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There ain't no "politically correct", we tryin' to win a competition.

Rahman "Rock" Harper was a contestant on Season 3 of Hell's Kitchen. He was the winner of that season and was awarded a head chef position at the Terra Verde restaurant, at the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa, near Las Vegas, with a salary of $250,000.

Rock was a generally friendly and compassionate contestant throughout the competition, and seemed to keep a level head throughout the stress. However, he would also have emotional outbursts of anger against many chefs, although he reconciled with most of them by the end. In the kitchen, he was undoubtedly the strongest and most consistent chef of the season, delivering near perfect dinner services, despite some hiccups in challenges, as well as being a natural-born leader for the blue team. He developed friendships with many chefs despite having minor issues with some inconsistent chefs.

Season 3

Episode 1

Rock was the third chef to have his dish judged by Ramsay and made scallops with potato and gnocchi. Ramsay was heavily impressed by the presentation, but he admitted that the gnocchi were premade frozen. Ramsay was disappointed in this as it could have been a great dish, and refused to taste it. Rock himself was disappointed that he could not execute his own signature dish properly.

During prep, Rock had to help Aaron out when the latter was struggling on the ice cream.

During dinner service, Rock was on the fish station. He was not seen much as he did not cause any problems, although he told Vinnie that they were out of vegetable stock. He even got annoyed at Vinnie when the latter argued with Ramsay during post-mortem over his poor performance. The blue team won the dinner service.[1]

Episode 2

During the Dover Sole Challenge, Rock only produced one acceptable fish, much to his dismay. His team lost the challenge 8-9 and had to prep the remaining Dover Soles for the next service. He, along with Brad, managed to convince Aaron to stay as the latter contemplated quitting due to his health problems.

During dinner service, Rock was on the garnish station. At one point, he and Brad tried to take over Eddie's work on appetizers, but this led to excess cooked spaghetti not needed. The blue team lost the service due to Ramsay kicking the blue team out of service, but because of his strong performance, he was named "Best of the Worst", and was asked to nominate two of his teammates.

Rock nominated Eddie as his first nominee, and Josh as his second, even though Aaron told him he deserved to be nominated.[2]

Episode 3

Back in the dorms, Josh confronted Rock over his decision in nominating him, but Rock had to remind him that they were not leaders yet. He did admit in a confessional that he was getting annoyed with Josh's attitude.

The blue team lost the Army and Navy Service Challenge, and had to prep 1000 pounds of potatoes and onions. During the punishment, Rock helped Aaron, who has just collapsed, by calling a medic. Later, he got more annoyed with Josh's behavior, feeling that he is trying to take the leadership role when he obviously had no skills for it. Afterthe punishment, the blue team discussed who should be the leader, and Brad was chosen. However, Rock knew Josh voted for Brad out of spite for being nominated, but Rock decided to see how well Brad would handle the role.

During dinner service, Rock was on the appetizer station. He got off to a bad start when Ramsay caught him cooking the risotto in a similar way to an omelet, and was chewed out even more when he was unintentionally winking due to the sweat in his eye. He did manage to redeem himself by sending good risottos, and appetizers soon came flying out, managing to send out nearly half of the blue table's food in an hour. After Ramsay assaulted Vinnie with a raw egg, Rock attempted to calm the latter down. The blue team won the dinner service, and Ramsay singled Rock for having the best performance of the night, even telling him not to slow down on his progress.[3]

Episode 4

During the Blind Taste Test, Rock was the second person up for the blue team, and went up against Melissa. He scored two points for his team, with the only ingredient he could not guess correctly was venison. But it was not enough as his team lost 3-5. Their punishment was to prep both kitchens for service and eat a platter of offal. During the punishment, he came close to puking at one point but held it together.

During dinner service, Rock was on both the appetizer and fish stations. He was called over by Ramsay to take over for Josh after the latter was caught not doing anything. It was because of him that the blue team were able to get appetizers out, 45 minutes in. Both teams lost the dinner service, but he was named "Best of the Worst" for the blue tea, and was told by Ramsay to nominate one of his teammates for elimination.

Rock nominated Josh, but his nomination was overruled after Ramsay called Vinnie down instead.[4]

Episode 5

After elimination, Rock asked Josh if he felt he made the wrong decision in nominating Josh instead of Vinnie. Despite trying to explain to Josh that his problem was rushing through things, he was ignored.

During the Wedding Planning Challenge, Rock overheard "Hell's Bitches" arguing and prayed that it would lead to their downfall. He presented the blue team's meat entrée which was a pan seared dry-aged ribeye with a wild mushroom cream sauce. Since the red team's duck breast was too rubbery to cut through, his dish automatically won it for the blue team 2-1. Their reward was a day of pampering and relaxation at the Exhale Spa.

During prep, Rock got annoyed with Melissa's overcomplicated questions about the blue team's potato dish and even stated that he would not want her on his team.

During the Wedding dinner service, Rock was on the fish station. While he was not shown much in service, he expressed proudness because the blue team was finally able to come together. His team won the dinner service.

At elimination, Rock and the blue team welcomed Melissa as a new teammate. He was not very happy about that decision.[5]

Episode 6

While Melissa tried to integrate herself in with the blue team, Rock still believed that she would be going home soon.

During the Lobster Dish Challenge, Rock made a buttermilk fried lobster tail tempura. It was praised by Ramsay for its ambition and for the lobster being perfectly cooked and scored a point for the blue team. However, his efforts were not enough and his team lost the challenge 1-2. The team was forced to participate in Recycling Day, which infuriated him, not just because the blue team lost to a simple lobster bisque, but also because he grew up in the ghetto and never had to go dumpster diving. His angry attitude shocked his teammates as they never saw him explode like that before. As the blue team sorted through the trash, Sous Chef Scott told him that he was needed at the photoshoot. However, it turned out that he was forced to separate the trash there as well, which only infuriated him more. However, he did manage to calm himself before service.

During dinner service, Rock was on the meat station. After Melissa's meltdown on the fish station, a desperate Ramsay had him swap stations with her in order to salvage the blue team's poor service. His efforts were not enough, and the blue team lost the dinner service with nobody being safe.

He was not nominated for elimination.[6]

Episode 7

Rock expressed relief when Melissa was eliminated as it meant one less person for him to compete against.

During the Leftover Challenge, Rock presented the blue team's second entrée, which was a surf and turf that consisted of a petit ribeye and a pan seared bass. Ramsay found it delicious and praised him for cooking it with finesse. He scored a point and the blue team won the challenge 2-1 and was rewarded with a paintball game against Ramsay. During the reward, he was the last one of the team to be taken out by Ramsay.

Before service, Ramsay announced that both teams would create their own menus. Rock inputted a macaroni and cheese dish but was not happy when Brad decided to rename it as a cassoulet.

During dinner service, Rock was on the garnish station. He tried to warn Josh that his pan was not hot enough for the lamb, but Josh argued against it. When Ramsay ordered him to help Josh, he decided not to as he wanted Josh to get out of that mess himself. Both teams lost dinner service, and for the blue team, nobody was safe.

He was not nominated for elimination.[7]

Episode 8

After Brad's elimination, Rock was happy about that decision as it meant his biggest competition was gone, and it would be an easy run from here on. He later told Josh that he had no faith that he could win.

The next morning, Ramsay announced that the red and blue teams were now the black team, and Rock received his black jacket in the dorms.

During the Alhambra High School Lunch Challenge, Rock made a Kobe beef burger on ciabatta rolls, and when he served his dish to the students, he used a political way to sell it. When Ramsay told them to speed up the gridlock, Rock tried to argue that the students were coming from both sides, but was shut down by Ramsay. He lost the challenge to Julia and had to clean the dining room with Bonnie and Josh. He got into an argument with Bonnie over her lack of knowledge of cleaning despite her job as a nanny.

During dinner service, Rock was on the fish station. His first order of scallops came up burnt at the bottom. He later forgot an order of turbot and snapped at Bonnie when she told Ramsay about it, and Ramsay stated that "Rock has hit rock bottom". He later failed to communicate with Jen on her appetizers, which led to an argument. He would get into another argument with Jen when he put the ice cream base for desserts on Bonnie's work counter instead of the sink, and was called an asshole by her. Bonnie was named "Best of the Worst". After service, he reflected on his poor behavior during service, and felt remorse for arguing with Jen.

Rock was Bonnie's first nominee for elimination, with Julia being the second. He survived elimination.[8]

Episode 9

After elimination, Rock apologized to Jen about his behavior, and the two of them made up by hugging each other. He was later upset by Julia's elimination as she was his biggest inspiration in the competition.

During the American Classic Challenge, he got Spaghetti and Meatballs, and made spaghetti three ways, cream sauce, veal, and spicy chorizo and pork respectively. Ramsay invited his mom to help judge his and the two women's dishes, and she was joined by Bonnie and Jen's moms. He lost the challenge to Jen and was punished by cleaning the dorms with Bonnie. Duringthe punishment, he got annoyed by Bonnie's bossy attitude and complaints, while shocked when he found out she never cleaned before despite being a nanny.

During dinner service, Rock was on the fish station. He was the second person who had a turn at the pass. He was not vocal enough on his first ticket and proved slow when plating. However, he passed his quality control test when he rejected Sous Chef Scott's monkfish that had no ham wrapped around. After service, Ramsay congratulated the final three by telling it was their best service yet.

At elimination, Ramsay told Rock he had to go in the final two. He would soon be joined by Bonnie. After Jen's elimination, he received a visit from his wife and children.[9]

Episode 10/11

Back to the dorms, Rock and Bonnie celebrated making it to the final two. He admitted that he thought he would be up against Melissa in the finals, and later showed some concern when Bonnie stated that the other chefs underestimated her, as he could do that as well.

During the remodeling for the last service, Rock was given the blue part of the dining room, and was helped by Sous Chef Scott for creating his menu, although he struggled on his items as he was not properly prepared. He talked to Hell's Kitchen architect John Janav, and said that he wanted to have his restaurant to look contemporary with matching decor. He later told Jean-Philippe what he wanted his staff to wear, but was told that jeans were not acceptable.

Later, Rock went to Las Vegas with Ramsay and Bonnie, and during the flight in the private jet, he was reminded his angry outburst after losing the Lobster Challenge, serving frozen gnocchi for his signature dish, and choosing to send Brad home instead of Josh after the final team dinner service. For their final challenge, he and Bonnie competed in a final tasting challenge that was judged by seven guest chefs. He made a Surf n Turf, that consisted of fried chicken and crab cakes. He lost the challenge 3-4.

Later that night, Ramsay invited Rock, and Bonnie, to dine in his restaurant called Gordon Ramsay New London NYC, in New York City. He later admitted that he changed a lot over the competition to Bonnie.

The next morning, the past six eliminated contestants returned, and he happily welcomed them back. During the selection, he picked Brad as his first choice due to his strength in the competition, Vinnie as he felt he could lead him on the right path, and was left with Josh at the end.[10] Back upstairs, he got his team organized by telling them what the menu was and where he was placing them, based on their strengths and weaknesses.

During prep. Rock got his team motivated and focused, but knew that his challenge for that night was to get them to listen to him. He later took Josh aside and gave him a pep talk, where he told him that he could be a good cook if he was trusting himself more. Later on, he showed Ramsay his featured menu items which included a crispy chicken breast with crab cakes over jasmine rice appetizer, a pan-roasted ribeye entrée, and a vanilla bean milkshake with double chocolate chunk cookies dessert. Ramsay noted that the rice had too much garlic in it, and suggested that he serve the milkshake in a martini glass. After his restaurant “Homestyle Bistro” was finished, he took Ramsay on a tour and was praised for looking elegant and smart.

During dinner service, Rock was on the hot plate. He called out his first ticket with authority, although he admitted it felt weird. When Josh sent burned crab cakes, he got into an argument with him when Josh needed one minute to refire instead of the 30 seconds he asked for. After 30 minutes of seeing Josh burning crab cakes and being warned by Ramsay to do something, he decided to switch stations between Josh and Vinnie, and with that move, his food finally came out. He was later seen cooking some of the dishes, and the team was able to catch up on their entrées with his leadership continuing to be strong. Desserts went into the dining room without any problems. After service ended, Rock admitted that he now knew how Ramsay felt during almost every service, and was frustratedwithn how Josh performed terribly. He later saw his family come by, congratulating him.

When the teams were lined up, Rock admitted that if he was to change one thing, it would be winning the last challenge and pick Jen as his first pick, because he thought she was the strongest chef throughout the competition, while adding on that he would not have had Josh on his team due to his poor performance that night. While waiting upstairs for Ramsay's decision, he noted how difficult service was and believed Bonnie would be the winner.

Later that night, Rock and Bonnie came into Ramsay's office, and he got praise from him for being "rock solid” due to his strength in the kitchen. After that, he stood in front of a door, knowing it would open only if he was the winner. After waiting nervously for Ramsay's countdown to end, he turned the handle and his door opened, making him the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, and winning his own restaurant at the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa, in Las Vegas, with a salary of $250,000.

Ramsay's comment: "Rock deserved to win Hell's Kitchen because he's a very confident cook and he has become a really good leader. He can motivate staff, he can create, all those qualities are not easy to find in one chef. Rock holds all of them." [11]

Nomination History

Week 1 Win
Week 2 BoW
Week 3 Win
Week 4 BoW
Week 5 Win
Week 6 Safe
Week 7 Safe
Week 8 Nominated
Week 9 Safe
Finale Winner

Season 4

Episode 10

Rock greeted Jen and Corey, who were visiting the Green Valley Ranch Resort & Spa after a challenge win, at his restaurant, the Terra Verde. He revealed that if they were that far in the competition, it was because they were deserving it, and urged them to continue what they were doing. Then, Jen said that every time Ramsay was yelling at her was because of her personality, but he reminded the two women that Ramsay was not looking for a great cook and that he was looking for a future chef. Then, the three of them clinked their glasses and drank them.[12]

Season 5

Episode 15

Rock came back for the finale of that season, along with Michael (Season 1 winner), Heather (Season 2 winner), and Christina (Season 4 winner). He was seen when Ramsay introduced the recently crowned winner Danny to them, and he saw the unveiling of the Hell's Kitchen "Wall of Fame".[13]

Season 6

Episode 15

Aside from Heather, who was a sous chef, that season, Rock came back for the finale of that season, along with Michael (Season 1 winner), Christina (Season 4 winner) and Danny (Season 5 winner). He was seen when Ramsay introduced the recently crowned winner Dave to them and saw the unveiling of the Hell's Kitchen "Wall of Fame".[14]

Season 8

Episode 8

Rock returned for the 100th Hell's Kitchen dinner service as a VIP guest, along with Christina (Season 4), Danny (Season 5), and Holli (Season 7). He was at the blue kitchen's chefs table, with Christina.[15]

Season 10

Episode 1

Rock, along with Season 6 winner Dave greeted the red team after winning the Signature Dish Challenge, and ate dinner with them on the patio. He said that girls were smarter than guys, despite being one himself.[16]

Season 11

Episode 17/18

Rock returned as part of a team of returning champions, and was joined by Christina (Season 4), Dave (Season 6), Nona (Season 8), and Paul (Season 9). He was the first returning champion to reveal himself, and Jon knew it would be tough as he was a beast in the kitchen. While Susan was confident the black jackets were better than the previous winners, he was not intimidated by her due to her towel on topof her head. As the champions worked on their menu ideas, he did not have a worry in his body as he felt they were the dream team.

During prep, Rock felt the black jackets had no chance against them as they were that good. During dinner service, he was on the garnish station, and at the start of service, Ramsay told him to remain solid. When a backlog on appetizers occurred, he decided to step up as a leader by trying to calm people down and see what was going on. However, Christina felt he was more lost, and despite Dave giving him a clear explanation of what was going on, he was still lost. The champions won the service as they had a 95% approval rating over the black jackets 93%, and while he admitted it was not a perfect service, he was honored to be there with the other chefs.[17]

Season 12

Episode 15/16

Rock returned to Hell's Kitchen along with Dana (Season 10) and Paul (Season 9) as their dishes were featured in the first ever Hell's Kitchen Calendar. Later, they were called to help Ramsay judge the Black Jackets Challenge. Joy ended up winning the challenge and ate a meal with the three returning chefs, which was prepared by the losers of the challenge. Kashia flirted with him when she served him his meal and even shook his hand.[18][19]

Season 13

Episode 15

Rock made a cameo as a customer for the 200th Hell's Kitchen dinner service. He was eating at the same table as Jay (Season 7), Elise (Season 9), Christina (Season 10), and Jon (Season 11).[20]

Post Hell's Kitchen

  • After his season 3 appearance, Rock left the Green Valley Ranch Resort after a year, in which he later became an executive chef at Ben's Next Door.
  • Rock eventually left Ben's Next Door and became an instructor at Stratford University.
  • Rock wrote a cookbook titled "44 Things Parents Should Know about Healthy Cooking for Kids."
  • He appeared on Chef Wanted and won an Executive Chef position at The Precinct, but did not take the position.
  • He also has been involved with many businesses in an advisory capacity.
  • He made an appearance on Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell and Back as a decoy/expert at Seafarer's Family Restaurant, which was later renamed as Halterman's Eatery, and was brought on board as a mentor for the restaurant's young head chef.

Trivia

  • Due to his consistency, compassion, and natural leadership skills, Rock is considered by fans to be one of the most talented chefs in the history of the show.
  • He participated in the first-ever different-gender finals of Hell's Kitchen.
  • He is the first African-American winner of Hell's Kitchen.
  • He is the first contestant ever who used pre-made food for his signature dish, and the only one to date who did so and went on to win the competition afterward.
  • He is the first winner with the most instances of calling the nominees in their season, with 2, tying with Jen, having been named "Best of the Worst" twice.
  • He is the first winner to have been nominated for elimination.
  • He is the first winner who never switched teams.
  • He and Dave (Season 6) are the oldest winners of Hell's Kitchen when adjusting for time (44 now).
  • Out of all of the winners that came back as guests, he is the one who returned as a guest the most, with 8 seasons in total.
  • He is the winner with the least challenges won with only 2.

Quotes

  • (About Vinnie) "All I could think to myself was "Please shut up! Who are you talking to? Are you serious?" I just couldn't, I couldn't believe it!"
  • "Argue. Argue. Hell's Bitches yeah."
  • "The only threat to Rock is Rock"
  • (About Melissa) "This bitch is crazy."
  • (During the blue team's punishment) "That was bullshit! Gotta go through trash, what der'o motherfucking trash! What do I look like! I don't ask any of my cooks to go through damn trash! If you don't like what I'm putting in the trash, FIRE ME THEN!"
  • "Lobster bisque. You can get that shit at motherfucking Corner Bakery!"
  • "What the hell is original about a crab and lobster bisque?! NOTHING!!!"
  • "Slammed that shit right in Vinnie's chest, and Vinnie tensed stopped and he was about to bust. All I can think was, oh my god, do not lose your head."

Gallery

References

  1. (June 4, 2007). "Episode 301 - 12 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 1.
  2. (June 11, 2007). "Episode 302 - 11 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 2.
  3. (June 18, 2007). "Episode 303 - 10 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 3.
  4. (June 25, 2007). "Episode 304 - 8 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 4.
  5. (July 2, 2007). "Episode 305 - 7 Chefs Compete, Part 1". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 5.
  6. (July 9, 2007). "Episode 306 - 7 Chefs Compete, Part 2". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 6.
  7. (July 16, 2007). "Episode 307 - 6 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 7.
  8. (July 23, 2007). "Episode 308 - 5 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 8.
  9. (July 30, 2007). "Episode 309 - 3 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 9.
  10. (August 6, 2007). "Episode 310 - 2 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 10.
  11. (August 13, 2007). "Episode 311 - Winner Announced". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 3. Episode 11.
  12. (June 3, 2008). "Episode 410 - 6 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 4. Episode 10.
  13. (May 14, 2009). "Episode 515 - 2 Chefs Compete: Part 2". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 5. Episode 15.
  14. (October 13, 2009). "Episode 615 - 2 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 6. Episode 15.
  15. (October 13, 2010). "Episode 808 - 9 Chefs Compete Part 2". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 8. Episode 8.
  16. (June 4, 2012). "Episode 1001 - 18 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 10. Episode 1.
  17. (June 27, 2013). "Episode 1118 - 5 Chefs Compete Part 2". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 11. Episode 18.
  18. (June 19, 2014). "Episode 1215 - 7 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 12. Episode 15.
  19. (June 26, 2014). "Episode 1216 - 7 Chefs Again". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 12. Episode 16.
  20. (December 17, 2014). "Episode 1315 - 4 Chefs Compete". Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series). Season 13. Episode 15.

External links

Hell's Kitchen Season 3
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

Joanna DunnVinnie FamaMelissa FirpoRock HarperEddie LangleyBrad MillerBonnie MuirheadTiffany NagelAaron SongJosh WahlerJulia WilliamsJen Yemola


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