Frenetic pace set in preparing Hell’s Kitchen for January opening
STATELINE, Nev. — Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen Lake Tahoe is set to open early next year on the South Shore.
It was first announced Aug. 29 that Ramsey would open the high-energy Hell’s Kitchen at Harveys Lake Tahoe in Stateline with his signature dishes such as the Pan Seared Scallops, Lobster Risotto, Beef Wellington, Crispy Skin Salmon and Sticky Toffee Pudding.
On Jan. 10, 2020, the restaurant will open to the public.
Chef Christina Wilson, season 10 winner of Fox’s hit show, plays a big role in getting the Ramsay’s restaurants up and running.
The Tribune had a sneak peak of Hell’s Kitchen Wednesday afternoon.
The restaurant already has a frenetic pace
The energy is already kinetic in the soon to be Hell’s Kitchen.
Construction workers move quickly putting on the final touches to the modern — yet “Tahoe style” — restaurant while several chefs are being trained in the kitchen.
Wilson, originally from Phillipsburg, New Jersey, was awarded the position of head chef at Gordon Ramsay Steak at the Paris Las Vegas with a salary of $250,000 for winning season 10.
Since then, Wilson is now the Corporate Executive Chef of Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group. With her title comes immense responsibility looking after the U.S division of Gordon Ramsay restaurants.
Wilson has been helping Ramsay open restaurant after restaurant, training head chefs and even working on the interior design of the restaurants.
Design of the restaurant is key to Wilson and Ramsay.
“I really have to learn about the area,” Wilson told the Tribune. Wilson previously was in Kansas City opening up a Gordon Ramsay steakhouse.
Staying true to Sage, Lake Tahoe style
Wilson explained that their vision for the Hell’s Kitchen in South Lake Tahoe was for it to be modern and sleek, but also encapsulate Tahoe’s culture.
“This is will be less modernized than the Hell’s Kitchen in Dubai,” she said.
Large wood beams in the ceiling were kept intact to preserve the Tahoe-style, combining it with a more modern style of bright blue and orange tiles. Photos of Gordon Ramsay and Hell’s Kitchen season winners hang on the walls around the restaurant.
“The design honors and gives an ode to Sage [the previous restaurant]” Wilson said.
Wilson explained that she and Ramsay wanted to keep the “lodgy feel” that Sage had.
Ramsay had an option to open Hell’s Kitchen at 19 Kitchen & Bar, which is known for its spectacular view on the 19th floor of the hotel, but he wanted to renew the history of Sage catering to locals.
“This is the place for locals in shoulder season where they want to celebrate birthdays,” Wilson said.
Jayson Behrendt has been a chef at most of Harrah’s and Harveys restaurants at one time or another, but now he’s the incoming executive chef for Hell’s Kitchen and will fully assume those responsibilities when Chef Wilson returns to her position as executive chef for the Gordon Ramsay Restaurant Group.
Wilson said that Ramsay sees the potential for Tahoe’s local culinary talent and wants to put a spotlight on other local restaurants around the Lake.
Ramsay also has his own interests at the lake and enjoys skiing.
“The slopes and the lake appeal to Ramsay on a personal level,” Wilson said.
Ramsay and Wilson have an appreciation for the food and beverage culture in Tahoe. In the last year, Wilson has visited Tahoe about five times trying out local restaurants, including Base Camp Pizza Co. in Heavenly Village.
Wilson explained how the idea of being on the slopes all day and going to a restaurant still in ski gear, tired and having a dinner by the fire pits is a cultural characteristic that makes Tahoe unique.
“It is such a cool community, I love it,” she said.
High standards, consistency and quality is what Wilson says makes Hell’s Kitchen stand apart from other restaurants.
There is a ton of training that goes into making the brand what it is today.
“All of us understand that we are on a stage,” Wilson said. “The DNA [of Hell’s Kitchen] is inspired by the reality show. And Ramsay is one of the most decorated chefs.”