Joe Ricci was a contestant on Season 15 of Hell's Kitchen. He ranked in 10th place.
Joe was a very likable person, and got along with everybody. While he showed his strength in challenges, he was inconsistent during services.
Season 15 Edit
When the chefs arrived at Hell's Kitchen, they found out that they had to go to Las Vegas immediately. Arrived there, Joe admitted that while he has seen a lot of parades, he was never in one before. After participating in a parade, the chefs met Ramsay at the BLT Steak, which was the prize winning restaurant, and they were asked to cook their signature dishes there.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Joe was the fourth person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Meese. He made veal with creamy polenta, Ramsay praised the dish for being delicious, and he scored 3 points. The blue team won the challenge 24-22, and they were rewarded with a ride on the High Roller, and a VIP night at Drai’s Nightclub. During the reward. he compared it receiving GI Joes on Christmas.
During dinner service, Joe was on the meat station. At one point, he asked Ramsay to repeat the entrée order, only for Ramsay to tell him to open his ears. After Kevin sent up raw lobster tails, he accused the latter and Alan of being lost.
The blue team lost the service, and were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Joe asked who would like to start, and then, considered Kevin and Alan for elimination for their poor performances on fish. After, he reminded Kevin that hitting foul balls was not an option.
Joe was not nominated for elimination, and while being dismissed, he said that if you did not have the eye of tiger in jungle, you would get eaten, and that he had to stay hungry.
During the Dumplings Challenge, Joe was paired up with Eddie. While making his dumplings, he was shocked when the Buckingham Palace guards turned out to be strippers. He and Eddie could only get one of the baskets accepted as he improperly pleated his attempts.
The blue team lost the challenge 12-13, and they were punished by prepping for a special tableside appetizer for the following service which included pruning 40 logs of mushrooms, taking deliveries of corn, and shucking them. During the punishment, Joe remarked that he did not see that amount of mushrooms since his last Pink Floyd concert, before stating that it sucked.
During dinner service, Joe was on the appetizer station with Chad. When working on the first ticket of appetizers, he accidentally dropped a lamb chop while tossing them in the pan, asked Jared to hold on for 40 seconds, and told a dismayed Ramsay about it. While he got the refire accepted, he did not pay attention closely, and forgot what the order was. So, he asked Ramsay to repeat the order back to him, only for Ramsay to lecture him that he had better things to do than mop his ass, and told him to talk to his team. Things got worse when it was revealed that he did not have a risotto on despite it being on order, and decided to make a mental note to never go up to the pass and ask Ramsay a stupid question. Despite all of his problems, his dishes were accepted, and the blue team eventually won the service.
During the Jackets Challenge, Joe was the seventh and fianl person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Jackie in the eggplant parmesan round. His dish was praised for being crunchy and delicious, he won that round over Jackie, and the blue team won the challenge 5-3. They were rewarded with a trip to Bacara Resort in Santa Monica for mixology classes and foot massages. During the reward, he was smitten by the mixologist’s accent, and even asked her to marry him.
During dinner service, Joe was on the dessert station. He was not seen much, except for getting pissed about Kevin sending up a raw risotto for a vegetarian, and the blue team won the service.
Before the Duck Challenge, Joe compared the falling ducks from the helicopter to Niagara Falls. He was the first person from the blue team to have his dish judged, and went up against Manda. He made a duck with bok choy basmati rice tamale, but while both Citrin and Ramsay felt that it looked more like a spring roll than a tamale, the dish tasted good, and he received 6 points, with Ramsay stating that he would have given him more points had he not said tamale. The blue team won the challenge 32-30, and they were rewarded with a yacht ride, and eating dinner at the Penthouse Restaurant with Ramsay. During the reward, he was excited to eat with Ramsay, and asked him if he could use him as a reference on his resume after the competition, with everybody laughing about that.
During dinner service, Joe was on the appetizer station with Hassan. He was not seen much that night, and the blue team won the service after helping the red team complete service.
At elimination, Joe said goodbye to Hassan as the latter was transferred to the red team.
During the Holiday Platter Challenge, Joe was paired up with Frank on the Fourth of July platter, they were the first pair from the blue team to have their platter judged, and went up against Jackie and Kristin. After Jackie and Kristin's turn ended, he sarcastically clapped as the latter scored on grilled corn. His first dish was a smoked bacon burger, it was praised as a true American dish, and he scored on it. Then, his second dish, a jalapeno mac &c cheese, was also praised for being elevated, and he scored on that dish. The blue team eventually lost the challenge 4-5, and they were punished by making hard candy, caramel, cake pops, and cookies for the Family Night service. During the punishment, he revealed that he never baked a cake before, and struggled with finding the right bowl for his mixer.
During the Family Night dinner service, Joe was on the garnish station. At one point, he accidentally spill some sauce onto his flat top, cause a small fire to erupt, and forced the blue team to refire their ticket. Later, he was slow on the fish & chips, but he still believed that they may have a chance despite everything that has happened so far. However, his fish was raw, and after Ramsay yelled that they had made every possible mistake that night, he kicked the blue team out of the kitchen.
Both teams were named joint losers, and were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Joe was considered by Frank for elimination due to his raw fish & chips, but he believed that Alan was the biggest problem of that night as appetizers had more sent backs than garnishes.
Joe was the blue team's first nominee for elimination, with Alan as the second. During his plea, admitted that while he deserved to be up for elimination for that night’s service, he stated that he was not done yet, and that he wanted to learn from his mistakes. He survived elimination, and later, he welcomed Manda as a new teammate.
During the Shopping Cart Challenge, Joe compared the spread out carts to alphabet soup. He was the final person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and presented his pan-seared salmon with creamy leeks and char. While Ramsay noted that the presentation looked simple, he praised it for having a serious punch, and he scored a perfect 5. The blue team lost the challenge after a tie at 22, and they were were punished by prepping ingredients for sangrias which included peeling apples and grapes. During the punishment, he took his anger out on the coconuts, and later, said that he might threaten to burn down a vineyard after that day, with Chad jokingly calling him a psycho.
During dinner service, Joe served an octopus Romanesco appetizer tableside. At one point, he was lost on where table 23 was, and Marino showed him where it was. However, he was slow on platting his dish, with Ramsay yelling him to move his ass. After serving his table, Ramsay called him back into the kitchen, saw that his fresh new jacket was dirty, and berated him for being dirty and slow that night, before kicking him out of the kitchen for a clean jacket. Rushing back to the dorms, he decided not to argue with Ramsay, and found a cleaner jacket. Both teams were named joint-losers, and for the blue team, Jared was named the Best of the Worst. During deliberation, he felt that being dirty and frantic were not strong excuses for being eliminated.
Joe was Jared's second nominee for elimination, with Eddie as the first, and they joined Jackie and Kristin from the red team. During his plea, he believed that he much more to prove to himself on how good he was. He survived elimination as he was sent back in line, and while being dismissed, he knew that the expectations were higher now, and that he had to step it up.
During the Chef Andi Wedding Planning Challenge, Joe worked on both the seafood appetizer course with Chad, and the chicken entrée course with Frank. After the cooking was over, he noticed an extra beef entrée on the blue pass due to Frank cooking an extra one. He and Chad were the first pair from the blue team to have their seafood appetizers judged, and went up against Ariel and Kristin from the red team. He made a seafood chowder, and was praised for tasting good and coming together, he did not score for the blue team. Later, he and Frank were the final pair from the blue team to have their chicken entrées judged, and went up against Jackie and Ashleu from the red team. He made a stuffed chicken breast over pancetta Brussel sprouts, it was deemed well-seasoned and well balanced, and he scored that round for the blue team, which made him feel awesome.
The blue team won the challenge 2-1, and they were rewarded with an overnight trip to Las Vegas which included a zip line experience, and a stay at the Caesar’s Palace's presidential suite. During the reward, Joe almost wanted to jump off the zip line due to his fear of heights, but after he saw the phenomenal view of the city, and was glad that he did not chicken out.
During the Wedding dinner service, Joe was on the appetizer station. After Marino introduced Andi and Bryce to the guest, he remarked how stunning she looked, and felt that Bryce was a lucky man. While he knew how much Andi was to the Hell’s Kitchen family, and knew that the pressure was high, his risotto was rejected for missing herbs. Despite that, he got his refire accepted. Both teams were named joint-losers, and were asked to nominate two each. During deliberation, he was considered by Jared for elimination due to not being ready on appetizers, but that made him feel that he was the default of the blue team’s nominees.
He was not nominated for elimination.
Before the Ingredient Number Challenge, Joe remarked that Steve Vai has played with a lot of big names such as Meatloaf, White Snake, Dine and Dave, and said that it was awesome to see him in person. During the cooking, he decided to taste his lobster to make sure it was not overcooked, and wanted to jazz it up as he never made lobster fancy. He was the third person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Jackie in the lobster round. He made a three ingredient warm lobster salad with corn and couscous, Ramsay criticized the dish for looking like the size of a prawn, and when he asked where the lobster was, he admitted that he tasted it, leading Ramsay to remind him that it was a cooking challenge, not a fucking eating challenge. While Ramsay felt ripped off, he did praise the dish for tasting beautifully, and having a nice flavor. He lost that round to Jackie, and Ramsay suggested to him that he eat a bigger breakfast next time.
The blue team lost the challenge 1-3, and they were punished with taking part in delivery day, with Ramsay reminding Joe that he could burn off his lunch. During the punishment, he complained that he was done taking in deliveries, and when Manda left due to her injured back, he was pissed as she was supposed to help him prep.
During dinner service, Joe was on the appetizer station with Frank. At one point, he went to help Manda out on meat, and discovered that her chicken was raw. The blue team lost the service, and were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, he was stumped over who to nominate, but did not care as long as it was not him.
During the Bison Cut Challenge, Joe was paired up against Ariel on the ribeye, he lost the shootout to her, and their country was Japan. During the cooking, he asked if there was any way to rehydrate seaweed, and Jared gave him hints on what to do. He was the third person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Ariel. He made a pan-seared ribeye with sautéed daikon radish, it was deemed beautiful, and he tied that round with Ariel. The blue team lost the challenge after a tie at 4, and they were punished by making bread by hand, churning butter for a special Cowboy Steak Night, and cleaning the carpet from Jack the bison's accident early on. During the punishment, he snarkily told the red team that he would leave them a spot to clean, and while churning butter, he broke his ceramic from churning too hard, After, he stated that his Midas touch was turning everything to shit as his second ceramic broke despite not doing it hard that time.
During a Cowboy Steak Night dinner service, Joe was on the garnish station. At one point, he was behind on garnish and was caught tossing his mashed potatoes in the pot. That resulted in the mashed potatoes not being properly mixed, but he was able to bounce back quickly. Later, he was slow on garnishes again, and while he said that he needed another minute, he could not remember what was going out, and Ramsay was angry as he expected him to bounce back with at least some knowledge on what was going out. However, he felt that he was going fast enough, and while he got his fries onto the pass, they were all greasy. Eventually, most of the blue team had to help him on garnish in order to get food out, and they eventually won the service.
Despite being on the winning team, Joe was eliminated for his inconsistent performances in services throughout the competition. During his exit interview, he called Hell’s Kitchen more difficult than he imagined, and called the experience a lot different than watching it on TV.
Ramsay's comment: "Joe had an amazing taste profile and was a standout in challenges. Unfortunately for him, dinner services were just out of his reach."
- He is the sixth contestant to be eliminated despite being on the winning team.
- (To Ramsay) "When this is all over, can I use you as a reference on my resume?"