Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:44pm

The ninth season of HELL’S KITCHEN came to an extraordinary close tonight as Gordon Ramsay announced Paul Niedermann the winner during the two-hour season finale on FOX. Niedermann, 26, a junior sous chef from Davie, FL, walked away with a “head chef” position at the legendary BLT Steak in New York City.

Niedermann competed against thousands of hopefuls and was awarded an esteemed spot among the Top 18 finalists. In the end, he went head-to-head with Will Lustberg, a sous chef from Jersey City, NJ. For the final challenge, both contestants created their own menus, and led teams of their past competitors through a heated, intense and, of course, tasty dinner service. But it was Niedermann’s crack team of chefs that helped propel him to victory with an original, creative and delicious menu, which included the following items:

· Truffle risotto with warm asparagus salad
· Pan-roasted scallop with sweet corn emulsion, crispy leeks and smoked paprika oil
· Poached garlic shrimp with jalapeño lemon and garlic crouton
· Heirloom tomato carpaccio with baby gem Caesar salad, shaved romano and tangerine

· Roasted N.Y. steak with saffron and celery root purée, brussels sprouts and chianti jus
· Grilled swordfish with yellow pepper romanesco, rapini and blue crab-stuffed tomato
· Grilled lamb chops with eggplant caponata, roasted fingerling potatoes and lamb jus
· Filet branzino with preserved lemon, moussoline, pea tendrils, English peas and
tomato compote

· Banana polenta cake with mascarpone, Chantilly cream, pistachios and brûléed bananas
· Strawberry basil Napoleon with orange crème fraiche panna cotta and micro basil
· Maraschino cherry tart

"There are no words to describe how I am feeling right now,” said Niedermann. “I want to thank everyone who supported me and helped me get to where I am today, with an extra thanks to my team, because, without them, I would never have won. So thank you Elise, Carrie, Elizabeth and Jonathon."

HELL’S KITCHEN Season Nine finished this summer as one of the Top 3 entertainment programs among Adults 18-49, Men 18-49 and Men 18-34.

HELL’S KITCHEN is produced by ITV Studios America in association with A. Smith & Co. Productions. Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Gordon Ramsay serve as executive producers. Become a fan of HELL’S KITCHEN on Facebook at and follow the series on Twitter at @hellskitchenonfox, and follow Ramsay at @GordonRamsay01.


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