See inside chef Gordon Ramsay’s first California Hell’s Kitchen at Harrah’s Resort

For chef Christina Wilson, opening a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant with British celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay feels like a full circle moment.

In 2012, Wilson won the 10th season of the reality TV cooking competition “Hell’s Kitchen” and has since assisted Ramsay in developing and opening the restaurant concepts based on the hit series. The newest restaurant will be housed inside Harrah’s Resort Southern California and officially opens to the public on Aug. 12.

While Ramsay is currently filming out of the country and was unable to attend Tuesday’s media preview of the restaurant, Wilson said he’s maintained focused involvement each time they’ve opened a new location.

“He calls me about two to three times a day in the middle of an opening, which sounds more glamorous than it is,” she said jokingly.

The celebrity kitchen concept at Harrah’s Resort Southern California is the latest to make its way into casinos looking to revitalize their buffet spaces. In May, Morongo Casino Resort & Spa opened a food hall concept created by “Top Chef” contestant Fabio Viviani, replacing their old buffet.

Now, with Hell’s Kitchen becoming a part of the Harrah’s dining operations, guests can expect to see some of the show’s signature dishes on the menu and decor that will be familiar to “Hell’s Kitchen” fans.

Here’s what you can expect at Hell’s Kitchen inside Harrah’s Resort Southern California.

The ambiance 

Sarah Ertmann, general manager of Hell’s Kitchen, said that the new restaurant closely resembles the Lake Tahoe location. Lake Tahoe’s Hell’s Kitchen is also inside a casino, while the Las Vegas, Nevada eatery is a standalone restaurant.

Hell’s Kitchen at Harrah’s can accommodate 332 guests with a combination of spaces along the bar, two private dining rooms and standard table seating. It also has a room entirely dedicated to red wines and a separate display of white wines. It’s a fine dining experience, but what sets it apart from a high-end steakhouse is how it integrates aspects of the show. There is no shortage of Ramsay’s pitchfork logo on display throughout the restaurant; It’s on the backs of cushioned seats, the walls, napkins and even the light fixtures.

At the entrance, there is a virtual recording of Ramsay offering to pose for pictures with the guests that runs on a loop and a wall that displays all of the winners from the TV show. The open exhibition kitchen is decorated with red and blue flames, referencing the show’s rival teams.

Food and cocktails 

The dishes served at the restaurant are based on the show, along with a combination of menu items finalized by Wilson and her team of chefs.

“One thing that we like to do is trial dishes in the show that end up in the restaurant,” Wilson said. “It allows the guests to feel closer to what they’re viewing at home.”

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