The Wholesome Hell's Kitchen Contestant Who Won Reddit's Heart

When you think of "Hell's Kitchen" what springs to mind? Does a continuous reel of British-tinged expletives, sarcastic remarks, and censored bleeping noises course through your brain? Perhaps, you conjure up images of Gordon Ramsay's face contorted and red with rage, squashing salmon steaks, and spitting out inedible food. Maybe, your memories revolve around stressed-out contestants coming to blows in the dorms or making boneheaded mistakes that inevitably send them home. With most of "Hell's Kitchen" focusing on dinner service failures, infighting between contenders, and Ramsay's short fuse, warm and fuzzy moments are hard to come by. Thankfully, there have been a few. 

One of the show's most heart-tugging memories came from Season 5's Robert Hesse. After being continually referred to as "Bobby" by Gordon Ramsay, he decided to have a heart-to-heart with the famous chef. In a "Hell's Kitchen" YouTube video, he explained that he wanted to be called "Robert" as his father's name was "Bobby" and he used to tell his son that he was a loser and a quitter. When he hears the name Bobby, it brings up that childhood trauma. When Ramsay apologized, fans everywhere were touched. Another tender moment occurred when Season 12's Joy Parham-Thomas was distraught over her undercooked pork and Scott Cummings gave her a big hug, saying, "The pork's going to rest. It will be okay," showing that competitors can be supportive of one another (via YouTube).

And one contestant stood out as being especially warm and fuzzy.

Redditors say Petrozza was the show's humblest chef

It's no secret that the late Louis Petrozza would be a top contender for the title of everyone's favorite "Hell's Kitchen" contestant. It makes sense, then, that when Reddit u/Creative_Pumpkin_404 relayed his own experience of meeting Petrozza in person, fans of r/HellsKitchen responded with love. The user shared that he told the "Hell's Kitchen" Season 4 runner-up that he loved him and he should have won. Petrozza, apparently, thanked him and shook his hand, treating the then-11-year-old with kindness. A commenter, in turn, shared what they called a fun fact, explaining that they heard he had "once saved his friend's wedding on short notice" and is a straight-up gem. Another Petrozza fan declared, "Out of anyone, he would be the one I'd love to meet, seemed so nice and genuine." 

And this is not the only Reddit post that celebrates this beloved contestant. When u/Toxic_Envy890 shared that Louis Petrozza had passed away with r/HellsKitchen, kind words poured in. One user proclaimed Petrozza "the most real person of the entire show" and several commented on his "heart of gold." And u/DonCorleone1992 summed it up best with, "One of the classiest, kind-hearted, and humblest contestants ever on Hell's Kitchen." 

Clearly, "Hell's Kitchen" fans loved this contender, but what set him apart from the rest? 

Gordon Ramsay called Petrozza a gracious man

Throughout the fourth season, Louis Petrozza conducted himself as a gentleman, but the moment that most stood out during his stay in "Hell's Kitchen" was when he nominated himself for elimination. As a video on YouTube shows, Ramsay had respect for Petrozza's words, saying, "You speak from the heart." Petrozza responded by putting himself up for elimination, confessing, "I can't pick any of these guys. They worked too hard." He then criticized his own performance on the garnish station adding, "I wasn't a star in that spot today." Gordon Ramsay was visibly taken aback, responding with, "Your level of maturity stands out. You're the most gracious man on that team." Clearly, the world-renowned chef was impressed with Petrozza's humility. 

Even when he came in second place during the finale, losing by what seemed to be a slim margin, he took it with grace. How did he respond to his defeat? YouTube reveals that he looked at the bright side, saying, "I've met so many beautiful people. How priceless is that?" 

When the world lost Louis Petrozza to lung cancer on November 15, 2019, they lost more than just a talented chef and a favorite runner-up in "Hell's Kitchen." They lost a man who was said to possess grace, humility, honesty, and a very big heart. RIP.