Ten years after his first TV debut, local Chef Giovanni Filippone has returned to the kitchen — "Hell's Kitchen," that is.
Filippone appeared on Season 5 of the competitive reality show that began airing on Fox Jan. 29, 2009 as one of 16 chefs selected from 300 applicants.
During that season the show's star, Chef Gordon Ramsay berated Filipponi for not being able to cook rice, and declared him "the worst waiter in the history of 'Hell's Kitchen.'"
The night he was dismissed, Filippone was accused of purposely cooking another contestant's winning chicken dish poorly. He talked back to Ramsay when the chef called him a "dickface" along with other insults, and he placed a hot pan in the refrigerator to cool down, causing another contestant to burn his hand. But it was Filippone's verbal confrontation with him that Ramsay felt was unforgivable.
That season concluded May 14, 2009. Chef Daniel Veltri won that series and $250,000 in prize money.
Prior to returning to the "Hell's Kitchen," Filippone had no contact with Ramsay.
But 10 years later, when Hell's Kitchen called, Filippone jumped at the opportunity to return.
"I'm hoping to keep my cool a little better this time," said Filippone. "I've calmed down a bit."
In the 10 years since being on the show, Filippone has married and become a father to two daughters. He has been executive chef at The Vue on 30A where his famous TV chef's coat has hung on the wall for several years.
"I wanted to give it another shot and I wanted my kids to be able to see me on TV. You tell your kids to try try again when they don't make it the first time, so, when given the opportunity to do that yourself, you should take it," said Filippone. "So, basically, I did it for my kids."
The chef said he would probably never duplicate any dishes done on the show, but he would probably play off one of those dishes to do his own version for this area.
"It was fun. It's been 10 years. I did some things wrong the first time. It was fun to see people again," he said.
As for working under Ramsay again, Filippone commented, "The Chef says he's just an intensive guy. And, clearly, when you win a Michelin (Star) award, you expect the best out of everybody."
Filippone took a vacation in January to do the filming. The show will debut Sept. 29 on Fox.
Since Filippone is under contract not to reveal what happens on the show, viewers will have to wait until the series airs to learn his fate.
There will probably be a viewing party at The Vue, he said.