The Truth About Kiya Willhelm From Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns Season 1

When Fox's perennially popular "Hell's Kitchen" returns for its 20th season on May 31 (via Gold Derby), it's going to look different from previous seasons in several distinct ways. One way is that like Season 19, it was filmed in Las Vegas at the new Ceasars Entertainment Studios, rather than the usual Hollywood location. Though, new segments were shot in various places around Sin City, as Good Housekeeping reports. Another is that every single cast member will have been under the age of 24 at the time of filming, which explains the subtitle for "Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns." 

Host Gordon Ramsay addressed the young and hungry-to-cook competitors in a scene from the first episode of "Hells Kitchen: Young Guns" Season 1, saying, "You talented 18 are the future" (via YouTube). You can tell from the enthusiasm mixed with trepidation on these Young Guns' faces that they are fully aware that, indeed, their future, is at stake. But at least one of those Gen Zers appears to be ready to take the bull by the horns and carve a path to victory for her team, if not for herself as well. Here is the truth about go-getter Young Gun, Kiya Willhelm. 

Kiya Willhelm is ready to lead the red team

"It's clear that a leader voice is needed," Kiya Willhelm can be heard saying on a teaser for "Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns" Season 1, which is set to premiere on Fox on May 31, 2021. "I definitely consider myself a leader on the red team," she says (via YouTube). So who is "Young Guns" competitor Kiya Willhelm, and what might it be that contributes to Willhelm's high level of confidence in her ability to lead the red team in the direction of victory — not to mention, stay on the good side of the perpetually grouchy host, Gordon Ramsay?

It helps that Kiya Willhelm, who hails from Barrelville, Maryland is already an accomplished baker, per her Facebook page for Kiya's Kreations, which is her cake and dessert business. But the truth about what really may distinguish Willhelm from the rest of the cast of the first season of "Young Guns" is that while young, she is not at all new to cooking competitions. In fact, she participated in at least one that we know of: The "Chefs of Steel," which took place in April 2015 to benefit the Western Maryland Food Bank (via Facebook). Time will only tell if that local competition can give Willhelm a leg up.