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Ben Caylor, Hell's Kitchen



Chef Ben Caylor of Cornelius was working as an electrician before auditioning for Hell's Kitchen. When the opportunity came his way to test his culinary skills, he showed up on a dare and was selected as a contestant on the high pressure FOX reality show. With more than eight years of cooking experience under his belt, including a culinary degree from Johnson & Wales and a stint as executive chef at Ilios Noche and Mickey & Mooch, Caylor was ready to get back in the game.

Creative Loafing: What gave you the idea to audition for the show?

At the time, I was working as an electrician for my dad, and all the ladies in my office were always telling me, "Ben you've got the perfect personality for television." I just wanted to challenge myself and I went for it.

Is Gordon Ramsey really that bad?

You know, I can't say I love his personality and the way he treats people; things can maybe be said without all the swearing and yelling. But he is a very intense guy, and he knows what he's doing. I can't deny his talent; he really is one of the best in the business.

What have you gained from the Hell's Kitchen experience?

I went to a five-star boot camp for 30 days. I learned more in the time I was on the show than I could have in two years at any restaurant. It was a very intense experience, and it gave me the vigor to be the best at what I do all of the time. Being on the show has opened my eyes again to the energy of the kitchen, and I am definitely looking forward to getting back in there.