In speaking over the past few days with Shayna Raichilson-Zadok and Bobby Anderson from “Hell’s Kitchen,” I’ve gained just a teensy hint of what life on the show might have been like.
Shayna told me that the season was filmed over 30 days, with eliminated contestants not being able to contact family members during that time. That was especially tough, she said, because her daughter was just a couple months old at the time.
“It was very difficult, but I tried very hard not to focus on it,” she said.
Both she and Bobby were proud of the way they played the game, saying they didn’t betray any other contestants and played it straight. Shayna, in fact, couldn’t really say anything bad at all about her exit from the show.
“It was one of the nicest eliminations I’ve ever seen,” she said.
Anderson, for his part, has a theory behind his elimination. Seeing as his performance improved with each week – he was among the show’s stronger cooks at the time of his elimination in the final five – so he figures that he was a victim of the show business aspect of the series.
“Gordon (Ramsay) wasn’t going to yell at me much at that point,” he said.
Bobby said he remains in touch with several contestants, having recently talked to runner-up Petrozza and received an invite from winner Christina to visit her and the L.A. restaurant in which she won a chef’s position.
Shayna has a restaurant open in Buffalo, with Bobby working on getting a couple steakhouses up and running. You can read more about their post-show lives here.