Exclusive Interview: Rock Harper, Winner of 'Hell's Kitchen'
Exclusive Interview: Rock Harper, Winner of 'Hell's Kitchen'
On last night's season finale of Hell's Kitchen, Chef Gordon Ramsay chose Rock Harper over Bonnie Muirhead.  As the winner, Rock will become the head chef at the Green Valley Ranch in Las Vegas.  While Bonnie has had her ups and downs throughout the season, and landed in the bottom three times, Rock has performed efficiently and consistently.  This opportunity has changed his life as well as his family's and he talked to BuddyTV today about his time on Hell's Kitchen.

Below, you will find the complete transcript as well as an mp3 of the interview.

Hey guys, this is Gina from BuddyTV and I am here with the winner of Hell’s Kitchen, Rock. Rock, congratulationss, I’m so happy for you.

Thank you very much and I appreciate it. It’s definitely good to be on with you.

Tell me, is cooking something you’ve always been passionate about growing up?

Absolutely, I just love entertaining and seeing people smile and having a great time at the hands of something as simple as food. That’s a very fulfilling thing for me.

And when you first started the competition, how did you feel you stacked up against everybody else?

I was very, very confident when I first started. Brad and Melissa really impressed me early. I thought Tiffany was my biggest competition until she got sent home on the first day. But Brad and Melissa were very impressive to me, but I was confident all along.

What did you think was the most stressful part about being on the show?

Probably the most stressful moment was just that last service. I was confident, I came across as very confident, but just that time – as soon as the service was over and just waiting at that door – that whole day, that whole last day was stressful.

And as it always goes on shows like this, the people who were already eliminated, they come back to help at the end. Were you excited to have your old teammates come back for that final dinner service?

You know what, I was very excited, I just didn’t know how Brad would receive me because we had those words when he left, and I was like “Man, that could come back to haunt me.” I’ve seen other shows with people holding people for hostage and stuff, or sabotaging, but I was really excited to see the guys that came back. It couldn’t have been further from that, Brad was the reason why I won.

I was gonna say, Josh could’ve cost you the win on last night’s episode. How do you maintain your cool when someone just keeps screwing it up?

You know what, I got a lot more respect for Chef Ramsay, or more empathy, after being in that position that you saw last night. But you just have to stay poised or stay consistant and stay on top of it otherwise it can go. But you gotta have that driving force. No matter how good you are up there expediting, you have to have someone back there within the brigade as a cook that’s resonating the same thing you are, resonating the same tone. And Brad did that. If it wasn’t for Brad, I’ll say it again, I wouldn’t be talking to you today in this position.

Now going into that finale, Bonnie had won the last challenge. Did you feel nervous going up against her, did you think she would win the whole thing against you

You mean the challenge or the whole thing?

The whole thing.

Bonnie was there for a reason, no matter what I was just aware that she had the same opportunity to win that I did. I totally respected her and her ability and I knew I had to be as best I could. I didn’t know what Chef Ramsay was looking for, totally. So he was gonna make the final decision, the comment cards were gonna make the final decision. So I just had to give her respect, but at the same token, just be great, because I had no control over what happened in her kitchen.

And have you gone out to Vegas yet, or how do you feel about relocating out there?

I feel great about it. I’m not out there yet, we’ll be out there September 10 at Terra Verde, and I feel great. It’s hot, I know that. I heard it was like 110 the other day.

Bring your shorts.

But I’m ready for it. I couldn’t be more ready. I’m pumped

I was gonna ask you, on a final note, what does it mean to you to win Hell’s Kitchen, and how does this change your life?

Wow, I don’t know yet. I know that I can’t…I’m being noticed everywhere, but I don’t know how it’s gonna change totally. What it means for me – it means it’s a beginning. I know I won, but it’s definitely a beginning and I wanna be an inspiration to other people, younger people, whoever. I want this to mean something to someone else. Money is great, I’ll take all of it. The fame is great too. But if you pass something on and pay it forward, I think that’s the most fulfilling aspect of anyone’s life and that’s what I hope to do.

Well, congratulations again, Rock. Everyone here is so happy for you, and we wish you success in Vegas.

Thank you, thank you, love you guys so much. I appreciate it, I check you out every day to see what’s going on, so thank you very much for the interview.

Have a great day, Rock.

- Gina Scarpa, BuddyTV Staff Writer

(Image courtesy of FOX)