Russell Kook
Madison, WI
Sous Chef
Kitchen Experience
Culinary Education
Culinary Inspiration
Russell Kook was a contestant on Season 8 of Hell's Kitchen. He was the runner-up of that season.


Russell was one of the main antagonists of that season, the other being Sabrina. While he started off okay, he evolved into the show's biggest bully, gave the worst threats of physical violence, and most important, he is the biggest sore loser. He is one of the most hated chefs in the show's history.

Season 8

Episode 1

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, Russell was the first person on the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay and competed against Emily. He made a grilled calamari steak with a salsa-verde, and while Ramsay was concerned about the mid-rare cook, it was praised for its delivery. He managed to tie with Emily. His team won the challenge as Ramsay broke the 3 point tie in favor of the blue team, and received massages, champagne, and caviar in the dorms.

During dinner service, Russell was on the dessert station. He was seen trying to help Boris out on the pizza station, but was kicked off by Ramsay when Raj came back into the kitchen. He expressed no hope in the two working together, even comparing it to two idiots working on a Rubix cube, and his prediction soon came true. Both teams lost dinner service, and was tasked to nominate two people each.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 2

Back in the dorms, Russell said he did not want the blue team to implode and wanted to give Raj a fighting chance.

During the Sushi Challenge, Russell was paired with Raj. They only managed to get 4 out of their 9 pieces accepted as Raj failed to put wasabi in three of his tuna nigari. Despite that, the blue team won the challenge 16-15 and won a trip to Cellar 360 in San Francisco with Ramsay where they had a wine tasting and ate dinner at the Water Bar restaurant. He also got to keep his Morimoto that was used for the challenge.

During dinner service, Russell was on the meat station with Rob. He was not seen much as Ramsay ejected the blue team from the kitchen before they could make it to entrées. His team lost dinner service.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 3

Back in the dorms, Russell met with Jillian and Sabrina and was informed that the blue team was weak compared to the red team.

During the Paramedic Service Challenge, Russell was not seen much, but his team lost the challenge. They were forced to polish 250 stemware glasses for next night’s service and clean up both kitchens. During punishment, he got annoyed when Trev complained about Raj leaving watermarks on the glasses and told him to finish Raj's work. Later on, he and Boris pulled Raj to the back hallway before an argument between Raj and Trev got escalated.

During dinner service, Russell was on the garnish station with Rob. He was not seen much that night, and his team won service as they managed to get a 54% approval rating compared to the red team's 50% approval rating.

During elimination, Russell and the rest of the blue team expressed relief when Ramsay decided to eliminate Raj.

Episode 4

Back in the dorms, the blue team celebrated that Raj was finally gone, and toasted to a new beginning.

Before the Ravioli Challenge, Ramsay asked if the chefs could refrain from smoking for the next 48 hours. He received some help from Trev for his dish. He was the third person from the blue team to have his ravioli judged, and went up against Nona. His whipped ricotta and chilli ravioli managed to beat out Nona and won that round. His team won the challenge 4-3 and went on a helicopter trip to Palace Verde’s to an Oceanside resort, where they played golf and ate dinner. When Trev bitterly stated that the blue team did not act like a team earlier that day, he knew that Trev was still mad about them not tasting his dish and asked Trev if he would have won against Melissa in the first round to which Trev said he thought so. After the argument, he hoped that the blue team would regroup and win the next service.

During the Italian Night dinner service, Russell was on the appetizer station. He wanted to prove to Ramsay how strong he was on appetizers, and managed to get the blue team off to a strong start with his dishes being sent out. Later, he expressed annoyance when Louis could not get his piece of salmon properly grilled despite being a camp cook. After Louis and Boris were ejected from service, he gave his team a pep talk. When the red team came into the blue kitchen to help out, he was not happy about that and even said that he wanted to slap one of them. Despite that, both teams got confused on orders, and he claimed that he sent polenta to the pass despite the fact it was clearly not there. That led Ramsay to eject both teams from service. Both teams were named joint-losers, and were asked to nominate two people for elimination.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 5

During the Prom Planning Challenge, Russell got into an argument over Boris when the latter complained about not contributing anything on their dishes, but Trev broke it up. He was not seen much in the judging, but his team lost the challenge 0-3 and had to decorate the dinning room for the following night. During punishment, he got annoyed with the prom committee's instructions and snapped at them a bit. Eventually, he started to give attitude towards them and swore in front of them only for James to sternly warn him to show some respect.

During the Prom Night dinner service, Russell was on the meat station. He had to wait on Boris' halibut to get finished before he could slice his meat, but was eventually able to. Later, he became more vocal towards his teammates in order to get entrées out on time. Not only Ramsay praised him for that, but he was also for his perfectly cooked steak. His team won the dinner service, and Ramsay singled him out for his strong leadership and having the best service of the blue team so far.

After elimination, Ramsay reminded Russell that the only way now was to move forward, and he said that there was no more playing games and that it was time to get serious.

Episode 6

Before the next challenge, the blue team said goodbye to Trev as he was moved over to the red team and welcomed Melissa to the blue team.

During the Salad Challenge, Russell was the fourth person on his team to compete and went up against Sabrina. His bruschetta and burrata salad was praised for being lovely and he won that round over Sabrina. His team won the challenge after Ramsay broke the 2 two point tie for the blue team and they went to Malibu for lunch at The Getty Vella.

During dinner service, Russell was on the appetizer station. While his first risotto came out perfectly, he had to wait on Boris' shrimp and, deciding to stop playing nice, called him out for it. Despite that, his careful eye on Boris got appetizers out to their diners. After Melissa sent up raw scallops, he told Rob to keep an eye on her and later asked for the scallops in an aggressive tone. Both teams were named joint-losers, and were asked to nominate one person for elimination.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 7

Back in the dorms Russell felt that Boris was on his last life and refused to carry him any longer.

During the Hell’s Kitchen Roulette Challenge, Russell landed on A and chose asparagus. During the challenge, he was concerned about Boris' performance, but admitted that his miso broth tasted good. Then, he suggested to Rob to season the asparagus and yams, but was ignored. His team lost the challenge and was forced to take in a delivery of 1000 potatoes and prep them for French fries which will be used for a special Family Night dinner service the following night. During punishment, he felt that Boris was doing more talking than cleaning, and later told Vinny that if they lost the next service, Boris and Rob would be nominated.

During the Family Night dinner service, Russell was on the fish station. At one point, Rob asked him to help him on the macaroni and cheese, but he refused to help as he did not want to babysit Rob that night. Despite the fact that both teams were named joint-winners as they received a 90% approval rating, Ramsay still asked for two people for elimination.

Russell was not nominated for elimination. During elimination, Rob told Ramsay that he did not help him out despite asking for help, but he argued that he could not help Rob every time he needed help.

Episode 8

During the Budget Challenge, Russell kept the blue team from moving away from him while gathering their ingredients, much to their annoyance. Then, when cooking their dishes, he checked on his teammate’s dishes as he was determined to win that challenge, but Rob called him a douchebag for that. He went up against Trev in the chicken round and made a chicken cacciatore with rustic potatoes. While the dish was praised for having a juicy chicken, it was criticized for having undercooked potatoes and received $26. His team lost the challenge $101 to $110 and was forced to deep clean the dining room and fumigate both kitchens for the 100th dinner service the following night. Back in the dorms, he was pissed off that he was punished for his teammate’s failures.

During prep, Russell decided to micromanage his teammate's prep work in order to win and called Boris unfocused, but Boris said that he was not acting like a leader, but more like a dick. During dinner service, he was on the garnish station. He was not seen much that night except for calling Boris a brain dead fuck for his poor performance on appetizers and not communicating with Rob depsite the latter asking him for times. His team lost dinner service after getting ejected that night and was asked to nominate two people for elimination.

Russell was not nominated for elimination, even though Boris thought he should have been.

Episode 9

After Boris' elimination, Russell welcomed back Trev as he was moved back into the blue team.

During the Blind Taste Test, Russell was the first person from the blue team to compete and went up against Gail. Out of the four ingredients, he only got grapefruit and black truffle. Despite his decent performance, his team lost the challenge 5-6 and was forced to sort through trash from different restaurants for recycling, ate cheese sandwiches, and prep both kitchens for that night’s service. He was frustrated that the blue team has lost three straight challenges and services and said that they had to get their game back. During punishment, he blamed Rob for costing them the challenge, but Rob argued that it was a team effort much to his annoyance. Later, he refused to eat their lunch of cheese sandwiches.

During prep, Russell revealed that he was not happy that Trev was back on the blue team and would do any sabotaging to get rid of him. During dinner service, he was on the meat station. Despite asking Rob for times and communication, Rob felt that he was acting like a whiny bitch when Ramsay was around, while going silent when he was gone. When he sent up raw chicken to the pass, Ramsay ejected him from service. Back in the dorms, he complained that he got sent out for one mistake due to the blue team’s constant mistakes. The blue team lost dinner service and Trev was named the "Best of The Worst" that night.

Russell was Trev's second nominee with Rob as the first. He survived elimination after Ramsay sent him back in line. After, he accused Trev of throwing him under the bus.

Episode 10

Back in the dorms, Russell ignored Trev's explanation on why he got nominated and said that things just got dirty.

When it was revealed that the next challenge was the Relay Challenge, Russell got concerned as he felt he was the only one on the blue team that communicated well. He was in the first round and got to work prepping the pasta dough and getting the proteins ready. During the fourth round, he parkoured over the hot pass and pushed to get the blue teams dishes done. His team won the challenge 2-1 and won a shopping spree at Sur La Table for cooking supplies and ate lunch at the two Michelin star restaurant Melisse with Ramsay. During lunch, he said that he hoped Vinny could back up his claim that they were the final three.

For their next dinner service, both teams had control of their own menus. While Russell tried to input some of his ideas, Trev and Vinny rejected them. However, that angered him who felt that he was a better chef than Vinny or Trev. Later that night, at 1:37 am, he overheard Trev and Vinny complain how he was an angry man and it would cost him in the end. Then, he revealed his presence to Trev and Vinny and berated the two for drinking instead of sleeping before going back upstairs.

During prep, Russell got annoyed with Trev’s slow pace movement due to the latter being hung over. During dinner service, he was on the appetizer station. He got his ravioli accepted and Ramsay urged him to keep it going. Later, he went over to help Vinny get Josiah Citirn's lamb out, but it was not well received. Both teams were named joint-losers and Ramsay asked everybody to name who they thought should not be in the final six.

Russell nominated Vinny for elimination while receiving no votes. He received the fourth black jacket and survived elimination.

Episode 11

During the Amuse Bouche Challenge, Russell was the fifth person to present his dish and made a Hamachi crudo with apple celery broth. The presentation was immediately praised for looking gorgeous and received a perfect 50 on presentation. Then, the dish was praised for its taste and also got a perfect 50, giving him a perfect 100 at the end. He won the challenge and received a VIP tour of the LA Market, which would be the grand prize for the winner of that season, by Executive Chef Kerry Martin and had lunch with him and Ramsay. Also, he was allowed to choose one of the chefs to come with him and he picked Gail as she was the runner up.

During dinner service, Russell was on the meat station. After witnessing mistakes from Sabrina, Trev, and Gail, he said that they should have been better than that. Later that night, he sent up raw Wellingtons. Then, he sent up a raw ribeye and an angry Ramsay, who already gave the chefs a warning, ejected everybody from service.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 12

Back in the dorms, Russell said that it might be too late for Gail to shine, while believing that Trev might be going home due to his position as a bartender.

During the 80 Food Truck Challenge, Russell made a grilled octopus and saffron aioli salad, but when serving them to the customers, they were not impressed with it and a few criticized the presentation. He lost the challenge as 61% of the customers called his dish was the worst of the final five, though he rudely said that if the guests wanted to eat spaghetti and meatballs, they could go on with that. He was forced to clean up the front entrance of Hell’s Kitchen ahead of tomorrow night’s dinner service and wash the food trucks used for the challenge. During punishment, he got into an argument with Jillian over his decision to used octopus, but he called her as creative as a cardboard box and argued that he at least represented himself. Later that night, he was unimpressed with Gail's new look.

During dinner service, Russell was on the appetizer station with Nona. He was seen helping Jillian a lot on the fish station, even though he was reluctant to do so. After Ramsay left dinner service due to some constant mistakes, he and Nona took the lead for the chefs and rejected Trev's overcooked beef. After Ramsay came back, he was relocated to the meat station and after seeing Trev's three dead beef, he felt that Trev could not even cook toast. He along with Trev and Nona were still around to finish dinner service.

He was not nominated for elimination.

Episode 13

Back in the dorms, Russell said that he believed Trev was the next to go. Then, he claimed that he himself was his biggest competition while stating that Trev was in way over his head, and while he did not think highly of Nona, he considered her a better cook than Jillian as the latter was falling apart.

During the Taste It Now Make It Challenge, Russell used veal, yam, celery root, cabbage, bacon, and chicken stock in an attempt to recreate Ramsay's dish. While he was in the top two with Nona, he lost to her as she used pancetta instead of bacon like he used. Despite that, he was chosen to come with her to Beverly Hills at the Hands on Boutique Spa. At the spa, he started flirting with one of the masseuses, much to Nona’s humor.

During prep, Russell believed that Jillian had a bad attitude and was wasting their time after seeing her snip at Nona. During dinner service, he was on the fish station. Despite getting his first order of scallops accepted, he sent up a raw serving and got mocked by Ramsay when he answered with yo. However, he was able to bounce back. Later, sent up an overcooked halibut, and soon sent up a raw halibut on his refire. Despite that, he rebounded and entrées were leaving the kitchen rapidly. On their last few tickets, he and Trev had a communication meltdown as he did not have a salmon fired up as Trev believed that he should have had it ready ahead of the next ticket. However, when Ramsay told them that they were not ready for that ticket yet, it led to a small spat between him and Trev until Jillian told them to stop. Back in the dorms, he said that one of his nominees was Trev for their communication breakdown and claimed that if Trev spoke to him like that, he would have slapped the shit out of him, which a shocked Nona said was uncalled for.

Russell was the second nominee with Trev as the first. During his plea, he claimed that he could get to that leader's platform, but Ramsay said that he was concerned that his arrogance was outshining his talent. Ramsay called him forward, but instead of being sent home, he reunited with his girlfriend and parents for a bit, effectively surviving elimination.

Episode 14

Before the Fusion Challenge, Ramsay announced that after dinner service, two people would be eliminated. Russell picked France and India as his countries. He was the third person to compete and presented his duck a la orange with froe grais and tangerine syrup. The dish was criticized for having an overcooked duck and not having a lot of Indian inspiration to it, but he arrogantly believed that his dish was the best of the four and told the judges to kiss his ass. He lost the challenge to Jillian and was forced to pack up all the unneeded furniture up in the dorms and prep both kitchens for that night’s dinner service. During punishment, he felt that Trev was complaining like a bitch while comparing him to a zit on his ass. While he himself has had enough of doing punishments, he decided not to bitch about it. When he struggled to take two mattresses all at once, an annoyed Nona said that he was acting overly cocky and a prick.

During prep, Russell micromanaged Trev a lot, much to the latter's annoyance. During dinner service, he was on the appetizer station. He was the first person up on the pass immediately got in control and became very vocal with the chefs, which allowed appetizers to leave at a steady pace. However, his first quality control test came as Sous Chef Scott sent up truffle salads with pecans instead of walnuts. Russell quickly found out Sous Chef Scott’s mistake and rejected them as he said that it was his time to shine. Trev brought up his scallops, but he rejected them for being raw. Despite that, he was able to end his turn on a high note. Later, his chowder was rejected by Nona for not being seasoned properly. Then, he got concerned about Jillian's aggressive leadership and wondered if she would give herself a brain aneurysm.

After Trev's elimination, Ramsay asked the final three on why they deserved to be in the finale, and Russell said that he wanted to prove to Ramsay how strong he was. Ramsay named him the first finalist and was followed by Nona who was the second finalist. After Jillian's elimination, Ramsay congratulated the two for making it to the final two and said that it would be an amazing finale before dismissing them for the night. He continued to believe that he was his own worst enemy and was very confident in winning.

Episode 15

Back in the dorms, Russell said that he felt like a million dollars and after celebrating for a bit with some champagne with Nona, he got to work on creating their own menus and worked until 2:31 am working on it. The next day, he met up with Sous Chef Scott and said that his menu was elegant, contemporary, and simple. Later that day at 4:04 pm, Sous Chef Scott told him and Nona to get changed as Ramsay was waiting for them outside. After a quick change, the two rode in the SUV as he knew that Hell’s Kitchen’s notoriety was throwing curve balls at them as they had no idea where they were going. Later, the two arrived at an airfield where Ramsay was waiting for them and explained that because one of them would being living in Los Angeles after Hell’s Kitchen, he wanted to give them a helicopter tour of the city. After seeing some of Los Angele’s famous landmarks, they arrived near the J.W Marriot where Ramsay showed them a crowd of people waiting for them and revealed their final challenge. After landing on the helipad, James gave him and Nona parachutes and Ramsay told them that all they had to do was jump down and the parachutes would automatically open for them. He refused to do it, but Ramsay revealed that he was joking and they all walked down to the stage.

During the Final Tasting Challenge, Russell made a roasted cauliflower soup with crab salad and curry powder, a burette and prosciutto salad with white balsamic, a garganelli with sea scallops, a pan-seared arctic char, and a grilled veal tender with roasted peppers and grilled onions. While he lost both the soup and the pasta rounds to Nona, he scored on the rest of the rounds and won the challenge 3-2.

When he and Nona came back to the dorms, he reunited with his former teammates and while did not know who to pick, he knew that Boris could not cook at all. Because he won the challenge, he got first pick of the group. He picked Jillian, Vinny, Sabrina, and Rob.

The next day during prep, Russell urged Vinny to get fired up, but dismissively knew that Vinny was jealous of him. Then, Vinny told him that what he did to get him eliminated was dirty, but he told him to either get over it or leave. Despite that, he convinced Vinny to stay. Before service began, Ramsay gave him a head chefs jacket.

Russell's European menu featured featured scallops with cauliflower, goat cheese ravioli, and pan seared filet mignon. During dinner service, he rejected Vinny's cold scallops, but was able to push appetizers out after Vinny rebounded. After finding out that Sabrina put unneeded stock in his filet, he reminded her that the meat was supposed to be dry rubbed and not boiled. Then, Sabrina sent up a raw steak to the pass, and he decided to switch Vinny and Sabrina to different stations to make sure a mistake like that did not happen again, which Ramsay considered a clever move. It paid off as Vinny sent up a respectable filet dish to the pass. Later, he decided to fire two tables at once in order to keep his lead over Nona. However, one of the dishes was sent back for being raw and Ramsay reminded him to do one ticket at a time. Later on, he was focused on the finish line and pushed Rob for the ravioli. However, Rob announced that he was out of tomato water which pissed him off as Rob did not warn him earlier. Then, he frustratingly ordered Jillian to help Rob out and warned him that he was pissing off the wrong person. However, when Rob talked back to him, it infuriated him and the two almost had a physical confrontation, much to Ramsay’s dismay. Despite that, he got all of his tables served and while he felt that he ran a marathon, he was proud of his performance that night and believed that his consistency in the competition would help him win.

After service, Russell went back to the dorms and said that his anxiety level was through the roof and would be disappointed if he got second place. Later that night, Ramsay called him and Nona to his office and was told to stand in front of a door, knowing it would open only if he was the winner. After waiting nervously for Ramsay's countdown to end, he turned the handle, but his door did not open.

Russell was named the eighth runner-up of Hell's Kitchen, but unlike most runner-ups, he did not take his loss gracefully and blamed his team for costing him the win, even threatening to blacklist them from any restaurant he worked at. As the rest of the chefs celebrated, he was seen bitterly drinking champagne.

Nomination history

Week 1 Safe
Week 2 Safe
Week 3 Win
Week 4 Safe
Week 5 Win
Week 6 Safe
Week 7 Safe
Week 8 Safe
Week 9 Nominated
Week 10 Safe
Week 11 Safe
Week 12 Safe
Week 13 Nominated
Week 14 Safe
Week 15 Runner-Up

Season 10

Episode 16


  • He participated in the fifth different-gender finals of Hell's Kitchen.
  • He is the eighth runner-up, and fifth male runner-up of Hell's Kitchen.
  • He is the only runner-up in the show's history who took his defeat ungraciously, not even congratulating Nona for her victory, and blaming his teammates by accusing them of sabotage.
  • After his appearance on the show, he appeared on Iron Chef and ran kitchens at The Florentine, Chicago Cut Steakhouse, 8UP, Concetrics and is currently an Executive Chef at Hugo's Frog Bar. He has also helped open a number of successful restaurants.


  • "I chose the team that I wanted, I thought they would help me win and in fact, they helped me lose, so you know, thanks a lot guys. You will never get a job in any city I work, I'm gonna definitely black ball you guys 'cause you guys fucked me so royally tonight."
  • "Boris and Raj are working together. It's like watching two idiots do a Rubik's Cube, there's no chance on Earth they're going to get it right."