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Hell's Kitchen Season 6: Rock's Final Thoughts

Posted on 10/16/2009 by Gina in Hells Kitchen

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Rock from Hell's Kitchen Season 6


by Chef Rock
Winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 3


Well, hats off to Dave Levey for wining Hell’s Kitchen! He truly deserved it. Now Dave, if you’re reading this remember one thing: DON’T TAKE THE JOB. Read on.


We all saw what happened so I won’t go over it play by play; I will just give you some of my thoughts about the show and the experience.


I think this has been one of the best seasons of HK ever. I have to applaud Art Smith, Kent Weed and the rest of the crew over there for giving us another banger.  The show started out with what everyone thought would be “Ramsay’s first fight” when Joseph lost his marbles and ran up on Gordon like no one has done before. Even though I think it was bad move on Joseph’s part, it did launch him into reality tv history when he delivered the now famous line heard ‘round the world: “I’m nobody’s bitch!” I don’t know if he was in attendance but he surely deserved a nomination at the Fox Really Awards. When it’s all said and done, Joseph was just being him. It happens in real life when hot tempered chefs yell at guys and gals. Some people take it, others don’t. I blasted the guy, but I do understand his temper. I still think it was a bonehead move to waste such a unique opportunity that many people would kill for.

I have learned many things since winning Hell’s Kitchen, maybe none of the lessons are bigger than keeping your eye on the big picture.


Chef Ramsay would always say, “This isn’t a job for life; it’s a great launch for your young careers”. I didn’t quite get that at the time, but I understand a bit more now. The real test is when you appear on your last episode, that’s when the real work begins. Many of the contestants on season 3 thought that they would automatically become celebrities because of the success of the show. They couldn’t have been more wrong. I was guilty of it also, but I wised up real fast.


Look, there is one celebrity on Hell’s Kitchen and it is Sir Cuss-A-Lot and him alone. The moment you are off the show, it is all about working towards building your brand and keeping consumers’ attention on you. That’s pretty hard! You need a great lawyer, an awesome accountant, a good publicist, a trustworthy agent (if there is such a thing), a personal assistant, a website, a MySpace, a Twitter account, a Facebook page, a new company, and a partridge in a pear tree! You may not need all of the social networking stuff, but the rest is mandatory if you hope on keeping your brand alive.


Here is my point: Don’t just leave it to chance. Start working on it now.


Some of the most successful reality show contestants didn’t win the show, but they are smart as hell. Mike Malin, Omorosa, Elizabeth Hasslebeck, New York, Adrienne Curry, Jennifer Hudson, Clay Aiken, Chris Daughtry and Carla Hall all have great careers and none of them won the show.


As chefs, we actually have a skill that people should pay for. I mean, how many parties did I get invited to in Vegas to celebrate the birthday of some chick who is famous for a frickin’ sex tape? If they could cook, maybe I would have gone!


To all my HK Alum; don’t sweat the small stuff. Think of yourselves as businesses. Heather West gave me that advice and it still pays off. So, when people write stuff about you, don’t sweat it. If someone comes up to you on the street and says “You weren’t that good and I wish you would have been sent home sooner,” ask them would they like an autograph and keep it movin’. The message boards and the blogs are all a lot of fun to read, but if you let it consume you; you lose.


My experience at Terra Verde was not what I expected at all. I never complain about what I went through, because it still was an awesome opportunity for me to learn a ton. I was ready to make my mark on the culinary world and instead I was a fixture in the dining room becoming familiar with every camera known to man! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my fans. Everyone knows I love people. But, I love to cook for them too! I had some great times in Vegas and some not so great times. When it comes down to it, I blame me for the bad stuff. I should have been more prepared. I should have had my lawyer draw up a better contract. If it was important enough to talk about, it’s important enough to write down.


Many people think that Fox, Granada, and Gordon Ramsay have a stake in the winner after the show. They didn’t with me and I doubt they do with the others also. Granada guarantees that you will get your money, no matter what. You do not have to relocate to the new restaurant if you don’t want to. Granada and Fox have your back on what they are supposed to; all the other ins and outs are up to you.


You want control over some or the entire menu? Put it in the contract.


You want to have specific days off, if any? Put it in the contract.


How about the ability to reprimand a cook? Put it in the contract.


Want to work less than 18 hours a day? Put it in the contract.


Would you like to cook yourself something to eat and not have to pay for it? Put it in the contract.


It may sound petty, but trust me when I say it matters.


If I were advising Dave, I would seriously have him think about stepping one foot in Araxi. Please believe this is no shot at them.  I have never dealt with them and, from what I gather from friends, they are an awesome establishment with great credibility. You just have to figure out what your goals are and see if you can achieve them up there, or anywhere else for that matter.


If Dave wants to be an awesome chef, he may not get the opportunity there. I mean, they have a renowned Executive Chef at Araxi, why do they need an HK winner? Well, because they need the business that’s why. Will they let him come in there and run the show?

Hell, no! If he has a great job already, I would stay there and talk about part ownership. Or he may not want to be in restaurants. He may want to travel the world or the country; you can’t really do that when your boss says no. He may want to research and write books. Who knows, I just know he should think about it really hard.


It’s all about the journey. We all end up in the dirt sooner or later and the time in between is a trip. I am celebrating life and practicing love right now, and I owe some of that to my experience on Hell’s Kitchen.


Congratulations to Dave, Kevin, Tennille, Ariel, Van, Suzanne and the entire HK6 crew once again. I wish them all great journeys in the future.



Questions, comments or vicious and insulting disagreements? Hit me up on twitter.com/chefrock or facebook.com/chefrock
peace and love! 



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