‘Hell’s Kitchen’ contestants vie for chef job at JW Marriott Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES The winner of the eighth season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” the bombastic reality competition starring celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey, will be awarded the job as chef de cuisine of LA Market, Chef Kerry Simon’s restaurant at the new JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live.

Among the contestants of the show, which premiered Wednesday on Fox, is Russell “Rusty” Kook, the sous chef at Cibo Matto inside The Wit Hotel Chicago. Discussing his experience on the show, Kook says he learned a lot from Ramsey, like the importance of timing in the kitchen to ensure various dishes are prepared in unison. On that note, Ramsey also imparted the value of communication between team members, Kook says.

So what was it like being berated by the famously caustic Ramsey? “I’m sure he’ll be portrayed as a [expletive] or an [expletive], but he’s fair,” Kook tells HOTELS. “I mean, if you’re cooking food for me and you’re in my kitchen and you’re screwing up all the time, and you’re making these people wait, well then you’re making me look bad. That’s kind of the approach I took it.”

Due to confidentiality rules, Kook could not discuss the outcome of the competition, but he says the show made him a better chef by pushing him beyond what he thought were his limits. He is currently taking a leave of absence from Cibo Matto to unwind following the stressful competition.

The LA Market concept at JW Marriott Los Angeles features reimagined American classics that complement the music and entertainment scene surrounding the hotel.

Russell "Rusty" Kook
Russell “Rusty” Kook