Gordon Ramsay is showing off his softer side.
The chef and TV host is known to be tough on his shows’ competitors, but there’s one Hell’s Kitchen contestant that impressed him enough to become the first of the winners that Ramsay actually hired.
Christina Wilson, the season 10 victor and current executive chef for the Gordon Ramsay Group’s restaurants in the U.S., has become a staple in Ramsay’s life since finding success on the series. As a way to thank her for her hard work, Ramsay teamed up with Houzz to make over the Philadelphia row house Wilson bought with her winnings.
“I’m gifting this incredible transformation of a house to Christina Wilson because this lady is so humble,” Ramsay said in the latest MyHouzz episode. “The amount of time she’s in the limelight, she’s asked for nothing, and this is the least I can do.”
The father of four enlisted help from local designer Matthew Ferrarini of Ferrarini & Co, as well as Wilson’s brother, Jon, and sister-in-law, Jenny. Together the crew completely overhauled her the first level of her pad, knocking down walls to create an open floor plan that leads from her living room to her dining area all the way through to the kitchen.
Of course it wouldn’t be a Ramsay project without a little drama — at one point he jokes that a light fixture Ferrarini picked out was “f*****g stupid” — but the end results were truly “breathtaking.”
The cramped layout in the old kitchen didn’t suit Wilson’s culinary prowess. New French doors leading to the outside, a commercial range and space-saving tricks, like an additional table that pulls out from the cabinets, ensure she has plenty of surface area to prep her meals. Exposed wood beams from the 1920s and blue paint reminiscent of the shade Ramsay has in his own home add a touch of modern personality.
“I cannot believe that this is the house that I’ve been in for the last six-and-a-half years,” Wilson said upon seeing the results. “I am just overwhelmed. I’ve never had such a generous gift given to me.”
But for Ramsay, his protégé was an obvious choice.
“Hopefully with this amazing gift she will understand how important she is, not just to me, but to my entire family,” he said. “There’s no chef more deserving.”