Help me eat at Hell's Kitchen...please!
July 31, 2007 10:59 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a reservation at Hell's Kitchen (the restaurant on the Fox TV show) for the next season (2008)?

I know the restaurant is in L.A., and I have seen the previous Yahoo! Answers question on it (though the "best answer" is actually a restaurant in Las Vegas, not L.A.). Is it true that the only way to eat there is to have an invitation from the producers? If so, how does a regular person get to eat there? They've booted people from the restaurant before (watch some of the outtakes on, so surely they must let regular people in?

To be clear, I'm not looking for reservations for this season (I think the season is pretty much done); I want to go next year, for season 4. I've been a fan of Gordon Ramsey for a few years and it would be a dream come true to eat at all of his restaurants - I've got plans to visit his restaurants in London and New York, I'll eventually make it to Japan, but Hell's Kitchen is the one restaurant I can't seem to find anything on!

Thanks all.
posted by MeetMegan to Food & Drink (12 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
A friend of mine and his girl were on the show this season. They knew the casting director so that's how they got on. Maybe if you watch the credits carefully you can get the name of the casting director/company and send an inquiry for next season?

Also, he told me that the "restaurant" featured on the show is actually a soundstage in Culver City. :)
posted by shino-boy at 11:09 AM on July 31, 2007

Yeah the episodes from this season have been in the can for months. As for the Hell's Kitchen you see on TV...its a soundstage rather than a restaurant proper. It will only look that way for 6 to 8 weeks during the actual filming. Here is a site that was audition people for season 2. As for regular people on there, my guess is that almost all the interactions you see with the diners are either scripted or encouraged. For example in a previous season a table had a pizza delivered because of slow service. That seems hard to believe that an average joe could get a pizza delivered to a working soundstage on a studio lot during smacks of the producers being involved.

I think your best bet is to contact the production company to see what the scoop is for season 4 or be on the look out for LA based web sites that have listing for extras/reality casting in late winter/early spring. (I assume such web sites exist).
posted by mmascolino at 11:12 AM on July 31, 2007

I found a link to an old Craigslist posting for Hell's Kitchen patrons in this comment on the Television Without Pity forums. So maybe keep an eye on the LA Craigslist? Or ask around on the TWOP boards to see if anyone has any newer info.
posted by MsMolly at 12:14 PM on July 31, 2007

ask on chowhound. if it's not completely fake someone should know.
posted by krautland at 12:47 PM on July 31, 2007

Yeah, it's not an actual restaurant. Season one was on a sound stage that they converted into a restaurant, that had an exterior set-up as well. I believe it was on the corner of La Brea & Willoughby.

I was asked to be on the show by a friend who was casting it, and was desperate for diners.

If you want to get on, I'd first figure out when the next season is taping -- and then either scour Craigslist, or see if you can contact the casting company.
posted by donguanella at 1:02 PM on July 31, 2007

Sorry to derail, but Donguanella, did you do it?

If so, what was it like?
posted by Sheppagus at 1:41 PM on July 31, 2007

It was... interesting.

For TV, they fill the dining room with many more "patrons" then the chefs are actually cooking for. And there are two "seatings" per night. So, we ended up on the second seating, at one of the dummy tables. We got paid $50/each to sit there, eat Louise's take-out, and watch the madness unfold.

All-in-all, it was a really mellow, rainy, uneventful winter night. And the studio lights were hot.

We used our payment to go to a real dinner afterwards.
posted by donguanella at 2:39 PM on July 31, 2007

Best answer: A. Smith & Co. Productions are the folks behind casting, filming, pre- and post-production, etc. the show.

A nice letter (and/or "creative package") sent to Arthur Smith (CEO) and/or Kent Weed (President) might go a long way in securing a spot in the "dining room" during next season's filming.
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on July 31, 2007

FWIW -- a number of friends are "reality television" producers in L.A. -- and they are often "more-than-willing" to include fans (as well as family and friends) in their shows/productions than mere strangers.
posted by ericb at 3:47 PM on July 31, 2007

...and they are often "more-than-willing" to include fans (as well as family and friends) in their shows/productions than mere strangers. audience members for recap and "finals" shows, extras and fillers, etc. Nepotism and "fanaticism" does very little in securing you a spot as a participant in the actual show.
posted by ericb at 3:59 PM on July 31, 2007

Nitpick -- it's Gordon Ramsay.

BTW -- Conlin Company Casting still has an open "casting call" for the American version of his show, Kitchen Nightmares.
posted by ericb at 4:04 PM on July 31, 2007

Response by poster: Everyone had excellent answers, but ericb gets the win for actual contact information.

ericb - if you hear that any of your friends need Hell's Kitchen audience/guests, can you send 'em my way? And, thank you for correcting me; I noticed the error when I posted (I have a friend named Ramsey and it's easy to get confused). I am a little scared to watch the American version of Kitchen Nightmares - I'm afraid it'll turn me off from fine least with the British show I could say "well, that's in Britian"...
posted by MeetMegan at 5:44 PM on July 31, 2007

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