Mia Castro was a contestant on Season 18 of Hell's Kitchen. She is currently in the competition.
Despite her small and cute appearance, Mia showed amazing confidence, and was the strongest chef on the rookies. However, she was a bit cocky and rude, while she is a strong competitor and being great at challenges, she often second guesses in services and even sometimes make excuses for them. She has a strong dislike for Bret and had one for having a running feud with Chris, with him not liking her.
Season 18 Edit
When the sixteen chefs arrived to Hell's Kitchen, they were welcomed by Marino and the Sous Chefs, and were given butternut squash risotto for lunch. During lunch, Mia called the eight across from her ugly, unaware that they were the veterans in disguised. She was the final rookie to describe her credentials, revealed that she was originally from Puerto Rico, and felt that while people were going to underestimate her by her looks, she declared that she was going to kick ass. When the veterans revealed themselves, she was not nervous as she competing against losers and not winners as she feared before.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Mia revealed her grilled pork tenderloin with chorizo chimichurri, and she went up against Jen. She was the seventh person from the red team to have her dish judged, and presented her grilled pork loin medallion with chorizo chimichurri. It was praised for having a perfect cook as all of her pork had a bit of pink in the center, and she scored a perfect 5. When the score was tied at 29, she went up against Kevin during the tie breaker, and Ramsay deemed her dish as the one that had the slight edge. So, the rookies won the challenge, and she was doing a happy dance to celebrate. The red team was rewarded with dinner at Josiah Citrin’s Charcoal, with Ramsay joining them along with Citrin. During the reward, she was smiling over sitting next to Citrin.
During the Creative Risotto Challenge, Mia was confident on her risotto as it was the first dish she learned how to cook in culinary school. She was the third rookie to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and presented her sweet pea and basil risotto with crispy pancetta was deemed very good by Ramsay, and she beat out Gizzy for the lead. While she would beat out Ariel and Scott, she lost the challenge to Bret. While being dismissed, she was bummed that she lost, but knew that her dish was perfectly cooked.
During dinner service, Mia was on the meat station with Chris. At one point, she was confused about what was being fired, and told Ramsay that her duck could take 10 minutes as she only had one of the two cooked. After Chris was caught writing stuff down instead of helping out, she complained that the former was trying to act like Ramsay despite not getting the orders correct. While she got one order accepted, she sent up raw lamb for the next one, and that proved to be the last straw for Ramsay as he kicked the rookies out of the kitchen. While going back to the dorms, she knew that while it was her raw lamb got the rookies kicked out, she argued that there were other mistakes that happened before hers.
The rookies lost the service, and were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Mia nominated Chris for not communicating with her on orders, but the latter sarcastically commented that her job was to cook and not listen to Ramsay.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Marines Service Challenge, Mia was on the fish station with Scotley. At one point, Scotley was micromanaging her work by telling her to put a rag under her fish to absorb the excess oil, despite there being a rack already to do so. That led her to believe that the rookies were dismissing her skills, and her rag caught on fire from being close to the element. Despite putting the fire out, Ramsay reminded her and Scotley that they did not need a rag to drain out the oil, and disbelievingly stated that they were already on fire, before she complained that nobody was listening to her. The rookies eventually won the challenge, and they were rewarded with a trip to Paramount Ranch, and got to star in their own Western film. During the reward, she said that she felt like a movie star.
During dinner service, Mia served a grilled calamari appetizer tableside. After Kanae struggled on garnish, she was ordered by Scotley to help the former out. Despite a ticket callout mistake from Jose, she took control of the situation and got the rookies refocused. Both teams were named joint-winners.
Back at the dorms, Mia overheard her male teammates comments about the women on the rookies, and that Chris called her bossy. She sat sat in the chair area with Trev, and both agreed that they came to cook in front of Ramsay. After, she said that she would rather be underestimated as she could surprise her competition in the future.
Before the Winter Soup Challenge, Mia was paired up with Jose on the sledding, and they were the first pair from the rookies to compete. They struggled as they crashed before crossing the finish line, the rookies lost the pre-challenge, and she was embarrassed as she thought that the younger rookies would have won. She was the first rookie to have her dish judged, and presented her brown butter and butternut squash soup with crispy Brussel sprouts. It was praised for having the perfect marriage of ingredients, with Ramsay commenting that he wanted more, she scored a perfect nine, and she rubbed in the veterans face. The rookies won the challenge 51-41, and they were rewarded with an overnight trip to L’Horizon at Palm Springs, and ate dinner at Sopa. During the reward, she called the restaurant a very date night restaurant, and that it has been a long time since she went on a date
During dinner service, Mia was on the appetizer station with Scotley. At one point, she asked Jose to help her out on the flatbreads, and felt that the rookies were making the veterans look like amateurs. However, she and Scotley had an argument over their methods on appetizers, with her complaining how he was not respecting her. Eventually, Sous Chef Christina went in and calmed them both down. Later, Gizzy came in to help them out, but she did not ask for her help. Both teams were named joint-losers, and were asked to nominate two each. During deliberation, she considered Chris and Scotley for elimination, the latter because of the argument they had earlier that night, but he argued that she was too snappy.
Mia was not nominated for elimination, but was deemed by Chris as the weakest chef of the rookies as she was more demanding than being a leader. She, Gizzy, and Kanae were reassigned to the blue team, being exchanged for Bret, Kevin, and Trev as Ramsay decided to end the Rookies Vs. Veterans team format and bring back the battle of the sexes. While being dismissed, she was happy to leave Scotley’s team and believed that the latter would end up digging his own grave.
Back at the dorms, Mia asked Jose if he had any kids, and the latter revealed that he had an eleven-year-old daughter and a four-year-old son.
During the Seven-Way Challenge, Mia received steaming as her cooking method, was the second person from the blue team to have her dish judged, and went up against Chris. She made a steamed halibut with a tableside broth, it was praised for being a strongly executed dish, with David Lefevre saying that he wanted to bring the rest back home with him, she scored that round over Chris, and rubbed it in the latter’s face for screwing her in the previous dinner service. The blue team won the challenge 5-3, they were rewarded a VR experience at VR Territory, and received Vitamix's. When walking past the red team's punishment, she called the smell disgusting. During the reward, she almost had a panic attack over her leap of faith, and after receiving her Vitamix, she called it the best present she ever received.
During dinner service, Mia was on the meat station with Gizzy. At one point, she sliced a Wellington, only to find out it was raw, and her next few attempts were raw as well. After Ramsay was shocked to find five raw Wellingtons cut in half, he reminded her that she should only be cutting the ends off in order to find out if they were cooked or not, and when Ariel suggested that she put the Wellingtons back together before cooking them longer, she admitted to her mistake, but promised that she would not make the same mistake again. The blue team eventually won the service.
Before the Last Man Standing Challenge, Mia believed that time management was the key for a kitchen to run smoothly. She was the third person from the blue team to leave the kitchen, was the final person from the blue team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Trev. She made a cioppino, it was praised for having some great seasoning, and she scored that round over Trev. The blue team won the challenge 3-2, and they were rewarded with a go-karting experience. During the reward, she drove slowly, admitting that she was not a good driver.
Because Mia was the third person to leave the kitchen, and fourth overall during the previous challenge, she was exempted from participating in the Cook For Your Life Challenge.
Back at the dorms, Mia got annoyed by Bret's loud behavior during dinner, and believed that the latter was an idiot if he was not going to change his behavior.
Before the Tilly Sweet 16 Planning Challenge, a picture of Mia from her 15th birthday, and after seeing a picture of Ramsay of a teenager, she said that she would have been crushing hard on him if she was a 15-year-old girl again. She was in a team with Ariel and Heather, and they went up against Bret, Jose, and Trev from the red team. She made creamy mushroom frichese with toasted tofu. it was praised for the presentation, with Tilly commenting that mushrooms were her favorite vegetable, and she got her dish added to the menu. The blue team won the challenge 4-2, and they were rewarded with a day at a Malibu mansion, and received ice cream from an artisan food truck, exciting her as she loved ice cream. During the reward, she got one of everything.
During the Tilly Sweet 16 dinner service, Mia was on the fish station with Ariel. At one point, Sous Chef Jocky rejected her fish for not having enough batter on them, and then, her refire came out raw, with Ramsay commenting that all the fish needed was its head and tail before heading back to the river. The blue team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, she felt very disappointed that the blue team screwed up on Ramsay’s daughter’s birthday party, and that it was not the night to fuck up. She was nominated by everybody on the blue team, but she argued that Kanae also had problems on the ahi tuna earlier that night, and considered the latter and Roe for elimination.
Mia was named the blue team's second nominee for elimination, with Roe as the first. During her plea, Ramsay asked her if she was in over her head, but while she retorted that Kanae failed to get her batter done properly during prep, hence why she struggled that night, the latter argued that she did make the batter when prep began, with Heather backing her up, and was accused of lying to save face. Then, when Ramsay asked her why she thought she was better than Roe, she said that she communicated with her team and took responsibility for her own actions. She survived elimination, and while being dismissed, she argued that she was not playing the blame game, as she felt she did not deserve to be nominated.
Back at the dorms, Mia tried to tell Kanae that the reason she nominated her was so she herself was not nominated, but the latter was still mad that she threw her under the bus.
During the Chinese Cuisine Challenge, Mia wanted to cook against Trev, and their protein was pork tenderloin, although she said that it was a poor choice on his account as Puerto Ricans loved pork. When Shirley Chung was invited as the guest judge, she heard that she was an amazing chef. She was the first person from the blue team to have her dish judged, and presented her soy and ginger pork tenderloin with stir fry. While it was criticized for the presentation, it was praised for being delicious, and she scored that round over Trev. The blue team won the challenge 3-2, and they were rewarded with an overnight trip to Las Vegas, with a stay at the Nobu Hotel in the private villa, and flew in a private jet. During the reward, she felt like royalty.
During dinner service, Mia was on the appetizer station. She was not seen that night, and the blue team won the service.
During the Blind Taste Test, Mia was the second person from the blue team to compete, and went up against Motto. She ended up with a perfect run as she correctly guessed banana, pickle, black pepper, and peanut butter, sparing Heather from the punishments. During Ariel's turn, she was spared from the punishments. The blue team won the challenge 10-6, and they were rewarded with a spa day at Southern California’s Premiere Korean Spa. During the reward, she felt that their winning streak was validating their strength in the competition.
During the Charity Night dinner service, Mia was in charge of the pan-seared scallops over polenta course, and she and Motto agreed on eight minutes for the scallops. While she was nervous about being a leader, she knew what Ramsay wanted from her, and even though the latter was concerned that she was not being vocal, she told him that she had her teammates delegated to different positions. Later, Ramsay had to remind her to check her standards after catching her not at the pass, but despite that, she got her course out first. The blue team won the service.
During the Dessert Challenge, Mia discovered her tart shell crumbled on her, and decided to deconstruct the dish to salvage it. She was the second person from the blue team to have her dish judged, and went up against Bret. She made a deconstructed roasted apple and mascarpone tart, it was criticized for having an aggressive taste of ginger, with Valerie Gordon calling the dish muddy, and she scored 4 points as Heather welcomed her to the real world where she was imperfect. The blue team eventually won the challenge 14-11, and they were rewarded with a $2,000 shopping spree at Sur la Table, along with lunch at Joey Woodland Hills. During the reward, she commented she never had $500 to spend at one place.
During dinner service, Mia was on the appetizer station. At one point, she had Ariel taste her risotto as she had a shellfish allergy, but Heather was not sympathetic as she should know how to cook a risotto regardless of allergies, and Ariel herself admitted it did not make much sense for two people to go back and forth with one pan. After seeing that, Ramsay decided to put Ariel on risottos, and have her cook the carbonara, and despite finding it difficult to let go due to her perfectionist attitude, the appetizers were accepted. The blue team won the service, and after Trev was eliminated, Ramsay told the women that he would need one volunteer to emerge as a leader and join the men. While being dismissed, she felt that she could emerge as a leader.
Back at the dorms, Mia told Ariel that she was thinking about moving back to the red team as she wanted to prove to Ramsay she could step up as a leader, before feeling that the latter was already the leader of the blue team. The next day, she moved into the red team, but when Ramsay announced the Black Jackets Challenge, she was excited about that, but also disappointed that she never got the chance to whip Bret and Motto into shape.
During the first Black Jackets Challenge, Mia received filet, chard, onion, couscous, and duck fat for her dish. During the cooking, she felt confident in her dish like she had during the previous challenges, and that she believed in herself. She was the fifth person to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and presented her filet mignon and swiss chard couscous. It was praised for a pro like plating, having the exact medium rare cook, and tasting delicious, with the only criticism being that her sauce was too heavy. She won the second black jacket of the season, and not was she happy about that, but she felt slimmer due to the black color. She and Ariel went to the Black Jackets Lounge, and she went straight for the chocolate fountain, before toasting to Ariel on their milestone.
During the second challenge, Ariel and Mia saw the judging through a livestream, and at one point, she compared Motto's presentation to having a drunken night despite looking good. After the feed cut out, she and Ariel believed that Bret and Motto would make it based on that challenge alone, and their prediction came true as the two came to the Lounge. While she admitted that Bret was not her favorite person in the competition, she was however happy to see him. Later, she welcomed Heather as the final black jacket chef, and while they were celebrating, she was grateful for learning a lot so far.
- She is the second Puerto Rican contestant of Hell's Kitchen, following Fernando from Season 13.
- Prior to competing in Hell's Kitchen, she was in the cooking show Chopped where she was the runner-up in Season 13 Episode 16.
- She is the fourth contestant, and second female contestant, to achieve a perfect score of 4 out of 4 during the Blind Taste Test, following Justin (Season 10), Milly (Season 14), and Wendy (Season 16).
- She is the third contestant, and second female contestant, to participate in two different team switches after Autumn (Season 7) and Trev (Season 8). She is also the fourteenth chef who made it to the black jackets after switching teams, and currently holds the record for the shortest stint on a new team as she made it to the black jackets immediately after the first Black Jacket Challenge.
- (About the veterans) "If they were previous 'Hell's Kitchen' winners, I would be nervous. But they are previous 'Hell's Kitchen' losers."
- "Bring it... bring it to mama."