So again I don’t really have a creative introduction to this list, but anyway Hell’s Kitchen sure is a mental show. While the fact it’s possibly scripted still seems to allude some viewers, that doesn’t change the fact it’s still produced some fantastic moments. Whether it’s shocking eliminations or people just storming off because they refuse to accept that they’re terrible, Hell’s Kitchen is still going strong to this day even if the show’s best series are in its past. So before I properly get into the list properly here is some history about the show.
Hell’s Kitchen first debuted in May 2005 and is currently in its 21st season. The show follows a very rigid and successful structure where a new group of chefs enter Hell’s Kitchen and face a signature dish challenge where Ramsey gives their dish a score of 1-5. Eventually, the men and women are split into two teams and the worst chef each week is eliminated until there’s only two left. I’m sure you get the picture….. Anyway, when you’ve been going for 21 seasons and still going strong, there’s probably going to be decisions which divide your audience and don’t worry I’ll touch on some of those. So without any further ado here are the best episodes of Hell’s Kitchen ranked.
10: Winner Announced (S3, E11)
Often some of Hell’s Kitchen’s best episodes are the finales where the two best chefs go head to head for the prize. Case in point Season 3’s final two: Rock and Bonnie. Yet again both are incredibly lovable and have shown great skill to get to this point especially Bonnie who Ramsey had a stereotypical view about her hair and her intelligence. Also, the fact that both contestants seem genuinely happy for each other makes it a very wholesome series finale. You could say it was a very rocky episode in terms of emotions….
9: 6 Chefs Compete (S13, E13)
Another great part of certain Hell’s Kitchen episodes is when Gordon cooks against the black jackets. And if you wanna know why Gordon is so good at what he does, this episode all but proves it. Alongside Sous Chefs Andi and James, Gordon squares down against the black jackets and without spoiling anything it ends up being a lot closer than the start of the service makes it look like. Overall a very solid episode with Gordon showing his comedic side at times when it comes to badgering James to get the food up to the pass. It’s almost disconcerting really…
8: 2 Chefs Compete (S8, E15)
In a lovely bit of symmetry, the eighth best Hell’s Kitchen episode is the season 8 Finale. Now why is this so good? Well after some lovely and respectful finales however it’s always nice to see someone being properly annoyed by the fact they didn’t win. Case in point Russell who blames anyone and everyone for his loss other than himself. Can’t think of anyone else that parallels it at all….. But don’t let Russell’s negativity cloud the fact Nona was a deserving winner who at least attempted to console Russell. I mean this is why we love Hell’s Kitchen because sometimes people just don’t show any respect and it makes for great TV.
7: 7 Chefs Compete (S2, E6)
Arguably one of the most iconic moments in Hell’s Kitchen and arguably TV history is in this episode. And yes it’s Where’s the Lamb Sauce? Basically a contestant seemingly is too slow to heat up the lamb sauce and Gordon is losing his mind over that fact. I mean other stuff in this episode like Keith and Virginia shining but nobody remembers that because of Garrett’s inability to produce said lamb sauce.
6: Winner Announced (S4, E15)
As we will later see, if you’re called Christina there’s a good chance you’ll do well in Hell’s Kitchen. And there is no better example of that than Christina from Season 4. While she may have been the youngest contestant in the show’s history, she never let that define her. Oh and also the fact both finalists from Season 4 were some of the most likely contestants you’ll ever see meaning that you wouldn’t be disappointed if either of them won.
5: 16 Chefs Compete (S8, E1)
Now there’s been a lot of incompetent chefs on Hell’s Kitchen but perhaps Raj is the most incompetent. Why do I say this? Well even in his first episode he manages to annoy his entire team so much that he gets put up for elimination after a mixup with a teammate over sides. That seems to be at odds with his somewhat decent signature dish, a decent enough seafood pancake. And if that isn’t enough, he starts doing karate when his team wins a challenge all while he gets drunk. But seriously massive props to whoever edited a moon in between Raj’s hand to act as a transition.
4: Winner Announced (S10, E20)
So yeah apparently if you’re called Christina you’ve potentially got a good shot at winning Hell’s Kitchen. All jokes aside Christina Wilson has probably one of the best arcs in the show. Why do I say this? Well she goes from quiet and unassuming into one of Gordon’s sous chefs at his restaurant in Las Vegas. Oh and also the fact Christina does it without doing the traditional backstabbing associated with reality TV. Honestly one of the most successful runs in Hell’s Kitchen.
3: 15 Chefs Compete (S6, E2)
To say Joseph was a combative contestant would be an understatement in numerous senses of the word. Firstly he was one of many contestants to be ex-military. And while you’d think this would be helpful on Hell’s Kitchen it really wasn’t in the end. Case in point at elimination, instead of naming the contestants the blue team had suggested he instead decides to square up to Gordon. And that goes well with Joseph being escorted out all while the composer was giving them a hernia with how intense the soundtrack gets. Anyway, this episode also has another example of Dave and Kevin being brilliant but let’s be honest you’re watching this episode for Joseph’s meltdown more than anything else.
2: 5 Chefs Compete Part 2 (S11, E17)
Now one of the best parts of some seasons of Hell’s Kitchen is when Gordon brings back previous winners in order to test how good the chefs are. And Season 11’s all stars chef episodes doesn’t disappoint. So this all stars team features Rock, Nona, Christina, Paul and Dave. Now that is a very good team of winners and yet again the black jackets run the all stars close in a fantastically dramatic episode. Honestly, why are the All Stars episodes always so good?
1: Winner Announced (S6, E15)
And the best episode of Hell’s Kitchen is….. the season 6 finale. Why is this episode the best? Well, because it has two of the most likable finalists outside of Season 3 in the form of Dave and Kevin. While Kevin had a very strong case to win, Dave literally did Hell’s Kitchen single handedly. I say this because Dave broke his hand early on in Season 6 but soldiered on often carrying his team all while having a broken hand. If there’s any reason to watch this finale, just watch it for the sheer perseverance Dave shows throughout the episode.
What are your favourite Hell’s Kitchen episodes? Let me know in the comments below!