Thomas "Tom" Pauley was a contestant on Season 2 of Hell's Kitchen. He ranked in 8th place.
Tom was a loud-mouth, he trash-talked over everybody including Ramsay, and tried to convince himself he was good by talking to himself. He claimed he had the most experience only because he was the oldest of that season. But the truth was that he changed career four times in his life prior to his appearance on the show. Because of that, he was one of the main antagonists of that season, the other being Sara.
Season 2 Edit
Tom served a shrimp scampi with cooked Caesar salad as his signature dish. When he introduced himself, Ramsay remarked he was sweating a lot, and he proclaimed himself as a "schweatzer". Ramsay said it was the first time in his life he was served a cooked Caesar salad, and he tossed it in Tom's hands with his fork. The shrimps were spit out. After the challenge, he was placed in the blue team because Ramsay declared that for the first time ever, the teams are divided by gender, men in the blue team, women in the red team. He was the only one who applauded that decision and claimed he does not have to check on anybody, and could not ask for a better situation.
During prep, Tom staled the blue team by sweating in the food. Ramsay told him to start over, and he put a bandana on. Because of that incident, the blue team finished prep hours after the red team.
During dinner service, Tom was on the appetizer station. Before the first ticket arrived, Ramsay reminded him to not sweat in the food. The first scallops he sent to the pass were raw, and Ramsay told him to start the table again and move his ass. An hour later, Tom finally redeemed himself after helping his team send out acceptable appetizers to many tables. After Ramsay dealt with an angry customer about a pumpkin risotto, a fire erupted on his stove. He tried unsuccessfully to turn it off by blowing on it, before Gabe finally turned the stove off. Minutes later, his stove was still off and he was asking why his pan was cold. Ramsay told him the problem, but he was slow to answer. Ramsay told him to think with his head next time. Three hours into service, Ramsay shut down the service after some customers shouted "I want my food!" all over the dining room. The blue team won the dinner service for serving a few entrées out, compared to the red team's zero. But, Ramsay reminded them they did not win.
After a brutal wake up call where the Sous Chefs were playing cowbells, the contestants were asked to get outside immediately. All the contestants had to get in the dumpsters to collect the trash from the last service. During the Steak Challenge, Tom gave the best overall performance, scoring an impressive five acceptable steaks. But his performance fell out short as his team lost 11-12. His performance was praised by Ramsay who said it was a job well done. He was punished, along with his team, by cutting all the steaks for the next dinner service.
The next morning, after a phone call from a hospitalized Larry, he learned, along with the other contestants, that he would not return to the competition. However, Tom felt unsympathetic saying he spent the last evening in the hot tub with the girls.
During dinner service, Tom was on the meat station. On the first ticket, he asked Ramsay if he could repeat the ticket. He refused and told him to move his fat ass himself and come read it. An hour into service, he had a communication breakdown with Giacomo, who was on garnish. His duck and chicken were ready waiting for their sides, who were not. Three hours into service, Ramsay made him and his team stand in front of the pass to have a look in the dining room. When almost every customer left, Ramsay shut down both kitchens. The blue team lost the dinner service, and Garrett was named "Best of the Worst".
Tom was Garrett's second nominee for elimination, with Giacomo being the first. He survived elimination after Ramsay sent him back in line when he told him he would never let a major malfunction like that happen again and that he would take charge.
Back in the dorms, Tom declared he was relieved when Ramsay sent him back in line, saying Ramsay would love see him win. The next morning, he answered Ramsay on the phone, and told everybody to get in the dining room immediately, where Ramsay explained the next challenge, which was the Relay Challenge.
During the challenge, Tom was the first one to go for his team. He received the information about what the 3 dishes of the challenge were, the chicken, tortellini and salmon. He wanted to use and old batch of already made tortellinis, but Ramsay told him to make fresh ones as he would not accept the old ones. He successfully communicated all the information that Giacomo would need to continue. When the challenge ended, he was confident as the red team only had two dishes instead of three. But, during the judging, he went head-to-head with Ramsay after Ramsay remarked the tortellini was missing the sauce, but he was immediately put back in his place when Ramsay told him to stand up straight. The blue team lost the challenge 1-2, and were punished by participating in Laundry Day. During the punishment, he made a sexist comment, despite him saying he does not want to be sexist. He said that women do laundry better than men.
During dinner service, Tom was on the fish station. A half-hour into service, Keith asked him to get some tomato sauce. After Garrett took a batch of tomato sauce on the garnish station, Keith told him to do not mind anymore. Despite this, he continued making it stating he already started. When Ramsay told him they already have tomato sauce, he said Keith told him to, but Keith said he got it. That situation infuriated Tom and accused Keith of throwing him under the bus. Moments later, Ramsay made him switch to the garnish station because of Giacomo's lie to Ramsay. When he got on the station, he burned his hand while grabbing a pan, but Keith was totally unsympathetic about it, and told him to move on. He reminded Keith about the sauce incident saying he buried him, but Keith said he could not take it anymore. When Ramsay asked him to show his injury, Ramsay said nothing was there, and that he does not need a drama queen. Minutes later, when he ran out of mashed potatoes, Ramsay was discouraged, and asked Tom what he was doing. Tom looked confused and was accused of giving up by Ramsay. When Tom declared he was trying to make an ass out of himself, Ramsay congratulated him by saying he successfully did. After many frustrations from both kitchens, Ramsay decided to shut down the restaurant.
After reminding Tom his performance was one of the worst, Ramsay named the blue team losers for serving less entrées than the red team, and each member of the team was asked to nominate one person for elimination. During deliberation, he was seen talking to himself on the patio table, surrounded by empty chairs.
Tom nominated Giacomo for elimination, and was nominated by all of his three teammates. Despite receiving the most votes from his team, he survived elimination.
Back in the dorms, Tom went on a war with his teammates for nominating him. He told Garrett he had his back, and expected him to have his. After that, he went on the patio and talked with Heather and Rachel about how he does not care about the competition as he felt it was just a game. The two girls were irritated by his way of thinking, leading Heather to tell him she cares about the experience to work under Ramsay, and Rachel to tell him she and Heather were born to do that.
The next morning, Tom and the blue team welcomed Heather as a new teammate. After that, when Ramsay announced they were all going out to visit the most popular restaurant in Los Angeles, he thought they were going to Spago. He was upset when they arrived at Pink's Hot Dogs. He declared he worked at a hot dog place when he was in college, and Ramsay invited him to go behind the counter to make a hot dog. Keith stated he belonged there, and Ramsay asked him to get out before he sweats in the food, referring to his incident during the first dinner service prep. After that, Ramsay declared Hell's Kitchen would open for lunch for the first time ever. He ran back to the restaurant, along with the other contestants, to prep his kitchen with only two hours to go.
During the Lunch Service Challenge, Tom, who worked the salad station, got into an argument with Garrett, who was arranging his station for him. Both of them were calmed down by Heather. Despite this, the blue team succeeded in completing all of their orders, and was declared the winners when the children rated their food 9,85 out of 10, compared to the red team's 9,84. As a reward, they got to enjoy a day at the amusement park, at Santa Monica Beach, to feel like children again. During the reward, Tom was unaware his teammates were conspiring to get rid of him.
During dinner service, Tom was on the meat station. Before the first ticket, Heather told him his pan was not hot enough. Moments later, he told Ramsay he forgot to cook the quail who was called an hour ago. After that, he sent undercooked Wellingtons to the pass due to his miscommunication with Keith, which Ramsay schooled him about. An hour and a half into service, Ramsay was irritated by his way of organizing his station as he was cooking orders for the next tables and not listening to him. After Ramsay told him he does not have passion, his duck in his pan began to burn, and Ramsay had to tell him to leave it. In the process, Ramsay called him a "fucking dick" and a "donkey". Keith was then asked to get on the meat station by Ramsay, and cook for him, and Ramsay told him to shut up, open his big eyes, and watch what was Keith doing. After a lot of frustration in both kitchens and only half of the dining room served, Ramsay threw his apron and towel at him, and declared both teams losers, and told them to nominate one member each for elimination.
Tom was the blue team's nominee, and joined Virginia from the red team. They were later joined by Rachel, who nominated herself. Despite telling Ramsay he cannot be beaten down, he was eliminated for being a consistant terrible performer and lacking the experience to work in a kitchen.
Ramsay's comment: "Tom's got a big heart, sadly he's a really crap cook. Why on earth he's ever decided to attempt to become a chef? We'll never know."
When he returned for the last dinner service of the season, Tom was surprised that Virginia was in the finals as he thought it was "three strikes, you're out", like himself. He was Virginia's second pick, after Keith and before Giacomo. That decision made Heather happy as she did not want to have him on his team. Back in the dorms, he was called a weak link by Virginia, along with Giacomo, which demotivated him. But, he got his motivation back when he was promised $1000 if Virginia was to win. He was happy about that as he was unemployed at the moment.
During dinner service, Tom was on the meat station. He stated that for one time, he would like to be on the winning side, and was determined to be so. Almost an hour into service, when Virginia told him to hurry up, he started to give her attitude as he claimed he does not want to be talked to like that. Later, he was giving her attitude once again, saying he does not want to be under a woman's authority, because it reminded him his ex-girlfriend. After that, he was slicing some chicken roulade when he cut his finger pretty bad, and rinsed his hand under water. He showed his injury to Sous Chef Mary-Ann, who told him to go see a medic. When he went in the back to get some bandages on his finger, he showed his injury to Ramsay, who told him that was nothing and that he did not need a big drama queen. Minutes later, he came back in the kitchen, asking what was needed. Virginia called out the order, and he successfully sent out acceptable main courses. A few moments later, he asked what was on the ticket, and Ramsay told him to move his big fat ass and check the ticket himself. Near the end of service, the team moved on to desserts and he successfully managed to send them out, along with his two teammates.
- He is the first contestant in the history of the show to be nominated three times in a row.
- He is the second returning contestant to have sustained an injury during the final service, following Andrew from Season 1.
- "I sweat! I sweat all the time! I'm a "schweatzer"! Don't worry about that!"
- "Who do you think you're talking to? You don't want to get in a street fight with me, trust me."
- "He's lucky that I've signed a thing saying I wouldn't touch anybody here."
- "The women should have lost this challenge, and I'm not being sexist, but women... do laundry better than men!"