MT. LEBANON, Pa.,None - Pittsburgh area chef Elise Wims, 26, is a contestant on the upcoming season of FOX’s “Hells Kitchen.”
I caught up with Wims at Andora in Mt. Lebanon, where she’s the executive chef of catering.
“I oversee all of the catering events and create menus for specialty events, such as weddings,” said Wims.
The Woodland Hills High School and Pennsylvania Culinary Institute graduate chatted with me about her job at Andora and “Hell’s Kitchen” a week before the premiere.
After several rounds of auditions, Wims found out she was one of 18 competitors on “Hell’s Kitchen” when a television crew showed up at her Swissvale home.
“They said, ‘Wait for a phone call,’ so I’m waiting for this phone call, and I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ I hear a knock at the door. There are all these cameras, and I was in pure shock,” said Wims.
LINK: Andora Website
LINK: "Hell's Kitchen" Website
Season nine of “Hell’s Kitchen” has already been shot in full, and Wims, of course, couldn’t reveal the outcome.
“I can say it’s a once in a lifetime experience. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about other people,” said Wims.
Wims has been cooking since she was 9 years old and is from a foodie family.
“My style is a fusion between Italian, French and Creole,” said Wims. “ My favorite thing to cook is anything seafood. I have a new dish that was put on the menu -- pesto seared scallops. It’s my signature dish that America will see during the premiere.”
While I was at Andora, Wims made me capellini pasta with jumbo shrimp, scallops, and spicy sausage in tomato and banana pepper cream. It was delicious!
Watch "Hell’s Kitchen" this season to find out if superstar chef Gordon Ramsay thinks Wims’ food is delicious too.
The show premieres July 18 on Fox.
Andora is hosting a premiere party for Wims. We’ll be there, along with her husband, Christopher, 4-year-old son, Christopher, and other family and friends.