Chef Matt Talks About Hell's Kitchen

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

Our Oct. 30 cruise with Matt will include in-depth interviews on behind the scenes at Hell's Kitchen. We are sure the details will surprise you. Matt says as much as he is allowed to say in print below! For more details: Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise.

Matt Sigel from Hell's Kitchen is interviewed by our Culinary Editor Janice Wald Henderson Our own culinary expert meets our upcoming featured chef.

Chef Matt Sigel is an upcoming guest chef on the October 30, 2010 Norwegian Epic CruiseMates Group Cruise. Sigel was a contestant on "Hell's Kitchen" during Season Four, which aired in spring 2008. "Hell's Kitchen" stars über-chef Gordon Ramsay and is a highly successful unscripted television program airing on Fox. The show recently completed its seventh season. Our "Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise" sails Oct. 30, 2010 on the brand new Norwegian Epic.

Chef Ramsay puts wannabe star chefs through tough culinary challenges, with ongoing eliminations, until a winner is declared. Chef Matt Sigel made it to the final six contestants. Here is his take on life in "Hell's Kitchen."

Q: What was the best part of being a contestant on "Hell's Kitchen?"

A: Being able to work with Chef Gordon Ramsay. How many people can say they beat out 20,000 potential contestants for a chance to be on TV? It was a roller coaster, but an enjoyable one.

Q: What was the worst part?

A: There were a few things. Punishments were tough. When you lose a challenge, you have to do a punishment. Sometimes, it is cleaning dorms. Or carrying in truck deliveries or ironing tablecloths. And often, we were not well-fed. For instance, when we picked peppers in the hot sun, dressed in long-sleeve flannel shirts and overalls, then we were given sandwiches containing just one slice of bell pepper. That was lunch. Also, fellow contestants were looking to stab you in the back. There was a lack of teamwork.

Q: Tell us about a typical day when you were taping.

A: There was never really a non-taping day. We never got to relax. It was pretty much nonstop. They would wake us up. Once we were dressed, we were miked. We were on-camera 24/7. We wore microphones all the time, except when we were in the bathroom. There was probably 12 hours of taping a day. There are reasons why the show is called "Hell's Kitchen."

Q: Were you ever in isolation? If so, for how long, and how did you occupy your time?

A: I'd rather not talk about this topic.

Q: We were told you were allowed to watch TV on the weekends?

A: This topic is also something I don't want to cover. I will say this; we did not have any contact with our families. No cell phones, no radio, TV or computers. We had nothing but the bickering and complaining.

Q: Why do you think you weren't allowed to speak with fellow contestants off-camera?

A: There were never off-camera moments. If we were traveling and there were no cameras in the van, we were silent.

Our "Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise" sails Oct. 30, on Norwegian Epic. For details: Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise. For our previous interview and more Hell's Kitchen background see: Matt Sigel Sept. 2009

Q: How many contestants were there?

A: Perhaps 14 or 15. Some I never got to know. Some I wish I had never met.

Q: What number were you when you left the show?

A: I was the 10th person eliminated, but I made it to the final six.

Q: How did you feel when you left?

A: I was upset that I lost due to a migraine. I was in pain and gave up. But I was also relieved.

Q: Are you glad you participated in "Hell's Kitchen?"

A: Yes, because I love my fans and love being noticed on the street. The show gave me a large following, a fan base. I also had an opportunity to do something not many get to do. But it hasn't done what I thought it would do for my career. I'm looking for work. I'm also hoping to find the financial backing to help me with some of my culinary ideas.

Q: What do you think the show is really about - finding talent or entertainment? Or both?

A: For a chef, it's a challenge working with Gordon Ramsay. Or maybe it's something to prove. Feed an ego, perhaps. For the viewer, it's entertainment. Although some viewers say really nasty stuff about us on blogs. But you don't know us. It is tough doing what we do. "Hell's Kitchen" isn't an easy place to be.

Our "Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise" sails Oct. 30, on Norwegian Epic. For details: Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise. For our previous interview and more Hell's Kitchen background see: Matt Sigel Sept. 2009

Q: Do you think the most talented chef won the season you were on?

A: No, I do not. I feel the people with the most talent were Petrozza, Bobby, Ben, Vanessa, Jen and myself.

Q: How much do personality and/or looks play into who wins?

A: I have no idea. Christina used tears to get her way. Yet she forgot I was in her corner when she was crying when Corey tried to boot her off. But when my integrity got questioned, I was seen as the cry baby.

Q: Would you recommend other chefs to participate in the show?

A: Sure, they should go for it. If that is what they want.

Q: Why did you do this show?

A: I had just gotten married, and (he jokes) I wanted someone else to yell at me besides my wife.

Q: Would you do another reality show?

A: Yes. I want my own show. I love television and I love cooking. Hello, agents and casting directors. It's me, Chef Matty!

Our "Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise" sails Oct. 30, on Norwegian Epic. For details: Chef Matt Sigel Culinary Cruise. For our previous interview and more Hell's Kitchen background see: Matt Sigel Sept. 2009


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