Tennille Middleton was a contestant on Season 6 of Hell's Kitchen. She ranked in 4th place.
Tennille was an emotional roller coaster. She had a ferocious temper, even fighting against Ramsay, was breaking down in tears, but could also deliver good entertainment with her funny personality. She had a running feud with her biggest enemy, Suzanne. In the kitchen, she started off as one of the weakest, but eventually fought back and became one of the strongest.
Season 6 Edit
When receiving some tips from Season 3 contestant Bonnie and a clip of her cooking without her stove on was shown, Tennille mocked her by asking who was cooking without heat. After that, Ramsay introduced himself and ordered all the chefs to cook their signature dishes.
Before tasting the signature dishes, Ramsay announced that for the first time ever, the Signature Dish Challenge would occur as a regular team challenge, with each contestant going head-to-head. Tennille was the third person of the red team to have her dish judged by Ramsay, and went up against Joseph. She served balsamic lamb chop, and it was deemed nice by Ramsay. She won the round over Joseph, and while getting back in line, she jokingly told she would take autographs later. During Sabrina's turn, she hoped that Van would screw up so there would still be some hope.
The red team eventually lost the challenge 2-3, and they were punished by cleaning both kitchens ahead of the opening service the following night. When they were served Bologna sandwiches for dinner, Tennille was confused as she thought Bologna was illegal in California. After their punishment, the women came up to the dorms and found their uniforms, knives, and cookbooks, which they had to learn by heart. The next morning, during prep, the women were already going full steam ahead and were confident as they studied the menu the previous night and rested. Minutes before opening, after Lovely overcooked some fondants, she said it was all they had to work with, therefore being fucking screwed.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the garnish station. When she saw her team struggling to get their first order of appetizers, she was the vocal leader of the team while comparing the situation to apocalyptic chaos. On the eighth attempt at the first appetizers, she was determined to succeed and asked Melinda if the pasta was cooked, which the latter answered it was, and she ordered her to send it. But, when Ramsay discovered a lot of pasta in the bin, she called Melinda stupid, saying she would lead the team to destruction. Eventually, service was shut down after a lot of struggle in both kitchens.
When the teams were lined up, Ramsay declared the red team losers for not serving any entrées out, and asked them to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Tennille pointed out that the team never got passed appetizers, inclining towards Lovely as the second nominee, while also recalling her leaving for 45 minutes during service.
Back in the dorms, the red team received some precious help when Robert gave some tips on how to properly cook the food to the women.
The next morning, both teams got down in the blue kitchen, where Ramsay introduced the Shrimp Cleaning Challenge. During the challenge, Tennille declared she made herself a clear system, and she was the fifth person from the red team to have her shrimps judged by Ramsay. Despite being confident in her system, she gave the worst performance overall by having only 1 shrimp accepted out of 8, being ashamed and wondering what she did wrong. Ramsay asked her why she was that bad, but she did not give any excuses, accepting the blame and being very emotional in the process, knowing she let herself and her team down.
The red team lost the challenge 44-45, and they were punished by cleaning shrimps and segmenting lemons, removing every seed from all of them, all day long, for a shrimp cocktail during the next dinner service. During the punishment, Tennille declared to her team very seriously that all the lemons needed to be done, acknowledging she had to redeem herself to prove that she was a valuable part of her team. Suzanne started to confront her in the kitchen because of her way of telling others what to do, leading to an awkward moment. Later, Suzanne continued to confront her about her poor performance and questioned her experience, despite her telling she checked every of her shrimps six times, and was annoyed by Suzanne, saying that she was not a good person despite being able to clean shrimps.
When the teams were lined up, Tennille was dedicated to serve shrimp scampi tableside by Ramsay. She was not happy about that because she hated shrimp, but Ramsay told her it would be a perfect opportunity to redeem herself after her poor performance during the challenge. In the dining room, she said she did not know what charm she should put on, but she would do it anyway. Then, she went to a table, asked the customers if they ever had celebrity impersonators, before telling she was supposed to be Whoopi Goldberg, referring to her strong resemblance with the actress. At one point, she noticed Robert's failed attempt at his first risotto, and declared he was not a saver or a God, and that he was like everybody else, except that he was fatter and talked more. Later, the red team rallied to get appetizers out, so she had to move fast to keep up with her team. Unfortunately, at one point, she served a raw shrimp to a woman who revealed she was pregnant. Then, she went to the hot plate to tell Ramsay she would need 5 more minutes, which infuriated Ramsay who asked her to tell her team she was way behind, which she did. Ramsay pulled the whole red team aside and she revealed she was six tables behind. Ramsay told her she sunk her team, but she denied that fact. Because of her mistakes, the red team was stalled waiting for her to catch up. After a lot of struggle in both kitchens, Ramsay ordered both teams to send shrimp cocktails to the dining room, and shut down both kitchens.
When both teams were lined up, Ramsay asked Tennille what was the big deal when she served raw shrimp to a pregnant woman. After that, he named both teams losers, and asked them to nominate two people each for elimination. During deliberation, she declared she was not comfortable putting any of her teammates up as she was not in the kitchen, as well as being in denial about her poor performance, with Robert reminding her she served raw shrimp to a pregnant woman. She responded by saying she did not know the woman was pregnant and that she did not do it on purpose.
After Joseph's departure, Tennille was called down with Lovely, and joined Tony and Andy from the blue team. She survived elimination, and said goodbye to Robert, who has just been transferred to the blue team. While going back to the dorms, she and Amanda hugged each other, still in disbelief and amazement about Joseph's exit.
After that, the chefs went to bed, trying to get some sleep, but very early in the night, alarm bells started to go, Sous Chef Scott, holding a flashlight, told everybody to get out of the restaurant immediately as an emergency was called. Then, fire trucks arrived to Hell's Kitchen and the chefs got outside. But, Ramsay was standing with the firefighters, revealing that it was a fire drill. He introduced the Firefighter Pasta Meal Service Challenge, and all the chefs got back in the dorms to change. Tennille was not seen much during the challenge, which the red team won after succeeding to complete their side of the dining room before the blue team. They were rewarded with a day at the Pacific Water Spa, in Huntington Beach, California, as well as a helicopter ride to get there.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the fish station. When Ramsay called the first ticket, she did not answer, so he asked her to. Then, she started to cook her scallops, but Suzanne told her that she was using too much oil, and started to pour some out herself. She did not appreciate and told Suzanne to get off her station as she knew what she was doing. However, Ramsay told her that she was deep fat frying her scallops, put them out the pan, and reminded her it was the first order. Ariel motivated her, and she started over. Later, Ariel and Sabrina brought their appetizers to the pass, but she was still not ready with her scallops. She was also annoyed by Suzanne's attitude when the latter told her she was putting too much oil in her pan. She said that Suzanne was liking to hear herself talk and that somebody must slap her in the face. Then, Ramsay told her that she could not put the boiled scallops back in the pan, and Tek, Sabrina, Ariel, and Ramsay were speaking to her at the same time, putting more pressure on her. She was annoyed because she could not concentrate on her cooking, and then, a fire erupted on her station. Ramsay came over, pulled the fire out, and she revealed that too many people were talking to her at the same time. Finally, she got her acts together and delivered acceptable scallops to the pass. Because of that, the red team got their momentum back. Eventually, service was completed in both kitchens.
When both teams were lined up, the red team was declared losers for having a 81% above average rating from the customers, compared to the blue team's 83%, and Ariel was named "Best of the Worst". During deliberation, Tennille told Ariel that even though she fucked up, she managed to bounce back. She also reminded the lamb incident with Amanda, which Ariel was aware of.
Tennille was Ariel's second nominee for elimination, with Lovely being the first. She survived elimination after Ramsay told her to wake up big time. While being dismissed, she said she hated to be up for elimination, and was determined to prove herself so she would never be nominated again.
Back in the dorms, Tennille declared she was having integrity by still being in the competition, and Suzanne told her that she never took it to a personal level, which she answered she did, and that she could kiss her ass. After, she revealed that when Suzanne said to her that she would be pissed if she would sink the ship was inappropriate, while adding that Suzanne did not know what a leader was, and finishing by punching the wall when she left the conversation.
During the Sausage Strings Challenge, Tennille was paired with Suzanne, much to her dismay as she never disliked somebody that she only known for a few days that much in her life. When Ramsay asked her how thick he liked her sausage, she answered she did not like sausages, making everybody laugh. Despite her dislike of Suzanne, both of them were able to get two strings accepted, and the red team eventually won the challenge 6-4. They were rewarded with lunch at Old World Village, for an Oktoberfest style party.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the appetizer station with Tek. She got annoyed when Suzanne was giving her instructions on her risotto, but managed to get her risotto accepted. When she saw Tek struggling on the capellini, she helped out. The red team lost the service, and Sabrina was named "Best of the Worst".
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Welcome Home Planning Challenge, Tennille offered to make a jambalaya sauce for their dishes, but was rejected by Suzanne. The red team eventually lost the challenge 1-2, and they were punished by decorating the dining room ahead of the Welcome Home Party, under the supervision of Ramsay's wife. Back in the dorms, she was very pissed off about the loss, said that she would break something if she did not have to pay for it afterwards, and was seen upstairs very angry. Later, she got into an argument with Suzanne over the latter’s inability to listen, and called her crazy for not understanding why the team lost.
During prep, Tennille said that the red team had to win a dinner service, and hoped that service was the one. When the blue team was trying to sabotage the red team by not giving their recipes in clear detail, she called that bullshit.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the fish station. She offered her help to Tek on the grill station, but was shewed away. Later, she got dismayed when Amanda sent up a raw lobster tail, and got even more dismayed when the blue team was called in to help out, calling it adding salt to the wound.
The red team lost the service, and despite a decent performance, Tennille was considered by Sabrina for being nominated twice already. That angered her as she helped out a lot, and refused to be nominated.
Tennille was the red team's second nominee for elimination, with Tek being the first. However, she called it bullshit, and believed that Amanda should be up instead. She was called down with Tek, and they were eventually joined by Amanda. During her plea, she revealed that she was getting stronger, and that the red team only nominated her out of fear. She survived elimination after Ramsay sent her back in line.
Back in the dorms, Tennille made it vocally clear that she did not want to be nominated again, and was pissed that they judged her nomination based on her past mistakes.
During the 700 Calories Challenge, Tennille served the red team's appetizer, which was a pan-seared scallops with a mango chutney, containing 204 calories. Ramsay praised the dish for tasting good, and added that the presentation did not look like it was 204 calories as he did not feel cheated. She tied the round with Kevin, and the red team eventually won the challenge 3-1. They were rewarded with a day at Venice Beach to play volleyball with Annett Davis, and receiving gift baskets containing Vitamix blenders and cookbooks.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the garnish station. At one point, she made more spinach than needed, and got chewed out by Ramsay who told her to cook for each table, calling her a stupid cow in the process. That angered her, who thought Ramsay should learn how to show some respect, especially when she was working hard. Later, her mashed potatoes were stuck to the pot and were not enough for a two-person serving. She said that she did not want to serve extra servings like last time, but Ramsay accused her of treating it like a joke, and called her both pathetic and crap. That was the last straw for her as she called Ramsay crap herself, much to the shock of her teammates. Ramsay ejected her from the kitchen as she kept insulting Ramsay. In the back store, a heated confrontation erupted between her and Ramsay as he sternly warned her not to call him crap, unless she wanted to leave through the front doors, but she kept yelling that she was busting her ass for him. However, Ramsay told her that she was not listening to him, and told her to shut up and behave, while allowing her back into the kitchen. Both teams were eventually named joint-losers, and Ramsay asked for one person each for elimination.
Before the Craps Challenge, Tennille thought that the covered board was a lobster tank, and that they were going to grab lobsters. She rolled a P and chose potatoes. During the challenge, she suggested to add sugar to the garlic purée to balance it, but Ariel ignored her. The red team lost the challenge because of the garlic purée, which frustrated her as she warned Ariel about it. They were punished by participating in Delivery Day, do inventory and prep both kitchens for the following service. During the punishment, she dropped a box containing lemons, which some of them rolled underneath the truck. During the night, the red team was forced to take in one more delivery, and she called that fucking bullshit.
During prep, Tennille hoped that the blue team was as tired as the red team, and considered getting rid of Suzanne due to her bossy attitude. During dinner service, she was on the meat station. She was not seen much, but the red team eventually won the service.
During the Blind Taste Test, Tennille was forced to sit out to even the teams at four members each. Despite that, the red team won the challenge 6-4, and they were rewarded with a lunch to the Opaque, at the V Lounge, where they ate in the dark with Ramsay.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the appetizer station. Before the first ticket came, she promised to make sure to get appetizers out strong. While she expressed concern on Suzanne's dark colored scallops, she was shut down after they were accepted. Then, she offered her help to Amanda on garnish, but she was shut down, and stated that most of her teammates were having ego problems. When Sabrina was temporarily ejected from the kitchen, Ramsay relocated her to the meat station, and she firmly told Suzanne that her meat would be out in three minutes instead of two. Her attempt on the lamb refire was accepted, and she managed to get entrées back on track. When she tried to rally the red team, Ramsay told her that if she stood at the hot plate for five minutes, she would realize how painful it was watching it all. The red team lost the service, but she was named "Best of the Worst" as she had her best performance so far, and was asked to nominate two people for elimination.
Tennille named Suzanne as her first nominee, and Sabrina as her second. Despite her attempts to convince Ramsay that Suzanne was not a worthwhile member, she was dismayed when the latter survived elimination.
On her way back to the dorms, Tennille thought that Ramsay made a terrible mistake by not eliminating Suzanne, but knew that her being on the chopping block was a humbling experience. However, she added that if Suzanne would not get it, there was no hope of her getting it at all.
During the Crepe Challenge, Tennille faced up against Andy on the lunch round, and made a pepper jack bacon, shrimp and black bean salsa crepe. It was too spicy for Ramsay and Jean-Philippe to handle, and she lost the round to Andy. Despite that, the red team won the challenge 3-2, and they were rewarded with a full French experience, which included mime lessons, and lunch at La Cachette.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the fish station. Despite communicating with Ariel and Suzanne on timings, Suzanne needed more time. Later, she said that both Suzanne and Sabrina were sinking the red team due to their poor performances. After Suzanne and Sabrina were ejected from service, she was relocated to the meat station. Both teams were named joint-losers, and Ramsay asked both teams to nominate two people together.
Tennille was not nominated for elimination. She and Ariel told Ramsay that the red team would be better off without Suzanne. After Andy left, she said goodbye to Suzanne, who was transferred to the blue team. While she called it bullshit that Suzanne was still around, she was also glad that she was finally out of her way.
Tennille was extremely happy to see Suzanne leave the red team, and called it a new day. However, she expressed concern as the red team was down a member, meaning they would have to be perfect.
During the Fifteen Canadian Ingredients Challenge, Tennille presented the red team's second entrée, and while she announced that it was a lamb dish with kale, Ramsay instantly knew that it was not lamb, and she stumbled that it was actually venison. Despite that, judges liked how the red team prepared the kale, and she won the round over Dave. Despite that, the red team lost the challenge 2-4, and they were punished by going to a local farm to gather fresh produce and do chores. During the punishment, she nearly threw up when cleaning up the pig pen, and called it the worst punishment ever.
When both teams got the chance to create their own menus, Tennille's suggestion on Asian salad and blackened sea bass were not well received by Ariel and Sabrina, as they felt that they were not fine-dining dishes. After Sabrina openly mocked her salad in front of Ramsay, she got angry and felt that she was getting thrown under the bus no matter what she would do, which led her to snap at Ariel.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the garnish station. She struggled on the char as she never cooked it before, and asked Ariel for some help. While she did add seasoning to it, Ramsay said that it was too peppery, and she was reminded to cook with finesse. Later that night, she started sweeping up her station, and while she managed to get her broccolini out, Ramsay suggested that she serve it before she would sweep next time. Both teams were named joint-losers, and Ramsay asked both teams to nominate one person each for elimination.
Tennille was not nominated for elimination, even though Sabrina thought that she should have been.
The next day, Tennille and the rest of the chefs received their black jackets.
During the Taste It Now Make It Challenge, Tennille was paired with Kevin, which she was happy about as she thought he was a great chef. They used turbot, calamari, parsnip, and grapefruit to recreate Ramsay's dish. While they got the fish correct, they did not get their purée correct. Also, while they got the garnish correct, they forgot to plate it, and automatically lost the challenge. She was punished by prepping for a Couples Night Service, as well as helping Jean-Philippe to decorate the dining room. During the punishment, she quickly got annoyed by Jean-Philippe's precise instructions.
During prep, Tennille caught up a returning Dave to speed as, while they were playing individually, she knew that they still had to work together, because every mistake could hurt the team. During dinner service, she was on the meat station. She took the lead, communicated with Van and Ariel, much to Ramsay’s praise as she was the last person he would have expected to do, and then, got praised for her perfectly cooked lamb. When Ramsay and Sous Chef Scott left the kitchen, she knew that if Ramsay would shut down the service, everyone could be going home. So, she took the lead for the team and communicated with Ariel and Van. When Ramsay and Sous Chef Scott came back, she was not ejected, and finished service, along with Dave and Kevin. While getting desserts ready, Ramsay pulled her aside and told her that she did the best cooking of meat he has ever seen, much to her pleasure. After service, Ramsay asked her to nominate two people out of the three that were ejected.
At elimination, after Dave announced that the initial nominees were Suzanne and Ariel, Ramsay asked Tennille what she was thinking. Then, she revealed that Van should deserve to be nominated as well. After Van left, Ramsay told her that he appreciated her telling him the truth.
During the Presentation Challenge, Tennille served an Asian inspired red snapper. However, her snapper broke on the tray, and with very little time to cook another one, she put it on top of her garnishes to mask how screwed it was. Despite her efforts to cover her mistake, she lost the challenge to Kevin and Ariel, as her dish was voted the worst. She was punished by cleaning up an adopted road, as well as the front entrance of Hell's Kitchen. During the punishment, she did not like how they were transported on a prison bus, and frustratingly asked if she committed a crime. Then, she got annoyed when Kevin and Ariel walked over the carpet she just cleaned.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the appetizer station. When Dave asked if there was anything added, she answered no and called him a fucking idiot. However, Ramsay reminded them that he did not care if they did not like each other, and that he was only concerned about teamwork. Despite Ariel telling her that her risotto was overcooked, she ignored her and sent it up to the pass, only to be rejected. Then, her second attempt was rejected for the same problem, and Ramsay lectured her to pay attention to her work. When it was revealed that Kevin overcooked the rice during prep, she noted that it was both of their faults. While her third attempt was successful, Ramsay pulled her and Kevin to the front to see the difference. After service, Ramsay asked the final five to nominate two people for elimination.
Tennille was not nominated for elimination, even though Suzanne and Ariel felt that she should have been. While she was happy to see her nemesis Suzanne eliminated, Ramsay warned her that she dodged a bullet, which she agreed.
Back in the dorms, Tennille noticed that there were only four chefs left, which meant she beat thirteen other people to get to that point.
During the 80 Vegetarian Portions Challenge, Tennille made a vegetable stuffed eggplant with brown rice and a creamy mushroom sauce. When she found out that she was serving her dishes to children, she was worried and complained that she could not win at all. While she started to make her dish presentable, she ended up throwing her stuff on the plates due to the rush. She eventually won the challenge as 55% of the children found her dish the best. She was rewarded with a Beverly Hills style makeover, and loved getting pampered at the salon. Then, she joined Ramsay for lunch at Nobu, where she ate some of Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature sushi dishes. After lunch, Nobu presented her some of his signature knives designed by Rokusaburo Michiba and manufactured by Henkel that she got to keep, and she thanked the children for that reward.
When Tennille came back, Sous Chef Scott told her to get into her chef jacket as they were opening soon, and she realized that she was back to hell. Then, she knew that dinner service would be her most important one yet.
During dinner service, Tennille was on the fish station. When Ramsay asked her for the scallops, she sent up rubbery ones, and Ramsay compared them to a rubber band. Knowing that there was no more room for mistakes, she got her refire accepted, but Ramsay lectured her on paying attention. Later, when Ramsay asked for the sea bass, she brought up a burnt portion along with a raw halibut, and Ramsay found more rejected portions at her station. Then, Ramsay found out that she failed to get the sea bass seared properly, and asked everybody to look at it. Because of her mistake, the line was stalled as the diners were forced to wait for their entrées. Her second attempt on the halibut came out raw again, and said that she was not doing it on purpose. When Dave and Ariel asked her for a time, she did not answer until she said two minutes. But, when Ramsay asked her for a time, she said that she needed six more minutes, even though Dave already sliced his lamb. Then, Ramsay pulled her to the pantry room, and yelled that she was not communicating with the team. Despite saying that she was, Ramsay ordered her to fight back. Then, she got more open with her teammates, her refire was accepted, and entrées were being pushed out again. While cleaning up, she was disappointed that she screwed up despite winning a challenge, and called it the worst night she had since her arrival.
When the chefs were lined up, Ramsay reminded Tennille about her poor performance, and stated that he did not want any nominations, before eliminating her as he refused to prolong her agony. While she was heartbroken about getting eliminated, Ramsay told how proud he was about her fighting back harder than anybody else, and praised her massive heart. Before leaving, she hugged the other chefs as Ramsay reminded that she had the greatest comeback of the competition. During her exit interview, she received a retrospective montage of her run.
Ramsay gave no comment on Tennille's elimination, and she did not receive the coat hanging and burning picture sequence.
Nomination history Edit
Season 9 Edit
- She did not come back for the last dinner service of the season as supposed to, so Amanda took her place, making her the second black jacket contestant who did, following Robert from Season 5.
- She is the first contestant to be eliminated by Ramsay in the kitchen, during the post-mortem.
- She is responsible for one of the greatest rivalries of Hell's Kitchen, along with Suzanne.
- After her appearance on the show, she launched her own catering company, and is now a Head Kitchen Manager at Great American Restaurants.
- "DAH! Who cooks with no heat?"
- (About Melinda) "That girl is going to lead us to destruction. She's stupid! Man!"
- "Suzanne likes to hear herself talk!"
- (To Ramsay) "You're crap!"
- "GET OFF MY STATION PLEASE!"
- "I'm SLEEP, S-L-E-E-P! Now you know what I am? AWAKE!"
- "This is fucking bullshit."
- "Suzanne, you don't know how to work as a team member! And so, get the fuck out of my face, you're going home girl!"