Jeff LaPoff was a contestant on Season 1 of Hell's Kitchen. He was on the red team. He ranked in 10th place.
Jeff was a minor antagonist of that season. He was hot-headed and always giving excuses for his mistakes. His teammates were very annoyed by his attitude as he was always looking to be the center of attention, his kidney stones being the best example. But, when he realized that he did not have the attention that he wanted, he decided to leave the show by himself. He had a short-lived feud with teammate Chris.
Season 1 Edit
Jeff was the ninth contestant to have his dish judged by Ramsay. He served a steak with sauce and mushrooms, and while the sauce was deemed nice, the mushrooms were salty and the steak was overcooked. So, Ramsay ranked it 1 out of 10. After the challenge, he was placed in the red team, along with Chris, Elsie, Jimmy, Dewberry, and Carolann.
During dinner service, Jeff was assigned as a waiter. He was relieved to be out of the kitchen and was confident to work with people because he was doing that for a living. However, he struggled a lot as he was confused on where the right tables were in the dining room, never knew what to do or how to answer customers questions. None of his customers liked him, even some of them complained that it was the worst service they ever had. Of all his tables, 2 out of 3 walked out early. After Ramsay shut down both kitchens, his team lost the dinner service and Elsie was named "Best of the Worst".
Jeff was not nominated for elimination, leading Ramsay to tell him he dodged a bullet.
After a brutal wake up call the next morning, all the contestants were told to get down to the dining room, where Ramsay explained the next challenge, which was the Cleaning Squid Challenge. Jeff cleaned 1 squid to Ramsay's standards. Because his team won the challenge 6-5, they were rewarded with a dinner with, and prepared by Ramsay, where he complimented Ramsay's salmon.
The night before dinner service, Jeff did not sleep well because of a kidney stone. But very few of his fellow contestants felt worried for him, Jessica even stopped caring for him anymore after asking him if he was okay when he was lying in the hallway in pain.
During dinner service, Jeff was on the garnish station. He struggled a lot on that station, especially with the timing as the meat and fish sat on the hot plate, but the vegetables were not ready. He blamed that mistake on his kidney stone for causing him to lose focus. His team lost the dinner service as very few entrées were served and one of their tables phoned for pizza delivery. Chris was named "Best of the Worst".
Immediately after elimination, Jeff showed his kidney stone to the other contestants, but none of them were impressed, saying it was really small. Jessica even compared it to a mustard seed.
Before the 5 Course Meal Challenge, Jeff and the red team welcomed a new teammate as Michael joined them. During the challenge, he showed his lack of teamwork by shopping by himself, which really annoyed Elsie. However, his white onion soup garnished with parmesan and roasted garlic crouton was well received by Ramsay, and he scored for his team. Because his team won the challenge after a tie-breaker at 3, he was rewarded with a night out with Ramsay at the bar.
During prep, Jeff left a hot sheet on the counter and Elsie picked it up and burned her hand. This resulted in an argument between him and his teammates, especially Chris, arguing if they would be better without him. Moments before opening, he showed a lot of struggle prepping his station, so Chris and Michael had to tell him what to do.
During dinner service, Jeff was on the appetizer station. After he brought two lobster spaghetti dishes where one had no lobster in it and the other had too many, Michael helped him redoing the dish. He blamed the fact that he has never been on a line before, which led to tempers flaring with Sous Chef Mary-Ann and Chris. Ramsay immediately had to calm the situation down. But, he eventually impressed the critics in the dining room with his lobster spaghetti. Later, Ramsay asked him if he was running his station or if Michael was doing it for him, which he answered Michael pushed him to the side. Ramsay declared he was getting worse as the competition was going on, but he reminded Ramsay it was his first time on the line. So, Ramsay pulled him to the side and schooled him on his attitude. After that, he declared he was done to Chris, who tried to convince him to come back. After declaring to Ramsay he was not a quitter, Ramsay told him he was not a cook either, leading him to call Ramsay an asshole underneath his breath. However, Sous Chef Mary-Ann heard him and told him to repeat what he said, so he went to Ramsay, called him an asshole, took his jacket off and walked out of Hell's Kitchen for good.
Ramsay's comment: "Jeff, well, I had to laugh at the end when he called me an asshole. I've been called far worse than that!"
Nomination history Edit
- He is the first contestant ever to withdraw from the competition without being eliminated, and the first to do so during dinner service.
- He is the first contestant ever whose exit interview was never aired.
- It is believed that after his departure, Ramsay confronted him in the parking lot, which led him to sprain his ankle. That would explain the mention "Jeff LaPoff decided to leave the show due to an injury." at the beginning of the end credits of that episode.
- After his appearance on the show, he became a used car salesman, before returning to his career as an Allstate Insurance agent.
- "I'm very good with people, I work with people on a daily basis."
- "If you don't like me, I don't know what to tell you. YOU'RE AN ASSHOLE!"