Hell’s Kitchen has become the gold standard for cooking competition shows on reality television everywhere. There is little that can match the sheer brilliance, hilarity, and entertainment that Gordon Ramsay cunningly insults would-be chefs who have come from all walks of life to learn under him and perhaps go home with the prizes they have won. The show is undoubtedly one of the most demanding competitions anyone can take part in, and you have to have thick skin to get through it in one piece. After the eighteenth season, the show is still very popular and is loved by millions of people, but not everything in the show is as it seems. Below are 5 frightening facts about Hell’s Kitchen that you probably didn’t know.
Chilling Facts About Hell’s Kitchen
1. Contestants are forbidden to eat at the restaurant
One might think that after grueling hours in the kitchen, where they have prepared all kinds of sumptuous meals, the participants have the opportunity to prepare one or two dishes for themselves. But according to the rules of Hell’s Kitchen, they are not allowed to do that. If they want to eat, they are expected to cook for themselves, as the ingredients are available for anything they could hope for. The participants have a small kitchen in their bedrooms where they can prepare what they want to eat in their free time. However, due to their demanding work schedule, most of them forget to eat and soon learn to survive with quick meals like sandwiches and the endless alcohol that flows out of the open bar.
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2. The stress of the show turns people into smokers and alcoholics
Hell’s Kitchen only lasts about a few weeks, but during this time the contestants are pushed to the sidelines and sometimes even beyond. Their physical, mental and emotional limits are tested again and again until there is only a fine line between watching the medal and collapsing. Their working hours are long and exhausting, not to mention intimidating, as they have to do it under Ramsay’s watchful eye. The pressure almost never eases and they spend their days competing against other talented chefs without the opportunity to go home at the end of the day and complain about it to their friends and families. The stress usually becomes so high that people who have attended the show as non-smokers actively start smoking to get through, and almost all of the participants use the open bar to drown their sorrows.
3. Gordon Ramsay is surrounded by bodyguards
Let’s face it, Ramsay is not a second-rate, nameless hustler who happened to get a job as a TV show host. He’s one of the most decorated chefs in the world. He has appeared on dozens of culinary television shows, owns 18 restaurants, has accumulated over $60 million in net worth and earned 16 Michelin stars. If he spends his day cursing, yelling and insulting people for preparing a meal wrongly, no one can blame him for getting adequate protection in his corner. The bodyguards are usually behind the scenes and they never step into a corner unless it seems that an altercation might get physical. Although Ramsay’s protection is a top priority for the bodyguards, they are also there to protect the rest of the team and prevent beatings.
4. The living quarters are tiny and cameras are everywhere
The bedrooms in Hell’s Kitchen are not like the ones you see in shows like The Bachelor, where the living rooms are large and spacious. Like most multi-person reality TV shows, Hell’s Kitchen has common rooms, but they are quite small. Three or four participants have to share a room, and this often leads to unpleasant encounters. Everywhere, even in places where you don’t look, there are cameras that monitor every movement, argument and embarrassing moments. Participants in Hell’s Kitchen have to deal not only with sharing a room with strangers but also with the feeling of exposure and vulnerability that comes with knowing that you are always being watched. Many participants would agree that this is one of the most frightening facts about Hell’s Kitchen.
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5. Contestants have to go see a psychiatrist after they are evicted
Working days that last almost 20 hours, without proper nutrition and enough time to rest, crowned by Gordon Ramsay screaming in your face, can undoubtedly make a person lose his mind. The producers of Hell’s Kitchen know how exhausting the experience can be, especially for those who cannot win the prize. That’s why, after a contestant has kicked off the show, they have to go to rehab. There a psychiatrist will evaluate their mental and emotional state to make sure they are not a danger to themselves or others. The rehab is a beautiful mansion in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. It is equipped with a spa and other amenities to help participants relax and return to a balanced state of mind before returning to the real world.