Daytrippers: Hell’s Kitchen contestants in Connecticut

On this week's Daytrippers, we’re going to Hell.

Well, Hell’s Kitchen is more like it.

Three chefs , killin’ it on the dining scene here and around Connecticut, not only survived Gordon Ramsey and his outbursts, but have thrived in their own kitchens.

Season 6 player Van Hurd is in charge of the smoker at Taino Smokehouse in Middletown. He loves when fans of the show come visit for a great BBQ meal.

“I always like to take time out for anyone, especially if they know me – they look up to me. It’s an honor for me”.

His partner in crime on the same season, Kevin Cottle, is the Executive Chef at Fire at the Ridge atPowder Ridge Ski Resort which is a fantastic farm-to-table experience. He says when he was on the show nine years ago, “I was excited, nervous, I had no idea what was going to happen.”

He came in 2nd place, but is back for more this season, and he wants to take the top prize.

If he does, he’ll join a short list of successes that includes Meghan Dill, who won Hell’s Kitchen 3 years ago. After 2 years of working with Ramsey in Atlantic City (the show’s top prize), she struck out on her own path, and now is the Executive Chef at the Chandler Steakhouse at the MGM Springfield.

Meghan is new to the area, but not new to running kitchens, and says she learned a lot under Ramsey.

“You want to be pushed in life , to the point where you almost broke. It’s about how you get back up -- how you recover”, said Gill.

All three chefs are doing great, years after their experience on Hell’s Kitchen, but all three also admit they sometimes still hear Gordon Ramsey talking to them while they’re on the line. Sometimes good things – and sometimes not!

Said Hurd : “When you get real busy, there’s room to slip, sometimes I see his face, saying  'You know that’s not right Van – you gotta do the right thing."