The long-awaited Season 21 premiere kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 29, and we couldn't be more excited to meet the 18 talented cheftestants looking to win the life-changing grand prize, which includes: a head chef position; a $250,000 cash prize; and being named the winner of Hell's Kitchen.
Typically, the season starts off by dividing the chefs by gender; however, Season 21 will be much different. Instead, the chefs will be divided by age, with a group of well-seasoned 40-somethings battling against fresh up-and-coming 20-somethings.
On that note, let's meet the cast of Hell's Kitchen: Battle of the Ages.
Let's meet the "40-Somethings" first!
Alex is a 40-year-old former restaurant owner turned executive chef from Murfreesboro, Tenn.
According to the Richlynn Group, Alex is an award-winning chef; he's won various culinary competitions, including the 2014 KC steak cook-off and the 2018 Charity Chopped in the 'Boro fundraising contest. His first restaurant, Dallas & Jane, received acclaim and earned the title "Best Restaurant in Rutherford County" by Eater Nashville and the local Firefly Awards.
Tara is a 41-year-old private chef and caterer from Congers, N.Y.
Regarding the reality competition series, Tara told the Rockland County Times that she was "pushed harder than [she's] ever been pushed." She added the experience was "terrifying at the beginning but so surreal."
Nicole is a 46-year-old private chef from Los Angeles.
Zeus is a 48-year-old executive chef from Milford, Del.
Mindy is a 42-year-old caterer from Liberty Township, Ohio.
O'Shay is a 44-year-old executive from New Castle, Del.
Abe is a 41-year-old executive chef from Crosby, Texas.
Charlene is a 40-year-old private chef from Worland, Wyo.
Billy is a 40-year-old head chef from Melbourne, Fla.
Ahead of the Season 21 premiere, Billy spoke with Florida Today and said viewers are in for one heck of a season. He added, "It's awesome to be able to have your idol taste your food, shake your hand and bust your chops ... Even though Gordon lit me up, I can say I got lit up by chef Ramsay."
Now, let's meet the "20-Somethings."
Brett Binninger-Schwartz is a 24-year-old executive chef from Dublin, Ohio.
Vlad Briantsev is a 26-year-old sous chef and podcaster from Chicago.
Ileana D'Silva is a 23-year-old sous chef from Gloucester, Va.
She works at Casa Pearl in Williamsburg, Va., and, according to the restaurant's official website, Ileana "loves a challenge, an opportunity to learn, and an excuse to play with her food."
Dafne Mejia is a 29-year-old executive chef from Los Angeles.
Alejandro Najar is a 28-year-old head chef from Barberton, Ohio.
Cheyenne Nichols is a 21-year-old chef from Louisville, Ky.
Alyssa Osinga is a 23-year-old line cook from Chicago.
Sommer Sellers is a 23-year-old lead line cook from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Sakari Smithwick is a 27-year-old pop up chef and restaurant owner from Amityville, N.Y.
He recently sat down with his alma mater, SUNY Delhi, and spoke about his time on the reality series. Sakari revealed that the competition was "an incredible experience," adding, "I’ve always been a big fan of Gordon Ramsey, and when the show reached out, I was excited to participate... It was challenging and life-changing, and I’ll never forget it."
Hell's Kitchen: Battle of the Ages premieres Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, at 8 p.m. EST on Fox.