Houston chef Ja'Nel Witt, the recent winner of Hell's Kitchen's eleventh season, will not accept the head chef position at Las Vegas's Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill — ostensibly her prize for winning the show. Eater Vegas reports that "personal circumstances" will prevent Witt from cooking at the $250,000 job in Las Vegas. Earlier this afternoon, Witt Tweeted confirmation, saying in three separate Tweets:
I would like to express my sincerest thanks to HELL'S KITCHEN, Gordon Ramsay, Caesars Palace & my supportive fans for this amazing experience. Due to personal matters, I will not be joining the team in Las Vegas, but I wish them continued success. I am thankful for everyone who made it possible and I am looking forward to my next cooking chapter.
Just yesterday, Witt told Houston's CultureMap that she was in the process of moving to Las Vegas and planned to start orientation with Ramsay's company on Monday. A FOX spokesperson, meanwhile, tells the LA Times that the show's runner-up, Massachusetts butcher Mary Poehnelt, will not be offered the job in Witt's place.
Update 8:15 PM EST: TMZ is reporting that Ja'Nel Witt failed a drug test and tested positive for cocaine. Apparently Caesars Palace "has a notoriously strict drug policy."
· HK Winner Will NOT Be Cooking at Gordon Ramsay Pub [Eater Vegas]
· "Hell's Kitchen" Season 11 winner Ja'Nel Witt Not Taking Job [LA Times]