Hell’s Kitchen winner Dave will be just “an employee” at Araxi in Whistler

Hell’s Kitchen 6 mercifully concluded last night, and although I vowed to give up this awful show last season, I watched most of it for some reason. It was “the closest final ever in Hell’s Kitchen,” Ramsay said, but his hyperbole in this competition is meaningless because there’s basically nothing but hyperbole from him.

Anyway, Dave, the “one-armed bandit” with the foghorn monotone voice won the prize, because Ramsay said he had a “sophisticated pallet” and “fought excruciating pain and excelled.” Dave will become the head chef at Araxi, a restaurant at Whistler in British Columbia. But for a show that didn’t give away the announced prize for its first three seasons, the question is whether he will actually be the head chef or not.

The restaurant’s executive chef, James Walt, told Canwest pre-finale that whoever wins, “The bottom line is it’s my kitchen, and I’m in charge. They’re an employee, and they’ll be treated as an employee, and that’s been stated all along. We’re not changing who we are for this person.”

Walt is very candid, saying that after learning of the plan, he watched an episode and thought “Whoa. … The next day, in talking to Jack [Evrensel], the owner, I remember saying, ‘Oookay. Are we sure about this?’ I was a little bit freaked out, but it wasn’t until we spoke with Gordon himself and he said, ‘I’ll pick the best person myself, personally,’ that we saw it could work out well for everyone.”

The chef said Ramsay admitted what we all know, that most of the cast are idiot plants to give Ramsay someone to throw food at: “Gordon actually called that first group driftwood. He said, ‘James, once I get rid of the driftwood, I can start focusing on the final three or four.'”

While that driftwood wasn’t all that great this year, or maybe it’s just that it was like the driftwood from every other season. Even the long-awaited appearance by Little Gordon last week was kind of flat. The best part of the season for me was the very end, and not just because it was ending. Producers included outtakes during the credits, with Ramsay arm wrestling Van, restraining JP so dining kids could throw liquid on him, and repeatedly mocking confrontational idiot Joseph by saying, “I’m nobody’s bitch.”

Whistler’s Araxi restaurant braces for Hell’s Kitchen winner [Canwest]

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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.