Will Lustberg was a contestant on Season 9 of Hell's Kitchen. He was the runner-up of that season.
Will was the most consistant chef of that season. He became the one to beat, as well as the best overall leader, very quickly.
Season 9 Edit
During the introduction of the season, Will was one of the five chefs who were seen receiving their acceptance letter, and cheered while being proud to represent New Jersey.
When the chefs arrived in Los Angeles, they were greeted by James on the bus ride, and Will acknowledged that he was not there to make friends as it was everybody against everybody. 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, Will knew that it was surreal to cook in Hell's Kitchen, but that basically, it was the same shit in a different environment. He was the first person from the blue team to have his dish judged by Ramsay, went up against Carrie, and revealed that his heritage was a mix of Italian and Jewish, even stating that his girlfriend called him a pizza bagel. After, he served his sheep milk gnudi, claimed that he was a culinary technician as he did not worry about somebody else tasting his food because he was doing it right, and his dish was deemed delicious by Ramsay. He won the round over Carrie.
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 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. During prep, Will noticed that Jason was having breathing problems, came over to ask him if he was okay, but Jason answered that he was not feeling good and dizzy. When Jason went to the back hallway, he admitted that he looked like shit, decided to help him with the medic, and acknowledged that he had to take it down a notch as he was sweating a lot. While Jason was with the medic, he dedicated Chino to the dessert station, and admitted that despite caring for Jason's health, he could not stop working because they still had a service to pull off. When both teams were lined up, he learned that Jason was at the hospital, and would not return to Hell's Kitchen.
During dinner service, Will was on the appetizer station with Steven. When the latter was ready with his first appetizers, he convinced him not to send them to the pass as they were for the next table, without success, and he told that Steven was easily flustered but did not have the time to argue about it. When he sent his first appetizers to the pass, they were accepted, and later, he was not impressed with Brendan's loud mouth, while adding that he sucked.
The blue team lost the service, and they were asked to nominate two people. During deliberation, Will reminded that Paul and Jonathon were the bests, and considered Steven, despite the latter disagreeing. Moments later, Tommy acknowledged it sucked, but he reminded that it was what they signed up for, and that one of them would go home.
He was not nominated for elimination.
Back in the dorms, Will reminded that it was a reality check for everybody as they would fight deeper every time they would fight, and compared Brendan and Paul to little girls when they were fighting in front of Ramsay.
The next morning, the chefs were woken up by a young guitarist and very loud amplifiers, and they were ordered to get outside. Arrived there, Ramsay introduced the Meat & Grill Challenge, where each pair would have to cook a medium-rare New York strip, a medium rib-eye, a medium-well filet mignon, and a well-done burger. During the challenge, Will was on his own as the blue team was one member down, and he was the first person who was done and letting his meat rest. During Jonathon and Brendan's turn, he questioned their professionalism as they only scored two points out of four, and later, he was the last person to compete for the blue team. After scoring with his New York strip, rib-eye, and filet mignon, he arrogantly said goodbye to the girls by waving at them, and after, his burger was deemed perfect, and he clinched the victory for the blue team 11-10, making him proud as he was there to be perfect or nothing.
The blue team was rewarded with a lunch on the top of Palm Springs with Ramsay, and being taken there in a private jet. During the ride, Will revealed that he had a fear of flying, thought that he would shit himself, and Ramsay joked that he could cook meat temperatures perfectly, but not fly. During the lunch, he was excited to see Ramsay from a badass in the kitchen to a normal human being outside, mocked Brendan's constant talking, and told him to shut up.
During dinner service, Will served Caesar salads tableside. He was not seen much, but at one point, he was pissed off about his teammates not being able to send an entrée out, and moments later, he called it ridiculous when Tommy served overcooked duck. Later, he was furious about Brendan serving raw sea bass, told twice that the latter sucked, and because of that mistake, the blue team was kicked out. Back in the dorms, he wished to have his ass be sent home while calling it the worst pussy bullshit he ever experienced, declared that he did not sign up to lose, that he did not come to the competition to be made a fool of, and that they should have taken notes to the women on the red team. The blue team lost the service, and finally, he targeted Brendan and Tommy for the communication issues.
Will was not nominated for elimination, and despite him and his teammates trying to convince Ramsay not to, the blue team learned that a woman would be joining them the following morning.
While going back to the dorms, Will claimed that his pride was hurt because Ramsay said they needed help. The next morning, the chefs were woken up by clowns, which he was angry about by declaring that it was the wrong way for him to be woken up, and when both teams were lined up in the dining room, Sous Chef Scott revealed that they were woken up by clowns because they were cooking like clowns. After taking a delivery of naan bread with the other chefs, he and the blue team welcomed Natalie as a new teammate, which he showed a disappointed face about, while declaring that he did not want a new team member, but reluctantly agreed to deal with what Ramsay would throw at him.
During the Mommy & Me Lunch Service Challenge, Will felt a lot of pressure as they sucked as a team, urged his teammates to pick it up, and his leadership helped his teammates to go up to a fast start. Near the end, the blue team had a slight advantage over the red team, he was worried as they were close but confident at the same time, but then, a sandwich was rejected for having chicken in it when not supposed to. He was disappointed as it was not rocket science, and rallied his teammates to create evenly layered chicken. After the blue team succeeded to send their last ticket before the red team, he congratulated his teammates for finally communicating, and gave a warm welcome to Natalie by calling her a rock star. The blue team won the challenge, and they were rewarded with a day and lunch at Medieval Times, as well as sword fighting themselves.
During the Family Night dinner service, Will was on the fish station. At one point, he tried to convince Tommy not to send his burned chicken tenders without success, and because of that, he decided to vocally lead the latter by aggressively telling him to not send his unacceptable food to the pass. He added that he would work on fish and garnish if he had to as he was tired of losing, declared that he would be pissed if his teammates would fuck up the next order, and when Tommy apologized, he told him to just focus and cook. Because of his leadership, entrées were being served at a good pace, and after the blue team succeeded to send all of their tickets as well as the red team's, he called it redemption.
The blue team won the service by a mile, and while being dismissed, Will was determined to keep the winning streak going, while keeping the red team five feet under like prisoners.
The next morning, the chefs were woken up by Sous Chefs Scott and Andi, who brought them special farm outfits to wear, and were told to get outside. Arrived there, Ramsay introduced the Chicken Creation Challenge, and during the first part, Will revealed that where he was coming from, they were chasing chicks instead of chicken. Also, he was impressed when Chino vigorously caught his chicken despite not being the strongest cook. During the second part, he was paired with Jonathon, and they worked on the sautéed chicken course. They were the second pair from the blue team to have their dish judged, he did not present their lemon-herbed sautéed chicken, but they tied the round with Krupa and Jennifer.
The blue team lost the challenge 2-3, and they were punished by creating a chicken stock from scratch for the next service. During the punishment, Will jokingly thought that the red team would be likely to believe that go-kart would be like bumper cars, and later, he decided to simulate a dinner service because they had two losses already, but when they did, Chino still found the way to struggle, much to his dismay because the latter could not even imagine being a good cook.
During dinner service, Will was on the garnish station. He was not seen much, except at one point when he stopped an argument between Monterray and Jonathon by aggressively telling them to just cook the food, and that despite liking to watch them bitch at each other, they were hosting two Olympic medalists at the chefs table. After a lot of mistakes, the blue team was kicked out of the kitchen, and while going back to the dorms, he was furious because of how the blue team sucked. Both teams were named joint-losers, they were asked to nominate two people each, and during deliberation, he was seen comforting Natalie who was crying.
He was not nominated for elimination.
- He participated in the third all-male finals of Hell's Kitchen.
- He is the ninth runner-up, and sixth male runner-up of Hell's Kitchen.
- He is the second runner-up to have never been nominated for elimination during the entire season, following Jay from Season 7.
- After his appearance on the show, he competed on "Chopped", in the episode "Mac and Cheese, Cola, Bacon", where he placed as the runner up.
- "I'm a technician when it comes to culinary, you know what I'm saying? I don't worry about somebody eating my food. I do it, and I do it right."
- "Bye bye girls! BYE BYE!"
- "Brendan you SUCK! You SUCK!"
- "I did not come out here to be made a fool of!"