‘I’m sort of simply speechless’
Denton chef Megan Gill made all of it the best way to the finale of Hell’s Kitchen: Younger Weapons, after 15 high-heat episodes and 16 grueling eliminations. She’d been one of many frontrunners for most of season 20, persistently exhibiting celeb chef Gordon Ramsay that she was extra level-headed than lots of her colleagues.
After which: She didn’t win.
In the previous few minutes of the present, Missouri chef Trenton Garvey took dwelling $250,000 money and the title of head chef of Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas.
Every other chef may emulate the TV present’s foul-mouthed mentor with a four-letter phrase. Not Gill.
“I’m sort of simply speechless,” she mentioned the morning after the finale. “I grew up watching this present, so it’s sort of surreal to make it that far.”
“I really feel like I ought to be extra upset, however I’m truthfully grateful to have ever been on this place,” she mentioned.
She began cooking at Whataburger when she was 16 years outdated, and at this time, she’s the lead line cook dinner at Brook Hole nation membership in Dallas.
“I went into the competitors simply attempting to not be the primary one despatched dwelling, and I did that,” she says.
Though Ramsay picked one other chef to steer his Las Vegas kitchen, he counseled Gill on display: “This younger girl is the actual deal, let me inform you,” he says.
The toughest a part of ‘Hell’s Kitchen’
All through a wild season made up of cooks ages 23 and youthful, Gill and her opponents spent most of their time cooking for celebrities — and getting yelled at by Ramsay — in his made-for-TV restaurant. However the competitors additionally concerned odd challenges like diving in a dunk tank for reside squid. In a single episode, contestants had been doused with caramel or nacho cheese if their accomplice failed a style take a look at blindfolded.
The toughest components of the competitors, for Gill, weren’t cooking challenges or gross pranks. She didn’t love dwelling in a dorm-like setting with 17 strangers.
“I’ve by no means been in that state of affairs: The most individuals I’ve lived with was three individuals in a dorm,” she says. “It was sort of a tradition shock, for me.”
Gill’s greatest dish
Within the second to final episode, the remaining three cooks had been requested to create a five-course meal of their selecting. Gill went for “elevated Texas meals” that included salmon with fennel and orange; rib-eye; and a surf and turf dish judged by Texas pitmaster Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue.
In a nail-biting second, Franklin gave Gill’s dish sufficient factors to place her within the finale, leaving Maryland chef Kiya Willhelm because the third-place finalist.
Gill thinks the surf and turf dish was her greatest plate all season, and she will be able to recite the parts simply: chipotle candy potato puree topped with a seared filet; barbecue-rubbed shrimp with peach chutney; and grilled asparagus on the facet.
On not profitable
Gill mentioned she was honored to be a part of a Hell’s Kitchen season that highlighted younger chef expertise.
“Younger individuals do carry loads to the desk. We do have good concepts. We do work exhausting,” she mentioned.
And he or she didn’t appear heartbroken after dropping.
“I really feel like we each gained, truthfully,” she mentioned of her and winner Garvey. “This was an incredible expertise for me. I couldn’t have requested for something higher.”
In a candy second on the present, Gill confirmed humility for the way far she’d come.
“I’m only a cook dinner from a small city in Texas, so that is every little thing,” she mentioned.
What’s subsequent for chef Megan Gill
Gill, now 25, desires to open her personal restaurant in Denton. She hopes being a runner-up on Hell’s Kitchen will give her extra visibility with a restaurateur or investor.
“I hope this opens extra alternatives,” she says. “I’m simply sort of going with the circulation proper now, wherever this course of takes me.”