Ja'Nel Witt was a contestant on Season 11 of Hell's Kitchen. She was the winner of that season, and was awarded a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Caesars Palace, in Las Vegas, with a salary of $250,000. However, she was declined the position because she failed a drug test, so she accepted an undisclosed amount of cash, and kept the title of "Season 11 winner".
Ja'Nel was one of the most composed female chefs of that season. She remained very consistent throughout the season despite some ups and downs, and her leadership abilities helped her win the competition in the end.
Season 11 Edit
When the chefs arrived in Los Angeles, Ramsay surprisingly told them to meet him in Las Vegas. Arrived there, they were greeted by showgirls, got on a double-decker bus for a tour of the city, and eventually got tricked in believing they would go on a Las Vegas 4D experience. However, they arrived in front of a live audience, where Ramsay was waiting for them.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Ja'Nel was the fourth person from the red team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Ray. She served her prawns with spicy Asian pesto, but Ramsay asked if she was on a budget as there were only two of them. He asked her if it was an appetizer or an entrée, which she answered appetizer. He tasted them, and praised the harmony of the flavors in her capellini. She and Ray scored a point for their respective teams.
The red team eventually won the challenge 5-4, and they were rewarded with a night out in Las Vegas, meeting Celine Dion, and get VIP tickets for the latter's show. When they arrived in Hell's Kitchen, Ja'Nel declared they were already getting down and dirty in the competition. Later, she struggled to study the menu for the opening night as she was having Gina and her puppet in her face. The next day, during prep, she got annoyed with Gina's confused state, saying that she already gave up. When both teams were lined up, Jean-Philippe came back with suitcases, and she tried to wonder where he has been for the previous three years.
During dinner service, Ja'Nel was on the dessert station. She was not seen much, except at one point when she said that Gina was in La La Land for flipping scallops a million times, and at another when she helped Gina by reminding her to not burn the scallops. The red team won the service.
The next morning, some soldiers from the US army came in Hell's Kitchen, went to the dorms, and gave a very brutal wake up call to the chefs by screaming and yelling to get up. When the teams were challenged to climb up the wall, Ja'Nel acknowledged it was really close, but was determined to beat the men and get it done. The red team managed to get 31 lobsters in their bucket, compared to the blue team's 37, but fortunately for them, that was only the first part of the challenge.
When Ramsay was introducing the Lobster Cleaning Challenge and giving a demo on how to extract the lobster meat, Ja'Nel revealed she never cleaned a lobster before, expressed surprise when she had to take the meat out of the legs as she did not even know there was meat in there, and she declared she was a little bit nervous. During the challenge, she was paired with Jessica. She was very confident that her and Jessica banged it just like that. They scored the first point for the red team, and when time was over, they brought another attempt, but it was rejected as it was too late. Despite that, the red team won the challenge 11-8, and they were rewarded with a day on a 85-foot luxury yacht, a master sushi chef preparing them lunch, and a massage. During the reward, she declared it was absolutely incredible to have conversation with Ramsay as he was giving some great advice and funny, and concluded by saying that having champagne with Ramsay was awesome.
During dinner service, Ja'Nel was on the meat station with Susan. At one point, she had to help Mary and Danielle to get their first risotto out, and because of her help, their risotto was deemed delicious. She was proud, celebrated with Mary, and said that the red team was back in action. Because of that, food was leaving the kitchen at a steady pace. Later, she and Susan gave seven minutes on their entrées to be ready, but the red team was eventually kicked out of the kitchen after a lot of mistakes.
Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each. During deliberation, Ja'Nel, along with Jessica, said that the most problematic station was the appetizers, therefore considering Mary and Danielle.
She was not nominated for elimination.
- She participated in the second all-female finals of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the eleventh winner, and sixth female winner of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the fifth female contestant who made it to the black jackets after being transferred to the blue team, following Heather from Season 2, Jen from Season 4, Suzanne from Season 6, and Robyn from Season 10.
- She holds the record for the most challenge wins throughout the season, with twelve.
- She is the second winner who was not awarded their promised position, following Holli from Season 7.