Hell’s Kitchen Season 9: Where Are The Chefs Now?

‘Hell’s Kitchen’ season 9, premiered in 2011, featuring intense culinary battles and dramatic moments. One of the standout aspects of the ninth season was the memorable personalities of the contestants. From passionate and determined individuals to those who crumbled under the heat of the kitchen, the cast added an extra layer of entertainment to the show. Tempers flared, alliances formed and dissolved, and drama unfolded both inside and outside the kitchen, keeping viewers hooked throughout the season.

The season’s winner Paul Niedermann, impressed Chef Gordon Ramsay with his skills and determination. Since then, Paul has pursued a successful culinary career, working in various restaurants. As for the other contestants, many have continued to excel in the culinary world. They have also made strides in their career, contributing to the culinary scene. Let’s delve into where these contestants are today, tracing their paths post-show and discovering the heights they’ve reached in the culinary industry.

Paul Niedermann is Now Happily Married

Paul Niedermann, the victorious winner of season 9, faced personal challenges as he tragically lost his mother just a few days before the show. Undeterred by the hardships, he showcased his culinary prowess and resilience. Paul continued to make appearances in subsequent installments — seasons 11, 12, and 15. Following his ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ journey, Paul joined the renowned BLT Group, gaining valuable experience at BLT Steak in New York City. His culinary journey also included a stint at ESquared Hospitality.

As his career progressed, Paul assumed the role of executive chef at Hudson at Waterway East and later at Racks Restaurant Management Group, ultimately landing at SALT7 in Delray Beach, Florida, in early 2020. The culinary maestro currently holds the prestigious position of executive chef at Jupiter Grill, showcasing his talent and creativity in the kitchen. In a heartwarming turn of events, Paul celebrated a joyous moment in March 2021 as he tied the knot.

William “Will” Lustberg Has Recently Joined a New Place

Will Lustberg resumed his culinary career by returning to work at The Waldorf Astoria. Subsequently, he transitioned to The Princeton Club of New York. Over the years, Will has held several roles in the culinary world. Since 2015, Will has held the position of a Culinary Specialist at Hudson Table. Currently, he serves as the Executive Sous Chef at Highgate Hotels. In 2021, Will took on a new role, joining HandCraft Hospitality or Handcraft Burgers and Brew as the Director of Culinary cum Executive Chef.

On the personal front, Will Lustberg has been married to the love of his life, Tara Lustberg, for over a decade now. They are proud parents of two adorable boys. Not only to his culinary pursuits, but the Clifton, New Jersey, native also actively dedicates his time to raising awareness about cleft lip and palate issues. The latter is mostly because one of Will and Tara’s sons was born with complete unilateral cleft lip and palate. Will has also participated in events such as Chef 4 Paramus Strong, contributing to funds revolving around kids and other community support initiatives.

Elise Wims is a Health and Wellness Coach Today

After making her mark as a finalist in the show, Elise Wims now Elise Harris continued to build her career in the culinary and fitness realms. Following her initial appearance, she founded her own catering, consultancy, and food demonstration business, known as The Diva Chef. Simultaneously, Elise launched a fitness prepackaged food company. Over time, she underwent personal changes, including divorcing her first husband, Chris Wims, and remarrying. The couple welcomed a daughter into their family. She has evolved into a nutrition expert, and health and wellness coach.

Elise Harris operates her business, Muscle Meals by Elise, offering a weight loss program. Her entrepreneurial spirit extends to TV appearances, where she showcases her culinary skills on shows such as ‘Lion Lunch Hour,’ ‘Food Fighters,’ ‘Après Ski,’ ‘Pickler & Ben,’ and shows on The Hallmark Channel. Beyond the kitchen, she ventures into bodybuilding competitions, having won the NPC Figure Comp and participated in The NPC Natural Maryland. Elise remains active in the fitness community, leading workshops, motivating others through exercise, and featuring in various magazines.

Thomas “Tommy” Stevens is Now the Owner of Iron and Wine Restaurant

Tommy Stevens continued to make strides in the culinary world. Tommy began his post-show journey by showcasing his skills at Ancient Mariner. His culinary talents were further highlighted when he appeared on ‘Cutthroat Kitchen.’ Notably, he worked in the kitchen of Abruzzi, eventually taking over the space on Route 22 and rebranding it as Iron & Wine in 2016.

Currently, Tommy Stevens wears the hat of both owner and executive chef at Iron & Wine Restaurant. Beyond his culinary pursuits, he actively engages in philanthropy, hosting fundraisers regularly. One of the instances includes his participation in a fundraiser for the Pawling Resource Center. On the personal front, Tommy is happily married to Marianne Stevens. His journey reflects his dedication to the culinary arts and community involvement, marking a successful transition into restaurant ownership and ongoing philanthropic efforts.

Jennifer Normant Appeared on a TV Show Again

Jennifer Normant, a talented chef who made her mark and later returned for season 17, has continued to thrive in the culinary world. Following her initial appearance on the show, Jennifer took on the role of executive chef at establishments like Beacon Grille and Kings. Her culinary expertise led her to work for Kings as well. As of April 2023, Jennifer holds the position of executive chef at Finz Seafood and Grill. Her journey also includes notable roles such as Former Executive Chef at Sea Level Newburyport and Chef at Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen.

Jennifer’s culinary skills were further showcased when she appeared on the popular TV show ‘Chopped.’ With a successful career marked by various executive chef roles and television appearances, Jennifer Normant continues to make significant contributions to the culinary scene. Her current role at Finz Seafood and Grill reflects her ongoing dedication to the art of cooking.

Elizabeth Bianchi Now Keeps Her Life Private

Since her time on the show, Elizabeth Bianchi embarked on a successful career in the culinary world. She returned to the kitchen, securing the position of chef at the Union League Club. Currently, Elizabeth serves as a culinary specialist at Tapuz Inc., showcasing her expertise in the field.

In addition to her culinary pursuits, Elizabeth Bianchi has ventured into the realm of acting. She has appeared in various TV series as a professional actress, including notable shows like Law & Order, Sex and the City, and The Sopranos. Her multifaceted talents have not gone unnoticed, and she has even been featured on Good Morning New York. Although away from social media, she keeps her life private but her diverse accomplishments highlight her proficiency both in the kitchen and on the screen.

Natalie Blake is Now Associated With Many Eateries as a Chef

Natalie Blake has continued to make a mark in the culinary world. Initially, she assumed the role of head chef at The Jax, although the restaurant has since closed its doors. Natalie’s culinary prowess led her to victory on ‘Supermarket Stakeout,’ showcasing her skills and emerging as the winner of the competition. Currently, Natalie Blake holds a position at Aramark Refreshment Services, contributing her culinary expertise. Additionally, she serves as the executive chef at Metropolitan at The 9, demonstrating her commitment to culinary excellence in diverse settings.

Natalie Blake has expanded her culinary repertoire by appearing on the Food Show,’ further establishing her presence in the culinary industry. Moreover, she has taken on the role at Spice Headquarters, adding to her impressive list of culinary affiliations. Her association with Adega, a fine dining restaurant, reflects her commitment to the craft and her pursuit of culinary excellence. Natalie’s diverse culinary engagements highlight her continued success and contributions to the culinary landscape.

Carolina “Carrie” Keep is a Pilates Instructor Today

Carolina “Carrie” Keep, a spirited contestant from the show, left the culinary world behind after an early exit, but that was just the beginning of her journey. While her time in the kitchen might have been short-lived, Carrie’s passion and ambition earned her high praise from Gordon Ramsay himself. Breaking away from the heat of the kitchen, Carrie took a new path in life and found her calling as a Pilates instructor at the esteemed Classic Pilates Studio and Equinox. Embracing a different kind of discipline, she swapped the chef’s hat for the instructor’s gear, bringing her vibrant energy to the world of fitness. Carrie’s Instagram chronicles reveal a life well-lived, showcasing her adventures and zest for enjoying every moment.

Jamie Gregorich is Working With US Foods

Following her spirited run on the show, Jamie Gregorich seamlessly blended her culinary prowess with her love for fitness. Returning to her roots, she resumed her role as a culinary instructor at Manatee Technical College. As the culinary world continued to savor her talents, she assumed the position of chef at IMG Academy Golf Club, leaving an indelible mark on the culinary landscape. However, Jamie’s journey took an unexpected yet exciting turn as she pivoted towards fitness.

Embracing her passion for CrossFit, she transitioned into the role of a CrossFit coach at CrossFit Bradenton in 2016. Jamie’s commitment to health and wellness became even more evident when, in 2022, she assumed the role of territory manager at US Foods, showcasing her diverse skill set. Her engaging story doesn’t stop there. Beyond her professional pursuits, she found love in the workplace, getting engaged to her co-worker and girlfriend, Kaitlin. The culinary maestro turned fitness enthusiast has certainly carved a unique and inspiring path, showcasing that one can master both the culinary arts and the world of fitness with equal finesse.

Jonathon Plumley Sadly Passed Away in 2022

Jonathon Plumley, though his journey on the show was brief, left an indelible mark with his unwavering dedication and exceptional culinary skills. A testament to hard work and passion, Jonathon showcased his talents on the show, earning praise from all quarters. Post-show, Jonathon took on the role of a traveling Culinary Consultant, sharing his expertise and love for the culinary arts. Unfortunately, the culinary world lost a shining star when Jonathon Plumley passed away in February 2022 at the age of 45. His legacy lives on through the memories of his remarkable journey and the impact he made on those who had the privilege of experiencing his culinary artistry.

Krupa Patel Has Chosen To Stay Away From Media

Krupa Patel, after showcasing her talent on season 9, gracefully returned to her roots as a private chef. While the specifics of her current whereabouts remain unknown, we extend our hopes that Krupa is flourishing in happiness and good health, and continuing to thrive in her culinary endeavors. Her journey, marked by talent and dedication, remains an inspiring chapter in the ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ legacy.

Monterray Keys is the Owner of Key to Catering Today

Monterray Keys swiftly rose to prominence as the head chef at the acclaimed The Brick restaurant in Miami post the show. Today, he has transitioned into the realm of a private chef and has established his culinary domain as the owner of Keys To Catering. Monterray’s journey, marked by his culinary prowess, continues to unfold as he crafts delectable experiences and showcases his passion for the culinary arts.

Regina “Gina” Melcher Now Runs a YouTube Channel

Gina Melcher, affectionately known as Gina Melcher Haggerty, gracefully returned to her roots after captivating audiences on the show. Presently, she weaves her culinary magic at Morimoto Maui, embracing the vibrant culinary scene of Hawaii. Beyond the kitchen, Gina has embraced new roles, embracing the joys of marriage and motherhood. Her fascinating journey takes an exciting turn as she ventures into the digital realm with her YouTube channel, Etiquette of Eating, sharing insights and experiences that add a unique flavor to her multifaceted life.

Hee Jun “Chino” Chang is Now Associated with Glu Hospitality

Image Credit: Glu Hospitality/ YouTube

Hee Jun “Chino” Chang, a culinary virtuoso after his ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ stint. Following the show, he lent his culinary prowess to Redstone American Grill, but life took a poignant turn as he grappled with the loss of his father. Fueled by a desire to be close to family, Chino co-founded Prime Stache in Old City, Philadelphia, a venture that bore the stamp of collaboration with former Eagles player Brent Celek.

Not stopping there, the dynamic duo, Tim Lu and Chino, unfolded a gastronomic saga with Butcher Burger Philly, introducing inventive concepts like the delectable Philly, Philly chicken burger—an ode to the Eagles’ historic Super Bowl 52 win. Currently serving as the Director of Culinary for GLU Hospitality where he once worked at Figo as a chef. Chino Chang continues to shape the culinary landscape, infusing his creations with a blend of innovation and heartfelt dedication.

Amanda Colello Works at Pechanga Resort Casino Today

Amanda Colello’s life is nothing short of a vibrant tapestry of diverse experiences. Returning to her roots as a Personal Chef, Amanda’s culinary prowess graced establishments like Public House, Brew-legion, Barley and Hops, Temecula Cattering LLC, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, and Harrah’s Resort Southern California. Beyond the kitchen, she ventured into consultancy, leaving an indelible mark as the Head Chef of Fiore Steak and Seafood.

Amanda’s commitment to her craft extended beyond the restaurant walls. Her culinary artistry found expression in cookery events and charity fundraisers, including a noteworthy appearance on ‘Chopped.’ The James Beard Foundation became another canvas for her culinary creations. Amid her culinary adventures, Amanda embraced personal milestones, tying the knot with Chase Palmer and embracing the name Amanda Colello-Palmer. As a mother to a son and twin stepsons, she has continued to craft culinary magic at Pechanga Resort Casino since 2022.

Brendan Heavey Now Holds an MBA Degree

Brendan Heavey’s journey after the show is marked by a pursuit of knowledge and a commitment to personal growth. Following his appearance on the show, Brendan embarked on an academic venture, graduating with an MBA in Business Administration from the esteemed Jack Welch Management Institute in Herndon, Virginia, in 2016. While his professional life as a chef remains private, Brendan has embraced significant milestones. His Facebook profile shows that he is currently working for the US Department of State. He has entered the realm of family life, getting married and becoming a proud father of two children.

Steven Paluba is Now Enjoying a New Phase of Life as a Grandfather 

Steven Paluba’s journey has been nothing short of a culinary adventure. Taking the reins of his destiny, Steven ventured into entrepreneurship by opening his restaurant, Tauk at Trail’s End, nestled in the picturesque Montauk.  Not content with just a brick-and-mortar establishment, Steven expanded his culinary footprint with the Wave Crave food truck, hitting the road in 2018 to bring his delectable creations to a broader audience. His culinary skills and passion for food continue to shine, leaving a lasting impression on those who savor his dishes.

Beyond the kitchen, Steven has embraced the joys of family life and is now a proud grandfather. His social media offers glimpses into these cherished moments, showcasing not only his culinary creations but also the love and warmth of his growing family.

Jason Zepaltas Now Contributes to His Family Business


Jason Zepaltas, a resilient force in the culinary world, faced health challenges during his initial stint on season 9, compelling him to leave. However, this setback didn’t define his journey. In a remarkable comeback, Jason returned for season 12, showcasing his culinary prowess and securing the runner-up title. After the show, Jason resumed his career in the kitchen, becoming a Sous Chef.

Beyond the world of screen, Jason is actively involved in the family business, Zepaltas Wines, based in Chicago. The culinary world and the vineyards seem to intertwine in his story, reflecting a harmonious blend of passion and family heritage. In addition to his kitchen endeavors, Jason can often be found at Driftwood Inn, showcasing his culinary skills and treating patrons to a gastronomic delight. He now has a dog also named Ralphie.

Read More: Hell’s Kitchen Season 6: Where Are The Chefs Now?