Most Hell’s Kitchen fans remember Keith as the “K-Grease” guy from season two, but this beloved chef actually passed away in 2012.
The second season of Hell’s Kitchen introduced many format changes which have now become a standard part of the show, years down the line.
This includes the introduction of two separate teams, which has really added another dimension to the competition.
However, sadly, the season’s third runner-up, Keith Greene, tragically passed away just a few years after appearing on the show.
All about Hell’s Kitchen season 2
Many of the reality television shows that we know and love today looked very different in their first few seasons, when they were just starting out. This is also true for Chef Gordon Ramsay’s high-stakes cooking competition show, Hell’s Kitchen.
The second season of Hell’s Kitchen, which first aired between June and August of 2006, was the very first season of the show to introduce the two-team format, which has now become a regular part of every season.
This season also only featured 12 contestants, who were first separated into the “blue” and “red” teams based on their genders.
The sad truth about what happened to Keith from Hell’s Kitchen season 2
Keith Greene, a sous-chef and bartender who was originally from Southampton in New York, signed up to be one of these 12 contestants who competed in the second season of Hell’s Kitchen.
Keith struggled with some of the challenges on the first few episodes of the season, but he was never nominated for elimination by his team members until week 9 of the competition.
As Keith’s time on Hell’s Kitchen progressed, this inexperienced chef slowly learned to reign in his attitude and focus on delivering really good food.
While most fans now mostly remember Keith for his unique style choices, and his signature K-Grease hand sign, he actually made it all the way to the top 3 by the end of the season.
Moreover, he was the first chef who Virginia chose for her final service team.
After leaving the show, Keith continued to work in the restaurant industry, and even took up the position of head chef at a few different eateries.
Sadly though, Keith’s life was tragically cut short just a few years after the second season of Hell’s Kitchen concluded.
Keith passed away on August 15, 2012, at the age of 35, after drowning at Wyandanch Beach during his routine morning swim.
Keith is survived by his wife Kristin and their two children, and he seems to have made quite the impact on everyone who knew him, both on and off the show.
What Keith did after Hell’s Kitchen season 2
Keith had already been well-known in the Southampton culinary community even before his run on Hell’s Kitchen, as he used to work in his mother’s restaurant, BK’s Southampton Restaurant and Saloon, and another restaurant called “Barristers,” when he was younger.
Thus, it made sense that he would continue to try and build his career in the area after his run on television.
Once the filming for season two of Hell’s Kitchen wrapped, Keith joined his cast mate, Heather, in working at JLX.
And thereafter, Keith took up the prestigious position of head chef at Schmidt’s Seafood Market in North Sea and Schmidt’s Market in Southampton Village.
Keith is not the only season 2 contestant who has passed away
Sadly, Keith is not the only season two contestant from Hell’s Kitchen who has passed away since the season concluded more than a decade ago.
Rachel Brown, who entered the competition as a personal chef from Dallas and ended up making it all the way to the fifth episode of the season, passed away just a year after filming had wrapped in May 2007.
What happened to all of the other contestants from season two of Hell’s Kitchen?
There is no denying that a lot has changed, both on and off the camera at Hell’s Kitchen, since the airing of this second season.
And many of the contestants who appeared on the show all these years ago have gone on to have extremely successful careers in the restaurant industry.
This includes Gabriel “Gabe” Gagliardi, Giacomo Alfieri, Virginia Dalbeck, Sara Horowitz, Paula Polly Holladay, Tom Pauley and Maribel Miller, who have all gone on to open their own restaurants or to pursue other careers in the culinary arts.
Heather West also held a few head chef positions before she decided to focus on raising her children. Garrett Telle and Larry Silk, on the other hand, have mostly stepped away from the public eye since the show’s second season finished airing.