‘It was definitely a crazy experience’: Kansas City chef competing on FOX’s ‘Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns’

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you watched the premiere of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen Young Gunz, you may have noticed a familiar face. Kansas City Chef Jayaun Smith is competing on the show. 

“I never thought a kid like me from Kansas City would be an independent culinary chef here in KC,” Smith said. “It’s really a blessing.” 

Smith has been keeping his involvement in the show a secret for two years.  

On Season 20 of the show, world renowned chef Gordon Ramsey invites 18 young chefs between 21 and 24 years old to compete for a spot as his protégé. 

“It was definitely a crazy experience, you get kind of thrown into this unscripted culinary bootcamp,” Smith said. “Then you have one of the toughest chefs in the world out here Gordon Ramsey that’s always over your shoulder.” 

The winner of the season will also become head chef of Gordon Ramsey Steak at the Paris Hotel and Casino. 

There are two teams. Each team will compete in challenges. Someone from the losing team is eliminated every week. Smith is on the blue team. 

“It’s a lot harder working under pressure with other people rather than just by myself,” Smith said. 

Smith said he got his first exposure to culinary competitions at Raytown High School, but “Hell’s Kitchen” was a whole new level.  

“It was very scary, very nerve-wracking, just because there’s this time limit that you got,” Smith said. “I actually started off with culinary competitions back in high school my junior and senior year.” 

He hopes to aspire other young chefs that the sky is the limit. 

“Now that I see that I have a lot of supporters out here in Kansas City it’s actually making me feel loved and I want to feel how I can get more connected in the community just by being involved in food and other ways as well,” Smith said. 

Smith tells FOX4 he will continue his private chef experience at UHUNGRY? He also has Sauced in the Crossroads, Just Slide in Iron District and The What Truck that typically parks in the Crossroads. He says he will be releasing recipe books soon to share some of his secrets. 

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