11 Questions with “Hell’s Kitchen” Contestant Bryant Gallaher
Season 13 of "Hell's Kitchen" premieres Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m.
You may have seen him behind the kitchen doors of some of your favorite Coastal Virginia restaurants. Now you’ll have the opportunity to see Virginia Beach chef Bryant Gallaher in action and under the pressure of Scottish celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay on the airing of season 13 of “Hell’s Kitchen.” A former student of the Culinary Institute of Virginia, Gallaher had watched and studied “Hell’s Kitchen” since it first aired, saying that Ramsay inspired him at his own job to be the best that he could be. When the opportunity came to audition for season 13 of the show, Gallaher says it was the right time in his career and that he felt confident to enter. He attended a casting call in Philadelphia, and from there, as he says, “Everything just took off.”
Coastal Virginia Magazine: When did you realize you wanted to be a chef?
Bryant Gallaher: Probably when I was 10 or 13. I watched everyone cooking and being around people cooking and trying different things. Sometimes you know. I knew that was going to be my calling.
CoVa: Who inspires you in the kitchen?
BG: My mom and my grandfather. It was interesting to see what they would come up with, and I wanted to do the same thing because I was creative.
CoVa: If you could describe your culinary style in one word, what would it be?
CoVa: What’s your go-to dish when you’re trying to impress guests?
BG: Grilled cheese. I make a mean grilled cheese. (laughs) I’d probably do a pan-seared fish with olives and tomatoes and fresh basil over wild rice with a lemon vinaigrette.
CoVa: Name five ingredients that you always have on hand.
BG: Spanish style Paprika, salt, ground coriander, onions, yellow mustard
CoVa: What’s your biggest kitchen fail?
BG: Once I burned like 10 pans of bacon. Applewood bacon—that’s expensive stuff.
CoVa: What’s your most common late night craving?
BG: Tacos, totally. Any kind of taco.
CoVa: What’s your favorite restaurant in Coastal Virginia?
BG: Hair of the Dog
CoVa: How did you mentally prepare yourself for the stress of being under Gordon Ramsay’s instruction?
BG: I wanted to get in there and get my hands dirty. I’m really passionate at stuff I’m going to do, very energetic and a go-getter. I was just stoked, really.
CoVa: What was the most difficult part about putting your life on hold to be on the show?
BG: My baby. She just turned a year. It was hard to be away from my family and wife for that long.
CoVa: What’s the most valuable thing you learned being on Hell’s Kitchen?
BG: If you ever get in a situation where you’re failing, just remember all of the good things you have in three seconds, and after those three seconds, forget about it. Move on. Don’t dwell.
Season 13 of “Hell’s Kitchen” will air on FOX Wednesday, Sept. 10 at 8 p.m. with a special two-hour premiere. There will be a viewing party at A.J. Gator’s in Kempsville’s Fairfield Shopping Center on Wednesday, beginning at 7 p.m.