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Season 18 of Hell's Kitchen (stylized Hell's Kitchen: Rookies vs. Veterans) aired on FOX between September 28, 2018 and February 8, 2019. Ariel Contreras-Fox, who ranked 3rd place on Season 6, was the winner of the season, and was awarded the Executive Chef position at Hell's Kitchen at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, with a $250,000 salary.


16 chefs competed that season, but with a new twist. For that year, eight new contestants (dubbed the Rookies) were in the red team, while eight former contestants from previous seasons (dubbed the Veterans) were in the blue team. This marked the first time since Season 1 both teams were not divided by gender at the start of the season until episode 4, Chef Ramsay decided to split the teams of rookies and veterans in their separate gender in opposite kitchens, with the men in the red kitchen and women in the blue kitchen.


Contestant Age Occupation Hometown
Gizzy Barton 31 Sous Chef Atlanta, GA
Mia Castro 28 Private Chef Miami Beach, FL
Jose DeJesus 34 Chef de Cuisine Bronx, NY
Kanae Houston 25 Sous Chef Los Angeles, CA
Scotley Innis 33 Atlanta, GA
Chris Mendonca 25 Executive Chef Boston, MA
Chris Motto 35 Baton Rouge, LA
Scott Popovic 39 Cleveland, OH


Contestant Age Occupation Hometown Original season Rank
Ariel Contreras-Fox 35 Chef de Cuisine Brooklyn, NY Season 6 3rd Place
Kevin Cottle 43 Executive Chef Middletown, CT Runner-up
Roe DiLeo 36 Head Chef Dallas, TX Season 13 5th Place
Jen Gavin 33 Private Concert Catering Chef Chicago, IL Season 4 4th Place
T Gregoire 34 Director of Operations Chef Draper, VA Season 14 Runner-up
Bret Hauser Personal Chef Fort Lauderdale, FL 11th Place
Trev McGrath 37 Lead Chef New York, NY Season 8 4th Place
Heather Williams 28 Executive Chef Easton, PA Season 16 Runner-up

Contestant progress

At the end of each episode, one chef is eliminated from the losing team by Ramsay. This was the first season to have two people withdraw from the competition at different times since Season 12. This was also the first season since Season 14 where Ramsay cut the final four in half for the finale.

# Chef Original Teams First Switch Second
1802 1803 1804 1805 1806 1807 1808 1809 1810 1811 1812 1813 1814 1816
1 Ariel WINNER
4 Motto LEFT
5 Heather NOM NOM OUT
6 Kanae OUT
9 Scotley NOM NOM OUT
10 Roe NOM OUT
11 Gizzy NOM OUT
12 T OUT
14 Kevin NOM OUT
15 Jen EJEC
16 Scott OUT

Final Service Brigades
Mia Ariel
Roe Kanae
Trev Bret
Jose Motto
Heather Scotley
Color Legend
NOM Regular Nomination Ramsay Nomination Voided Nomination
OUT Regular Elimination Ramsay Nomination Without Nomination
MISC Ejected during service Quit or Hospitalized Best of the Best/Worst


Here is the list of the episodes of that season, with links to detailed pages.

# Image Title Airdate
01 Episode 1801 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1801 - Rookies vs. Veterans September 28, 2018
Episode Rundown: Eight newcomers and eight returning chefs arrived to Hell's Kitchen, the Signature Dish Challenge ended in a close race, and two chefs started to get on each others nerves.
02 Episode 1802 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1802 - A Fond Farewell October 5, 2018
Episode Rundown: Risotto was the main dish, one team showed their lack of experience on opening night, and one chef made a shocking reveal at elimination.
03 Episode 1803 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1803 - Hell's Riders October 12, 2018
Episode Rundown: A lunch service featuring marines took place, an advantage was used, and one chef went off the deep end in terms of their attitude, leading to a dramatic dinner service.
04 Episode 1804 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1804 - Hell Freezes Over October 19, 2018
Episode Rundown: Soup was the main dish, dinner service was rough on both ends, and Ramsay turned the theme of that season on its head with the first team switch.
05 Episode 1805 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1805 - Fish Out of Water November 2, 2018
Episode Rundown: The battle of the sexes was back on, halibut was the main ingredient, and a jaw-dropping elimination of an overwhelming fan favorite took place.
06 Episode 1806 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1806 - Hot Potato November 9, 2018
Episode Rundown: Potato was the main ingredient, one chef was forced to make a decision after being haunted by a previous experience, and a station meltdown brought one kitchen down during Steak Night.
07 Episode 1807 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1807 - Last Chef Standing November 16, 2018
Episode Rundown: The teams communication skills were put to the test, two chefs began a running feud, and six others cooked for their lives to stay in the competition.
08 Episode 1808 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1808 - One Hell of a Party December 7, 2018
Episode Rundown: A special Sweet 16th party took place, one chef nearly left the competition due to medical problems again, and one team dominated over the other at dinner service.
09 Episode 1809 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1809 - What Happens in Vegas December 14, 2018
Episode Rundown: Chinese cuisine was the main theme, one team made a comeback at dinner service, and a shocking, but satisfying, elimination of a boastful chef took place.
10 Episode 1810 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1810 - Poor Trev January 4, 2019
Episode Rundown: The annual Blind Taste Test took place, one chef nearly lost it after another punishment, and a private dinner service had an embarrassing moment for one team.
11 Episode 1811 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1811 - Devilish Desserts January 11, 2019
Episode Rundown: Dessert was the main theme, one team's dysfunction suffered at dinner service, and one chef lost their last chance to stay in the competition.
12 Episode 1812 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1812 - Break on Through January 18, 2019
Episode Rundown: The second team switch occurred, the remaining chefs competed in a series of challenges for black jackets, and a shocking elimination of a early front runner occurred.
13 Episode 1813 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1813 - An Episode of Firsts January 25, 2019
Episode Rundown: The final five competed in their first black jackets challenge, a communication breakdown occurred at dinner service, and that night spelled the end for the final returning runner-up.
14 Episode 1814 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1814 - What's Your Motto? February 1, 2019
Episode Rundown: The final four worked on their tableside skills, took turns running the pass, one chef made a startling announcement to the chefs and Ramsay, and the final two were revealed.
15 Episode 1815 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1815 - A Rollercoaster Ride February 8, 2019
Episode Rundown: Ariel and Mia reunited with their families, competed in one final challenge, and picked their teams.
16 Episode 1816 thumbnail.jpg Episode 1816 - The Grand Finale February 8, 2019
Episode Rundown: Ariel and Mia compete in one final dinner service, and the winner of Hell's Kitchen is revealed.





  • This is the first season since Season 1 where the teams were not divided by gender at the beginning.
  • This is the first season where none of the contestants scored a 1 out of 5 on the new format of the Signature Dish Challenge.
  • This season holds the record for having the most contestants scoring a perfect 5 on the new format of the Signature Dish Challenge, with four.
  • This is the second season to have a tied score at the end of the Signature Dish Challenge, following Season 8.
  • This is the first season to have a chef quit before the finale. It's also the first season to bring a chef back for the final dinner service despite withdrawing.
  • This is the first season where all males were switched to the red team and all females were switched to the blue team.
  • If you compare the Blue teams in other seasons, this season's blue team set the record of second most dinner service wins in a season with five, excluding joint-victories. This record is shared with Seasons 6, 7, 15 and 17.
  • This season holds the record for the most chefs to change teams in one night with six in total (three from each team).
  • This season marks the first instance in which both finalists took charge of the kitchen opposite to their starting team in the finale.
  • This season introduced the "Punishment Pass".
  • In terms of returning chefs, both Season 6 and Season 14 are tied for most at two each. Seasons 4, 8, 13, and 16 are tied for lowest amount at one each.
  • Interestingly, Jen and Scott who had the lowest scoring dishes in the Signature Dish Challenge were the first to be eliminated from their respective teams.
  • This is the last season to date to feature the short sleeve chef jackets.
Hell's Kitchen (U.S. TV series)
Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11Season 12Season 13Season 14Season 15Season 16All-StarsRookies vs. VeteransLas VegasYoung GunsSeason 21Season 22