Hell's Kitchen chef flying from LA for Norwich pub takeover
- Credit: FOX TV/ Google
The first-ever vegan chef on Gordon Ramsay's reality series Hell's Kitchen is coming to Norwich to do a menu takeover at a pub.
Josie Clemens, the Los Angeles-living but Michigan-born 25-year-old, filmed "Hell's Kitchen: Young Guns" back in 2019 when she was 22, and has been sitting on the secret since.
On August 17 and 18 she will be doing a "menu takeover" at The Gatherers on Muspole Street, showcasing her fine-dining vegan cuisine for the people of Norwich.
Ms Clemens, who confessed she had had a crush on Gordon Ramsay since she was in her teens, was one of 18 contestants, all under 24, to feature on the show — but cannot divulge any details until it airs on ITV this summer.
Before applying as a contestant she was a banker and part-time private chef, but viewed her catering gigs as more of a "hobby" than career.
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"Ultimately", she said, "there came a point where my vegan beliefs began to conflict with that. So I quit my job and applied for a slot on the show.
"It was hard because it's not like Masterchef. You cook what you're told to cook and sometimes that involved meat.
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"I had nightmares about it, and found myself constantly apologising to the chicken.
"I knew it was going to be tough but I wanted to go on the show to raise the profile of veganism and the importance of cruelty-free cooking."
Her manager Will Callaghan said the Norwich event came about because of The Gatherers' menu — shown to him by a fellow vegan friend — which made a huge impression.
He said: "They do vegan fish and chips, and as a vegan that's what I miss the most. They must be one of the only restaurants in the country offering that.
"The fact they had managed to turn a British classic into something vegans could enjoy was incredible."
Staff at The Gatherers are equally thrilled to have Ms Clemens setting up in their kitchen for two days.
General manager Salik Miller said it was a "great opportunity" for Norwich to "experience fine dining at its best".
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