Vanessa Soltero was a contestant on Season 15 of Hell's Kitchen. She ranked in 16th place.
Vanessa came into the competition with very little confidence, and was seen as the weakest chef on the red team.
Season 15 Edit
When the chefs arrived at Hell's Kitchen, they found out that they had to go to Las Vegas immediately. After participating in a parade, the chefs met Ramsay at the BLT Steak, which was the prize winning restaurant, and they were asked to cook their signature dishes there.
During the Signature Dish Challenge, Vanessa was the fifth person from the red team to have her dish judged, and went up against Jared. She made an eggplant involtini, bur Ramsay told her that while she might cook for first class, he would not serve that dish to coach class, and she scored only one point. The red team lost the challenge 22-24, and they were punished by peeling 50 pounds of shrimp and making 1000 pounds of truffle mashed potatoes at Sterling Buffet.
During dinner service, Vanessa was on the appetizer station with Kristen. She knew that it was a lot of pressure being on appetizers as she felt it was where people died, and expressed a lot of emotions. However, Ramsay saw that her pizza was burnt, but she still decided to slice the pizza. Then, Ramsay asked if she was okay, she answered that she was not and was nervous, only for Ramsay to remarked that he was more nervous. Despite getting her refire accepted, she soon brought up a broken roasted squash that Ramsay compared to shit all over the plate, and revealed that it was cold in the center. After, she asked for help, and Ramsay had the entire red team help her on appetizers. The red team eventually won the service.
Back in the dorms, Vanessa was told by Kristen that they could not lose focus anymore, and Jackie and Ariel told her to bounce back. However, she left due to being upset over her embarrassing performance, and wanted a hug from her mother. After, Manda managed to calm her down, told her to let it go, and hugged her in comfort.
During the Dumplings Challenge, Vanessa was paired up with Sherkenna, and wanted to prove to Ramsay that she could bounce back from the opening night. They scored three points as her baskets were accepted. The red team won the challenge 13-12, and they were rewarded with a helicopter trip to Geoffrey’s in Malibu for a seafood lunch with Ramsay. During the reward, she claimed that she could see Cher's house.
During dinner service, Vanessa was on the dessert station. She was not seen that much, the red team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate three people for elimination.
She was not nominated for elimination.
During the Jackets Challenge, Vanessa was confident about her cheese steak dish, but Ramsay told her that she was cooking with no gas on. She was the fifth person from the red team to have her dish judged, and went up against Kevin. She lost that round as her cheese steak was criticized for tasting bland, with Ramsay asking her if she was allergic to salt. The red team lost the challenge 3-5, and they were punished by taking in a delivery of 100 pounds of sea bass, prepping it for the following service, zesting lemons, and eating a fish head soup for lunch.
During dinner service, Vanessa was on the fish station with Jackie. After the red team answered Ramsay's order flatly, he asked her to repeat it back to him. However, she failed to do so despite it being called out 10 seconds ago, and Ramsay urged her to listen, concentrate, and get her head down. Then, she sent up only one lobster tail despite their being two risottos on order, but managed to get the second one accepted on time.
The red team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people for elimination. During deliberation, Vanessa was considered for elimination by Meese and Ashley, but agreed with Jackie that the fish problems happened when Manda slowed them down on garnishes.
Despite the fact that Vanessa was not named the red team's nominee for elimination, she was forced into being the second nominee by Ariel, with Meese as the first. During her plea, she retorted that she did not throw out expensive items into the trash like Meese did after the latter deemed her the weakest chef, and claimed that her dream was to run BLT Steak and win. She was eliminated for being the weakest chef on the red team so far, and Ramsay felt that she did not believe in herself. During her exit interview, she was disappointed over being eliminated, and that she wanted to win for her mother.
Ramsay's comment: "Vanessa had a lot of heart. But as far as her cooking was concerned, she made food only a mother could love."
- After her appearance on the show, she went back to her old job as a line cook.