If you’ve ever turned on the TV to hear the echoes of famous chef Gordon Ramsay screaming about undercooked lobster risotto, you’ve probably been watching Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s long-running reality cooking series in which two teams of chefs compete for the chance to become the head chef at one of Ramsay’s restaurants.
Season 21 of the hit Fox show, which has been thrilling audiences with its thrilling action since its 2005 premiere, is due to premiere on September 29.
Hell’s Kitchen has introduced us to many skilled cooks from all across the country, as well as many unforgettable experiences, such as kitchen fires, verbal cursing, loads of tears, and an inconceivably large amount of raw lamb.
Since this is the case, there are a select few seasons that truly shine as the pinnacle of the show’s run. To that end, let’s take a look back at the top 10 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen (and before you ask, Gordon Ramsay does yell in every single one of them).
Let’s be honest: the initial curiosity generated by the premiere of Hell’s Kitchen nearly twenty years ago on television is largely responsible for the show’s continued success to this day.
Although it’s not the best season, the idea that made Gordon Ramsay so rich was established in the pilot, so it deserves a spot on this list.
This being the first season, many things were introduced for the first time, including Ramsay’s decision to divide the chefs into two teams and the Signature Dish Challenge. However, the first season is so incredibly nostalgic that it deserves to be here.
For the first time ever on Hell’s Kitchen, all three runners-up were women. In contrast, the all-male blue team thoroughly bested the red team for the majority of the season, and the men even established a new record for the most dinner services won across the entire show.
Given the abundance of young chefs who were up to the challenge of competing at the highest level, Season 14 is widely regarded as one of the best seasons for genuine culinary talent.
Season 2 is not quite as bad as the first, but it’s also not the finest. Season 2 magically tried to find its footing after Season 1’s relatively unfamiliar formula, and as a result, it produced some of the most unforgettable moments in the kitchen, including during times of intense eliminations.
Overall, Season 2 was pivotal since it introduced major obstacles that would continue to crop up in subsequent seasons. And this season’s Heather West is one of the show’s most exciting new chefs.
There is little doubt that the most recent season of Hell’s Kitchen was one of the best and most entertaining in the show’s history. The 19th season featured a new crop of culinary stars vying for the chance to work under Gordon Ramsay at his Las Vegas restaurant.
Furthermore, Season 19 of Hell’s Kitchen was undeniably one of the most exciting seasons in the show’s history, with multiple chefs continually at one other’s throats and striving to exceed the other at every turn. One of Ramsay and company’s finest works, it’s full of twists and turns and heated debate.
Season 16 of Hell’s Kitchen will always be remembered as the first season to feature the iconic Black Jacket Lounge, complete with a pool table, a buffet, and an open bar, and as the home of the final select group of cooks chosen by Ramsay himself.
If you were selected, you got a black jacket instead of the usual blue or red one that the chefs wear. We also can’t help but applaud the fact that this season’s top three finishers are all women, making it the third time that this has happened.
Hell’s Kitchen’s fifth season being ranked at number five is ironic and appropriate. Season 5’s eliminations were some of the most shocking in the show’s history, and it also featured some intense competition among the cooks.
In addition, the season’s entertainment value was definitely boosted by a cast of excellent chefs who were hungrier than competitors in previous seasons, who in turn helped to sustain great viewership. And if there aren’t a lot of surprises in the fifth season, it’s still one of the greatest.
There are several reasons why the hit reality show’s ninth season is among the best in the show’s history. There was only one season of Hell’s Kitchen shown that year due to scheduling issues and a nationwide writer’s strike, and the episodes aired at odd times and on different days of the week.
Even so, the show was able to keep viewers of even moderate intelligence entertained, and it even introduced Charity Dinner Night, a special dinner service for charity members that made up for the year’s lack of great television.
Hell’s Kitchen has saved the best for last, as the 18th season marks the best of the show’s long run. Chef Ramsay pioneered the idea of a competition between inexperienced cooks and seasoned professionals to identify the best chef in the world.
So, for the first time in the history of Hell’s Kitchen, the teams were not divided on the basis of gender. As a result, Ramsay was able to form two formidable teams of cooks comprised of individuals with exceptional skill and a healthy dose of healthy rivalry.
The novel premise breathed new life into the show, which was much needed considering the series had already aired for nearly two decades.