Hell’s Kitchen season 8: Where are they now?

Hell’s Kitchen season eight aired over 10 years ago with the winner, Nona Sivley growing her brand following the win with her own catering company business.

Hell’s Kitchen is one of the most popular culinary cooking shows on television, as it is fronted by leading celebrity chef and executive producer, Gordon Ramsay.

Having aired its first season in 2005, the show recently wrapped its twentieth season, with the show scheduled for a new season.

Considering the number of chefs who have participated in the show, the fans are constantly asking, what happened to the chefs? Similar to the intrigue as to what happened to the lives of the season eight chefs of the show.

Hell’s Kitchen: Season eight synopsis

Hell’s Kitchen season eight aired from September 2010 until December 2010. Steered by head judge and host, Gordon Ramsay, additional cast members included James Lukanik as the second Maître d’, Andrea ‘Andi’ van Willigan as the sous chef for the red team and Scott Leibfried as the sous chef for the blue team.

The season was shot with 16 contestants, who were all competing for the chance to be the Head Chef at the JW Marriott Hotel in Los Angeles (LA) and to be a spokesperson for Rosemount Estate Wines. The winner of that season would end up being Atlanta sous chef, Nona Sivley.

Hell’s Kitchen season 8: Where are they now?

Nona Sivley: From winner to business owner

Nona Sivley was not initial touted as the favourite to win the season when it first began. However, due to her passion for cooking and the improvement she experienced with her own skills, she won the season.

Following her win, her winning menu was added to the LA Market, where she was the head chef. She would stay in that position for three years, before deciding to move on.

Her decision to leave her position as head chef for the LA Market restaurant was fuelled by her mentor, Kerry Simon, who opened his own restaurant called Pork & Beans.

After successfully opening the business, Sivley left the business to start her own culinary business. She, along with her partner then opened their catering company, Sizzling Peach, which is still operational to this day.

Russell Kook II

Hell’s Kitchen season eight runner up was sous chef, Russell Kook II. While Kook is most remembered for his sour reaction towards losing, as he placed the blame on his team, it seems that the loss only fuelled his desire to run a successful restaurant.

Hence, Kook is now running the Chicago-based restaurant, Gibsons Bar & Steakhouse, which is a successful restaurant, as it was hiring in 2021, while other restaurants are attempting to stay afloat after the pandemic.

Besides his restaurant, Kook has steered his content to focus on new recipes that he tries out and shares through Instagram.

Other contestants from Hell’s Kitchen season 8

While the attention has remained on the final two contestants of season eight of the show, the other contestants of Hell’s Kitchen also went on to have successful careers in the culinary world.

Contestants that continued working as head chefs or sous chefs from the season include Vinny Accardi, Melissa Doney, Louis Repucci, Jillian Flathers, Boris Poleschuk and Gail Novenario.

Each of these season eight contestants returned to doing their first love, which was cooking, despite their result on the show.

Season 8 contestants who took a different direction

Other contestants took a different direction after the season concluded, like Antonia Boregman, who went on to sell fabrics on Esty, and Emily Kutchins, who is now a food blogger. Other chefs like Rob McCue and Trevor McGrath, returned to television.

A sad story of one of the contestants is that of Sabrina Brimhall. Brimhall is reported to have quit professionally cooking, after the passing of her father. She now reportedly volunteers in her community.

Final Thoughts

Looking at how all the contestants from Hell’s Kitchen are able to leverage their time on the show to carve careers continues to affirm why the show is so popular.

Besides the moments of high intense drama and emotional outbursts by Gordon Ramsay, it is beneficial for the contestants. This is evident not only with all the contestants, but also with the winner and runner up of the show.

Nona Sivley and Russell Kook II, have both gone on to have successful careers following their time on show. Sivlley has even shared her gleaned knowledge through helping open Pork & Beans.

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