Heavenly aim for chefs – Metro US

Heavenly aim for chefs

Whistler has earned its place as a premiere ski destination, party town and soon-to-be Olympic venue, and it’s about to have another claim to fame — a spot in the upcoming season of Hell’s Kitchen.

Foul-mouthed celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has chosen one of the town’s high-end eateries, Araxi Restaurant, as the grand prize for the sixth season of his reality show.

Sixteen chefs will be duking it out in the kitchen to snag a job at Araxi. It will be the first time the show has ventured outside the United States.

James Walt, head chef at the restaurant, said it was “surreal” to have Araxi chosen by Ramsay.

“I was pretty stoked,” Walt said. “(Ramsay) was fantastic. He wanted to know all about my career and we talked about our kids. He was really genuine.

“He really cared about what we were doing and … loved that we serve everything that’s local.”

Walt said working in the kitchen will be a great experience for the winner of the show, who will get to learn about Pacific Northwest ingredients and cooking techniques.

“We’re not going to change who we are for Hell’s Kitchen,” Walt said. “We’ll still be us.”

He added the show will not only be a great way to promote Araxi, but the region as a foodie destination.

“Food and farming and oceans (are) all the things that made us what we are,” he said. “To have a magnifying glass on that is good for everybody.”