Hell's Kitchen Season 1 Where Are They Now?

Hell's Kitchen Season 1 Contestants

Hell's Kitchen Season 1 aired May 30 to August 1, 2005 on Fox Network and there were 12 contestants.

The prize for the winner was a position in London to work under Gordon Ramsay in one of his restaurants.

In this season, Gordon Ramsay was judge, Jean-Philippe Susilovic was MaƮtre d', Mary-Ann Salcedo was sous chef for the red team and Scott Leibfried was sous chef for the blue team.

Find out what the Hell's Kitchen Season 1 contestants did next after appearing on Hell's Kitchen with Gordon Ramsay.

Andrew Bonito Andrew Bonito was an Office Assistant from Livingston, New Jersey. During the show, he did not get on well with Gordon and there were some heated exchanges. He was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 6.

After Hell's Kitchen, Andrew credited the process for helping him to grow professionally. In 2008, he returned to college to complete a Masters in Hospitality, after which he became manager at The Palm in Manhattan before moving to Bond 45. He moved to new Director roles and he is currently Director of Strategic Initiatives at LM Restaurant Group.

Carolann Valentino Carolann Valentino was a kitchen assistant from Dallas, Texas. She created the signature dish of the season but was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 1 due to her lack of experience and teamwork skills.

After Hell's Kitchen, Carolann left the catering world and has an award winning one woman show "Burnt at the Steak", about her experiences working in a Steakhouse and choosing to pursue a career in performing over her career in catering. She had a part in 2016 movie "Cassanova Was a Woman" and was a gym instructor teaching classes in New York.

Chris North Chris North was an Executive Chef from Yorktown Heights, New York, who trained at the Institute of Culinary Education. He was eliminated in in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 5 after Gordon questioned his abilities as an Executive Chef saying that he expected more from him.

After Hell's Kitchen, Chris returned to Rowayton Seafood where he had been Executive Chef since 2005. In 2019, he gave up his kitchen career, moved to Maine and is now a furniture maker

Elsie Ramos Elsie Ramos was a self taught cook and mother of six, she learnt to cook from family members. She was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 8 after performing poorly during the service despite strong performances in previous services.

After Hell's Kitchen, Elsie published "Elsie’s Turkey Tacos and Arroz con Pollo", has done numerous cookery demonstrations, events and returned to cookery school. She has appeared on a number of cookery shows and partnered with Imusa Health, a homeware company and embarked on a series of cookery demonstrations. She is also a partner to Health First and promotes healthier alternatives to home cooked classics.

Jimmy Casey Jimmy Casey was a Purchasing Manager from Williston Park, New York. He graduated from The Institution of Culinary Education in New York and was a Manager in their purchasing department. He was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 7 after Gordon felt he was the weakest chef.

After Hell's Kitchen, Jimmy described it as a positive experience that taught him a lot about cooking and operations in the time he was on the show. It appears he may have returned to his previous career in Purchasing.

Jeffery Dewberry Jeffery Dewberry was a Pastry Chef from Stockbridge, Georgia. During the show, he struggled with some tasks and even deserted his station after struggling with Beef Wellington, this led to his exit from the show in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 2.

After Hell's Kitchen, Jeff became a Chef/Manager at The Flying Biscuit Cafe in Atlanta, Georgina . Dewberry blogged briefly about Hell's Kitchen and his life afterwards in 2006. He also has a YouTube Channel featuring vegan recipes and currently offers home cooking lessons and parties at his website.

Jeff La Poff Jeff La Poff was a Finance Manager from Orange, New Jersey. Jeff struggled in the show and called Gordon an a**hole in one episode before walking out. He left in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 3 after arguing with Gordon. His exit and poor performance was later put down to a sprained ankle and kidney stones. It is reported that he and Gordon had a further argument in the parking lot, which led to the sprained ankle.

After Hell's Kitchen, Jeff worked in used car sales for a few years and now works as an insurance agent.

Jessica Cabo Jessica Cabo was a Head Hunter from Huntington, New York, she was a self taught chef but had gained some experience from running a pizzeria whilst in college. She was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 9 after her chicken dish scored the least votes.

After Hell's Kitchen, Jessica returned to working at Yahoo briefly, then decided to pursue her passion in the kitchen, working her way up in a friends restaurant before working in LA with a number of well known chefs before opening her own restaurant Brick+Mortor in Santa Monica. In 2013, she became a chef at CAM Cafe at the Cameron Art Museum before taking over the reigns as Head Chef. She is currently Head Chef at The Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach.

Mary Ellen Daniels Mary Ellen Daniels was a Bartender and culinary student from Belmont, Massachusetts. She was eliminated in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 4 due to inconsistency in the the dishes she prepared.

After Hell's Kitchen, Mary got married in 2013 but appears to have returned to her previous career in hospitality.

Michael Wray Michael Wray was a professional chef from Fort Collins, Colorado. His dishes were well received by both Gordon and critics and Michael Wray was the Hell's Kitchen season 1 winner. His choice of prize was to either open his own restaurant or to travel to London to apprentice with Gordon in one of his restaurants.

After Hell's Kitchen, Michael accepted to work with Gordon but once he realised the strains this would put on his family, he decided not to take up the prize. He went on to be Head Chef at The Standard in Los Angeles before moving to Arizona. He planned to open his open restaurant HK One, ran his own knife company and taught culinary classes.

In recent years he suffered the loss of his newborn daughter, marriage breakdown and the loss of his home. He has a fundraiser to help raise funds for a food truck, please consider donating here.

Ralph Pagano Ralph Pagano was a Professional Chef from Livingston, New Jersey. He was the Hell's Kitchen season 1 runner up, losing to Michael by just 4%.

After Hell's Kitchen, he worked at STK Miami. He continued his tv career, hosting cooking shows Pressure Cook and All Mixed Up. He also challenged Chef Bobby Flay in an episode of Iron Chef and lost. He opened restaurant Naked Taco in Miami Beach, Naked Lunch at the University of Miami and later Naked Tiki.

Ralph was host of Pressure Cook on Travel Channel and All Mixed Up on Lifetime. In June 2017, he was injured in an accident and returned to his restaurant in 2020 after taking time off with his family.

Wendy Liu Wendy Liu was an account manager from New Jersey who graduated from The Institute of Culinary Education. She was weak throughout the first three services and Gordon referred to eliminating her in Hell's Kitchen season 1 episode 3 as putting her out of her misery.

After the show, she appears to have returned to her career in account management.

Click for more Hell's Kitchen Contestants


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Hell's Kitchen Winners

This post was last updated in February 2022.

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