via press release:
JA’NEL WITT, AN EXECUTIVE CHEF FROM HOUSTON, TX,
NAMED “HELL’S KITCHEN” SEASON 11 WINNER
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.