The 5 Best And 5 Worst Celeb Chef Hot Ones Interviews

Host Sean Evans of the iconic YouTube show "Hot Ones" interviews all types of famous folks, but we've hunted through hours of video to find the best and worst celebrity chefs to appear. The popular show has guests answering 10 questions while eating 10 increasingly spicy chicken wings — Evans eats them too! The carefully selected hot sauces range from a mild 1,200 Scoville units to over 2 million Scoville units. The show uses different hot sauce brands and flavors, including its own signature sauces like The Last Dab, whose heat is debatable. Each episode features the same progression of heat levels, creating hilarious and sometimes intense moments as guests navigate the spicy challenge while discussing their careers and personal stories.  

We've collated which "Hot Ones" episodes involving your favorite chefs you don't want to miss and which ones miss the mark in entertainment value. No one is watching "Hot Ones" to learn anything new. We're here to laugh, right? As some famous faces from foodie shows try some of the hottest sauces on the market, they sweat profusely, swear incessantly, belch, and drool their way through it ... it's rather dramatic! These 10 make it through the challenge, bar one, unlike these 11 celebrities who couldn't handle the heat.

This year "the show with hot questions and even hotter wings" celebrates 300 episodes. Join us as we travel the fiery gauntlet of "Hot Ones" celebrity chef challenges from Gordon Ramsay and David Chang to Guy Fieri and Rachel Ray. 

Best: Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay's appearance on "Hot Ones" is by far the most hilarious episode in the show's history. Could it be a pop culture classic? It earned the YouTube channel half a million new subscribers in one week and is currently the show's most-watched episode with 124 million views and counting. In the 2019 interview, Ramsay is, well ... Ramsay! He is animated, quick-witted, and foul-mouthed. His personality even ramps up as the hot sauces intensify. Despite the drama, he answers personal questions, like what he thinks about his chef mentors, in an open and laid-back way.

In true Ramsay style, he starts by harshly critiquing how the chicken wings are overcooked, saying they're like eating "a mouthful of [expletive] sand." Speaking of expletives, he drops 135 F-bombs in 31 minutes along with a host of other choice words (someone counted). Like a culinary Mary Poppins, Ramsay keeps pulling out a variety of aids he brought along to quell the heat that's got him sweating, blowing his nose, and wiping his eyes. After wing No. 8, he whips out a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, pours the pink sludge into a tall glass, and downs it! To show he is a complete professional, the celeb chef then gives a demo on how to cook perfectly scrambled eggs, coughing, cursing, and belching through the tutorial.

Best: Eddie Huang

Why do we enjoy watching "Hot Ones"? One of the reasons must be that we're waiting for the celebrity guests to lose their composure as they eat their way up the hot wings escalator. We're waiting for things to fall apart as the hot sauce gets hotter — like on the episode with actress Audrey Plaza where her eyes start streaming and she tries to snort milk. In the "Hot Ones" episode with Eddie Huang, the author, restaurateur, and TV personality does the unthinkable — he starts the wrong way, with the hottest chicken wing first. Laced with Blair's Mega Death Sauce with Liquid Rage, this wing has a Scoville level of 550,000 units. 

It was "one of the boldest moves in 'Hot Ones' history," the First We Feast site says in the episode's description. It also means that you don't have to watch 15 minutes of content before Huang self-implodes after only two wings. Within the first few minutes, he's flailing. He downs over a liter of water and needs to run to the bathroom. You may know Huang from his memoir, "Fresh Off the Boat," his restaurant BaoHaus in New York, or the Viceland show "Huang's World," which the late chef and author Anthony Bourdain once said was one of the few TV food shows he would watch. "No one's ever flamed out that fast in 'Hot Ones' history — ever," host Sean Evans says during the show.

Best: Rachael Ray

The "Hot Ones" interview with TV chef and talk show host Rachael Ray is wholesome. Ray is hardcore — she doesn't eat any chicken wings. She tries each of the sauces with a spoon. And she drinks no water or milk to ease the burn. The true reason to watch her episode, however, is not so much for Ray's responses to the hot sauce but for those from host Sean Evans. After the duo chews the fat about how she came up with the term yummo and that Green Day is her favorite rock band, they hit hot sauce No. 8. It's infamously called Da Bomb and is well-known by "Hot Ones" fans for taking out many guests. Soon, Ray starts flapping her hands to try to cool down. While telling Evans about her sexy photoshoot for men's magazine FHM in her late 30s, she says she's starting to drool.

By hot sauce No. 9, Evans is red in the face and taking deep breaths. Ray is coughing, dizzy, and out of breath. When Evans mistakenly pours too much hot sauce on wing No. 10, it signals the death knell for him. The show becomes pure theater. Evans is glistening and can hardly get his last question out because he's in so much pain. Ray is breathless, hollering, and dabbing spilled hot sauce off her chin and onto her chest and nose -– she's going to feel that later. It's a hot mess.

Best: Binging with Babish (Andrew Rea)

Inspired by an episode of "The Simpsons" where Homer coats his mouth in wax before eating a Guatemalan hot pepper, YouTube star Andrew Rea from "Binging with Babish" decides to do the same in his episode of "Hot Ones." If you enjoy films and food, you will enjoy this interview. Rea's claim to fame is a cooking show where he recreates recipes from well-known movies and TV shows.

The episode begins with Rea showing off his culinary skills — he must recreate the "Hot Ones" chicken wings after all. He's rather handy in the kitchen. Here's why this episode is worth the watch. The cook talks about recreating the lava cake and pasta aioli from the 2014 movie "Chef." The episode heats up with the candle wax, of course (which Rea says he bought from a sex shop). Rea starts hiccupping uncontrollably after trying Da Bomb hot sauce, which he has a core memory of eating in college. In a rare move, host Sean Evans starts crying because he gets hot sauce in his eye, and it's quite entertaining to watch the normally composed Evans desperately rinse his eye with a glass of water. Despite all the moments of heat, the two have an engaging conversation — and Rea gets a tattoo of a fire-breathing chicken at the end.

Best: David Chang

David Chang has cool-dude energy. He brought ramen to the East Village and was awarded two Michelin stars for his limited-seated fine dining experience at Momofuku Ko. The New York Times describes him as a "bad-boy chef." He's written interesting books, starred in travel food shows like "Ugly Delicious" on Netflix, and has hosted a podcast for several years. He's one of our contemporary celebrity chefs who appeals to a younger generation. He cusses, and he's chill. We like Chang in his "Hot Ones" appearance because sweat is dripping off his charming, dimpled face as he drops words of wisdom about supporting the restaurant industry and about hating on pumpkin pie.

"Nobody eats it any other time of year, right? Nothing gets me more worked up than [expletive] pumpkin pie," he says. "It should be barred." Chang constantly towels his head with his napkin because he's glowing from the heat. When he gets to No. 8, Da Bomb hot sauce, he says the effect is similar to psychedelic mushrooms kicking in. Independent restaurants need our support, and Chang suggests the best way to do this is to choose three to five restaurants to support and rotate the last option constantly. That way, he explains, "when you get to know the proprietors of the restaurant, the people that work there, you get treated like family." Chang goes out with a bang and douses his last wing with the hottest sauce. Bad call, Chang, bad call.

Worst: Tom Colicchio

As we move from the best to the worst episodes featuring celebrity chefs, we assess the "Hot Ones" shows with less drama but more conversation. Snore. First You Feast calls this "Hot Ones" episode with "Top" Chef" judge Tom Colicchio "the most adult episode of 'Hot Ones' to date." Although it's not that animated, we like Colicchio's interview. He samples his first "Hot Ones" chicken wing, and as if by knee-jerk reaction, the TV judge gives a thorough assessment of the sauce's flavor profile. 

Also, his temporary memory loss from the heat of the hot sauce is chuckle-worthy, and his rapid-fire Q&A with host Sean Evans (while he hits the Mad Dog sauce with 357,000 Scoville units) takes us down Colicchio's favorite "Top Chef" memories –- which is heartwarming in the absence of heat antics. Did you know Colicchio almost starred in the "Sex and the City" series on HBO?

He also offers a refreshing take on tipping restaurant waitstaff. Tipping has gone off the charts lately with tips for kitchen servers being requested on bills. (Since when do we tip the kitchen staff, too?) Here's what Colicchio says about tipping that is so attention-grabbing: "Why should we leave it up to 100 to 200 people a night who come into the restaurant to decide how my employees are going to get paid and how much they're going to get paid? ... it's an outdated model." See? More conversation, less drama.

Worst: Andrew Zimmern

Post-COVID, the former host of "Bizarre Foods" had a style upgrade, and it looks good on him. Sporting a long grey beard and thick-rimmed glasses, Andrew Zimmern makes his appearance on the set of "Hot Ones." Unlike other more convulsive episodes of the series, this one is quite the opposite: It lands like a soothing podcast. Zimmern's easy-going manner makes him a pleasant listen, and though lacking in drama, the chef compensates with a relaxed demeanor and reflection on his life experiences. It's by no means entertaining, but if you're looking for a soundtrack to sleep to, this might work. 

It's interesting to hear about the parallels in Zimmern's career with those of Anthony Bourdain, who had several shows, and Adam Richman from "Man vs Food." Zimmern also drops a joke about the infamous hot sauce called Da Bomb being "hotter than a crack pipe on payday," which got a laugh out of us. Zimmern has been open about his struggles with substance abuse so we appreciate him poking fun and keeping it real. 

Another laugh was when host Sean Evans dropped an involuntary sigh before digging into the next dangerous hot sauce, and Zimmern said: "I don't like it when you make noises like that." It's like seeing the panic on an air steward's face during turbulence. We get it, Zimmern. Although lacking in circus antics, the episode is enjoyable all the same.

Worst: Guy Fieri

The charismatic Guy Fieri has racked up over 12 million views on his "Hot Ones" episode on YouTube. We're not sure why. It's probably because the former host of "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" has such a loyal following. His big personality and loud cooking style won't appeal if you have a refined palate. And that's it ... if you're not into Fieri, why would you put up with 20 minutes of him if he's not even sweating, falling off his chair, or being thrown off kilter in any way? Unfortunately, the heat doesn't get to him. Fieri takes no hits as he motors through the hot sauce tasting, so it's a pedestrian Q&A. 

If Fieri's your thing, and you're interested in what he has to say, you'll enjoy this episode ... otherwise, it's the usual Fieri vibe. If you make it to the end of the interview (or scroll ahead), Fieri does save himself at the show's closing. He is given 10 seconds of self-promotion, and what does he do? The opposite. Fieri leaves viewers with a strong parting message: "Teach your kids to cook ... I'm in the restaurant business. But we need to have a time and a place. And we need to teach kids the core fundamentals of cooking. It's a life skill." We're with you on that, Fieri. Despite our misgivings about this "Hot Ones" episode, Fieri does go through the hot wings gauntlet without touching his glass of water or milk once. 

Worst: Alton Brown

It's to be expected that Alton Brown's appearance on "Hot Ones" would be quite serious, and he doesn't disappoint on that front. Many millennials grew up watching Brown on his show "Good Eats" which aired in the 1990s, and more recently as the host of "Iron Chef America." In true Brown fashion, he critiques each hot sauce on the show. He also drops a truth bomb about hot sauce that doesn't go unappreciated by me, and well ... he wears a suit. That's worth noting — who wears a suit on "Hot Ones?"

If you're here for laughs, you won't find any. As he works his way through all 10 sauces, Brown breaks down the flavors he's picking up and rates whether he thinks the sauce is good or not. Bravo, Brown! He also stays true to form with his dry sense of humor. Brown ends his segment by quipping, "Fun show. Next time try to get something hot, though."

Worst: Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi doesn't break a sweat or lose her composure once during her hot sauce challenge on "Hot Ones." As viewers, we're here for the drama: the blood, sweat, and tears. Lakshmi doesn't deliver on that front. She works her way through the gauntlet of hot sauces and comes out a champion — hurrah for you, Lakshmi, but it's not entertaining. If you're a Padma Lakshmi fan, then you'll enjoy these 17 minutes of pure Lakshmi elegance. If not, skip to the next episode, but not before hearing her give host Sean Evans valuable advice on caring for his gut.

Do you want to know about the gut health trick? Evans literally wrote it down. Lakshmi, the host and judge on the reality television show "Top Chef," has to sample a lot of food in her work and a variety of it. To line her stomach and help her enzymes along, Lakshmi swears by a homemade cranberry elixir she drinks before food tastings. It's 14 minutes into her interview if you want the recipe. That was the highlight of her "Hot Ones" debut.