Last night was the Season Five Premiere of Hell’s Kitchen and the two Tri-State area contestants, Chef Ji Cha (a Manhattan-native and current New Jersey resident) and Chef Seth Levine (a Great Neck, NY native), threw their NYC-based viewing parties in style, in of course, none other than Hell’s Kitchen.
We started out at Chef Ji Cha’s event held at Mercury Bar, complete with drink & food specials (in true chef taste) and multiple big-screens boasting the dramatic season opener. As a little girl, Ji grew up above her father’s restaurant on 57th Street, so both cooking and Hell’s Kitchen were two things that were never too far out of her reach.
Ji, one of this year’s 16 contestants, schooled all of her colleagues in round one where they were asked to prepare their “signature dish.” Head Chef, Chef Gordon Ramsay, known for his strict reign in the kitchen, actually went as far as to say that he “loved” Ji’s signature dish (unlike many of the others which he wouldn’t even give the dignity of swallowing!).
*Hell’s Kitchen Contestant, Chef Ji Cha, with AMP3 PR’s Jackie Brook
Next, we headed over to Chef Seth’s screening party just blocks away at Hudson Terrace, where we caught the ending of the episode. Seth winds up on the losing team of the challenge and is among the 2 nominated for elimination on night one. At the party, as they were showing this suspenseful moment, Seth stood at stage right in the dark while the dramatic tv music intensified. Ultimately, Seth’s opponent, Chef Wil got sent home instead, and as this was announced, Seth took the stage with a Rocky-style victory dance to the mass applause of his hometown friends and fans.
*Hell’s Kitchen Contestant, Chef Seth Levine, with AMP3 PR’s Jackie Brook
The prize for this season is a quarter of a million dollars PLUS the position of Head Chef at The Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City. Our money is on Chef Ji! Tune in Thursday nights at 9PM ET on FOX as the race continues.
[Alyson Campbell for It's All Very PR]