Jason Zepaltas, originally appearing on Season 9, returned in Season 12.
In Season 9, he won the signature dish challenge for the blue team. As a reward, he and the other men went out to dinner with season 8 winner, Nona Sively. The next day he was complaining both of his arms were really weak and his breathing wouldn't stabilize. He was sent to the hospital three hours before service. Three hours later, Chef Ramsay said that Jason was put on some days of bed rest and will not be returning to Hell's Kitchen. Right after the emotional announcement, service began with the blue team down a man.
Jason then returned in Season 12, where he was strong enough made it to the finale, but lost to Scott Commings.
- Even though he was the first chef the leave in Season 9, he was one of the finalists in Season 12.
- Not counting the all-stars, Jason is the second contestant to compete in two different seasons (after Robert Hesse).
- Jason is the only person to date to perform the signature dish challenge twice.