When Jean-Phillipe left Hell’s Kitchen, fans were shocked. They’re curious about what his life after the show is like. Is he close to Chef Ramsay?
The screaming, yelling, and heat of Hell’s Kitchen is back with season 19. Gordon Ramsay is bringing the long-awaited season to fans from Las Vegas. So long, converted warehouse in Los Angeles! After a hiatus that lasted for more than two years, the series is finally back and chefs are battling it out for $250k, plus an executive chef position at the Hell’s Kitchen Lake Tahoe Restaurant. This season’s contestants are top-notch talent who promise to deliver pure entertainment. Chef Ramsay’s support staff is also exciting this season. Chef Christina Wilson is back for her fourth season as the Red Team’s sous chef and Jason Santos (season 7’s runner-up) is back with his blue hair as the Blue Team’s sous chef. Amid so many fun and familiar faces, viewers have to wonder what happened to some of their favorite Hell’s Kitchen cast members, including the iconic Jean-Philippe Susilovic.
Maîtres d’hôtel are commonly known as a maître d’s and there is little talk about these HK cast members, simply because these pros typically do their jobs so well. While working at the front of the house on Hell’s Kitchen, a maître d’ will greet guests, seat guests, and take their order tickets directly to Gordon Ramsay. These front of house workers will generally keep the house in order while the kitchen struggles to serve customers. Though viewers do love the current maître d’, Marino “Subito!” Monferrato, most fans consider Jean-Philippe the best maître d’ in Hell’s Kitchen history. He was there for some shocking chef eliminations. Susilovic held the position for the first seven seasons and then returned for seasons eleven and twelve.
The mild-mannered Belgian Jean-Philippe has an impressive resumé as a maître d’hôtel at some of the world’s (and Ramsay’s) best Michelin-starred restaurants. He first met Ramsay in Cannes at the famed La Palme d’Or restaurant. He was 17 and Gordon was 25. Gordon was there to pick up some ideas for opening his very first restaurant, Aubergine. They’ve been a dynamic duo ever since. However, Jean-Philippe really made his mark on the HK world in season one. In the tenth episode of that season, a chef named Ralph called the maître d’ “Jean-Pierre” so many times that Jean-Philippe lost it, telling Ralph: “If you call me one more time Jean-Pierre, I’m gonna kill you.” From then on, Jean-Philippe was a Hell’s Kitchen fan favorite.
Sadly, after season seven, Jean-Philippe left Hell’s Kitchen. He then served as the restaurant director of Ramsay’s London eatery, Pétrus. He then met someone he loved in Belgium, so he decided to return to his home permanently. In Belgium, he opened his own restaurant, Bentley’s. Thinking his HK time was truly over, he discovered that he was missed, and was asked to return. He did come back for seasons eleven and twelve and then left again. The reason for his departure was never explained.
After Hell’s Kitchen (fans love looking at restaurant’s prices online) season seven, Ramsay took to Twitter to soothe fans who were worried about what happened to Jean-Philippe. He told them, “for everyone asking about why Jean-Philippe’s not in Hell’s Kitchen, he’s back working as Restaurant Manager at Pétrus in London…” However, after season twelve, there were no tweets and no news. Rumors swirled that Jean-Philippe’s back trouble flared up. He’d broken his back falling out of his window in 2005. Some thought he simply got tired of sweating in the heat of Hell’s Kitchen. In a 2013 interview, Jean-Philippe said of the show, “I always feel sorry for the chefs with genuine talent who have a mental meltdown in the middle of the show, not realizing that they have what it takes to win. The last weeks are crazy as some chefs are really tired and make some silly mistakes. Sometimes it feels like Formula One races with many crashes.”
Maybe it was simply time for him to leave the race behind. Whatever the reason, fans of the show really miss him.
Next: Hell’s Kitchen: Everything To Know About Nicole Hanna From Season 19
Hell’s Kitchen airs Thursdays at 8pm ET on Fox
Sources: Carter Matt, Reality Wanted, Fandom
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