Hell's Kitchen US winner denied UK working visa

23 November 2010 by
Hell's Kitchen US winner denied UK working visa

The Hell's KitchenUS winner who was set to join the chefs brigade at Gordon Ramsay's Savoy Grill](http://www.gordonramsay.com/thesavoygrill/) has been denied a UK working visa.

Californian single mother Holli Ugalde was due to complete a six-month placement at the former Michelin-starred restaurant, which reopens next week at the iconic London hotel after being delayed by more than a month.

She had been offered the position as the prize for winning the US version of the reality TV show Hell's Kitchen in the summer and was set to work under chef-patron Stuart Gillies and head chef Andy Cook.

However, Ugalde has now been denied a working visa for the UK and has been paid a cash prize instead.

Ugalde said despite the disappointment of losing out on the experience of working in London, she was feeling positive about her future career prospects. "I have been so fortunate in all the opportunities that have come up since winning Hell's Kitchen and I am excited about my future career as a chef," she said.

A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay added: "We were sorry to find out from ITV Studios America that Holli Ugalde can't join the team at the Savoy Grill due to her application for a working visa being turned down."

The 100-seat Savoy Grill, which is due to reopen on 29 November, is undergoing a complete redesign overseen by design consultancy the Russell Sage Studio, which has been briefed to preserve the room's original table plan.

New features at the restaurant, which will also include a 40-seat private dining room, will include 1920s Art Deco lighting, wood panelling and recessed mirrors as well as silk and velvet fabric coverings.

Gillies and Cook have created a menu inspired by classic British and French dishes, with starters such as boudin blanc foie gras with spiced quince and king crab cocktail. Main courses will include lobster thermidor and beef Wellington from the trolley, while desserts will include peach melba, a dish famously invented by Escoffier at the Savoy.

Savoy Grill reopening delayed until November >>

Gordon Ramsay to employ Hell's Kitchen winner at the Savoy Grill >>

Gordon Ramsay hits back at Chris Hutcheson >>

By Kerstin Kühn

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