Biting British chef Gordon Ramsay tutors and tortures 12 aspiring restaurateurs vying for their own eatery. In the opener, the hopefuls are split into two teams for an opening-night challenge that becomes a nightmare for the customers.
The teams compete in a squid-cleaning race for a dinner with---and cooked by---Gordon before enduring a day of training for the restaurant's second night. Unfortunately, the chef's lessons leave the patrons disgusted enough to take matters into their own hands.
The remaining chefs face their third night in the kitchen, which turns out to be someone's last stand after the pressure---and Gordon's goading---prove to be too much to handle. After that, a second wannabe is cut from the roster.
The players attempt to re-create Gordon's signature dishes for a discerning crowd at an L.A. eatery.
Tensions in the kitchen rise during an all-Italian night at the restaurant, where one of the teams plays dirtier than Ramsey's mouth and another makes a move that throws everyone for a loop.
The two teams must create their own menus for their sixth night at the restaurant, which ends with one more of the wannabes getting the boot. After that, a power failure adds to the tension as the teams are broken up for a night of preparing desserts in front of the diners.
The final four have to create a haute-cuisine meal made entirely of leftovers from the previous night's dinner service. The winner gets to cook alongside Ramsay on a national TV show, which raises the temperature in the kitchen even higher.
Gordon orders his final three hopefuls to serve their signature dishes to a dining room packed with their family members, which proves a little too daunting for one overworked contestant.
In the finale, Gordon's final two competitors try to impress the chef during a simulation that tests their ability to run a restaurant, including the kitchen, a staff and the front of the house. In addition, the eliminated wannabes return to play a part in the challenge. And perhaps wreak some havoc.
In this two-hour season finale Ramsay turns HK over to the battling duo by dividing the restaurant in half – with each wannabe chef choosing their own menu and decor. Each of the two finalists completes a dinner service with the concept and menu they designed.