Winner to Receive Head Chef Position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar

at The Venetian Las Vegas

Meet the new batch of 18 ambitious chefs willing to face host, executive producer and award-winning chef Gordon Ramsay on the Season 16 premiere of HELL’S KITCHEN airing Friday, Sept. 23 (8:00-9:01 PM ET/PT) on FOX. These aspiring chefs will leave their pleasantries at the door as they endure Ramsay’s hellishly intense culinary academy, including a series of grueling challenges and dinner services, for a chance to win the coveted HELL’S KITCHEN title.

Throughout the season, tensions will rise and emotions will flare as Ramsay puts on the pressure, demanding absolute perfection. Each week, the hopeful chefs will be put through rigorous culinary challenges, keeping only those who possess the right combination of ingredients to run their own restaurant. The last contestant to withstand the pressure of HELL’S KITCHEN will claim the grand prize – a Head Chef position at Yardbird Southern Table & Bar at The Venetian Las Vegas.

Watch/Share a first look at the new season of HELL’S KITCHEN:

In the premiere episode, Ramsay shocks the 18 chefs with a detour to a U.S. Army training boot camp, before allowing them to enter HELL’S KITCHEN. After proving their commitment and desire to face the tests that lay ahead, they are then split into two teams – men (blue) vs. women (red) – and tasked with their first challenge: to present their signature dishes. Later, during the dinner service, one team will deliver one of the strongest opening night services in HELL’S KITCHEN history, while the other team struggles with finding momentum.

Below are the 18 chefs competing on this season of HELL’S KITCHEN:

The Red Team (Women) includes:

JESSICA BOYNTON                       


Hometown: Raleigh, NC                 Occupation: University Chef

Signature Dish: Risotto and Bacon-Wrapped Chicken

SHAINA HAYDEN                             

Hometown: Long Island, NY          Occupation: Banquet Chef

Signature Dish: Salmon Wellington



WENDY MENDEZ                             


Hometown: Bronx, NY                    Occupation: Pastry Chef

Signature Dish: Heirloom Tomato Soup

HEIDI PARENT                                  

Hometown: Auburn, ME                   Occupation: Executive Chef   

Signature Dish: Ricotta Gnocchi

KIMBERLY ROTH                            


Hometown: Rochester, NY              Occupation: Sushi Chef 

Signature Dish: Pappardelle with Clams

KIMBERLY ANN RYAN                    

Hometown: Traverse City, MI          Occupation: Event Chef

Signature Dish: Seared Scallops with Mango Jalapeño Salsa and Spicy Toasted Rice Crispies

HEATHER WILLIAMS                     


Hometown: Easton, PA                 Occupation: Sous Chef   

Signature Dish: Dry-Aged Ribeye with Hasselback Potato and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

AZIZA YOUNG                                 


Hometown: Harrisburg, PA             Occupation: Kitchen Manager 

Signature Dish: Grilled Salmon with Roasted Potatoes and Arugula

RAJEEYAH “GIA” YOUNG              


Hometown: Queens, NY                 Occupation: Catering Chef

Signature Dish: Shrimp and Grits, NYC Style



The Blue Team (Men) includes:

GENARO DELILLO                          


Hometown: Lebanon, PA                  Occupation: Sous Chef

Signature Dish: Seared Duck Breast

PAULIE GIGANTI                                         


Hometown: Brooklyn, NY                Occupation: Executive Chef

Signature Dish: Biscotti-Encrusted Scallops over a Crispy Polenta with a Basil Curry Cream Sauce

MATT HEARN                                   


Hometown: Los Angeles, CA            Occupation: Sauté Chef

Signature Dish: Dove Breast Bolognese

JOHNNY McDEVITT                         


Hometown: Philadelphia                  Occupation: Head Chef   

Signature Dish: Ribeye and Farro with Green Beans

ANDREW PEARCE                           

Hometown: Prospect Park, PA         Occupation: Sous Chef

Signature Dish: Pan-Roasted Halibut with Butter-Poached Leaks, Maitake Mushrooms and Shell Fish Broth

DEVIN SIMPSON                             


Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC      Occupation: Asst. Restaurant Manager

Signature Dish: Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Parmesan Risotto



AARON SMOCK                               


Hometown: Traverse City, MI          Occupation: Cook

Signature Dish: Pork Schnitzel with Blaukraut

PAT TORTORELLO                       


Hometown: Belleville, NJ               Occupation: Culinary Instructor

Signature Dish: Pan-Seared Sea Bass with Citrus Risotto, Pistachio Fennel Frond Gremolata and Balsamic Glazed Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes

KOOP WYNKOOP                          

Hometown: Carey, OH                      Occupation: Kitchen Manager

Signature Dish: Surf and Turf


HELL’S KITCHEN is produced by ITV Entertainment in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Gordon Ramsay serve as executive producers.

“Like” HELL’S KITCHEN on Facebook at Follow the series on Twitter at @hellskitchenfox, and follow Ramsay at @GordonRamsay.

About ITV Entertainment

ITV Entertainment is one of the largest international producers for the U.S. market and a major force in acquiring, developing and producing entertainment programming for U.S. networks. ITV Entertainment has a wide slate of series with major networks and syndicators, including HELL’S KITCHEN, “The First 48,” “Rich Kids of Beverly Hills” and new series “EJNYC.”

About A. Smith & Co. Productions

A. Smith & Co. Productions creates some of the most innovative, highly rated, and high-quality programming for the domestic and international television marketplace. The company has produced more than 3,000 hours of award-winning programming - with budgets totaling over one billion dollars across more than 45 broadcast and cable networks. Current productions include “Hell’s Kitchen," “American Ninja Warrior,” “Spartan: Ultimate Team Challenge,” “Ellen’s Design Challenge,” “Unsung,” “Inside the Label,” “Acting Out,” “Full Throttle Saloon,” “Team Ninja Warrior,” “Container Homes,” “Mating Games,” “That Awkward Game Show” and “The Dunk King.” Past hits include “Kitchen Nightmares,” “Wizard Wars,” “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura,” “UFC Countdown,” “Joe Rogan Questions Everything,” “Paradise Hotel,” “I Survived a Japanese Game Show,” “The Swan,” “Trading Spaces,” “Pros vs. Joes,” “Skating with Celebrities,” and many others. For more information, visit



About Yardbird Southern Table & Bar:

A tribute to the best of the south, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar offers classic down-home cuisine. With locations in Miami Beach, FL, and Las Vegas, NV, inside the Venetian|Palazzo Resort & Casino, Yardbird serves lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. A crafted cocktail program and extensive bourbon menu round out Yardbird’s hospitable atmosphere. Yardbird Miami was named a James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist for “Best New Restaurant South,” praised by the New York Times and recognized as one of Bon Appétit’s “50 Best New Restaurants.”  

[EDITOR’S NOTE: For photos and more information on HELL’S KITCHEN, please visit]