'Hell's Kitchen' Season 11 Winner Crowned

Categories: Network TV Press Releases

Written By

July 25th, 2013

Hell's Kitchen Season 11 Finale

via press release:




The 11th season of HELL’S KITCHEN came to an exciting close tonight as Gordon Ramsay announced Ja’Nel Witt the winner during the two-hour season finale on FOX. Witt, 31, an executive chef from Houston, TX, earned herself a “head chef” position working under Executive Chef Jeremy Berlin at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.


“From the very first day in HELL’S KITCHEN, I knew this competition would be unlike anything I had ever experienced,” said Witt. “This has been a life-changing journey, winning HELL’S KITCHEN is even more proof that I made the right decision to follow my heart and turn my passion into my career.”


“Ja’Nel is an incredibly passionate chef and a strong leader, and I am thrilled that she will join our team at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill,” said Ramsay. “From the very beginning, she was determined to succeed, and I look forward to seeing her grow even more as a chef.”


Witt competed against thousands of hopefuls and was awarded an esteemed spot among the Top 20 finalists. In the end, she went head-to-head with Mary Poehnelt, a butcher from Belchertown, MA. For the final challenge, both contestants created their own menus, and were able to select and lead a team of their past competitors through the most important dinner service of their lives. The final two chefs cooked their way through an intense dinner service, but it was Witt’s inspired and creative menu and determined leadership in the kitchen that propelled her to victory. Her menu items included:



  • Fried Green Tomatoes with Prosciutto, Arugula, Gorgonzola and Baby Heirloom Tomatoes
  • Duo of Oysters with Parmesan Cream, Herbs, Chipotle and Smoked Bacon
  • Grilled Prawns with Asian Pesto, Jalapeño, Peanut, Cilantro and Capellini
  • Steamed Mussels with Coconut, Madras Curry, Garlic, Shallot, Micro Cilantro and Grilled Naan



  • Seared Rainbow Trout with Cauliflower Purée, French Green Beans, Brown Butter Pine Nut Vinaigrette, Sun-Dried Tomato and Parsley
  • Mediterranean Black Cod with Lemon Couscous Pilaf, Tomato Relish and Basil
  • Roasted Chicken Breast with Root Vegetable Hash, Creamy Polenta, Salsa Verde and Cipollini Onion Jus
  • Slow-Braised Veal Cheek with Shamed Red Bliss Potato, Crème Fraîche, Baby Carrot, Garlic Confit and Fresh Chives



  • Chai Crème Brûlée with Cinnamon, Star Anise, Cardamom, All Spice, Fresh Berries and Mint
  • Petit Strawberry Shortcakes with Vanilla Whipped Cream, Macerated Strawberries and Lavender Mint
  • With its 11th season split between the broadcast season and the summer, HELL’S KITCHEN has ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 entertainment program of the night among Adults 18-49 for each night it has aired this summer.  HELL’S KITCHEN ranked No. 1 in its Thursday night 8:00-9:00 PM time period among Adults 18-49, Adults 18-34 and Teens. Moving to 9:00 PM, HELL’S KITCHEN currently ranks No. 2 in the hour among Adults 18-49 and No. 1 with Adults 18-34.  HELL’S KITCHEN ranks among the summer’s Top 5 programs among Adults 18-49. 

    HELL’S KITCHEN is produced by ITV Studios America in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Gordon Ramsay serve as executive producers. “Like” HELL’S KITCHEN on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hellskitchen and follow the series on Twitter at @hellskitchenfox and Gordon Ramsay at @GordonRamsay. Join the discussion using #hellskitchen.


    About ITV Studios America:

    ITV Studios America, the U.S. based production entity of ITV Studios in the U.K., is one of the largest international producers for the U.S. market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing reality and scripted programming for U.S. networks. ITV Studios America has a slate of series in production with major networks and syndicators, including HELL’S KITCHEN, KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, “The First 48,” “After the First 48,” “Four Weddings,” “Four Houses,” “The Car Chasers,” “Kentucky Bidders,” “The Chase,” “The Mathis Project,” “The Bill Cunningham Show,” “America Now” and “The Jeremy Kyle Show.”


    ITV Studios is a world leader in television production and distribution. It has international production centers in the U.K., Germany, France, the Nordics and Australia, as well as the U.S. The distribution business, ITV Global Entertainment, is a distributor of programs to all regions worldwide.  For further information, visit: http://www.itvstudios.com/us.


    About A. Smith & Co. Productions

    A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. Founded in 2000 by Arthur Smith and Kent Weed, the company has produced more than 2000 hours of award-winning programming. The company’s current production slate includes such hits as HELL’S KITCHEN, KITCHEN NIGHTMARES, “American Ninja Warrior,” “Divorce Hotel,” “Joe Rogan Questions Everything,” “Chainsaw Gang,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “Hollywood House Calls with Cat Deeley,” “Too Young to Marry?,” “Save Our Business,” “Full Throttle Saloon,” “Unsung,” “UFC Countdown” and many others. A. Smith & Co.’s library of programming includes hit shows such as “The Swan,” “Skating with Celebrities,” “Paradise Hotel,” “Trading Spaces,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show” and “Pros vs. Joes.” A. Smith & Co. has developed and produced the No. 1 show in America an astonishing 25 times and a Top 10 show more than 200 times. The company has produced programs with budgets totaling approximately one billion dollars, for more than 40 broadcast and cable networks. In 2011, A. Smith & Co. joined forces with Tinopolis Group and, in doing so, became the leading North American television production entity within the Tinopolis organization, with the ability to tap into that company's resources on a worldwide basis.

  • About Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at Caesars Palace made history on the famed Las Vegas Strip when Ramsay opened Pub & Grill and Gordon Ramsay's BurGR at Planet Hollywood in December 2012, making him the first chef to open two restaurants within one week. The 290-seat restaurant offers the U.K. chef’s take on an authentic English pub experience – a lively and friendly setting, featuring elevated British pub food, 24 beers served on tap and 63 bottled beers, including a selection of large format varieties. For more information on the restaurant, please visit www.gordonramsay.com.


    About Caesars Palace

    World-renowned Las Vegas hotel and casino, Caesars Palace features 3,960 hotel guest rooms and suites, including the brand new 181-room Nobu Hotel Caesars Palace and Forbes Star Award-winning The Laurel Collection by Caesars Palace. The 85-acre resort offers 25 diverse dining options, including celebrity chef-branded restaurants by Gordon Ramsay, Bobby Flay and Guy Savoy, the award-winning Bacchanal Buffet, nearly 130,000 square-feet of casino space, a five-acre Garden of the Gods pool oasis and the luxurious Qua Baths & Spa. The Forum Shops at Caesars showcases more than 160 boutiques and restaurants and the 4,300-seat Colosseum spotlights world-class entertainers such as Celine Dion, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Shania Twain and Jerry Seinfeld. For more information, please visit www.caesarspalace.com or caesars.thedigitalcenter.com to access media materials and request high-resolution images. Find Caesars Palace on Facebook and follow on Twitter.

  • sTU

    Mary’s husband is for selective tastes

  • Sassy59

    Ja’Nel was a GREAT competitor, she honestly deserved to win, in all the competitions she kept coming up 2nd place, when clearly she should have been first with her dishes…but that’s okay, look who came out o top…she is a WINNER!!!

  • Stacy F.

    Shamed Red Bliss Potato??? I believe that it was mashed Red Bliss potato. No shame in being mashed, lol.

  • nikkimcmikki

    Jon should have been selected instead of Ja’Nel. She is a pretentious, self-absorbed, second-rate chef. There is a reason why she came in second place frequently. The final should have been between Mary and Jon. Bad decision Mr. Ramsay.

  • Coco

    Congratulations to Ja’Nel! The final two should have been Jon and Ja’Nel, but Chef Ramsay got the winner right this time. Ja’Nel was an excellent leader.

  • peckerette01

    what a big dissapointment Ja’Nel should have never won this it should have come down to Jon and Cindy thinking of not watching this show anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Chubs

    I really thought it was going to be between Jon and JaNel. Mary did come a long way but don’t think she was ready yet. JaNel got caught by the chef for incorrect shrimp, I believe. She didn’t run the front that great. Mary caught every mistake and controlled the line.
    When Jon had to run the front…he did terrible…that’s what made him not continue in the finals. I was soooo disappointed in him…had him as the winner until then.

  • Chubs

    Btw….I enjoy this show…look forward to this show and Master Chef. Last years Hells Kitchen was the best. Christina was my favorite from day one. Would love to meet her. She was consistent, quiet, mature and never called as a choice to go home. Her opponent was good but hot headed. You got it right last year Chef Ramsey. This year…not too sure….JaNel is a little hot headed…hope it works out for her.

  • Kristi

    What a crock! Ramsey even said he had picked her to win from the start. Why bother going on with the competition? Mary, Jon and Ja’nel were the 3 most consistent and strongest chefs for most of the competition. In the final weeks Ja’nel fell apart and Cindy came up to take her place. When Ramsey said Ja’nel had a flawless service in the finals, I knew he was blowing smoke. I feel really bad for Mary, Jon, Cindy and all the other contestants who actually believed they had a chance of winning the job. They were duped and should have another chance to actually win the competition.

  • pofm

    Two things going on here-
    1. Ramsey selecting a Head Chef
    2. Ramsey marketing a successful 16 episode ‘reality’ show

    IMHO I’m convinced he’s ALWAYS known in advance who his choice will be,
    since he’s a top notch business man, not one to leave choice for
    a prime job to the weekly hysteria we see.

    The other 19 or so choices are picked to present some capable candidates
    for credibility (and maybe eventual hires down the line),
    AND THEN fill out the roster with the real bozos for a pure
    crash-and-burn entertainment factor.

    unfortunately, I’m hopeless addicted to the show…

  • Magn

    What a croc! The winning chef should have been JON!! He was the best chef there and the most consistent! I was so sad that he wasn’t even in the final two! He was ROBBED! Ramsay had his head in a pressure cooker on this decision, that’s for sure!

  • Joe

    Jon should have won.

  • skeets

    For whatever reason, Ja’Nel seemed to receive more hands -on direction by Gordon (its in the bag) Ramsey during the final service. He had decided on his winner before the competition. Mary had to deal with a dysfunctional team member and saboteur on her team. I find it interesting that no specific results from the diners were revealed to the TV viewers.

  • Ride622

    What a joke…JON WAS WAY BETTER. I was predicting Jon and Ja’nel in the final from the start. No point watching anymore!

  • Karen

    I love this show!!!

    Congrats Ja’Nel. You deserve it.

    There is a reason that her team members wanted to keep her on their team. Also, If I remember Ja’Nel was instrumental in breaking the blue team’s losing streak.

  • Rayyn

    Ja’Nel is a BIOTCH! Mary by far should have won as she was the only one of the 5 who actually knew what, and how to use, a pressure cooker (although Jon was my favorite to win). She came a long way from having her dish as yucky at the beginning to putting out some of the best dishes. I knew as soon as she got Nedra and Dan that her team was sunk! Couldn’t believe they brought that self-involved egotistical jerk back for the finales! Guess he had to have his last 15 seconds of fame and Nedra could never cook meat either, but I am GLAD Mary tossed Dan out on his arse, but unfortunately he had already cost her the win, plus with her confusion at the pass…I really thought it should have come down to Jon and Mary—I CANNOT STAND Ja’Nel and she is someone I would NOT want to work for—thankfully she will only be the head chef and not the executive chef–otherwise it would be a monster on the loose!

  • Jan

    It never fails that Ramsey always picks winners based on looks. How disappointing. Mary was the clear leader. Ja’nel fell apart several times, but Ramsey coached her back. It was evident that he never truly liked Mary from the many nasty personal comments he made to her all through the season. What a crock. No more Hell’s Kitchen for me.

  • Eric

    Ja’Nel won and deserved it. Jon may have been slightly more consistent but wasn’t a leader, Ja’Nel always wine on the RED team period and Jon always lost on the blue team until Ja’Nel came to the blue team. also Jon did not do well on the pass when he was tested he did not catch the sabotage. AND Jan are you watching the same show? Mary’s whiny voice dis tereible, messing up orders and calling for dishes that was already behind her.

  • joeseph

    Cindy should of taken it, she was such a great team player and improved drastically through out the competition, same with mary and jon!! Jan’nel barely showed any emotion when she won, PFFFFT. By the way..that dan guy should of never been allowed into the finals, piss poor attitude!!

  • Michele

    Congratulations Ja’Nel! You were consistent the whole season. You started Strong and ended Strong!

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