would always be 100 and worthy of a black jacket anytime. Plus just like Rochelle, he's not really suited for head chef but he is sure as hell 100% suited for a head sous chef position or 2nd in command.

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

He was always so positive, supportive and never back stabbed anyone. I was happy to see him get as far as he did. Too bad he couldn't be put on season 16 to help balance out the men's terrible egos - they were all so horrible and crude that season. Sterling was definitely a class act!

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.

18 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.

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

Only chef to get a perfect score on blind taste test, should have won.

19 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.

Russel is an annoying prick. Nona is okay but Jillian is great. She has so much respect and determination. But I wanted Gail to win season 8...well at least she got in the top 5

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

One of the best from Season 8, should be above Nona, hands down.

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

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

She was amazing in season 14. Unfortunately, she pulled a Kevin in season 18.

21 Danny Veltri, Season 5

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.

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.

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.

Why is he ranked lower than Ja'Nel?

22 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.

He should have won, me and my family were devastated when he left! He was such a passionate cook and I have never seen someone so genuine about food, considering I'm a cook myself. He deserves Number 1!

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.

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

23 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.

With most "should-have-won" contestants, I rewatch the season and the decision makes more sense. Nick's elimination makes less sense the more I watch S17. He was rock solid and consistent, his finale dishes were insanely creative, and the only time the red team beat the blue team is when he was tableside. Not to mention, he was just one of the funniest contestants ever. Robbed as hell, worst decision in HK history.

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

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.

24 Van Hurd, Season 6

Along with Kevin and Dave, they are literally the A Team and total bros throughout. Van had one of the most passion and heart I've seen for cooking and I would have made him winner of All Stars if Nick and Benjamin were not around.

This guy was not only a great chef, but a very funny guy! He's my favorite contestant from Season 6 along with Dave and Kevin.

Loved him in season 6, was sent home way too early in season 17. I hope this guy is doing well because he has talent and charm.

He has a big heart, a ton of charisma & a fantastic sense of humour. Bottom line, Van was awesome!

25 Anthony Rodriguez, Season 11

My fave contestant of ALL 16 seasons so far! Great chef (does some great videos now) and such a nice person too! His humour was refreshing all the way through the series and he deserved a black jacket. He made season 11 the funniest, what's not to love with this guy? He should be in 1st place. (My opinion anyway)

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.

Zach should have gone home before Anthony. Never made excuses for himself and bounced back on services. Season would have been dull without him.

The most robbed Non-Black Jacket Ever. Both Susan and Zach should've been eliminated before him. He should've had that black jacket, not Susan.

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