Raucous British chef Gordon Ramsay returns for a third summer to both tutor and torture culinary wannabes, who will be divided into two teams (men vs. women) in this season opener. A job as a Las Vegas head chef for the winner lies ahead, but surviving Ramsay is a dubious task. The first contestant will be eliminated at the show's end.
Members of the men's and women's teams test their food preparation skills in a fish-related challenge. The winning team is rewarded with some important time outside the kitchen with Gordon Ramsay while the losing team is faced with an almost impossible task.
The remaining 10 competitors will be challenged to cook breakfast for a group of visiting service men and women. The winning team will receive a day of rest while the losers get clean up duty. During dinner prep, one members meal goes wrong and may be potentially poisonous. The next challenger is dismissed.
Day 4 tests the palates of the remaining chefs as they compete in a blindfolded taste test. The losers must face a difficult punishment while the winners dine with Chef Ramsay. At the dinner service, the dishes are critiqued and rated by the diners
The seven remaining chefs must purchase and prepare food for a wedding reception. The bride and groom must approve, and one presentation goes very badly. Later, a kitchen power struggle mars the dinner service
In an effort to foster gender equality, Melissa joins the men's team as it vies with the women to see which team can prepare better lobster dishes. But first they must hug the lobsters. At that evening's dinner service, one team has its worst night yet.
The final six remaining contestants must make appetizers and entrées from leftovers, a challenge Chef Ramsay always gives his chefs to test their creativity. Then the teams must come up with their own menus for the evening's dinner service. At dinner service the diners definitely prefer one team's menu; however, lack of teamwork and poor communication may spell the end for one contestant.
It's down to five chefs remaining in the competition as Chef Ramsay merges them into one team. In the next challenge the contestants are competing head to head with individual dishes to impress 100 hungry high school students. One winner (and a contestant of his or her choice) are rewarded with a trip to the Green Valley Ranch resort in Las Vegas. At dinner service, the night goes anything but smoothly as one chef is sent packing in the middle of dinner service.
Chef Ramsay starts the challenge by having his mother present her own mac 'n cheese and then producing his own more elegant version. Each of the five remaining contestants must take a randomly selected comfort food dish and re-create it as a gourmet version. A new surprise team of judges brings the contestants to tears.
As with the previous seasons, Hell's Kitchen is separated into two sides. Both chefs begin planning for their own side of the restaurant, including decor, staff uniforms and menus. One chooses an eclectic French bistro feel and the other opts for a clean decor with a southern-inspired menu. On one side of Hell's Kitchen, the ideas are flowing. On the other side, each decision is a struggle.
The two Hell's Kitchen finalists take opposite approaches in dealing with their staff. Chef Ramsay reviews the proposed dishes and presents the finalists with their own head chef's jackets in preparation for the final dinner service. At the end of the night, one finalist emerges the winner.