How Christina Wilson Tricked McDonald's Into Letting Her Cook For Them

Celebrity chef Christina Wilson has had a rather interesting journey in the food industry. According to her website, she originally had her sights set on a degree in education. While studying at Temple University, the chef held down restaurant gigs to pay for college. Interestingly, these experiences made Wilson realize how much she enjoys being in a kitchen and set the way forward for her chosen career path. In 2005, she took a chance and worked as an unpaid apprentice at the Gypsy Saloon restaurant in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, proving her talent as a chef and eventually being promoted to the position of kitchen manager. 

Over the years, Wilson worked hard to expand her knowledge and get better at her craft, working with several respected establishments before competing on the reality show, Hell's Kitchen where she was crowned the season 10 winner. This opened up several doors for her as she worked as the head chef at the renowned restaurant, Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas. 

However, long before her date with culinary destiny, Wilson had a brush with a fast-food giant as a teenager. And the brand in question was McDonald's. Here's what happened.

Wilson used her wits to get sent to McDonald's kitchen

In an exclusive conversation with Mashed, Wilson revealed that she was keen on being financially independent at an early age, which meant that she never hesitated to hold down gigs during the summer. In fact, she was just 12-years-old when she started taking up full-time positions. This is how she ended up working at McDonald's at 16 years old. However, she was not assigned a role in the kitchen and worked at the register instead, something that she went to creative extremes to change.

"They wouldn't let me in the kitchen because I was fairly put together, I was articulate for a teenage kid, I was 16 at the time. I was articulate", explained Wilson. "I was really good at math." Apparently, she was so good at math that she could calculate how much trouble she would have to get in at the register to be sent to the kitchen. Wilson said, "I started giving away free food on purpose. I would get demerits on purpose because I knew if you got so many, you would get pulled from the register and put on the food side." This led to Wilson working on the grill to prepare breakfast items. She added that this was her first real glimpse of working in a kitchen setting. Thankfully, it wasn't her last.