Steven Paluba was a contestant on Season 9 of Hell's Kitchen. He ranked in 17th place.
Steven was a nice guy, but lacked the knowledge to work in a professional kitchen, and was completely delusional about his performance, which led to his massive downfall.
Season 9 Edit
During the introduction of the season, Steven was one of the five chefs who were seen being given their acceptance letter.
When the chefs arrived in Los Angeles, they were greeted by James on the bus ride, and Steven declared that he was there to win. Then, the bus pulled over to the Orpheum Theatre, where they would be given a standing ovation by a live audience. However, when the curtain was pulled up, they discovered that the room was completely empty, much to their disappointment, before Ramsay revealed himself applauding very slowly. After the latter revealed the grand prize of the season, the chefs were asked to get back to Hell's Kitchen and cook their signature dishes.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Steven was the fifth person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Jamie. He served his seared diver scallops over a wild mushroom risotto, believed that nobody else had a chance to win over him as he had 30 years of experience, but his scallops were too rubbery, even being compared to dinosaur toenails by Ramsay. When he told Ramsay that it got good flavor, the latter could not believe how delusional he was, and neither him nor Jamie won the round, before he apologized.
The blue team won the challenge 6-5, and they were rewarded with a dinner at the LA Market, in downtown Los Angeles, along with Season 8 winner Nona. Arrived there, they were greeted by Nona, and during the dinner, she gave them some advice on how to compete. After she left, the men toasted to their victory. The next day, both teams went to the kitchens to begin prepping for the opening night, and they were given their ankle knives set, which Steven called the bomb.
During dinner service, Steven was on the appetizer station with Will. When he was ready with his first appetizers, Will convinced him to not walk with it, but he did anyway, and he was berated by Ramsay for sending the second table of appetizers before the first one, much to Will's dismay. He acknowledged his mistake, and the first acceptable appetizers were sent out by Will. After Chino was ordered to bench, he jumped on the fish station as he wanted to help out, but he struggled to get organized, and Ramsay told him to work with two hands instead of holding the tray in one hand. When he sent his scallops to the pass, they were rubbery, but he talked back thinking that they were perfect, which infuriated Ramsay even more. Because of his mistake, he became the second person from the blue team who was ordered to sit down at the chefs table following Chino, and ate his mistake, but he still thought that they were perfect, so he did not bother. Moments later, Tommy was ordered to bench as well, and he reminded Ramsay that he jumped on the fish station to help, and Ramsay claimed that he wished he would have jumped in the oven as it would have been more useful. After the three of them were served a Sauvignon Blanc by James, they were called the three fucking stooges by Ramsay, and later, some customers were walking out unfed, and he suggested Ramsay to act as a dishwasher and clean some pans out of the hundreds that were in the sink. However, Ramsay reminded him that he was talking about the customers and not the pans, and the service was shut down.
The blue team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people. During deliberation, Steven was considered by Will, which he disagreed as he was a team player, and reminded that Chino burned fish all night long, that he, at least, served some appetizers, and that nobody served entrées.
Steven was the blue team's first nominee for elimination, with Monterray being the second, and they were called down with Chino. During his plea, he was asked who should be eliminated out of them three, and he answered Monterray because himself and Chino, at least, served some appetizers out. However, he was eliminated for being the worst performer of the night, and completely delusional.
Ramsay's comment: "Fuck me! I realized early on that Steven has much chance of being the head chef of BLT Steak, as I do of winning a gold medal in figure skating."
- After his appearance on the show, he opened his own restaurant, called Tauk at Trail's End, in Montauk, New York.
- "Want me to jump in? I'll clean!"
- (After being eliminated) "Nice guys always finish last, that's probably me."