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Maybe That Hell's Kitchen Head Chef Prize Wasn't For Real

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Photo: Fox

The prize on the television program Hell's Kitchen of a "head chef" position at a restaurant is always murky at best. Said Anthony Bourdain about the contestants: "It's just a bunch of dimwits -- the lame, the halt and the delusional ... None of these idiots would be qualified to work a Fryolator at a Chuck E. Cheese much less ever work in any Gordon Ramsay restaurant."

It was a little curious when this story hit the wires yesterday — that Holli Ugalde, the winner of Hell's Kitchen season seven, was named "Celebrity Signature Chef" (that is a title!) of the B Ocean hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Hey wait a second. Wasn't her prize the "head chef" position at Gordon Ramsay's soon-to-open restaurant the Savoy Grill in the Savoy Hotel in London? But now Ramsay's spokespeople are blaming "confusing marketing" as to what "head chef" means exactly.

Today the Herald Scotland reported that a "row is simmering" because Ramsay promised the head chef position to Andy Cook who ran the kitchen at Gordon Ramsay at The London West Hollywood in Los Angeles when it won two Michelin stars.

A spokeswoman for Ramsay said, "There was a bit of confusion in the sense that it was marketed in the US as head chef." Who was confused here? Presumably the audience and the contestants when Ramsay said on the show, "One of you is going to be the head chef at the brand new Savoy Grill inside the Savoy Hotel."

They clarified further: "She will be working alongside the official head chef which is Andy Cook... There are some people trying to make out she is going to be the pot washer or something, but that's not the case... Whether her title is head chef or not, she is working with the top guy who is Andy Cook and nobody's unhappy with this."


Officially, Ugalde doesn't have "a title or a work visa." She confirmed as much today when she tweeted, "As of right now I'm still in the dark about my future in London, as far as I know Fox's people are still working on my work visa, I guess..." The Savoy Grill opens November 29th. That's like in two weeks! Fox had better get on that work visa.

· Row simmers over TV chef’s Savoy promise [Herald Scotland]
· All Hell's Kitchen Coverage on Eater [-E-]