Why Gordon Ramsay Never Yelled At Mary Lou Davis On Hell's Kitchen - Exclusive

Gordon Ramsay's insults can be brutal, especially when he spews them at contestants on "Hell's Kitchen." While these rants can certainly be entertaining, it might not feel that way to every "Hell's Kitchen" chef. But in Season 19, Ramsay never yelled at Mary Lou Davis, the season's popular runner-up. During an exclusive interview with Mashed, Davis mused about why the most she ever got from Ramsay was a gentle scolding and a stern glance.

 "He saw the fact that I would own up to any mistakes I made," Davis explained. "I was never about myself. I was always about the team." Many of the contestants on Season 19 were personal chefs and private chefs who focused more on themselves and individual dishes. Davis has worked in many restaurant kitchens, and going into the competition as a chef at Whisky Cake Kitchen & Bar, teamwork was ingrained in her DNA. "We succeed as a team, we fail as a team," she said. She believed that Ramsay soon recognized her work ethic, which is perhaps why he treated Davis differently. She admitted to being nervous for the solo challenges, but when she was working with her team, she was in her natural habitat. Davis is a good communicator and always checked in with her teammates to see if they needed help. In a surprise twist that rarely happens on "Hell's Kitchen," Davis frequently offered to help the opposing team. One time, Ramsay noticed and tartly commented: "And there's Mary, not at her station."

Gordon Ramsay encouraged Mary Lou Davis

According to Mary Lou Davis, Ramsay is pretty much the same on- and off-camera. What does change are his shoes. "I'd always look at his shoes because that's how you could tell what challenge was going to happen," she said. If Ramsay wore sneakers, the cast would be competing out of the kitchen. When he slipped on his kitchen shoes, Ramsay shifted to his restaurant mode. Davis commented that he was actually quite playful, but in the kitchen, he's all business. Ramsay told the cast to prepare him beforehand if something might go wrong. "He just doesn't like surprises," Davis said. "And who likes those in the kitchen?" 

But in the finale, Ramsay pulled a surprise that Davis will never forget. She regretted that her team didn't perform as well as they should, but as team captain, Davis took full responsibility. When Ramsay revealed that Kori Sutton would be the winner, her first reaction was to bolt. Then Ramsay grabbed her shoulders, turned her around, and embraced her. He assured her that she would go far and get even better. "And I can't wait to work with you," he said. "You can work at any of my restaurants." Davis admitted that Sutton deserved to win, but Ramsay validated her as a great chef. "I definitely know I can go to any of his restaurants and work anywhere, so I feel worthy."

To follow along with Mary Lou Davis's continuing adventures in the culinary world, follow her on Instagram. You can also watch all episodes of "Geeks and Grubs" on her YouTube channel.