The truth about Peter Martinez from Hell's Kitchen season 19

The 19th season of Fox's anxiety-inducing reality television show Hell's Kitchen is underway. Like previous seasons, this star vehicle for celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay looks to feature plenty of yelling (via YouTube) and the obligatory contestant tears (also via YouTube), but this season, the show is set for the first time in an actual restaurant. Conveniently enough, that restaurant is Ramsay's own aptly-named Hell's Kitchen at the Caesars Palace hotel in Las Vegas.

Eighteen contestants are competing, according to Gold Derby. As is custom, Ramsey will eliminate contestants each week until only the winner remains. He or she will win $250,000 and a stint as head chef of the Hell's Kitchen restaurant in Lake Tahoe, NV (via IMDb). One of those lucky competitors is Peter Martinez, who hails from Palisades Park, NJ, and owns the business Digital Food Truck, which delivers Martinez's catered meals to people's homes (via LinkedIn).

Martinez is the rare humble chef

Working up the hospitality ladder from a job at Whole Foods to a chef de cuisine position in Edgewater, NJ, Martinez never had it easy. In an Instagram post from 2019, he said he got his first kitchen job going from restaurant to restaurant admitting he had no resume, but explaining he had the skills required to be an asset in their kitchen. He even took dishwashing jobs just to learn how restaurant ticket systems worked. Later, when he had the opportunity to go to culinary school, the self-taught Martinez thought he knew shortcuts the instructors weren't teaching, but he was humble enough to realize he had room to grow. He said, "They taught me short cuts is (sic) never the way for an exceptional chef."

It sounds as though Martinez had some tough mentors in his career, which must have prepared him for any heat Gordon Ramsay can dish out. On Instagram, Martinez thanked those who "kicked, bullied, pressured to be faster, stronger and better." (We hope the kicking was figurative!)

So far, Martinez seems to be one of the more likable contestants. His affable personality and the gorgeous Cuban-spiced ribeye that impressed Ramsey in episode one of season 19 make us eager to see more of him.