"Hell's Kitchen" has crowned Paul Niedermann as the winner of its ninth season. The 26-year-old junior sous chef won the grand prize of the head chef's position at BLT Steak in NYC and a $250,000 salary to go with it after passing the challenges in the season finale on Monday, September 19.
Niedermann started the final round well by winning the initial challenge in which the four remaining finalists had to make Chef Gordon Ramsay's dish by tasting it and figuring the ingredients. He was the only one who guessed the right fish, Cod, and got Dodgers tickets for himself and his brother.
Other finalists Elise Wims and Tommy Stevens were sent home early at the dinner service, while Paul and Will Lustberg were still competing for the champion title. They had to serve a three-course menu for executive chefs and bosses of BLT Steak.
Paul was overwhelmed with happiness upon learning that it was his door which opened, marking his win. "There are no words to describe how I am feeling right now," he said. "I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped me get to where I am today, with an extra thanks to my team, because, without them, I would never have won. So thank you Elise, Carrie, Elizabeth and Jonathon."
Coming as the runner-up, Will was not too proud of himself, but received his loss with a big heart. "I didn't come out here for second, I came out here for first," the 31-year-old sous chef said before adding, "If I had to lose to anybody, man, I'm glad it was Paul."