'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.

  • rena

    Congratulations Janel. I couldn’t stand marys ugly butt and her uglier husband. Mary yr ugly but even you can do better. Yr voice is god awful, no way you could win. I do wish jon made it to the finals.

  • darlene

    I think Ramsey pick the person that he wanted to be the executive chef in his Pub & Grill and the best person was Ja’Nel. It does not matter what the haters have to say. Jon nor Mary in the end did not have what it takes to be an executive chef yet. So Congratulations to Ja’Nel

  • Dawn

    Mary should have won the advantage challenge. Two of the tasters had made a remark on Ja’Nel’s dishes and still they had chosen her over Mary’s (which they didn’t have anything negative to say about hers). I knew then this was going to be rigged. Dan didn’t cost her the win. It was already decided that he was going to pick Ja’Nel no matter how great Mary did. She managed her team really great while Ja’Nel couldn’t or didn’t have control over her group. Mary and her team had gotten their dinners all served well before Ja’Nel and her team did. Besides, Ja’Nel has a very bad attitude.


    Jon should’ve won. I don’t think he made a single mistake the whole competition, had the best dishes, regularly won challenges etc. He was streets ahead of Mary and Ja’Nel in terms of ability. The only thing that messed him up was the damn butterfish!

  • B

    I was surprised that Jon didn’t get picked. Maybe Ramsey had to have a black girl win hells kitchen for politically correct purposes. Mary had no chance. Just like Hillary Clinton she lost because of her annoying voice. And Dan totally sabotaged her. As far as I know he is the first person to be kicked out of the kitchen during the finals. But she would have lost with or without Dan.

  • Debbie

    Congratulations to Ja’Nel. She has the experience and confidence Chef Ramsey needs to run his restaurant.

  • Anthony

    Finals should of been between jon and mary with ja’nel in a close 3rd. I almost didn’t even watch the final episode when he chose ja’nel over jon who I thought should of won it hands down. Anyone else notice ja’nels picture light up when he had to choose the winner, seemed alil weird to me.

  • Michelle

    Done with hells kitchen, each season gets worse. I think Jon should have won. It is obvious who chef ramsey wants to win early on in the show, Its getting really bad

  • James

    Congratulations to Ja’nel. We enjoyed watching her consistent strong services. Jon and Mary were both inspiring competitors, but my personal favorite was Cindy. Her selfless personality, sincerity, were proof of a quality character. I would consider myself lucky to work with someone of such integrity. Best regards to all four finalists.

  • Vincent

    Ja’Nel was my pic very early on. Made few mistakes, was rarely called out, and had the right attitude. Congrats to her.

  • Antoinette Jackson


  • Erin

    I see many comments about Jon winning Hell’s Kitchen and I could not agree more. Jon in my opinion was the best chef. He never lacked or had bad or good weeks. He was always consistent in everything he did. It should have been Mary and Jon in the end. Then Jon being the winner. At either rate I am sure both Jon and Mary are going to end up with wonderful opportunity down the road. From what I read no one really receives what they are promised to win so therefore Jon has a chance to go further then what Hell’s Kitchen could have given him.

© 2015 Tribune Digital Ventures