There are few celebrity chefs who've been able to leverage their unique personalities into TV super stardom and dining establishment success quite like Gordon Ramsay. He's managed to enjoy not only a litany of TV appearances on popular shows but he's also produced his very own ratings juggernauts, like Hell's Kitchen.
Longtime viewers of the show may be familiar with the ceremonial donning of the black jackets, but what is the significance of this act?
What is a black jacket for on 'Hell's Kitchen'?
The show focuses on the hectic, fast-paced, and unforgiving environment that line cooks must endure when prepping food during a busy food service. It's a well-documented fact that working the line is no easy task. Sure, you might be able to make your grandma's famous grilled cheese sandwich from the comfort of your own home.
However, when there are a million people buzzing around you attempting to garnish desserts and carry out plates of sizzling hot fajitas, then making that toasted, melty-cheese goodness suddenly becomes a lot more difficult.
Hell's Kitchen is designed, albeit in a "network TV" way, to replicate the restaurant line experience for prospective chefs looking to land a gig with Gordon Ramsay at one of his restaurants.
That's the goal of Hell's Kitchen, to have the pleasure of occasionally getting verbally reamed by Chef Ramsay whenever your toasted bread slice has three and a half char lines instead of four for a living.
Just kidding, he's probably too busy making millions of dollars off of overpriced airport burger meals.
A big part of that line cooking experience is working as a unit with your fellow chefs, which is why the Hell's Kitchen competition has groups of chefs divided up into two teams: red and blue.
As the competition heats up and more and more people are thinned from the herd, it becomes less a game of teams and more a battle of whoever stands out the most.
Group challenges make way for individual trials, and this is officially signified when remaining contestants don black jackets (usually when it's down to the last five cooks or so.)
Not everyone earns black jackets, however. It's a distinction on the show that isn't taken lightly, and some die-hard fans of the show have taken the time to compile each and every black jacket winner in Hell's Kitchen history.
How many Hell's Kitchen restaurants are there?
It was only a matter of time before the Hell's Kitchen show would ultimately spawn an IRL restaurant for hungry patrons to enjoy. There's currently only one eatery inspired by the series that anyone can book a reservation at, and it's located right in front of Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Nev.
Gordon Ramsay, of course, has tons of other restaurants worldwide, and you'll more than likely find similar menu items at those locations as you would at Hell's Kitchen. After all, the meals are all inspired by his recipes.
But if you want to snap some photos for your Instagram feed that have a little extra "oomph," then picking a restaurant associated with a widely known reality TV series might help you flex your dominion over all the other basics on your feed.
Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns (no affiliation to the Emilio Estevez cowboy flick) airs Monday nights on FOX at 8 p.m. EST. Are you a fan of seeing Gordon chew folks out for serving subpar beef wellington? Or is Chef Show on Netflix more your speed?