Mary Poehnelt was a contestant on Season 11 of Hell's Kitchen. She was the runner-up of that season.
Mary did not start the season as the strongest chef. But after three early nominations, she improved dramatically and became a strong link in the red team. She had the softest female voice in the history of Hell's Kitchen.
Season 11 Edit
When the chefs arrived in Los Angeles, Ramsay surprisingly told them to meet him in Las Vegas. Arrived there, they were greeted by showgirls, got on a double-decker bus for a tour of the city, and eventually got tricked in believing they would go on a Las Vegas 4D experience. However, they arrived in front of a live audience, where Ramsay was waiting for them.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Mary was the ninth person from the red team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Christian. When she began to describe her dish, Ramsay plugged his ears as her voice was way too soft. She served a pan-seared duck breast with red wine and orange reduction, but her duck was not cooked properly and still had raw fat, which Ramsay retorted that she definitely butchered her dish. She lost the round to Christian.
The red team eventually won the challenge 5-4, and they were rewarded with a night out in Las Vegas, meeting Celine Dion, and get VIP tickets for the latter's show. When she entered the presidential suite at the Caesar's Palace, Mary said it was gorgeous, and revealed that she never went to Las Vegas before and that even the air was smelling good as they must manufacture delicious smelling air. When they came back from their reward, she showed the blue team their picture with Celine Dion.
The next day, during prep, Mary acknowledged that the red team was screwed because of Gina's confused state. When both teams were lined up, she was excited to see Jean-Philippe come back as the maître d'. During dinner service, she was on the fish station with Gina. When Ramsay called the first ticket, Gina asked her where the spatula to flip the scallops was, but she was annoyed as Gina was not knowing what she was doing, reminded that she has not been there all day, and could not believe she wanted to cook scallops. Later, she was annoyed when Gina was constantly asking Nedra for a time, telling her to shut up. After Gina was kicked out, she managed to serve a lot of appetizers, along with Nedra. At one point, when Jessica took more than three minutes to slice her lamb, she got annoyed and said it was not rocket science. An hour and a half into service, she was dedicated to the garnish station after Susan and Danielle were kicked out, and after Ramsay sent entrées without garnish, she was told to fire new potatoes urgently, which overwhelmed her as she had to work two stations at once. She was helped by Amanda, but she struggled to keep up when the female customer who ordered the chicken came to the pass and told her garnish was missing. Finally, she succeeded to send the missing potatoes to the pass. She rallied to help the red team to serve all their remaining tickets, and the red team won the service.
The next morning, some soldiers from the US army came in Hell's Kitchen, went to the dorms, and gave a very brutal wake up call to the chefs by screaming and yelling to get up. When the teams were challenged to climb up the wall, Mary stayed on top of the wall to help her teammates getting over. The red team managed to get 31 lobsters in their bucket, compared to the blue team's 37, but fortunately for them, that was only the first part of the challenge.
During the Lobster Cleaning Challenge, Mary was paired with Amanda. Together, they scored at least one point, and the red team eventually won the challenge 11-8. They were rewarded with a day on a 85-foot luxury yacht, a master sushi chef preparing them lunch, and a massage.
During dinner service, Mary was on the appetizer station with Danielle. Before tickets entered, she motivated her team, saying they would do good. On her first attempt at the risotto, she said she needed seven minutes, and declared that despite being a butcher, she could cook circles around anybody, while adding that she was determined to show Ramsay she knew her flavors. However, her risotto was rejected as she put too much white wine in it. Ramsay asked her how much wine did she put, which she answered that she just put a few spoons, so he ordered her to reduce it. She was disappointed, and started over, but was taken over by Danielle. On their second attempt, there was still too much white wine in it, and they were helped by Ja'Nel. After receiving her help, their risotto was deemed delicious by Ramsay, and she celebrated with Ja'Nel. The red team was eventually kicked out of the kitchen after a lot of mistakes. Both teams were named joint-losers, and they were asked to nominate two people each for elimination. During deliberation, she was considered by Jessica and Ja'Nel, but she retorted that she bounced back from her mistakes.
Mary was the red team's second nominee for elimination, with Danielle being the first, and they joined Jeremy and Christian from the blue team. During her plea, she reminded that she fought back, and she survived elimination.
- She participated in the second all-female finals of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the eleventh runner-up, and fourth female runner-up of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the first finalist ever to kick out one of her brigade members during the final service.
- "I've never been to Vegas, and it is so cool here. Even the air smells good, like they must manufacture delicious smelling air!"