Hell’s Kitchen 3 winner will be a “head chef,” but the show has never given its announced prize

In a press release announcing the 12 cast members for Hell’s Kitchen 3, FOX revealed the third season’s prize: “the coveted title of Head Chef at a new fine Italian restaurant at the luxurious Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa and Casino in Las Vegas.”

If that sounds familiar, it’s because last season, the show’s prize was “the coveted title of Executive Chef of a luxurious fine-dining restaurant at the brand-new Red Rock Casino Resort Spa in Las Vegas” (that’s another Station Casino property, and they even used the same sentence structure to describe it).

But the new press release points out that last season’s “winner Heather West is currently working as senior chef at Terra Rossa restaurant.” Yes, senior chef, not the promised executive chef. The restaurant’s web site even says she is “working under the leadership of Executive Room Chef Renato DePirro.” She was also supposed to get some kind of financial interest in the restaurant and help design it, neither of which happened, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, as she was just placed in an existing restaurant.

As I’ve written about before, essentially the same thing happened after season one, when the show ultimately gave kitchen equipment to the winner, Michael, as his prize. During the show’s finale, instead of his own restaurant, he was given the opportunity to go to the UK to study under Gordon Ramsay, which he chose but never did (Ramsay says Michael opted not to go).

Essentially, the show has failed to offer the exact announced prize for its two previous seasons, so it’s probably a safe bet that the winner this year will walk away with something completely different, such as a Turbo Cooker.

Meet the New Group of Aspiring Chefs Willing to Take the Heat… [FOX press release]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.