Ariel Malone was crowned the winner of Hell’s Kitchen season 15, defeating Chicago line cook Kristin Barone for the coveted title, a head chef position at BLT Steak at Bally’s Las Vegas and $250,000. 

'Hell's Kitchen' Winner Ariel Malone: ' I'm Excited to Create a Better Life'

“I’m living proof that hard work and believing in yourself can make dreams come true,” Malone said on following her victory. “Winning Hell’s Kitchen is an unbelievable honor and I’m happy that I get to make a living doing what I love. With this opportunity, I’m excited to create a better life for my present and future family.”

Malone,  a 27-year-old country club chef from Hackensack, N.J.,  struggled a bit during Friday night’s finale as she lost the weekly challenge to Barone by a half-point. However, Malone became more confident towards the final dinner service, where she created her own menu and led a team of past competitors. Chef Gordon Ramsay said it was one of the most difficult final decisions he’s had to make, but ultimately named Malone the winner.

“Throughout the competition, Ariel demonstrated that she was a both a leader and a true powerhouse in the kitchen,” said Ramsey. “She exemplified impressive culinary skills and proved to be creative, ambitious, and quick on her feet no matter what was thrown her way.”

(Image courtesy of FOX)

Dean Bextor

Staff Writer, BuddyTV