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[06/27/11 - 09:59 AM]
Chef Gordon Ramsay Grills Choicest Cut of New Culinary Competitors on "Hell's Kitchen"
The network details the 18 new competitors for the show's ninth season, premiering Monday, July 18.

[via press release from FOX]

CHEF GORDON RAMSAY GRILLS CHOICEST CUT OF NEW CULINARY COMPETITORS ON "HELL'S KITCHEN"

Season Premiere Airs Monday, July 18, on FOX

Winner to Receive Head Chef Position at BLT Steak in New York City

Get ready for the heat of HELL'S KITCHEN as superstar chef Gordon Ramsay ushers in the series' red-hot ninth season with 18 new competitors Monday, July 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. These aspiring restaurateurs will brave Ramsay and his wrath as he once again puts the competitors through rigorous challenges to see who has the skill and passion to win a life-changing prize: a head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City.

Ramsay's culinary challenges will range from the cute and cuddly as the chefs cook a "mommy and me" meal for a room full of moms and toddlers � to the sublime as the chefs are challenged to cook using different types of beer as the basis for their recipes. The winning teams will get to enjoy a private jet to Palm Springs, Indy-car racing, a $20,000-per-night suite in Las Vegas or a four-story yacht excursion, while the losing teams will be required to decorate for a high school reunion, take delivery of and butcher an entire side of beef, create ice sculptures and put together an entire children's playground for family night.

In the season premiere, Ramsay launches the competition with the signature-dish challenge and is both impressed and disappointed right from the start. Before the dinner service can even begin, one contestant is rushed to the hospital and things go downhill quickly from there until one chef is eliminated from HELL'S KITCHEN.

As the teams are whittled down, the chefs get one step closer to earning the coveted black chef jacket. Eventually two finalists will compete head-to-head to try and impress Ramsay with their skills and only one lucky chef will walk away with the ultimate prize and fulfill their dreams as a head chef at one of the finest restaurants in America.

Below are the 18 chefs of this season's HELL'S KITCHEN.

The members of the Red Team (Women) include:

Name: Elizabeth Bianchi
Age: 27
Occupation: Line Cook
Hometown: New York, NY
Signature Dish: Pan-Roasted Quail

Name: Natalie Blake
Age: 23
Occupation: Sous Chef
Hometown: Harrodsburg, KY
Signature Dish: Lamb Chops

Name: Amanda Colello
Age: 26
Occupation: Personal Chef
Hometown: Sun City, CA
Signature Dish: Eggplant Rollatini with Creamy Polenta

Name: Jamie Gregorich
Age: 24
Occupation: Sous Chef
Hometown: Bradenton, FL
Signature Dish: Lollipop Lamb Chop with Red Onion Confiture

Name: Carrie Keep
Age: 31
Occupation: Pantry Chef
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Signature Dish: Chicken-Fried Rib Eye with Yukon Mashed Potatoes and White Truffle Cream Gravy

Name: Gina Melcher
Age: 34
Occupation: Restaurant Consultant
Hometown: Cape May, NJ
Signature Dish: Pistachio Scallops

Name: Jennifer Normant
Age: 34
Occupation: Chef de Cuisine
Hometown: Boston, MA
Signature Dish: Special Secret Pork with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Name: Krupa Patel
Age: 30
Occupation: Private Chef
Hometown: Queens, NY
Signature Dish: Stuffed Naan with Cilantro Chutney

Name: Elise Wims
Age: 26
Occupation: Line Cook
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Signature Dish: Pesto Seared Scallops with Saut�ed Escarole

The members of the Blue Team (Men) include:

Name: Chino Chang
Age: 39
Occupation: Executive Chef
Hometown: Hatboro, PA
Signature Dish: Korean BBQ Beef

Name: Brendan Heavey
Age: 31
Occupation: Head Chef
Hometown: Hoboken, NJ
Signature Dish: Salmon with Basil Cream Sauce

Name: Monterray Keys
Age: 34
Occupation: Line Cook
Hometown: Darby, PA
Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Sea Bass

Name: Will Lustberg
Age: 31
Occupation: Sous Chef
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Signature Dish: Sheep's Milk Ricotta Gnudi

Name: Paul Niedermann
Age: 26
Occupation: Jr. Sous Chef
Hometown: Davie, FL
Signature Dish: Eggplant Involtini

Name: Steven Paluba
Age: 44
Occupation: Saut� Chef
Hometown: Ridge, NY
Signature Dish: Seared Diver Scallops with Wild Mushroom Risotto

Name: Jonathon Plumley
Age: 34
Occupation: Head Cook
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Signature Dish: Punch-Drunk Chicken

Name: Tommy Stevens
Age: 31
Occupation: Line Cook
Hometown: Brewster, NY
Signature Dish: Toasted Coconut Crab Cake

Name: Jason Zepaltas
Age: 29
Occupation: Line Cook
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Signature Dish: Pork Tacos

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. Become a fan of HELL'S KITCHEN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hellskitchen and follow the series on Twitter at www.twitter.com/hellskitchenonfox (@hellskitchenonfox).

Owned by Jimmy Haber and Keith Treyball, BLT Steak is overseen by BLT Restaurant Group, a division of parent company ESquared Hospitality. Renowned for its high-quality food and service, BLT Steak first introduced diners to the Modern American steakhouse in 2004 with the flagship BLT Steak in New York City. Since then, 10 additional BLT Steak restaurants have opened in Washington, D.C. (2006); San Juan, PR (2006); White Plains, NY (2007); Los Angeles (2008); Scottsdale, AZ (2008); Atlanta (2009); Miami (2009); Hong Kong (2009); Charlotte, NC (2009); and Waikiki (2009). For more information about BLT Steak, please visit www.e2hospitality.com or www.esquaredhospitality.com.





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· HELL'S KITCHEN (FOX)









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