La Tasha McCutchen was a contestant on Season 13 of Hell's Kitchen. She was the winner of that season, and was awarded a head chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill at the Caesars Atlantic City, with a salary of $250,000. Eventually, she shared that prize with Season 14 winner Meghan.
While not having a great start, La Tasha quickly became one of the most consistent chefs on the red team. Her calm composure and ability to deal with multiple stations carried her towards the finals. She also had a humble and kind personality, and was the only one who seemed tolerating Sterling's antics.
Season 13 Edit
While the chefs were on their way to Hell's Kitchen, the bus pulled over to Pacific’s Cinerama Theatre as Ramsay wanted to show them an inspirational video before going there. After Ramsay revealed the grand prize of the season, he asked the chefs to cook their signature dish.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, La Tasha was the fourth person from the red team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Fernando. She made a grilled hickory rubbed watermelon, but Ramsay was not impressed that she spent 45 minutes grilling a slice of fucking melon, and called the dish underwhelming. She scored only 1 point out of 5. Despite that, the red team won the challenge 24-23, and they were rewarded with dinner at the Hotel Bel-Air, cooked by Wolfgang Puck, which she was extremely happy about.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the appetizer station with Kalen. When cooking her first risotto, Ramsay reminded her to cook and taste it, and she was hoping to rebound after scoring only one point during the previous challenge. Her first risotto was deemed perfect, and the red team won the service.
Back in the dorms, La Tasha knew that everybody showed potential, and said that if they could keep it up, they might continue winning services. During the Geoduck Challenge, she was seen grabbing the red team's first geoduck during the first part, and during the second part, she was paired with Sade. They were seen only getting one of their attempts accepted, but she said that the women were taking their time as they were focused on quality over quantity. The red team eventually won the challenge 15-14, and they were rewarded with a day on an 80-foot luxury yacht with Ramsay.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the meat station with Jennifer. She was not seen much, but her first attempt at the lamb was accepted. Both teams were named joint losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each. During deliberation, she knew that it was a crash and burn performance, but hoped that everybody would own up to their mistakes. Later, she felt that Denine was falling apart, and that she could go home.
She was not nominated for elimiantion.
Back in the dorms, La Tasha broke up an argument between Steve and Sterling. During the Jacket Challenge, she was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and went up against Santos in the enchilada round. Despite calling her dish a pie, she won the round over Santos. The red team lost the challenge 4-6, and they were punished by taking deliveries of 500 pounds of coffee, grinding them by hand, and prepping both kitchens for the next service.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the fish station with Ashley. She was not seen much, except when she served a raw salmon to Wendy Williams' table, which caused Ramsay to kick the women out. The red team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people. During deliberation, she admitted that she was concerned that her raw salmon could bite her in the ass.
La Tasha was not nominated for elimination despite being considered by Denine. While going back to the dorms, she felt that the red team’s morale was down.
During the Brunch Service Challenge, La Tasha was not seen much, except when she refused to have the crepes sink them, and the red team won the challenge. They were rewarded with a meal at Alteller Cren, and flying to San Francisco. During the reward, she loved Dominique Cren's dish, compared it to sex on a plate, and said that she was ready for another win.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the garnish station. She was not seen much, except when she said that the women were determined to not let anything stop them, and the red team won the service.
When the chefs got a wake-up call at 5:53 AM by a chainsaw user carving an ice block into the Hell’s Kitchen initials, La Tasha thought it was JR coming back for revenge.
During the Protein Identification Challenge, La Tasha was paired with Jennifer, and they were the second pair to compete. They landed on the calamari chowder, and managed to get it on their third attempt. After the red team's mediocre performance, she hoped that the men would struggle like they did. During the blue team's turn, she was hoping that the timer would reach zero. The red team eventually lost the challenge 7:41-7:07, and they were punished by taking deliveries of pizza ingredients, hand grating the cheese, and drinking a protein shake.
During the Family Night dinner service, La Tasha was on the meat station. After watching Kalen struggle on appetizers, she decided to help her as it was becoming clear she was getting overwhelmed. Because of her, the women were able to push out their first appetizers. When Ramsay reminded the women that they were five tickets behind the men and called them lackadaisical, she responded that she was determined to never be called that again as soon as she would find out what it meant. The red team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Barn Animal Challenge, La Tasha was paired with Ashley on the first part, and chose veal and couscous. She was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and presented her pan-seared veal chop with fig, pear, and toasted walnut couscous. While it was praised for its seasoning, Ramsay felt that it lacked acidity, and she scored 11 points out of 15. The red team eventually lost the challenge 25-28, and they were punished by extracting all the bone marrow out of bones for a ribeye special during the next service, and making the stock.
During dinner service, La Tasha served a salad appetizer tableside. After Roe and Katie were kicked out, she was relocated to the appetizer station. Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Italian Cuisine Challenge, La Tasha went up against Santos, and their dish was spaghetti alla carbonara. She was the fourth person from the red team to have her dish judged, her dish was praised for being fantastic, and she won the round over Santos. The red team eventually lost the challenge 2-3, and they were punished by prepping the ingredients for the next service, breaking down squid for a black ink tagliatelle dish, and making pasta from scratch. During the punishment, she complained that she was up to a lot of squid parts on her station, and called it disgusting.
During prep, La Tasha gave Sterling a rundown on where the stations were, but warned him that he only had one chance to impress them, and mistakes were not an option. During the Italian Night dinner service, she was on the dessert station. She was able to save Roe's steaks when the latter accidentally tripped, and she expressed dismay when Ashley's raw calamari came back from the Italian Consulate's table. Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each.
She was not nominated for elimination.
After Ashley's elimination, La Tasha said goodbye to Sade, who was transferred to the blue team, and welcomed Frank as a new teammate, much to her dismay. Back in the dorms, she drank a beer with Frank. The next day, she told Sade that her new blue jacket did not suit her, but the latter retorted not to hate her.
When La Tasha saw limousines pulling up, she thought it was President Obama, only to see dogs come out. During the Dog Show Planning Challenge, she was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and presented her pan-seared prawns with chipotle grits. While they were praised for being seasoned beautifully, they were criticized for being overcooked, and she lost the round to Fernando. The red team eventually won the challenge 3-2, and they were rewarded with a trip to SeaWorld in San Diego, and eating at the Searsucker Restaurant. While seeing a pet show, she felt like a kid again.
During the Dog Show dinner service, La Tasha was on the appetizer station. She admitted how concerned she was about Frank’s performance, especially when the timings had to be precise. She was seen sending appetizers to the dining room at a steady pace, and before entrées began, she told Frank to help Roe on garnish, while she decided to help Sterling on meat. She managed to calm Sterling down when he got confused on orders, and kept him from walking his Wellington until Ramsay sliced the pork. The red team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Craps Challenge, La Tasha rolled an L, and chose limes. After seeing her team's weird ingredients, she got concerned, and hoped that the red team had their creative juices flowing. Her dish was chosen as the red team's representative, and she presented her pan-seared duck breast with a citrus roasted heirloom tomatoes chutney, scalloped potatoes seared in duck fat, and a toasted pine nut pesto. Not only did Ramsay praise the dish for having a well cooked duck, but he was also amazed that she was able to use the red team’s dysfunctional ingredients well together. Her dish clinched the victory for the red team, and they were rewarded with an overnight trip to Las Vegas, flying in a private jet, staying in a mega-suite at the Planet Hollywood Hotel, and eating at Ramsay's BurGR.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the garnish station. After watching Frank screwing up a lot, she was annoyed as he was sinking them, and later, she cooked scallops for him. Then, she noticed that Frank flipped his salmon, and reminded him that it had to be cooked skin down. Despite hoping for some communication and teamwork to help them, Frank continued to struggle, and she accused him of losing his mind. The red team lost the service, and despite being asked to nominate two people for elimination, Ramsay changed his mind, and she said goodbye to Frank, who was eliminated on-the-spot.
While going back to the dorms, La Tasha complained that she tried to help Frank, and refused to be a crutch for the weak any longer.
During the Indian Cuisine Challenge, La Tasha got the wild card, and chose okra. She was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and went up against Aaron in the lamb round. She presented her seared lamb with sweet pea and mint purée, and while it was praised for its perfectly cooked lamb, it was criticized for having undercooked okra, and she scored 7 points. The red team won the challenge after a tie breaker at 22, and they were rewarded with a spa day at Willow’s Spa, and Vitamix blenders as gifts. During the reward, she got to try acupuncture for the first time.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the appetizer and meat stations. She was not seen much, except for expressing proudness over Sterling's strong performance, and the red team won the service by a mile.
While going back to the dorms, a pissed La Tasha called Aaron’s decision to quit disrespectful, with Roe and Sade agreeing with her. However, she admitted that after listening to Aaron’s hot air blather on, it made her realize how much more she wanted the prize, she said that both teams were equal with four each, and believed that Aaron was not the only weak chef on the blue team.
When La Tasha found out that the Blind Taste Test featured a dunk tank, she got petrified as she only started to swim for not very long. During Roe's turn, she got dunked once. She was the last person from the red team to compete, and went up against Bryant. She only scored one point by guessing potato correctly, and Jennifer got dunked once. The red team eventually won the challenge after a tiebreaker at 4, and they were rewarded with a day at the Santa Monica Pier, and a lunch at The Lobster.
During the closed VIP dinner service, La Tasha was skeptical of Sterling's leadership during his course. She was in charge of the New York steak course, and she warned her teammates not to fuck it up. Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each. During deliberation, she considered Sterling and Roe, but when the latter felt that she was threatened by her, she reminded her that she got kicked out of an earlier service.
She was not nominated for elimination.
Before the Amuse Bouche Challenge, La Tasha noticed Tim Decker painting behind Ramsay, and hoped that she did not have to do any painting as she was not a drawer. When she noticed Sterling struggle, she feared that he looked like that during every challenge so far. She was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and presented her sweet corn and crab, pan-seared scallops, and crispy prosciutto. While it was praised for having a good smoky bacon, Ramsay felt that the dish was too big, and she scored 7 points. The red team eventually lost the challenge 16-23, and they were punished by taking deliveries of coconuts, and prepping them for the next service. During the punishment, she felt that Jennifer’s ego rose due to her previous challenge performances, and felt that their loss was a reality check for her.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the garnish station. She was not seen much, except when she accused Sterling of pulling a Frank due to his poor performance. When both teams were lined up after service, she hugged Sterling goodbye when he was eliminated on-the-spot, and both teams were asked to nominate one person each.
La Tasha was not nominated for elimination, and received the fourth black jacket.
Back in the dorms, La Tasha said that her black jacket felt better than any other one she has worn. Later, she knew that they would be competing as individuals, and that she would have to beat the best to become the best.
During the Steak Challenge, La Tasha felt that the billboard reward was the prime exposure. She did a high sear on her ribeye, despite Roe's concern. Her dish was not chosen for the second part, and she lost the challenge to Roe. She was punished by cleaning both kitchens, taking deliveries of 200-pound beef shoulders, breaking it down, and portioning it. During the punishment, she felt that the show was rubbing in their loss after seeing Roe get her makeover in the dining room.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the fish station. At one point, she sent a raw lobster tail, but managed to bounce back as she refused to let the team down. Then, she served overcooked scallops, which Santos considered a rookie mistake. When the team was working on entrées, her halibut was praised for being beautiful. When the chefs were lined up, Bryant was named "Best of the Worst". During deliberation, she admitted that she had some of her dishes sent back, but retorted that she bounced back.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the 40 Portions Glamping Challenge, La Tasha made a low country crab boil dish, but despite being used to talk to people as she cooked, she was stressed as she never cooked for 40 glampers before, and did not tell them about her dish. While the rest of the chefs were serving their dishes, she was late as she forgot a shrimp. When she did serve her dish, she felt even more pressure when one of the glampers struggled to get their crayfish out of its shell.
La Tasha lost the challenge to Bryant, and she was punished by picking up dog poop at the Hollywood Hills, and sorting through the trash at Hell’s Kitchen. During the punishment, she said that she would rather be on the reward than picking up dog poop. Later, she nearly threw up, and felt like a prisoner while calling it disgusting. However, while she called it the most difficult thing she has ever done, she said that it would be all worth it after becoming Ramsay’s next head chef.
During dinner service, La Tasha was on the appetizer station with Bryant. She was not seen much, but was seen helping all of the stations at one point, causing Sade to call her a ninja. Near the end of service, she could tell Ramsay was getting angry when the latter was waiting for Sade's Wellingtons. When the chefs were lined up, they were asked to nominate two people.
La Tasha was not nominated for elimination, and while going back to the dorms, she refused to crumble at the final four before declaring that it was time to unleash the beast.
The next day, La Tasha received a video call from her mother, and got to spend some time with her, along with her father.
During the Taste It Now Make It Challenge, La Tasha used pheasant, couscous, and sundried tomatoes to recreate Ramsay's dish. She lost the challenge to Jennifer as she used the wrong protein. She was punished by packing up all the unneeded furniture in the dorms, and helping Marino to prep the dining room for the next service.
During the 200th Hell's Kitchen dinner service, La Tasha was on the fish station. She was the second person who ran the pass, and she got in control quickly due to confidence. Then, Sous Chef Andi sent up sea bass instead of halibut, and she failed to notice the mistake until Ramsay told her. Then, she pushed Bryant for the garnishes, even refusing the potatoes for not being cooked properly, but the latter felt that she was acting like a bitch. Despite that, she was able to keep a steady stream of food leaving the kitchen.
After Jennifer's elimination, Ramsay asked the final three why they should be in the finals, and La Tasha explained that she has been consistent and led by example. She was the first chef who was announced to be a finalist, and Bryant eventually became the second. After Sade's elimination, Ramsay congratulated both of them, and she warned Bryant to watch out for her.
Continuing from the previous episode, Ramsay told the two finalists to start working on their menu, and La Tasha was excited that she was in the finals. After celebrating, she got to work on her menu, and decided to take more risks with flavors that she never worked with before. After several hours of work, she teared up overseeing a picture of her deceased grandmother, and knew that she could do it. The next day, she and Bryant left Hell’s Kitchen for Palm Springs, and flew in a private jet. Arrived there, they met Marino, who served as their tour guide. The three of them were watching the sights as they were relaxing at the Parker Palm Springs. She said that it was nice to let off some stress, but knew that there was more work left. After, she and Bryant flew back to Los Angeles, and met a stewardess, who told them to wait at a lounge as the car was not ready yet. When she came back, the walls fell down to reveal a live audience in the hanger, with Ramsay waiting on the stage. Arrived on it, the two finalists noticed their loved ones in the audience, and Ramsay explained that the audience was there to watch them compete in their final challenge.
During the Final Tasting Challenge, La Tasha wanted to win it to make her parents proud of her. After learning that the winner would have first pick for their brigade, she got more determined to win as she refused to have Frank on her team. On the cold appetizer round, her creamy avocado bisque with butter poached lobster was praised for having a nice texture, but Lutz felt that it could have used more lemon, and she scored 8 points. On the hot appetizer round, her mushroom risotto with five-minute egg was praised for having a good flavor, and scored 8 points. On the fish entrée round, her Chilean sea bass with bacon braised char was praised for being beautiful, but criticized for tasting salty due to the bacon, and scored 7 points. On the chicken entrée round, her herb crusted chicken was heavily praised for being sexy, and scored a perfect 10. On the beef entrée round, her pan-seared rib cap with horseradish cream frees and cabernet sauce was criticized for having too many flavors. Despite that, she scored 9 points, and won the challenge 42-39.
La Tasha was rewarded with picking first for her brigade. She picked Sade as her first pick, Roe as her second, Fernando as her third, and Ashley as her last. Back in Hell's Kitchen, she knew that her brigade could follow her lead, and told exactly what each of them would be doing. However, she rejected her team's suggestions on removing some elements to make it easier, as she wanted her menu done her way. During prep, she presented her sample dishes to Ramsay, but he felt that her dishes looked imbalanced, and she panicked when he gave criticism on her dishes. Ramsay told her to rein in her dishes and inform her team about the changes, which she did.
During dinner service, La Tasha told Roe that her portions of corn were too little for her, and she said that she was going to keep her standards high. While she said that she really felt like a boss, she complained that Fernando was slow on scallops. While working on entrées, she noticed that Fernando's sea bass were already finished despite the latter saying that he needed six more minutes. After Fernando sent raw salmon, she relocated him to hot appetizers, and moved Roe to fish. It paid out as Roe's salmon was accepted, and food was leaving because of strong performances by Roe and Ashley.
Back in the dorms, La Tasha said that she really wanted the head chef position. When she came to Ramsay's office, she was praised for being rock solid and never being nominated, saying that she belonged in the kitchen. Then, she stood in front of a door, knowing it would open only if she was the winner. After waiting nervously for Ramsay's countdown to end, she turned the handle, and her door open.
La Tasha became the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, and won the Head Chef position at Gordon Ramsay Pub and Grill at Caesar’s Palace, in Atlantic City, with a salary of $250,000. She was in shock over winning, asked if it was a dream, before asking that if it was, nobody should wake her up, and called it the most incredible moment in her life.
Ramsay's comment: "La Tasha has all the right ingredients to be a great chef. She's creative, a strong leader, has great attention to detail and has an outstanding palate. But the thing I love most about La Tasha is her determination. I know that she's ready for the challenge of being my head chef in Atlantic City and I couldn't be happier."
- She participated in the seventh different-gender finals of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the thirteenth winner, and seventh female winner of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the sixth winner, and fourth female winner, who completely avoided nomination throughout the season.
- She is the first contestant ever who scored 1 out of 5 on the new format of the Signature Dish Challenge, and made it to the black jackets, as well as the only winner who did.
- After her appearance on the show, she took up the head chef position at Gordon Ramsay's Pub & Grill at Caesars Atlantic City for a year before becoming a Private Chef.
- "Mama didn't raise no fool!"
- "Chef Ramsay said that we are lackadaisical. As soon as I find out what that means, I'm gonna make sure that I'm never that way again!"
- “Butcher some beef bitch, or I’ll butcher you.”