Paula DaSilva was a contestant on Season 5 of Hell's Kitchen. She was the runner-up of that season.
Paula was a quiet leader, who emerged as a strong chef as the competition went on. She had a great friendly rivalry with Danny during the most part of the season.
Season 5 Edit
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Paula was the fourteenth person to have her dish judged by Ramsay. She made an soup; with no further information. Ramsay praised it for being seasoned beautifully.
When the teams were lined up, the women revealed their new team name, which was "Team Saffron". It was eventually changed to "Spice Racks" after a request from Colleen. During dinner service, Paula was on the garnish station with Andrea. She went unnoticed that night due to the red team failing to get past the appetizers before Ramsay shut down the kitchens. The red team won because of Carol's strong performance as a waitress.
During the Scallop Cleaning Challenge, Paula gave the worst individual performance from the red team by managing to get only one out of her ten scallops approved. Her team lost the challenge 35-36 and were forced to prepare a raw bar for the next service. As with the rest of her team, she was angry with Lacey sitting out of the punishment for six hours.
During dinner service, Paula was the raw bar server for her team. After Colleen's poor performance on the fish station, she was reassigned to the meat station with Coi. When she came back, she asked Ji how her injured ankle was, but Ji told her she wanted to focus on service. Her team lost service.
Paula was not nominated for elimination, and gave Ji an emotional standing ovation during her exit, like the rest of her team, and the blue team.
Back in the dorms, Paula and the rest of the red team confronted Lacey, asking her if she was actually serious about being in the competition.
During the Meat & Cow Challenge, Paula was the second person of her team to attempt the first part. She succeeded in correctly guessing all the cuts, and was later the third person on her team to attempt the second part. Despite her best efforts, her team lost the challenge and had to carry two large sides of beef and eat cow offal.
During the Steakhouse double dinner service, the red team were waitresses during the first seating. Paula took twenty minutes to send her first ticket up, which caused Giovanni to believe she did in on purpose. During the second seating, where she was on the garnish station with LA, she was not seen much. Her team won the dinner service.
After Carol named herself and Andrea as the red team's strongest chefs, Paula secretly revealed that she was the strongest member. During the Football Team & Cheerleaders Breakfast Service Challenge, she put herself on the the pancake station with Coi as she was terrible with breakfast items. Her team won the challenge, and were rewarded with a camping experience at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.
During dinner service, Paula was on the dessert station. She was not seen much as Ramsay closed down service before the red team got to desserts. Both teams lost the dinner service.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Asian Fusion Challenge, Paula was paired with LA on the seafood dish. They made an ahi tuna tempura, which was praised for its temperature and cooking, and they won the round, and eventually the challenge 2-1. The red team was rewarded with sumo wrestling lessons given by Ramsay and Jean-Philippe, and sake tasting.
Before service began, Ramsay told Paula that her dish would be on that night's menu. During dinner service, she was on the garnish station with Coi. She was not seen much during that service, which both teams lost. For the red team, LA was named "Best of the Worst".
She was not nominated for elimination.
Paula was not seen much during the Bar Mitzvah Planning Challenge, which the red team lost 1-2. They were forced to decorate the dining room for the next night’s service, based on the instructions of Francisco the Party Planner. During the punishment, she got annoyed with Andrea and Carol's bickering.
During the Bar Mitzvah dinner service, Paula was on the fish station. She was not seen much during that service. Her team lost, and Andrea was named "Best of the Worst".
Paula was not nominated, but at elimination, while the rest of the red team went with their plan to out Andrea as the weakest performer of the red team that night, she did not and stated that Coi had the worst performance.
Before the challenge, Paula and the red team welcomed Giovanni as their new teammate. During the Tapas Leftovers Challenge, she made a peppered steak and eggs with tomatoes and shallots, which was deemed nice by Ramsay, and ended up tying with Danny. The red team won the challenge 3-2, and were rewarded with a day at Hollywood Parks to see a horse race and bet on it with Ramsay.
During dinner service, Paula was on the meat station. She served what Ramsay called the best Wellingtons he had ever served in Hell's Kitchen, and was urged not to stop. While clearing down, she had to stop an argument between Andrea and Carol. The red team won the dinner service.
During the Blind Taste Test, Paula was the last person of her team to participate, and had to guess the ten ingredients in Ramsay's minestrone soup. She managed to correctly guess the final four ingredients, which clinched the victory for the red team 8-7. They were rewarded with a photo shoot for TV Guide in the restaurant, and received makeovers.
During dinner service, Paula was on the appetizer station. She made a rare mistake by sending up a mushy and salty risotto, much to Ramsay's shock, but managed to redeem herself with a refired order. The red team lost as they failed to catch the blue team up.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the King Crab Challenge, Paula's dish was not chosen as the featured dish for the red team, but after Andrea's dish did not meet the mark, Ramsay called her dish down. She made a crab with hazel coconut broth, which already wowed Ramsay by its presentation, and he deemed it delicious. Despite that, she narrowly lost to Danny, and the red team was forced to clean both the dorms and kitchens, and prep all the king crab for the next dinner service.
Before dinner service, Ramsay gave both teams control of their own menus. During dinner service, Paula was on the fish station. She was not seen much as she did not have the most problems. The red team won the dinner service because they got a 54% above average rating from their customers, compared to the blue team's 39%.
At elimination, Paula and the red team was shocked when it was announced their teammate Carol was going to be eliminated.
The next morning, before Ramsay announced the challenge, Paula was asked by him who was the weakest chef on the red team, which she answered Andrea. Instead of eliminating anybody, Ramsay gave Paula a black jacket, along with the rest of the chefs.
During the 14 Ingredients Challenge, Paula made a wine based chicken with pasta, which was praised for being delicious. Despite that, she lost the challenge to Ben, and was forced to participate in Delivery Day. During the punishment, she got annoyed with Giovanni's mistakes, and warned him not to get her on her bad side.
During dinner service, Paula was on the appetizer station with Ben. It was because of her efforts that the team was able to push out appetizers. After service was shut down, she was named "Best of the Worst", and was asked to nominate two people for elimination.
Continuing from the previous episode, Ramsay announced he was shutting down Hell's Kitchen because the final five would go on a trip to Atlantic City, to visit their potential future employment, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. When they came back to Hell's Kitchen, Robert, who did not return with them, announced that he would not be back in Hell's Kitchen. Paula gave an emotional farewell to him, and hugged him goodbye.
During the Borgata Signature Dish Challenge, Paula made a smoked salmon ceviche, which was deemed delicious and had great seasoning. Despite that, she lost the challenge to Andrea.
During dinner service, Paula was on the meat station. At one point, she struggled about communicating to Andrea on the fish station. Then, Ramsay told her to send her Wellingtons despite Andrea's slow performance, and she sent up beautifully cooked Wellingtons to the pass. After service, Ramsay asked the team to nominate two people for elimination, apart from Andrea.
Despite her decent performance, Paula was the second nominee for elimination, with Ben being the first. She survived elimination as Ramsay stopped her mid-plea and sent her back in line, while calling Andrea down.
Back in the dorms, Paula told Andrea that she needed to bounce back after her poor performance that night.
During the Taste It Now Make It Challenge, Paula used halibut, sea scallops, water, and white wine, in order to recreate Ramsay's Italian Fish Stew. While she was in the top two with Danny, she lost out as he used fish stock for his dish, and she did not. Her punishment was to work with Jean-Philippe in polishing the crystal ware, shampooing the carpets, and prepping for that night’s service. During the punishment, Andrea's negative attitude rubbed her the wrong way, but knew that Andrea's continuing stress would be better for her own performance.
During dinner service, Paula was on the fish station. At one point, she slowed down during the entrées stage, but managed to bounce back quickly. She was later seen making fresh Wellingtons, along with Danny, after Andrea miscounted them during prep. After service, the team was asked to nominate one person who should be going home.
She was not nominated for elimination.
Immediately after elimination, Paula received a surprise when her mother and sister came to visit, which sparked her motivation back up.
During the 100 Portions Challenge, Paula made an olive oil poached sturgeon with crispy potatoes, crème fresh and a salad. She won the challenge after receiving 76% of the votes. Her reward was a full Hollywood makeover and a special surprise that would be revealed the following day. She rode in a limousine with Jean-Philippe and spoke with him on their personal life. She got a haircut, manicure, and pedicure, which gave her a big confidence boost. The next morning, she and Ramsay left in a limousine, when he revealed that they were going to a live taping of Good Day LA for a cooking demo, much to her excitement. On live TV, she and Ramsay did a cooking demo for a salad.
During dinner service, Paula was on the appetizer station. She was the first person to run the pass. She stumbled on the first ticket due to nerves, but managed to pick it back up. Moments later, Sous Chef Gloria sent up her first quality control test by sending up a squash purée instead of a carrot purée. She failed to notice the mistake and Ramsay urged her to take it more seriously. Her next quality control test came when Sous Chef Scott sent up a spinach soup instead of a water crest soup, but she managed to correctly catch the mistake. She continued her strong leadership up on the pass, and most of the appetizers were sent out to the dining room. After service, Ramsay asked each contestant to choose one of their teammates who they think would not deserve to be in the finals.
After elimination, Paula and Danny were introduced to their biggest test, which was to create their own restaurants. She was given the red kitchen. Back in the dorms, she and Danny celebrated with champagne, but woke up the next morning hungover. Despite that, she already had most of her ideas thought out.
During the planning stages of her restaurant, Paula met with Hell's Kitchen architect Jon Janavs to discuss her restaurant ideas. One of her ideas was to have real candles on the walls, and refused to have any pink as she hated that color. Later, she met Sous Chef Gloria and went over her simplistic menu. Before leaving for Atlantic City, she reunited with her mother and sister, who would be supervising the construction, and gave them instructions on what her vision were. During the plane trip to Atlantic City, she was reminded of her TV appearance as part of the previous challenge's reward and her rivalry with Danny. When she made it to the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, she got into contact with her loved ones, but was disappointed to find that most of her original decisions were changed.
During the Final Signature Dish Challenge, Paula made her wild mushroom salad with arugula and cherry mustard vinaigrette for her first sample dish, Chilean cilantro broth with mussels, clams, and shrimp as her second, and roasted black sea bass with parsnip purée and kale as her third. While she won the first round, she lost the following two to Danny, therefore the challenge 1-2.
The next day, Paula reunited with her former teammates. Because she lost the challenge, she was forced to be left with the last pick. First, she picked Andrea, then LA, and was left with Lacey at the end, much to her dismay.
Back in the dorms, Paula, along with Andrea and LA, expressed concern for Lacey due to her poor attitude in the pass. During prep, she explained to Lacey about her crème brulée dish, but Lacey managed to curdle the initial batch. That angered her and she contemplated whether or not she should keep Lacey around. During the sample tasting, she presented her homemade pasta with eggplant caviar appetizer, her halibut with pearl onions and pancetta entrée, and her banana crème brulée dessert to Ramsay. While her pasta dish was praised, Ramsay warned her about the danger of the halibut being dry as the halibut on the sample plate was dry, and said that her crème brulée looked more like scrambled eggs, due to it being one of the initial batches Lacey wrecked earlier. Later, she showed Ramsay her "Sunergy" restaurant, which was praised for having subtle colors and looking comforting.
During dinner service, when Paula called out her first order, no one on her team responded initially, and later, she went over to Lacey's station to try and help her, but Ramsay warned her that her kitchen would run behind if she did that and told her to be more vocal at the hotplate. After Andrea burned the scallops for the scallop salad, Ramsay told her to get a strong standard going. Later, she was called over by Andrea after the latter was struggling with the halibut dish. She became more vocal on Andrea while still waiting for the halibut, but Ramsay noticed it took three overcooked halibuts to do so. Moments later, she sent LA over to help Lacey on the garnish station because the latter was struggling. Two hours into service, her team finally found a good rhythm and was calling out orders louder. While Danny finished service before her, she did not care as she wanted to finish her final service on a high note.
When service ended, Paula was visited by her mother and sister who congratulated her on a job well done. Later that night, she, along with Danny, went to Ramsay's office, where Ramsay praised her for her excellent performances in the competition. After that, 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, but her door did not open.
Paula became the fifth runner-up of Hell's Kitchen, and took her defeat graciously, congratulating Danny for his victory and admitting that she was going to have a lot of opportunities in the future due to ranking in second place on the show.
- She participated in the third different-gender finals of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the fifth runner-up, and third female runner-up of Hell's Kitchen.
- She is the second female runner-up who lost the finals to a male contestant, following Bonnie from Season 3.
- After her appearance on the show, she returned to 3030 Ocean in Fort Lauderdale, before moving to 1500 in Miami Beach as an Executive Chef, along with fellow contestant Ben, until it closed in 2014. After that, she returned to 3030 Ocean as an Executive Chef, until August 2015. Since then, she has been a chef and consultant after launching Paula DaSilva Culinary. She later opened up a Miami restaurant called the Artisan Beach House.
- (About Colleen cheering with the cheerleaders instead of cooking) "These cheerleaders were so cute, you know, it's when they get older and more annoying."
- "I love it when people wear sunglasses inside a building. That was so like, ten years ago. Take them off."
- "My mother, when I was little, made my whole room pink. Like everything was pink. I fucking hate pink!"