Season 1 of Hell's Kitchen aired on Fox between May 30 and August 1, 2005. Michael Wray, from Fort Collins, Colorado, was the winner of that season and won his own restaurant, named Tatou, in Los Angeles.
12 contestants competed during this season. This is the only season to date where the teams were not separated by gender at the beginning. The contestants were (in alphabetical order):
|Andrew Bonito||24||Office Assistant||Livingston, NJ|
|Jessica Cabo||26||Headhunter||Huntington, NY|
|James "Jimmy" Casey||25||Purchasing Supervisor||Williston Park, NY|
|Mary Ellen Daniels||27||Bartender||Belmont, MA|
|Jeffrey Dewberry||33||Pastry Chef||Stockbridge, GA|
|Jeff LaPoff||28||Finance Manager||Orange, NJ|
|Wendy Liu||32||Account Manager||Millburn, NJ|
|Chris North||35||Executive Chef||Yorktown Heights, NY|
|Ralph Pagano||36||Professional Chef||Livingston, NJ|
|Elsie Ramos||40||Mother Of Six||Maywood, NJ|
|Carolann Valentino||33||Server's Assistant||Dallas, TX|
|Michael Wray||27||Professional Chef||Fort Collins, CO|
Contestant progress Edit
At the end of each episode, one chef from the losing team is eliminated by Ramsay, after being picked by the « Best of the Worst », determined by Ramsay after the last dinner service.
|#||Chef||Original teams||Switched teams||Individual||Finals|
Episode 1 Edit
After their arrival, the contestants are greeted by Jean-Philippe, who introduced them to Sous Chefs Scott and Maryann.
Signature dish Edit
After greetings by those 3 people, the contestants were asked to cook their signature dish before Chef Ramsay arrives. They have 45 minutes to do so. Andrew's Absolute Penne were called « Absolute Dogshit » after Chef Ramsay tasted and spit it out. He then told Andrew that his 10 years of experience in a kitchen were a waste. Mary Ellen's endive salad was deemed boring, and Wendy's fried rice with Chinese sausage was missing lobster, so it was deemed unimpressive. Jimmy's pan-seared chicken breast was overcooked outside and raw inside, and the carrot tops were too bitter. Ralph's seared tuna with Hong Kong noodles was called shit. The first positive feedback was Elsie's turkey tacos which were « not bad ». Dewberry's baked spaghetti was overcooked and compared to children's food. Chris's plank-roasted salmon was raw and then dared to talk back to Chef Ramsay, Jeff's steak was overcooked despite having a good sauce. Jessica's crabs Cajun style were way too hot, while Michael's scallops, which still had the roe on it, were disgusting. Finally, Carolann's chicken parmesan was the only dish who received praise.
Dinner service Edit
Shortly after the contestants arrived in Hell's Kitchen, they learnt that the first dinner service is that same night. They had very little time to learn the menu and to know how to use the kitchen equipment. Ralph and Jeff were waiters for their respective teams, and worked with Jean-Philippe in the dining room. In the red kitchen, Elsie was able to bounce back after a terrible first risotto, Chris sent an overcooked salmon, Jimmy sent an overcooked meat dish, Carolann was doing nothing, so did Dewberry, and Jeff was a terrible waiter. In the blue kitchen, Michael ran out of lobster spaghetti, Wendy ran out of potatoes, Andrew provoked Chef Ramsay, and Ralph did his best as a waiter. After a terrible service in both kitchens, Chef Ramsay shut them down, and declared the blue team winner, and Elsie « Best of the Worst ».
Elsie nominated Carolann and Dewberry, despite convincing the latter that he is « not going anywhere ». This lead Chef Ramsay telling Jimmy and Jeff that both of them dodged a bullet that night. He eliminated Carolann for her lack of teamwork.
Ramsay's comment: « Some can handle it, some can't. I'm not interested in the ones who can't! »