Colleen Cleek was a contestant on Season 5 of Hell's Kitchen. She ranked in 12th place.
Colleen was very calm and motherly, but lacked any training, apprenticeship, or a line experience coming to the competition despite her occupation as a culinary instructor. She was making too many simple mistakes, forgetting the orders, talking back to Ramsay, and even doing something that nobody in Hell's Kitchen did before or after her, which was to send raw desserts.
Season 5 Edit
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Colleen was the eleventh contestant to have her dish judged by Ramsay. She served a smoked chicken enchiladas. She revealed to Ramsay that she was teaching as a culinary teacher that was charging $300, despite not going to culinary school. Ramsay compared the dish’s appearance to a diaper and said it tasted like crap while mentioning he needed a plastic wrap up his ass. Then, she told that she was also teaching manners, which led Ramsay to call her Miss Manners, and send her back in line.
When the teams were lined up, the women revealed their new team name, which was "Team Saffron". However, Colleen said she would have preferred "Spice Racks", so Ramsay allowed that name instead of the other one.
During dinner service, Colleen was on the appetizer station with Ji. While she was getting her risotto ready, Ramsay found out that she put mascarpone cheese in it when it was not needed. She was later caught almost making a new pasta dish in a dirty pan and a disbelievingly Ramsay showed her multiple clean pans that she did not see before. Then, she was caught cooking way more spaghetti than needed and Ramsay soon found pasta in the bin. Her last action in service was sending up a risotto that Ramsay found looking odd, tasted and spat out. He then revealed that she used sugar instead of salt, and called it the worst risotto he ever tasted in his entire cooking career. The red team won the dinner service because of Carol's strong performance as a waitress.
Before the Scallop Cleaning Challenge, Colleen accidentally fell into the red team's scallop crate. During the challenge, she managed to have five of her six scallops accepted. Her team eventually lost 35-36, and was forced to prepare a raw bar for the next dinner service. As with the rest of her team, she was angry when Lacey sat out of the punishment for six hours.
During dinner service, Colleen was on the fish station. One of her orders of scallops were getting overcooked, so Ramsay had Lacey show her how to cook them properly, while being told that Lacey was not charging $300 for it. When it came to entrées, she forgot the John Dory and her salmon was black on the bottom and raw in the middle. This caused Ramsay to accuse her of being a thief and not actually a culinary teacher, but she argued that she was. After two more of her salmon went black, Ramsay lost his patience and demoted her to the raw bar, replacing Paula and her station was taken over by Lacey. The red team lost the dinner service. After service, Ramsay continued to criticize her performance by bluntly telling her that chefs that cannot cook should stick with teaching, but she argued against it stating that Ramsay made her nervous. However, her argument annoyed her teammates and Ramsay said that she was giving him a headache every time he looked at her.
Colleen was the red team's first nominee for elimination, with Lacey being the second. She survived elimination as Ji volunteered because of her injury. When Ramsay told her to get back in line, she showed a selfish reaction and was the only one who did not seem to be sad about Ji's exit. Despite that, Colleen participated in the emotional standing ovation given during her departure, along with everybody else.
Back in the dorms, Colleen and the rest of the red team confronted Lacey, asking her if she was actually serious about being in the competition.
During the Meat & Cow Challenge, Colleen was the first person of her team to attempt the cow part of the challenge. She finished with three incorrect answers, and the red team eventually lost the challenge. Their punishment was to carry two large sides of beef and eat cow offal.
During the Steakhouse double dinner service, Colleen was a waitress for the first seating, where she forgot her cart of menu items and had to grab it. During the second seating, where she was on the appetizer station, she mistakenly made two Caeser salad dishes instead of the four being ordered, and argued that she misheard the order when confronted by Ramsay. When an order of four Caeser salads, three shrimps and one plain entered the kitchen, Ramsay pulled her aside in order to find out if she understood it. While she was able to correctly recite the order three times, she stumbled on the fourth time, which caused Ramsay to accuse her of not being normal. Her team won the dinner service.
During the Football Team & Cheerleaders Breakfast Service Challenge, Colleen was on the hash brown station. She was distracted by the young cheerleaders on her side of the restaurant. She was cheering with them, annoying Ramsay and her teammates, especially Paula. Despite that, the red team won the challenge and were rewarded with a camping experience at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
During dinner service, Colleen was on the meat station with LA. She pissed off her partner when she put their meat entrées in the convection oven to keep them warm and for continually asking questions. She cooked one order of beef Wellingtons more than needed, which caused Ramsay to ask if she thought it was a joke. Both teams were declared losers.
During the Asian Fusion Challenge, Colleen was paired with Andrea on the meat dish. Their dish was a Kobe beef sashimi brushed with Korean style sauce, and while the beef was delicious, the sauce was overpowered by the spices in it. However, they won the meat round which clinched the victory for the red team 2-1. They were rewarded with sumo wrestling lessons given by Ramsay and Jean-Philippe, and sake tasting.
During dinner service, Colleen was on the dessert station. At one point, she was chewed out by Ramsay for leaving the convection oven door open, but she could not remember if she did open it earlier. Later, one of her desserts was sent back, from Tanya Steel's table, for having raw pastry and pear, and was chewed out by Ramsay for it. Both teams lost the dinner service, and LA was named "Best of the Worst" for the red team.
Colleen was not nominated for elimination, but after Ramsay sent both initial nominees Andrea and J back in line, she was called down and eliminated by him for her five shocking services. Before she left, Ramsay praised her tenacity, and said she was an example to follow on that level.
Ramsay's comment: "There was no place in the kitchen I could put Colleen where she wasn't a disaster. It's time for her to go back to where she belongs: teaching, because she certainly can't cook."
Colleen made a cameo during the opening of that season, where she gave a rule to the contestants about what not to do. She declared that she had some advice for them, and then, a clip of her putting sugar in a risotto during the opening service was shown. Finally, she revealed the rule "Always taste your food before you serve it!" to the contestants.
- She is the fourth contestant to be eliminated after Ramsay overruled formal nominations, following Gabe (Season 2), Vinnie (Season 3), and Sharon (Season 4).
- After her appearance on the show, she returned to her cookery school The Classy Gourmet and has been on television on local interest shows. She also created her own food blog called "The Classy Gourmet".
- "That's not diapers chef."
- "No, I am not a trained chef."
- "It was extremely difficult to stand there, and to keep my mouth shut."
- "I teach manners too, chef."
- "Four Caesar salads Chef, three..."