South Philly woman hopes for her shot on ‘Hell’s Kitchen’

Hell's Kitchen applicants audition at the Westin. Charles Mostoller/METRO
Hell’s Kitchen applicants audition at the Westin. Charles Mostoller/METRO

Denine Giordano isn’t afraid of Gordon Ramsay.

“Let him throw shrimp at me? Fine,” said the spark plus from South Philly. “I’m waiting for it.”

The 23-year-old local line cook joined a group of call-backs who auditioned yesterday in front of talent scouts at the Westin hotel in Center City. The goal: join the 12th-season cast of the popular reality television show “Hell’s Kitchen.”

The FOX series features 20 contestants who compete to impress famed chef Gordon Ramsay’s taste buds at his Las Vegas restaurant. The sole survivor wins cash or a full-time position.

Giordano, who speaks with a muddy Philly accent, drags her L’s: “Everyone says I tawlk different, but I don’t hear it.”

A CAPA alum, she took two years off before joining the Art Institute of Philadelphia’s culinary program. She also works at the Pizza Pub at 20th and Passyunk where she bartends, manages and cooks. “And I bitch,” she added.

Working with her current chef, she said, has prepared her for the big time.

“I’m used to getting screamed at,” she said. Her biggest problem: “I don’t know how to say, ‘Yes, chef,’ and JUST, ‘Yes, chef.’”

“I’m like, ‘yes, chef, BUT,’” she said. “I’m sorry, I can’t help it. I’m from Philly.”

Former winners said the show launched their career.

Season 1 champion Michael Wray, who runs a kitchen in Los Angeles, said winning the event was a life-defining moment. Working beside Ramsay built his confidence and taught him to persevere.

“When I was there, he taught me to set my standards high,” Wray said.

Giordano explained that she wants the same. A chance to compete.

“Win or not, I’m here just to get my face out there,” she said. “The opportunity of a lifetime to stand next to Gordon Ramsay? Alright.”


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