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I'm proud to be a redneck.

Rachel Brown (May 5, 1966 - May 9, 2007) was a contestant on Season 2 of Hell's Kitchen. She ranked in 7th place. On May 9, 2007, she committed suicide at her home in Texas, by gunshot.

Rachel started off as one of the most consistent chefs on the red team and was even considered a leader by Chef Ramsay. However as the competition continued she became inconsistent and had a horrible last service, which led to her elimination. She developed a close friendship with a teammate, but had a dislike towards another for their attitude.

Season 2

Episode 1

The twelve contestants arrived in Hell's Kitchen on a bus and were greeted by Jean-Philippe. They celebrated with some champagne glasses, got to know each other, and had a first look at the restaurant. Afterwards, Ramsay walked through the hallway, opened the dining room doors, and greeted the contestants by introducing himself and announcing that only one of them was going to win the competition. The only way that person would win though was to impress him, and asked all of them to cook their signature dishes.

During the Signature Dish Challenge, Rachel was the second person to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and deemed herself a proud redneck before refusing to let anybody run over her. She made butterfly shrimps with chocolate sauce, but Ramsay was dismayed by the concept. When she warned him not to eat a red chili flake in case of a hot mouth, he retorted that his mouth was more fucked than hot. The dish was deemed weird as, although Ramsay found the prawns to taste delicious, he found the chocolate sauce to obliterate the overall flavors. However, she felt that if she ate kidney pie, she would call it crap. After the challenge, she was placed in the red team because Ramsay declared that for the first time, the teams would be divided by gender, men on the blue team, women on the red team. After hearing the grand prize, she was prepared to sell her house when she won.

Before service, Rachel was one of the four women who volunteered to be the kitchen donkey, but Heather was eventually chosen over her. She deemed losing Heather an unfortunate situation, but still felt the women could beat the men that night. During dinner service, she was on the fish station. When service began, Virginia asked her how long a chicken should cook for. Later, she helped Polly on appetizers for her first ticket when the latter struggled. After three hours with barely any food served, and customers shouting, "I want my food!" all over the dining room, Ramsay shut down both kitchens. The red team lost the dinner service, and Heather was named "Best of the Worst".

She was not nominated for elimination.[1]

Episode 2

The next morning, after only two hours of sleep, the contestants were woken up by Sous Chefs Scott and Mary-Ann playing cowbells at 5:24 AM. They were told to go outside immediately, and once outside at the loading area, Ramsay recalled how the previous service was embarrassing. Afterwards, Ramsay wanted them to have a good idea fn how much food they wasted last night as a restaurant would never survive with a lot of waste. To get his point across, Ramsay ordered the chefs to jump into the dumpsters and pull out all the garbage from last night. As they went through the trash, Rachel could hear cash register noise going off in her head to remind her about all the wasted money from last night. After that, Ramsay told the contestants that he did not want another large amount of waste in the competition ever again. Now that the chefs understood the lesson, Ramsay ordered them to clean up because they stunk.

During the Perfect Steak Cut Challenge, Rachel was the third person from the red team to have her attempts judged, and got three accepted. The red team won the challenge 12-11, and they were rewarded with a helicopter ride to The Saddle Peak Lodge to have lunch with Ramsay. When they went back to the dorms to change, she was ready to spend some time with Ramsay, wanting to cross helicopter ride off her bucket list. Later that night, she was the only one from the red team that did not go into the jacuzzi.

The next morning, nobody could find Larry, but Rachel was not happy when Tom started trash talking him. During dinner service, she was on the garnish station. She was not seen that night as she did not make the most mistakes. After three hours, despite the red team rallying to get the main courses out, Ramsay made her and her team stand in front of the pass to have a look in the dining room. When almost every customer left, Ramsay shut down both kitchens. The red team won the dinner service.[2]

Episode 3

Back at the dorms, Rachel acknowledged that there was nobody who was safe at elimination, even if you were not nominated. The next day, the chefs were called downstairs by Ramsay, but she noticed that Sara was missing.

During the Relay Challenge, Rachel was the second of her team to go. Virginia successfully communicated all the information that she would need to continue, and she started making the sauce for the salmon. During her second 15 seconds relay, she failed to tell Maribel the third dish, which was tortellini. The red team won the challenge 2-1, and was awarded a day onboard the "Just Dreamin" yacht with Ramsay. During the reward, she took in Ramsay's explanation about how different Las Vegas was.

During dinner service, Rachel was on the dessert station. She was very unnoticed during that service, except at one point where she was helping Maribel on the meat station. The red team won the dinner service. After elimination, she said she learned about the killer instinct, and wanted to sink the men down to suffocation levels.[3]

Episode 4

Back in the dorms, Tom went on the patio and talked with Heather and Rachel about how he brought more than the 21 year old’s, but his comment on how he sacrificed everything to be there irritated the two. However, Tom said he only cared about the money, and she told him that she and Heather were born to do that.

The next morning, Ramsay noticed that Rachel was emerging as a leader on the red team, along with Sara and Heather. After that, she said goodbye to Heather, who was transferred to the blue team. Afterwards, they went on a trip to Los Angeles famous restaurant Pink's Hot Dogs, and she ordered the Gordon Ramsay hotdog. After, they went back to the restaurant to prep the kitchen for the first lunch service of Hell's Kitchen. After hearing the easy menu, she asked how hard that could be. While she and Virginia wanted to prove that even without Heather, they would be strong, Sara felt she would crumble because of Heather's departure from the team.

During the Lunch Service Challenge, Rachel saw that Sara was struggling on the pizza station due to a cut, and came to help her, but it was not appreciated by the latter. However, she said that Sara should have asked for help if she needed some. Later, she was accused by Sara of rolling the pizza dough into squares. Despite that, the red team completed their orders, and celebrated along with the children in the dining room, making her feel wonderful. However, they lost the challenge as their food was rated 9.84 out of 10, compared to the blue team's 9.85.

The red team were punished by cleaning up the big mess left by the children in the dining room, and having to get ice in the middle of the following service. During the punishment, Sara inhaled helium and made weird sounds while spraying water on the floor, but Rachel was pissed as she busted her ass to help her team win, and felt that the latter did not care if they lost. Later that day, she and Sara began a heated argument based on the latter’s attitude, and she got so angry she mimicked a choking gesture to her neck with her pencil.

During prep, the red kitchen was too silent because of the animosity between Rachel and Sara as both wanted to lead the team. While she did not want the animosity to last, Sara predicted some defeats for the red team, before hoping to see the former eliminated.

During dinner service, Rachel was on the appetizer station. As service began, she had to communicate with Sara to get salads Saint-Jacques quickly, but the latter did not communicate well with her when she was about to plate her first appetizer. That irritated her as she called it out three times. Then, she sent up stiff risottos, and Ramsay told her to start again as risotto was supposed to relaxed on a plate, not stacked up. When Ramsay asked her if it was because Heather was gone, she answered that it was not as her only focus was on dinner service. After, she sent up a risotto with too much liquid, Ramsay compared it to a soup and asked her for some quality control. She acknowledged her mistake and declared that Ramsay would have a great opportunity to get rid of her. 45 minutes into service, she served six tables of appetizers, but when helping Virginia on meat, the two sent up quail dishes with the bones still on them, making the latter ashamed about that mistake. She said to Ramsay she was trying to get used to his procedures, but Ramsay schooled her about that comment, and delegated her to get some ice for the restaurant, causing her to sprint outside. However, she forgot to get money for the i.e., and got on her knees to begged the man in front of her to pay for her, which he accepted. On her way back, she fell to the ground and ripped one of her bags. Afterwards, she came back, poured her ice into the machine, and came back to the kitchen, stating that she busted her ass on her way back. Later, Ramsay noticed that the Wellingtons were brushed with egg whites instead of egg yolks all night, and when he told her about it, she acknowledged the mistake, but did not seem to care about it. That was the final straw and, after a long night of frustrations and only half the dining room getting served, Ramsay kicked both teams out of the kitchen.

Both teams were named joint losers, and they were asked to nominate one each. During deliberation, Rachel told Virginia to step up for herself when the latter knew she was getting nominated. Then, Maribel considered her the weakest for holding the team back due to her poor performance on appetizers.

Rachel was not nominated for elimination, but agreed when Ramsay told her it was her worst performance since her arrival. After the nominee's pleas, Ramsay asked her if she was happy about it, she said she was not and volunteered to take Virginia's place on the chopping block, an offer he considered tempting. She survived elimination, but while being dismissed, she was dismayed that Ramsay was not seeing her strengths.[4]

Episode 5

Back at the dorms, Rachel felt Ramsay had some choice words for her after her worst performance since her arrival, and felt he expected more of her because she has a lot to give.

The next morning, Rachel tasted some fine-dining dishes, which included caviar, cheese fondue, pâté, and chicken kebab. After a few minutes, Ramsay revealed that all those dishes were fake, and introduced the Blind Taste Test. She was forced to sit out to even the teams at three each. The red team won the challenge 7-6, and they were rewarded with a photo shoot for a TV Guide. During the reward, Sara blew gases in direction of Ramsay, and she disgustingly felt the former was not leadership worthy.

Later that night, Rachel chatted with Heather as the two playfully taunted with each other, but that annoyed Sara as she saw their friendship to unprofessional because both were making eyes to each other. She explained to Heather the power struggle in the red team because of her feud with Sara, and said she did not need a loose cannon in the kitchen. During prep, she said that night would determine whether it was herself or Sara that was the leader of the red team.

During dinner service, Rachel was on the meat station. On the first ticket, she burned her duck and was already on fire, making Ramsay ask if that was a sign of things to come for that night. She said it was not. On the next orders, she sent up overcooked quail, and Ramsay pulled the red team aside to taste her quail. After she declared it was a little overcooked, Ramsay tried to humiliate her by giving her glasses from a customer that Jean-Philippe brought to the kitchen. When Ramsay asked her if she really thought he was going to send that quail in the dining room, she got confused and did not know what to answer. Then, Ramsay pulled her into the pantry room and asked her if she wanted to go home. After telling him that she will not let him down, and Ramsay told her she already had, she got back in the kitchen, ready to fight back. Two hours into service, she sent up rare Wellingtons that were requested medium, further dismaying Ramsay as Virginia was forced to take back her perfectly cooked salmon. She was ashamed of that mistake and apologized to Ramsay, and when she told him she was afraid of telling him the correct time, he answered by telling her he was not scared to tell the truth and concluded that he was nervous for her, which she responded she was too. Later, she overcooked some Wellingtons requested medium and tried to hide the mistake by covering them with some sauce. However, Ramsay was not a fool as he could tell her Wellingtons were well done by simply touching it. That was the last straw, and Ramsay shut down both kitchens in order to put her out of her misery.

The red team lost the dinner service, and Virginia was named "Best of the Worst". During deliberation, Rachel admitted that her performance was very weak, and praised Virginia for her strong performance that night. Then, she fought for her survival by trying to convince Virginia to pick Sara for many reasons, especially as the latter sabotaged her the previous service. Unknown to her, Sara and Maribel nominated her for screwing up service. On the patio, Heather admitted to her that she would miss her very much if she was to go, and she told the former that if she was going home, she would want her to win.

Rachel was Virginia's first nominee for elimination, with Maribel being the second. During her plea, she knew she deserved to be nominated, but felt she had more maturity and compassion for cooking. She was eliminated for being the worst performer of the night, and completely screwing up her team. Before she left, Ramsay praised her hard work and busting her ass, before shaking her hand goodbye. She received a retrospective montage of her run during her exit interview.

Ramsay's comment: "Rachel clearly couldn't handle it. She buckled, panicked, and actually screwed the kitchen completely. You've got no chance of running a successful business, if you can't handle one section." [5]

Episode 10

When she returned for the last dinner service of the season, Rachel opened the door leading to the dorms and was the first one to enter. She and Heather hugged each other for a very long time, as both of them have missed each other. She said she was really happy to see Heather in the finals, while saying that Virginia was a big surprise. During the selection, she was Heather's first pick, followed by Sara and Garrett. When Heather briefed her team, she reminded her feud with Sara, but would not let that get in the way of Heather's victory.

During prep, Rachel seemed very focus on the service coming up and to work well with Sara. During dinner service, she was on the meat station. An hour into service, many customers received their entrées, but at one point, she sent undercooked Wellingtons to the pass, which Heather told her to refire. When she sent it for the second time, they were perfectly cooked, and the president of the Red Rock Resort & Spa enjoyed his dish. Near the end of service, she was pushing desserts out of the kitchen, along with Sara and Garrett, and the team completed service.

When the teams were lined up, Ramsay congratulated and gave them a big round of applause. Before Heather left to the dorms, Rachel gave her a big hug. Heather eventually won the finals over Virginia, making her extremely proud.[6]

Nomination History

Week 1 Safe
Week 2 Win
Week 3 Win
Week 4 Nominated
Week 5 Nominated

Post Hell's Kitchen

  • After her appearance on the show, Rachel unfortunately died in 2007 due to a self-inflicted gunshot. Her remains were later cremated and given to her girlfriend.[7]

Trivia

  • She is the first contestant to pass away.
  • She is the first contestant ever to receive a retrospective montage of her run without making it to the black jackets.
  • She is the first contestant ever to nominate herself for elimination.
  • She is the first contestant to sit out during the Blind Taste Test.

Quotes

  • "I'm proud to be a redneck."
  • "That man will not break me!"
  • (To herself) "Rachel...you...are...pitiful! Rachel, you suck!"
  • (After being eliminated) "I’ve never, ever failed at anything I’ve set my mind to. It hurts, but, everything has changed since I’ve- I’ve been in Hell’s Kitchen. You know, the restaurant was gonna be, yeah it’s a dream. You don’t quit having a dream, because one night... (cries)"

Gallery

References

Hell's Kitchen Season 2
Staff

Gordon Ramsay (Head Chef) • Scott Leibfried (Blue Team Sous Chef) • Mary-Ann Salcedo (Red Team Sous Chef) • Jean-Philippe Susilovic (Maître d'hôtel)

Contestants

Giacomo AlfieriRachel BrownVirginia DalbeckGabe GagliardiKeith GreenePolly HolladaySara HorowitzMaribel MillerTom PauleyLarry SikGarrett TelleHeather West

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