2 Chefs Compete: Part 2
Season 5, Episode 15
Air date May 14, 2009
Episode Guide
2 Chefs Compete
16 Chefs Compete

The fifteenth episode of Season 5 of Hell’s Kitchen aired on FOX, on May 14, 2009. On that episode, Danny and Paula led their teams during the final service, and one of them is declared the winner of Hell’s Kitchen.

Before service Edit

The episode began where the last one left off, with Ramsay dismissing the chefs, so Danny and Paula could brief their teams on what would happen. Danny gave his team a pep talk and reminded them that he was the boss, but only Ben was rooting for Danny to win, as Carol secretly wanted Paula to win, and Giovanni did not want to be back in Hell’s Kitchen. Meanwhile, Paula was more concerned with Lacey because of her poor attitude in the past, and Andrea and LA urged Lacey to at least give some effort that night. Lacey promised that she would try and behave, but was upset as she felt her team did not trust her.

8 hours before service, both teams began prep for the final service. However, LA was still concerned about having Lacey on her team, and secretly hoped that she would walk off the line during service. Paula was also concerned, but decided to trust Lacey on the dessert station and instructed her on how the crème brulée was to be made. Unfortunately, when Paula and Lacey went to check on them later on, Lacey managed to curdle all of them, forcing them to start over. That caused Paula to get angry at Lacey and to wonder if she should keep her for the rest of the night. As that was going on, both teams worked on making the sample dishes for Ramsay to taste. For Paula's menu, it featured a homemade pasta with eggplant caviar appetizer, a halibut with pearl onions and pancetta entrée, and a banana crème brulée dessert. Ramsay liked the pasta dish, but warned Paula about the danger of the halibut being dry, as the halibut on the sample plate was dry. Ramsay also said Paula's crème brulée looked more like scrambled eggs due to it being one of the initial batches Lacey wrecked earlier. For Danny's menu, it featured an arugula salad with crispy duck breast appetizer, an eight ounce pan seared filet with baked potato entrée, and a cinnamon poached pear with mascarpone mousse dessert. Ramsay warned Danny about the cooking of the duck as it needed a little bit more pink on the meat, suggested that the tempura spring onion should be cut in half as the whole tempura looked phallic, and noted that the poached pear was undercooked. By the end, Ramsay noted that while he would usually see a clear difference in the menus from previous seasons, Danny and Paula's menus were very similar to each other in terms of modern style, contemporary, and appeal.

An hour before service, Ramsay pulled Paula aside so she could show him her restaurant. Paula introduced Ramsay to “Sunergy”, which Ramsay praised for having subtle colors and looking comforting. After, Danny introduced Ramsay to “Velvet Hammer”, which Ben noted that it sounded like a porn video, and Ramsay was a little concerned about the restaurant looking a bit intimidating. With only a couple of minutes left before service, Ramsay brought Danny and Paula to the middle of the hotplate to give them one final pep talk, and reminded them that this was their biggest night and that at the end of it, one of them would be the winner. After that, Ramsay told Jean-Philippe to open Hell’s Kitchen.

Dinner service Edit

Paula's mother and sister, along with Danny's father and girlfriend, were in attendance that night. Danny received the first ticket from Jean-Philippe and vocally called out the order, causing his team to immediately communicate with each other. Paula called out her first ticket, but her team did not respond initially, which Ramsay took notice of. Paula went to Lacey's station to check on her progress, but Ramsay warned Paula that her kitchen would run behind if she did that and told her to be more vocal at the hotplate. Lacey sent up her scallop salad, but Ramsay noticed that Andrea burned the scallops on one side and chewed out Lacey for trying to hide it from Paula. Then, Ramsay told Paula to get a strong standard going. Meanwhile, Ramsay warned Danny that Carol was boiling the lobster, and Danny gave Carol a sizzling pan to cook the lobster on. After, Ramsay pulled Danny and Paula aside and told both of them to get a grip and pick it up. So, Danny became more vocal and continually asked Carol for the lobster.

45 minutes into service, customers from both sides received their appetizers, and gave positive reviews. Moving onto entrées, Andrea sent up her halibut, but it was overcooked, which realized Ramsay’s biggest fear earlier that day. After that, Andrea became flustered and confused, even asking Paula to come down to the fish station and check on the halibut. That shocked LA as she thought Lacey would be the problematic chef in the red kitchen that night, but it was becoming clear that Andrea was the weakest link. Meanwhile, Danny was getting his entrées ready as well, but Ben said he needed three more minutes on his baked potatoes, much to Ramsay’s dismay. Despite that, Ben got the potatoes out to the hotplate on time, allowing Danny to send his first order of entrées out to the dining room. Meanwhile, Paula was still waiting on Andrea's halibut and became more vocal with her, but Ramsay noticed it took three overcooked halibut to do so.

Meanwhile, Danny continued to push out entrées to his customers, but he found out that the sauce for the monkfish Giovanni sent up was too salty. So, he asked Giovanni for a time on the refire, but Giovanni was unresponsive as he still did not care about who would win that night. Meanwhile, Paula was pushing out entrées to the dining room, but Lacey got confused on orders for the garnishes and accused Paula of creating a menu too complicated for her to follow. So, Ramsay told Lacey to speed up, but Lacey's poor attitude led to her giving up, and Paula sent LA over to help Lacey. Then, everyone called for Lacey on the spinach, much to her annoyance, and she said she had enough of getting yelled at. Back in the blue kitchen, Danny's team started to work together, and Danny continued to push his team to get entrées out.

Two hours into dinner service, Paula finally found a rhythm for her team and was calling out orders louder. With most of the entrées out to the dining room, it became a race to see which kitchen would finish first. Both Danny and Paula managed to get their teams rallying the entrées, but Danny managed to get all of his dishes out first and felt really good about doing so. However, Paula did not care if Danny finished first as she wanted to finish her final service on a high note. Paula managed to complete all of her tables, and the customers wrote down their opinions on the comment cards. As they were clearing down, Paula and Danny's loved ones came up to the pass and congratulated them for a job well done.

Post-mortem Edit

Ramsay had both teams lining up, and congratulated them for the best final service he had ever seen, and even jokingly asked them why they could not have been that good earlier in the season. However, only one of them would be the winner, and Ramsay announced that the winner of Hell’s Kitchen was living in Florida. But, everyone knew that Ramsay was joking as both finalists were living in Florida. Then, Ramsay admitted that it was going to be a tough decision, and told Danny and Paula to head back to the dorms and wait for his decision. Danny and Paula said goodbye to their teams before heading back upstairs.

While Danny and Paula were relaxing back in the dorms, Lacey, LA, Ben, and Carol were discussing what happened in service from their respective teams while they were cleaning up the kitchens. Danny and Paula were proud of what they accomplished in the competition as they patiently waited for Ramsay’s decision. Back in his office, Ramsay reviewed the comment cards from both restaurants, as well as his own observations. 

Winner Announced Edit

Both Danny and Paula headed downstairs to Ramsay’s office, each of them being confident that they were the winner. Ramsay said he was proud of both of them, praising Danny's growth in the competition and Paula's excellent performances. After that, Ramsay told them that no matter the decision was, both of them had promising careers in that industry. Then, both finalists stood in front of one door each, knowing that only the winner’s door would open. After they nervously waited for Ramsay’s countdown, both of them turned their door handles, but only Danny's door opened.

Danny was declared the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, and won his own restaurant at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, therefore making Paula the runner-up. Paula took her loss graciously, congratulating Danny for winning while admitting that she was going to have a lot of opportunities in the future due to her ranking in second place on the show. Danny teared up, knowing that his deceased mother was not able to see him win, but knew that she was looking down on him from heaven, proud of his accomplishment. In the middle of the celebration, Ramsay introduced Danny to the four previous winners of Hell’s Kitchen, including Season 1 Michael, Season 2 Heather, Season 3 Rock, and Season 4 Christina. Then, Ramsay revealed that he would start a new Hell’s Kitchen tradition and introduced the Hell’s Kitchen “Wall of Fame”, which featured the portraits of the Hell’s Kitchen winners. After that, Danny hung his portrait on the wall, next to the previous winners' portraits.

Ramsay's comment: "Danny won Hell's Kitchen because in a very short period of time, he grew more than any other chef I've ever seen. He now has the talent, the maturity, to become a great head chef. Borgata Resort should consider themselves lucky. I know I would."