Hell's Kitchen's Paula, Danny and Gio Interviewed

Hell's Kitchen is heating up and three of the six chefs left are Florida based. We spoke to Paula, Danny and Gio back when the first episode was set to drop, so being that all three are still in the running we decided to get up with them and see what was going on. We spoke to all three by phone and here are some memorable quotes.

"I haven't been on the whipping end (of celebrity), no hate mail, lots of support from fans of the show, it's really nice, it's different for me. Your life is kind of put out there, strangers think you're great and want to engage you in conversation, it's odd, the privacy end of it."
                            - Chef Paula Dasilva

Here's what Danny and Gio had to say...

I don't get recognized that much, I changed my look, no more highlights, lost about 10 pounds and I'm livin in paradise (Destin, Florida).

I guess it's flattering when people write about me, I didn't do it to get recognized, I did it to see what I can do.

 A kitchen's a team no matter how great a chef is; your oeople have to wanna work as a team and not as individuals.

NewTimes: Who washes dishes in Hell's Kitchen?

Gio: We clean and scrub. There's pot washers and stuff like that, but we maintain the cleanliness of our own kitchen.

NewTimes: Who are those background chefs I see on the show and what do they do?

Gio: That's Chef Gloria, and Chef Scott, they're sous chefs, they oversee everything we do. Lotta people don't realize we're down there at least 16 hours a day. From bright and early in the morning til late at night. Very long days, down there in that kitchen.

NewTimes: Would you ever sign an endorsement deal for a pasta sauce?

Gio: If a deal came like that I would look into that. Let's be honest, we all don't wanna be famous but I'm sure we all wanna be rich or comfortable. But I would have to taste the product and approve of it if it came out of a jar. I got morals, either that or I'm half nuts I don't know.

Danny: I've always had extra pressure on me. People count you out off the bat like 'oh, look at this young punk, he doesn't have experience,' I got in this business at age 14. I marched up to a restaurant and I got myself a job scrubbing pots as soon as Florida labor laws would let me. I've always taken extreme passion in what I do, and I'm capable of doing a lot, and running the hell out of a kitchen. It's rewarding to come out of the gates real strong and show people what I'm made of and its nice to prove them wrong.

Right now I'm one of the executive chefs at Flip Flops Grill & Chill, me and my buddy Erik Amalfitano share the title.

If I win, I'm absoulutely ready. I'm just trying to get my act together here and open that door if somebody comes knocking, just pushing myself and trying to think outside the box. This is it man, this could be the launching of my career so I'm going take it for everything it's worth.

In the beginning I could get away, now especially in my town cause it's kinda small, now, it's like everywhere I go, even the produce stand, it's like I can't go anywhere, what used to take me 10 minutes now takes me 30 minutes cause I gotta stop and talk to everybody. It's taking some adjusting man. You think that you would feel differently once you're famous on tv, I guess not man, basically I feel like I just took a job out in LA for a few weeks, they filmed it and now it's on tv. It's wild to get a grasp on.

It's crazy, you could get me anywhere in the world, it's surreal, I can't make sense of it. The internet is everywhere, my bro is in Japan, in the Air Force, and that's how he's able to watch

I'm really just trying to work on cool edible garnishes that nobody's ever done before, that works into the dish, that complements the dish. Real funky, crazy garnishes that nobody's ever seen before, just trying to work on that.

Check Out Hell's Kitchen on FOX Television Thursdays, or Watch All The Full Episodes Here Through The FOX On Demand Player.

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Jacob Katel