Hell’s Kitchen Runner-Up Justin: Exclusive Interview

Hell's KitchenLast Monday on the Hell’s Kitchen finale, Chef Gordon Ramsay finally revealed the winner of season 10 and who would be taking the position as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas. With a final dinner service they surely won’t soon forget, Justin and Christina duked it out, both putting forth a good fight until the last ticket had been served.  In the end, when the two stood behind those frosted doors waiting to hear their fates, it was Christina who emerged as the winner and Justin whose door stayed firmly shut.

For all of Justin’s fans out there who were outraged by Justin’s runner-up status, you can take solace in the fact that Justin, himself, is content with the outcome. I had the opportunity to speak with Justin about his experience on Hell’s Kitchen and he maintains that although it was difficult to come so close to victory, he feels as though this path is the one that is meant to be. With plenty of congratulatory wishes to Christina for her win, Justin explained that, in the end, he’s not so certain that Gordon Ramsay Steak is the place for him and that he dreams of opening his own restaurant where he can develop a menu that includes the complex flavors he enjoys so much.

When it came to the Hell’s Kitchen competition, Justin went into it blind, having never watched the show previously. Many of the other contestants knew what to expect, but according to Justin, he didn’t know “what the hell they were talking about.” Pretty impressive considering he came out on top on more than one occasion, most notably when it came to Chef Ramsay’s famous palette test to which Justin pulled off a perfect score, a feat not accomplished by any other chef in all ten seasons.

Throughout the season, Justin played it straight, not pulling any punches when it came to getting things done in the kitchen. He carried this attitude all the way through the final Hell’s Kitchen dinner service in which he refused to send out food that was not up to par. When asked what happened during that final dinner service when his team couldn’t seem to meet his standards, he explained simply that “it was a really hard menu” and that he feels his team gave all they could, but that from the start he had planned to play “balls to the wall” and didn’t want to simplify his dishes or let less than stellar food slip by just to win, which if that meant losing, at least he felt he would “lose with pride.”

The integrity that Justin demonstrated throughout this season of Hell’s Kitchen, along with his tremendous talent is what has his fans anxiously awaiting his next move.  With big plans to open his own restaurant and run his own “brigade,” Justin assures me that his fans will be the first to know when he makes his move.  Justin’s appreciation for his fans is obvious as he reveals that reading the encouraging comments from everyone over last few days have left him “so happy and so humble.”  With a great deal of thanks to his fans, Justin assured me that we have not seen the last of him, a fact that I’m certain will make many people very happy.

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