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.
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 Raymond. 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 tied the round with Raymond.
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.
The next morning, all the chefs went outside for the next challenge, and saw Ramsay, dressed in a running suit, and a lot of runners waiting in front of a start/finish line. During the HK3K Service Challenge, Ja'Nel was not seen much as she did not commit any mistakes, the red team eventually won the challenge, and were asked to go help the blue team finish their entrées. They were rewarded with a day at Temecula Valley's Wine Country for wine tasting and making, and flew on a private jet to get there. She was very excited to have won again, and when the women came back from their reward, she told the blue team to not be rude.
During dinner service, Ja'Nel was on the garnish station. Before tickets entered, she and Susan motivated the red team by saying they could do it. She was not seen much, except at one point when she expressed dismay about Danielle's overcooked Wellingtons, saying that Jacqueline and Danielle were crashing and burning every single thing they were doing, and that the team could not get passed it.
The red team eventually lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Ja'Nel called it disgusting to lose service to the men, and voted for Danielle as she did not step up like she was supposed to, much to Danielle's anger. Moments later, she reminded Jessica that she was second-guessing herself a lot with risottos and that she had to trust herself more.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Protein Identification Challenge, Ja'Nel was paired with Jacqueline, and they were the first and last pair to compete for the red team. On their first turn, they landed on the turkey meatballs, and they got it correctly on their first attempt. On their second turn, they landed on the swordfish & chips, and after guessing catfish, cod, and halibut, they finally chose swordfish on their fourth attempt, therefore winning the challenge for the red team 6:37-10:33.
They were rewarded with a day at Malibu, in a $15M beach house, as well as getting there in convertibles. When they arrived at their beach house, Ja'Nel declared it was huge and that she could see straight through the ocean. During the reward, she motivated Cyndi, who was trying the wakeboarding activity.
During breakfast service, Ja'Nel was on the scrambled eggs station. Before the first ticket entered, she motivated the team, and she succeeded to serve food at a good pace along with Cyndi, with Ramsay complimenting her for the perfectly cooked scrambled eggs. Near the end, she acknowledged that the pancake station was dragging the team down, so she told that every woman grabbed a pan each to make pancakes.
The red team lost the service as they failed to complete their tickets before the blue team, and they were asked to nominate two people. While going back to the dorms, Ja'Nel was not happy to send somebody home as it was not even 9 am, and some of them have not woke up entirely yet. During deliberation, she asked Nedra who should be nominated instead of her, which the latter answered Mary.
During dinner service, Ja'Nel was on the fish station with Amanda. She was not seen at all, but after a lot of mistakes, the red team was kicked out of the kitchen.
Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each. Back in the dorms, Ja'Nel commented on how close they were to finish before the raw pork incident.
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 sixth female contestant who switched teams and made it to the black jackets, following Heather (Season 2), Jen (Season 4), Suzanne (Season 6), Autumn (Season 7), and Robyn (Season 10).
- She is the third contestant who switched teams and won the competition, following Michael (Season 1), and Heather (Season 2).
- She holds the record for the most challenge wins throughout one season, with twelve.
- She is the second winner who was not awarded their promised position, following Holli from Season 7.