Ariel Fox has won the Season 18 of “Hell’s Kitchen” which held on Friday night. The finale pits two New Yorkers against each other.
This season has featured “Rookies vs. Veterans,” and after four-plus months it’s all boiled down to veteran Ariel Fox — a contestant on Season 6 (she finished in third place) — versus rookie Mia Castro.
Here’s a look at the two finalists as they battle under Gordon Ramsay’s watchful eye for the grand prize: a position at the world’s first Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen Restaurant at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and $250,000.
Currently lives in: New Jersey, “right outside the city.”
Where she works in New York City: Concept executive chef for Dos Caminos. “I oversee all five locations and we are looking at opening a sixth.”
Favorite food to eat: “My favorite foods to eat at breakfast are waffles and eggs benedict. If I had to choose a favorite cuisine is would be a toss-up between Mexican and Italian.”
Favorite food to cook: “I consider myself a master when it comes to cooking steak or fish. The key is always in the sear and the baste.”
Most difficult food to cook: “I don’t really find anything particularly difficult to cook … I guess my answer would be pastry.”
Most difficult moment this season: “Tilly’s birthday party! I was charged with preparing the food for Gordon Ramsay’s daughter’s VIP table and I royally screwed up. Oddly enough it was fish!”
Personal highlight this season: “I was so much more comfortable in my own skin and I welcomed every challenge with enthusiasm and confidence.”
Fun fact about yourself: “I am also really good at cocktails. I make one hell of a margarita.”
Currently lives in: The East Village
Where she works in New York City: “As a full-time private chef for a family in the West Village.”
Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Favorite food to eat: “Pasta and rice … anything carby, really. And, of course, ice cream.”
Favorite food to cook: “Making fresh pasta.”
Most difficult food to cook: “Artichokes (hate cleaning them), octopus (it’s really easy to overcook it, which makes it tough and chewy).”
Most difficult moment this season: “Any time I had to nominate someone from my own team for elimination.”
Personal highlight this season: “My perfect score on the first episode signature dish that won the challenge for … my team and proved … I was not to be underestimated.”
Fun fact about yourself: “I’m irrationally afraid of the dark, so my bedroom door, all closet doors and dresser drawers must be closed when I go to sleep (to avoid monsters coming in/out, OBVIOUSLY).