Melissa Doney was a contestant on Season 8 of Hell's Kitchen. She ranked in 10th place.
Melissa was a very combative chef, especially with her biggest rival Sabrina, but in the kitchen, she could struggle to count, and waste an entire supply of food in a couple of minutes.
Season 8 Edit
During the introduction of the season, Melissa was one of the four chefs who was seen receiving her acceptance invitation, and celebrated with her co-workers. After James introduced himself, all the chefs put blindfolds on, and were taken to the prize restaurant, the LA Market, in Los Angeles. Then, they returned to Hell's Kitchen, and were asked to cook their signature dishes.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Melissa expressed relief when Jillian scored a point for the red team, as she was a little concerned over the latter's tattooed eyebrows. She was the seventh person for the red team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Boris. Her dish was not seen much, but looked like a steak with asparagus. It was poor received, and Ramsay asked her if she was out of her tiny mind, referring to her stature. She lost the round to Boris, and the red team eventually lost the challenge after a tie-breaker at 3. They were punished by cleaning both kitchens ahead of the opening night.
During dinner service, Melissa was on the pizza station. She got her team out to a great start with perfect pizzas, but was later chewed out by Ramsay for sending up raw pizzas. Both teams lost dinner service, and were asked to nominate two people each.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Sushi Challenge, Melissa was paired with Gail. Despite having hope that they would do well as Gail had an Asian background, they both struggled on making their pieces. None of them were accepted because not only were they missing a salmon roll, the rolls were cut poorly and the tuna was improperly sliced. The red team lost the challenge 15-16, and they were punished by prepping sushi for the next dinner service, as well as eating a squid dinner.
During dinner service, Melissa was on the garnish station. At one point, she sent up mashed potatoes to the pass, but not only were they cold and runny, they were not even needed. As it became clear she got the orders mixed up, Ramsay demoted her to be an assistant maître d’ for the rest of the service, replacing Jillian. Despite that, the red team won the service.
During the Paramedic Service Challenge, Melissa managed to help Sabrina refire the bacon after Emily managed to burn the initial batch. The red team won the challenge, and were rewarded with a trip to Santa Monica, where they had lunch at the Viceroy Hotel along with trapeze lessons, which excited her as she had never done that before.
During prep, Melissa was not happy when Sabrina did not help out much. During dinner service, she was on the fish station. Her first attempt on the Dover Sole came out overcooked and Ramsay compared it to Gandhi's flip-flop. The red team lost service as they only managed to get a 50% above average rating from their customers, compared to the blue team's 54% above average rating.
Melissa was not nominated for elimination, even though Sabrina and Jillian thought she should have been. During Sabrina's plea, the latter tried to convince Ramsay to send her home due to her poor performances, without success.
Back in the dorms, Melissa told Gail that she feared that things would get dirty now as they were supposed to be a team, and the two of them agreed not to let anything get too dirty for the red team.
During the Ravioli Challenge, Melissa reluctantly showed Sabrina how to use the pasta maker when the latter was struggling with it. During the judging, she was the first person from the red team to have her dish judged, and went up against Vinny. She made a chicken and pancetta ravioli with walnut cream sauce, but despite Ramsay getting concerned about the walnut sauce, he said that it worked well, praised the dish for being balanced, and she won the round over Vinny.
The red team eventually lost the challenge 3-4, and they were punished by prepping both kitchens for the next dinner service, and make pasta and mozzarella cheese from scratch. During the punishment, Melissa reminded Sabrina that she did not score any points when the latter tried to blame Gail for being the reason the red team lost. When the red team was milking the cows, she got annoyed when Sabrina did not attempt to milk them, and later, she got pissed off when Sabrina's constant questions meant that she was not retaining anything the team was telling her.
During the Italian Night dinner service, Melissa was on the appetizer station. When she brought up her first appetizers, she realized that she forgot a second order of ravioli. When she brought the second order, it was undercooked and she got lectured by Ramsay for rushing out and treating him like a fucking idiot. While she hoped to redeem herself from that mistake, she failed to do multiplication when she said that three times three was six, and Ramsay warned her that he would be watching her as she was scaring him for failing math. Despite all that, she managed to redeem herself and got appetizers out to the dining room. When she saw that Sabrina was struggling on the grilling station, she said that if Sabrina would cost the red team their victory, she would be sending her home. Then, she came over to help Sabrina, and despite getting frustrated when the latter could not get her timings correctly, it was because of her that the red team was finally able to send their first table of entrées. After the red team finished their tickets, Ramsay sent them over to the blue kitchen and help the men complete their tickets. However, both teams got confused on ticket orders, and Ramsay ejected both teams from service. They were named joint-losers, and Ramsay asked them to nominate two people each for elimination.
Back in the dorms, Melissa received votes from Sabrina and Jillian to be one of the red team's nominees due to the fact Ramsay yelled at her a lot that night, despite helping Sabrina out. However, when she, Nona, and Gail said that Sabrina should be nominated instead, it led to an argument where she told Sabrina to calm her ghetto attitude and shut the fuck up.
Back in the dorms, Melissa, along with Emily, Nona, and Gail, expressed surprise that Sabrina was still around despite her poor attitude and not being worthwhile to the red team. During the Prom Planning Challenge, she was not seen much, but the red team won 3-0, and they were rewarded with a day at Knot's Berry Farm.
During the Prom Night dinner service, Melissa was on the meat station. Thirty minutes in, she brought her cooked filet mignons, but that angered Ramsay as the red team had only served three tables of appetizers so far, and were not even close to starting entrées. Then, Ramsay asked if she wanted to go home and if she could fuck off, before counting all the cooked beef on the tray. To the shock and horror of her teammates, she cooked twenty-three filets, and Ramsay said that they were all overcooked and unusable for the rest of the night. Then, Ramsay yelled at her that he could not keep telling her what to do for every service. Later that night, she sliced a beef that turned out raw and put it back in the oven, much to Ramsay's dismay, who told her to stop slicing a beef if it was raw. After, she acknowledged Nona should shut up when Ramsay was yelling. The red team lost the service, and Sabrina was named "Best of the Worst".
On their way back to the dorms, the red team congratulated Melissa for fighting back and surviving another elimination. Later, she admitted to Gail that she believed Sabrina was pissed that she survived over Emily, and while she knew that she was an easy target now, she still believed she could win over Sabrina.
Before the next challenge, Melissa was called down by Ramsay, who believed that he could not feel the fight back from her and was thinking that she was in over her head. Then, Ramsay asked her to take off her jacket, making everyone think that she would be eliminated, much to Sabrina's excitement. Instead, Ramsay told her that she would be transferred to the blue team, exchanging with Trev, much to her relief, although she knew some of the men were not happy about that decision. After she put her blue jacket on, Ramsay urged her to start shining.
During the Salad Challenge, Melissa knew that she would have to prove herself to her new teammates in order to be a worthy member. She was the last person of the blue team to have her dish judged, and went up against Trev. She made a seared duck breast salad with baby yams, roasted shallots, and blue cheese dressing. While Ramsay praised her for making a bold move on using duck, not only did it still have a lot of raw fat on it, it was under seasoned, and the blue cheese was overpowering. She lost the round to Trev, but despite that, the blue team won the challenge after a tie-breaker at 2.
They were rewarded with a trip to Malibu for lunch at The Getty Villa. During the reward, Melissa bonded with her new teammates, and admitted that she really thought she was going home earlier that day. Also, she felt more relaxed with the men and hoped to be more comfortable during service.
Before service began, Ramsay reminded Melissa that her goal was to prove to the blue team why she deserved to be there. During dinner service, she was on the fish station. She sent her first order of scallops to Rob for his salad, but they came out raw, and her second attempt was burnt. Later, she sent another refire on the scallops, but Rob rejected it for being overcooked, and she was getting annoyed that none of her attempts were acceptable. Eventually, she revealed that she did not have anymore scallops to work with, having ruined 7 pounds of scallops in total. Because of that, the blue team was forced to change the scallop salad for a rock shrimp one. Both teams were named joint-losers, and Ramsay asked them to nominate one person each for elimination.
Melissa was not nominated by the blue team, but eventually joined the initial nominees Boris and Sabrina, along with Nona from the red team. She was eliminated for being nominated three times in a row, and failing to improve after being transferred to the blue team.
Ramsay's comment: "Melissa had a red jacket, she had a blue jacket, and now she has no jacket at all."
During dinner service, Melissa was on the meat station. At one point, she sent a raw steak that was meant for Nona's husband, and while she was disappointed that she has been making rookie mistakes during her time on the show, she knew she was better than that, and wanted to prove it. When she sent her refire, it was accepted, much to her relief. Nona eventually won the finals over Russell.
- She is the second contestant to be eliminated after their first night with a new team, after Melissa from Season 3.
- She is the twelfth contestant to be eliminated after Ramsay overruled formal nominations.
- She is the third female contestant who switched teams without making it to the black jackets, following Melissa (Season 3), and Lacey (Season 5).
- After her appearance on the show, she returned to her previous role at Fort William Henry Resort before becoming a Culinary Instructor and Area Chef for a Supermarket chain. She is currently an Executive Chef at Browns Brewing Company.
- (To Sabrina) "Calm down your little ghetto attitude, and shut the fuck up!"
- "I really don't want to argue with Sabrina, she's just a waste of my breath."