Hell’s Kitchen winner makes debut as chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak
By Susan Stapleton
Christina Wilson didn’t have a typical first day of work. She arrived in a limo with a crowd of employees holding up signs and applauding raucously as she entered Paris Las Vegas. TV crews and journalists greeted her.
“When they picked me up in the car, I was helping the guy take my bags in, and he said, ‘You don’t have to do that.’ ‘I was like, I’m used to subways and taxis. If I take a cab, I’m living large,’” Wilson said.
Then she headed in for her first day of work as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak, a $250,000-a-year job she landed when she won Hell’s Kitchen, Ramsay’s Fox TV show that pits chefs against each other for a job in one of his restaurants. Now the 32-year-old from Philadelphia is undergoing six weeks of intensive training under executive chef Kevin Hee to learn each of the stations at Gordon Ramsay Steak.
On her first day on the job, Wilson got her initial glimpse of the new steakhouse that opened in May, seeing the open kitchen and neon red light fixture, based on Ramsay’s hand movements as he makes beef Wellington, hanging from the Union Jack on the ceiling. “He doesn’t cut corners,” Wilson says as she takes in her surroundings. “Some of the restaurants I came from, in order to cut costs, they cut corners.”
After all, Wilson came from two BYOB restaurants in the City of Brotherly Love before appearing on season 10 of Hell’s Kitchen. Now as she learns the ropes, she hopes to incorporate a few of her own signature dishes, or at least some of her style, to the menu.
“I’d just like to incorporate a few of my techniques with the products here,” she says. “I’ll try and get my own twist on it.”