Two Plant-Based Chefs Will Be on the New Season of Hell’s Kitchen
Two plant-based chefs will participate in Hell’s Kitchen for the first time in the shows running history. Chefs Josie Clemens and Emily Hersh plan to take on the Hell’s Kitchen Challenge in the upcoming season of the show, appropriately titled ‘Young Guns’ since the oldest chef this season will be 24-years-old. The chefs are vegan and vegetarian, respectively, and plan to showcase the talents and potential of plant-based cooking up against the harsh criticism and leadership of legendary Gordan Ramsay.
The winner of this season will walk away with $250,000 alongside the esteemed position of executive chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak Paris Las Vegas. If one of the two plant-based chefs wins the competition, it would change the cuisine structure of the legendary chef’s renowned restaurants.
“Six million people who normally watch a meat cooking show are about to be exposed to veganism,” Clemens wrote on her Instagram announcing her place on the show. “Being the first vegan chef means that this is a golden opportunity to lead people compassionately. So they have an opportunity to discover their innate pure nature is connected to the Earth and all beings.”
Clemens grew up in Michigan, cooking in kitchens professionally starting at 15. The chef focused on European styles of cooking, but her veganism encouraged her to adopt and experiment with familiar favorites. The change allowed her to create plant-based versions of the food that she grew up loving.
“My culinary background is in French and Italian cuisine,” Clemens told LIVEKINDLY. “But since going vegan, I’ve dabbled with Eastern cuisines. I’ve always been drawn to the culture, even since I was a little girl. Recreating comfort foods is really important to me. I feel like people’s heart by connecting them back to simpler times in their lives.”
San-Antonio based Chef Emily Hersh currently works at the botanical garden fine dining restaurant Jardin. Her culinary background includes the Natural Gourmet Institue NYC, and through her cooking career, vegetarianism has defined her cooking style and direction. Although not fully plant-based, her vegetarian style will be a stark contrast to Hell’s Kitchen’s typical lineup of chefs and cuisine.
“I can’t wait for you all to follow along on one of the most rewarding experiences of my life,” Hersh wrote on her Instagram. “I am the first trained vegetarian chef to compete!”
The highly strict and critical Gordan Ramsay will not be holding back on the show’s first plant-based chefs. The Michelin-star chef has repeatedly criticized veganism throughout his career, mocking the dietary change. However, over the last year, Ramsay has given serious thought to plant-based cooking and foods. The celebrity chef even created a TikTok video that joked that he went vegan himself.
“After three decades of cooking hundreds and hundreds and thousands of hours behind the stove, I’m turning vegan,” Ramsay said in the video. “For lunch only.”
The chef’s joking video may not have been serious, as it was just a cheeky way to introduce his viral recipe for an eggplant steak. Ramsay’s move to showcase any plant-based cooking is a huge turn for him, making his fans wonder how far his plant-based interest will take him. For now, fans will see how his plant-based competitors handle the heat of Hell’s Kitchen, and the vegan viewers should be watching closely as the show makes one of its most significant changes.
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