Danny Veltri was known for wearing a baseball cap backwards.
But there was nothing backwards about the way the self-described redneck from Florida handled the high-level competition on Fox’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen.’
A long shot, Veltri was named the season five winner, earning $250,000 and the head chef’s job at the Borgata Hotel & Spa in Atlantic City.
“Danny won ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ because in a very short period of time he grew more than any other chef I’ve ever seen,” said ‘Hell’s Kitchen’ star Gordon Ramsay. “He now has the talent and maturity to become a great head chef.”
In the finale, Veltri beat out the more experienced chef, Paula DaSilva. In typical reality show fashion, both were required to create one final dinner service in kitchens staffed by former contestants. Veltri offened some, including viewers, with his healthy egotism (“I’m a culinary prodigy,” he said). DaSilva’s staff curdled the creme brulee three times.
However, in the end, Ramsay called these the best kitchen services in the show’s history. He even cracked, “”Why the [BLEEP] didn’t you ever cook like that for me?”
“Paula was an insane competitor,” Veltri said afterward. “I just have to give it up to her.”
“It’s such a great blessing to have such a great opportunity,” he added. “It’s the best thing that has ever happened to me.”