The Truth About Nicole Hanna From Hell's Kitchen Season 19

Twenty-seven-year-old Nicole Hanna is one of the youngest contestants on Hell's Kitchen season 19. "I struggled in the beginning with feeling worthy of my place there," she told North Jersey. But that doesn't mean she flopped. Apart from learning how to cook a mean risotto and spectacular scallops, Hanna also got a job out of her time at the series. When the young chef began Hell's Kitchen, she'd been working as a cook at Wolfe's Tavern in the sleepy town of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, population 6,389 (via Laconia Daily Sun and New Hampshire Employment Security). Hanna's now moved on to the MC Hotel in Montclair, New Jersey, a job she took to learn from fellow show contestant Amber Lancaster.

She remembers her time at Wolfe's Tavern and the restaurant's commitment to making "family meals" fondly. "I used it as an opportunity to challenge my creativity with limited ingredients and limited time to make something delicious," she reflects on Instagram, "I settled into the ideology that sharing family meal before a dinner service is something we as chefs and cooks can do to unite the team and show love and respect for our coworkers and what they contribute to the restaurant."

A young, gender-conscious entrepreneur

Nicole Hanna may be young, but she knows what she wants: a life full of cured meats, artisanal cheeses, and wine; a job in a busy kitchen, and a beautiful uniform that fits (via Instagram).
In other words, she's a woman on a mission. Self-described as "happiest when I am in a professional kitchen under great stress five minutes before close making 15 meals at once" (via Instagram), Hanna doesn't rest after her shifts end. The chef (and former brain injury specialist) spends her spare time as CEO of Yellow Jacket Chef Wear, a cooking uniform company tailored to women in the food industry. 

Yellow Jacket Chef Wear is a passion project, born out of Hanna's frustration that women and their curves are "utterly ignored" in chefs' uniform manufacturing. Her up-and-coming line of professional wear for women chefs is designed, as per her Instagram announcement, to provide women with "jackets that take curves and shape into consideration, jackets that look sleek and professional, jackets that are ONLY for us."