Jean-Philippe Susilovic was the first Maître d'hôtel for Hell's Kitchen. He served as the Maître d'hôtel for the first seven seasons of the show, along with seasons 11 and 12.
Jean-Philippe joined Ramsay in 1995 in Ramsay's restaurant Aubergine. His experience in Michelin-starred restaurants broadened when he moved to the United States to work in restaurants such as New York's La Panetiere, Danube and Daniel's. In October 2001, he moved to the Middle East to work with Ramsay as the manager of Verre at the Hilton Dubai Creek.
As the Maître d'hôtel, Jean-Philippe serves as the front of the house of Hell's Kitchen and would be the person handing out tickets to Ramsay more than often. Given that he has worked with Ramsay for many years, he knows exactly how high Ramsay's standards are, and often shows exasperation at the contestant's constant mistakes. Ramsay even described him as the best Maître d' in the world.
While he is milder than Ramsay is, he does have his own limits, best known in Season 6, when an argument with contestant Van almost resulted in a physical brawl in the restaurant. Despite it, he cares about the contestants' well being and even urged a few of them to fight harder to stay in the competition.
Main highlights per season Edit
- On episode 2, a table of customers ordered pizza in Hell's Kitchen because they were tired of the long wait. Jean-Philippe said they were not allowed to, leading an argument with a very rude customer. This customer told him he had a Doctorate in Music from the USC, and assaulted Jean-Philippe with his pointer finger, before getting ejected.
- On episode 4, Jean-Philippe gave the chefs a lesson on how to properly set a table, which led to the Perfect Table Challenge.
- On episode 10, when Jean-Philippe was talking with Ralph about his restaurant, Ralph kept calling him "Jean-Pierre", which really annoyed Jean-Philippe.
- On episode 6, the red team's problems on entrées led Jean-Philippe calling it a night, and went for a drink.
- On episode 7, Jean-Philippe visited a twelve-top table that had a bachelorette party, and was a bit embarrassed when he saw women's underwear being given out as gifts. Ramsay wondered where he was, and later asked if he was trying to lose his virginity.
- On episode 1, Jean-Philippe was about to explain his history with Ramsay, but Ramsay appeared and told him to cut the crap.
- On episode 2, he was ordered by Ramsay to pull Aaron away when the latter was caught talking with customers.
- On episode 5, Francisco the Party Planner told him that the newlywed's parents were not served and Jean-Philippe, not wanting Francisco to bug him, sent him to Ramsay.
- On Episode 7, he saw the blue team returning back from their reward and asked if they could help the red team out on their punishment. When the blue team refused to help, Jean-Philippe was disgusted by their attitude.
- On episode 8, he showed Bonnie, Rock, and Josh what needed to be cleaned in the dining room as part of their punishment. When Josh struggled with getting one of the cleaning machines to work, he snarkily told him that it did not run on solar energy and it needed to be plugged in.
- On episode 1, Jean-Philippe greeted the contestants and told them he was good for doing an imitation of Ramsay. He started to do his imitation, and asked for some contestants to do some themselves, before Ramsay revealed himself as an undercover contestant on the bus.
- On episode 4, when Ramsay asked Jean-Philippe to open Hell's Kitchen for Family Night, he told him to open his shirt and take his tie off. Jean-Philippe was reluctant to do it, and when he went to open the doors, he almost missed the step, and Ramsay told him to walk straight, calling him a donut.
- On episode 5, Jean-Philippe drove the Hell's Kitchen three-wheeled delivery cart to the contestants, and almost lost balance when one of the back wheels hit the step, making everybody laugh in disbelief. He parked the cart, got out, and thanked Ramsay who said it was fantastic.
- On episode 6, Jean-Philippe reunited with Francisco the Party Planner, although he was not entirely excited by it. During dinner service, before the first tickets came in, he and Francisco were joking about Francisco's non-matching blue sky outfit and being "sparklelicious". When Jean-Philippe noticed that Francisco was enjoying the chocolate fountain, he pulled him to the side, asked him to focus on his job and stop doing it, otherwise he would be kicked out of the restaurant.
- On episode 8, Jean-Philippe supervised the blue team's punishment, which was participating in Laundry Day. When he saw Jen being grumpy, he asked her if she could give him a smile, but she refused to, being too angry about the loss. Later, he brought a crab to the back store to try and entertain Jen, without more success. Then, he asked her once again if she could smile, but she answered no, and when he asked her if she would be bitchy all day long, she answered she would.
- On episode 9, Jean-Philippe was at the beach where the red team was having their reward, and handed them towels at the end of the day. Moments later, Ramsay grabbed him, threw him in the water and fought with him in the water. At one point, Jean-Philippe threw a completely soaked towel towards Ramsay.
- On episode 11, Ramsay asked Jean-Philippe for some tickets, but Jean-Philippe, being too focused on his tickets, did not realize the glass door was just in front of him. Because of that, he head-butted the door, and Ramsay jokingly told to get a sign on the door saying "Open your eyes, you Belgian twat".
- On episode 2, Jean-Philippe noticed that Robert was sweating a lot, but was reminded that he weighed 400 pounds. He was later praising Robert for his tableside presence.
- One episode 3, he told Lacey that she forgot to send one of her tables tickets and mocked her whining when she argued that she never waited tables before. He also pulled Charlie aside after the latter accidentally dropped bacon bits on a table and chewed him out for his embarrassing performance.
- On episode 5, he was shown at the karate dojo where the red team were participating in sumo wrestling as part of their reward. He was dressed up in sumo attire and fought against Ramsay where he lost. According to Andrea, he did not look happy in the outfit.
- On episode 6, Jean-Philippe worked for the third time with one of the people he hates the most, Francisco the Party Planner, for the special Bar Mitzvah night. When Francisco dropped the birthday cake to the floor, Jean-Philippe was furious and told him to stay away from him.
- On episode 10, Jean-Philippe noticed that Andrea was about to leave Hell's Kitchen after getting kicked out of the kitchen, but stopped her and told her to fight back.
- On episode 11, when the kitchen failed to deliver satisfying fish, Jean-Philippe decided to get waiters to recommend the meat. However, when they overcooked the beef Wellington, he told waiters to recommend the chicken instead.
- On episode 12, a diner approached Jean-Philippe to help him propose to his girlfriend, which Jean-Philippe agreed. He gave Ramsay the engagement ring to put in the woman's dessert, and was later seen serving the dessert to her.
- On episode 1, before the contestants were introduced, Jean-Philippe was seen nervously waiting in the entrance of the restaurant for the bus to arrive, as it was late. When it finally arrived, he exclaimed "Finally, the bus is there" in his native tongue, French. When the contestants regrouped in front of him, he declared he would like to give them some tips as in the past, he had problems with customers, Ramsay, and to keep his head up straight.
- On episode 2, we saw Jean-Philippe lose his temper for the very first time, when Van was testing his patience by refusing to listen to him and running in the restaurant. Both of them were pulled aside by Ramsay in the back store, where Ramsay told them to do their own jobs instead of interfering with the others. When they got out of the room, Jean-Philippe told Van "Ladies first!".
- On episode 6, he appeared at Venice Beach during the red team's reward and introduced them to Olympic Volleyball Player Annett Davis.
- On episode 7, he saw the red team doing punishment and asked them to take in deliveries of his wine.
- On episode 9, he helped judge the Crepe Challenge with Ramsay, even though Ramsay jokingly said that he wanted an authentic French palate but had to go with second best, which was Belgian.
- On episode 2, Andrew was about to walk out of the competition, when Jean-Philippe tried to convince him to stay and fight back. He said to him that a lot of people would like to be in his shoes at the moment. Despite his efforts to talk him back in the game, Andrew took his shoes off and walked out of Hell's Kitchen for good.
- On episode 3, Jean-Philippe saw that Salvatore, who was working with him as an assistant maître d', was leaving Hell's Kitchen after Ramsay berated him for his poor handwriting. JP managed to stop Salvatore and convince him to fight back.
- On episode 11, when the losers were cleaning the restaurant, Jay asked Jean-Philippe whether he should lay forks "sideways or keep it straight". The maître d' replied "straight" before getting the innuendo.
- On episode 12, while accompanying Holli and Jay to the Peninsula Hotel, he spotted the romance between those two, and asked them if they'd like to stay the night in the nuptial room.
- On episode 2, Jean-Philippe made his return by entering by the front door with his luggage, before tripping on a chair. Ramsay told him that he was supposed to arrive the previous day, which he answered that he got delayed and really tried to be there in time, and Ramsay asked him to get changed quickly, while adding that he was not happy about that.
- On episode 2, before the challenge, Jean-Philippe rode one of the mini tricycles to greet all contestants.
- On episode 16, after Gabriel was eliminated mid-service, Jean-Philippe went to the front door and shook his hand goodbye, before asking for his jacket.
- He had a strong dislike for Francisco the Party Planner.
- He left Hell's Kitchen due to his commitment as Restaurant Director at Gordon Ramsay's London restaurant Pétrus.
- He is the first staff member to leave the show, and return afterwards.
- He was the maître d' of Hell's Kitchen for the longest time, with 9 seasons.
- (To Ralph) "If you call me one more time Jean-Pierre, I will kill you!"
- Lacey: "Jean-Philippe, I never waited tables before!!" Jean-Philippe: "(mimics Lacey's whining) Can you just go and ask the chef to fire it?"
- (Referring to Van) "There's a language barrier."
- (Referring to Van) "I know, but he's from Texas."
- (To Van) "LISTEN TO ME!!"
- (To Van) "Ladies first."
- (To Andrew) "There are I don't know how many people which would be willing to be in your shoes now."
- (To Jessica) "Keep your smile because you might need it. It's the only weapon you have."