Philly native Christina Wilson Cooks Her Way from Hell’s Kitchen to Las Vegas.
Christina Wilson’s advice for future wannabe Hell’s Kitchen chefs. “Learn to cook scallops, risotto and [beef] Wellington before you get there, and you’ll be all right.” It’s a good thing the Season 10 winner mastered those parts of the Gordon Ramsay trinity, because she’ll be pushing a lot of those dishes out of the kitchen in her new role as head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. Wilson will work under Executive Chef Kevin Hee.
Wilson won the job after an intense season that culminated in a final countdown and nerve-racking twist of a door knob, the cooking competition’s final winner-revealing scene. “Let me just say, Chef Ramsay is the slowest counter ever. That one…two… three, for me, lasted like twenty minutes,” she says. And when the door opened? “I was shocked. I remember walking through the door and then stepping back in it. I was like, ‘Wait, did that just happen?’”
It did, but she says Hell’s Kitchen was anything but smooth sailing. Wilson admits she was a “little jittery” early on in the “pressure cooker” experience. “I just had to tell myself this is what I do, I’m a chef. I kept my goals short term. I said to myself, ‘All right Chris, you just have to wake up here tomorrow morning. Get through today. There were times I had really great days and I reveled in it when I put my head down on the pillow, but when I woke up I had to let it go. And I had to do the same thing with my bad days.”
Wilson also wanted to stay under the radar and remain tight-lipped. She says the best advice she got before going on Hell’s Kitchen came from a close friend who simply told her, “Be careful with your words, you can always add on, but never take away.”
Now she’s ready to tackle Las Vegas. Wilson says she loves the sleek, clean lines at her new digs at Gordon Ramsay Steak, but is most excited about the open kitchen concept. “It ‘s the narcissistic side of me,” she says. “It ‘s nice to look out and seesomebody really enjoying their food the moment they get it.”