It’s been more than nine months since Rumors Bar & Grill’s executive chef Robyn Almodovar traveled back to Los Angeles to tape “Hell’s Kitchen: All Stars,” but on Friday, Sept. 29 viewers will finally see how she fared in her second run-in with celebrity chef and host Gordon Ramsay.
“You come back from the filming in La La Land, you’ve been gone for months, you can’t tell anyone, and then you seem to forget about it a little bit,” explained Almodovar, who has also competed on the Food Network’s “Chopped” and “Cutthroat Kitchen.”
“Now it’s becoming more real. I know what exactly happened, but I have no idea how the world will see it because there’s editing. I’ll be watching the show for the first time with everyone, as well,” she added.
The Brooklyn native first appeared on Ramsay’s popular reality cooking competition seven seasons ago and feels the experience was influential on her career.
“I’ve wanted to go back to show the world how much I’ve grown as a chef,” Almodovar said.
Filming these shows can be a grueling experience for competitors.
“We’re working 24/7, filming every day. (The producers) are putting together what they need for each episode’s storyline and then it gets stretched out for 17 weeks or however many episodes they need for the season,” she said.
When the shows finally air, the biggest frustration for competitors like Almodovar are the mean comments viewers frequently post online after each episode.
“There are a lot of trolls out there that watch the show and ridicule the contestants. There’s a lot of negativity,” she said. “The first time I was on the show, there were so many negative comments. They have no idea what you’ve gone through; instead, maybe they should watch the show and learn something.”
By comparison, Ramsay, who is portrayed on the show as foul-mouthed and confrontational, doesn’t seem nearly so nasty.
“Gordon is really serious when he’s in the kitchen. There’s an attention to detail, focus, passion, ambition—just like I’m serious in my kitchen. With him, it’s all about communication, especially in the kitchen, and everybody being on the same page,” she said. “It’s hard work, dedication, passion, patience. As a chef, you always strive to be the best when perfection is hard to achieve.”
Years ago, Almodovar might never have imagined herself facing the heat in any kitchen, let alone one on television. She initially pursued nursing and cosmetology, but a late-night commercial for the famed Le Cordon Bleu cooking school captured her attention and the rest is history.
She is now one of the leading chefs in South Florida, owns Palate Party, a popular food truck, and will be returning to television. Each Friday evening, she will be hosting watch parties at the Wilton Manors bar and grill for friends and fans.
“They might just see a different Robyn. Everyone remembers me from the last time,” she promised. “There are 16 fantastic all-stars, the first in ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ history, I would not want to miss it.”
“Hell’s Kitchen: All Stars,” featuring Robyn Almodovar, premieres on Friday, Sept. 29 on Fox. Check local listings for channels and show times.