The Cook For Your Life Challenge is an individual challenge in Hell's Kitchen, happening during the team section of the season.
Instead of a normal service, Ramsay will have a one on one interview with each chef, and give them an update on how they are doing in the competition. After each interview, Ramsay will ask the chef how they would rank his/her teammates from strongest to weakest.
The weakest chef from both teams would then compete in a competition to cook three dishes to be judged by Ramsay himself. The winner gets to stay in the competition, while the loser is automatically eliminated.
Episode 9 of Season 12 marks the first time this challenge happened, when there were 12 chefs left, with 6 on both teams. After the interviews, it was revealed that the blue team was deeming Richard as their weakest, while the red team was deeming Jessica as their weakest. Both of them were tasked to create a risotto, scallops, and halibut in 30 minutes. In the end, Jessica was eliminated after her lobster risotto was undercooked, and her halibut was overcooked. Before leaving, Jessica cried, and begged for Ramsay to keep her in the competition, but Ramsay was unapologetic and Jessica eventually accepted her fate.
On episode 9, the challenge happened when there were 9 chefs left, with 5 on the red team, and 4 on the blue team. After the interviews, it was revealed that the blue team was deeming Randy as their weakest, while the red team was deeming Christine as their weakest. Both of them were tasked to make a risotto, a halibut, and a bread pudding. While both made mistakes, it was Christine's critical errors of forgetting a crucial part of the risotto, the tomato confit, and not using the prepared base for the bread pudding. Those mistakes led to her elimination.
On episode 7, the challenge happened when there were 12 chefs remaining, with 6 on both teams. That season featured a few changes. Instead of interviews, Ramsay asked Michelle and Nick, who were the last chefs of their respective teams in the kitchen during the previous challenge, on who they think were the three weakest chefs on their respective teams. Michelle nominated Barbie, Elise, and Manda, while Nick nominated Giovanni, Milly, and Robyn. The six chefs were tasked to recreate Ramsay's Champagne Oysters dish, with 30 minutes given. Ramsay judged the dishes, and any dish that would beat out another will send that person up to safety. Milly was the first to be safe, followed by Manda, Barbie, and Elise. In the end, Robyn's dish edged out Giovanni's, therefore eliminating the latter.
- Jessica, from Season 12, is the first contestant to be eliminated by this challenge, while her rival Richard is the first contestant who survived it.
- Giovanni, from Season 17, is the first male contestant to be eliminated by this challenge.
- Milly, from Season 17, is the first contestant who participated in this challenge and made it to the black jackets, while his teammate Robyn is the first female contestant who did.
- So far, the winners of this challenge never made it to the finals.