Meet the Chef Representing Milwaukee on “Hell’s Kitchen”

Catch Adam Pawlak on national TV this Thursday.

Turns out, the most hellish thing about competing on “Hell’s Kitchen” isn’t the around-the-clock intensity of the challenges, or host Gordon Ramsay’s frequent meltdowns. It’s the pain of waiting for more than a year to be able to talk about the experience.

“It was filmed in 2019,” says Adam Pawlak, who will be appearing on the show’s 19th season. At the time, the young chef had yet to open either Egg & Flour Pasta Bar’s flagship location at Crossroads Collective (2238 N. Farwell Ave.) or its Bay View satellite (2273 S. Howell Ave.).

But Pawlak says that the time he spent working in other restaurants, like Black Sheep, prepared him well for the competition. And the competition, in turn, prepared him for the rigors of restaurant ownership.

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“The overall experience was amazing – it taught me so much,” he says. “I can’t wait to finally share it with friends and family.”

While Pawlak couldn’t tell us how far he advanced through the show’s challenges (though a quick web search will tell you a lot), he was able to answer another of our burning questions: Does Ramsay really yell that much when the cameras aren’t rolling? “He’s the nicest guy ever,” Pawlak says. “Just cook his food the way he wants it to be cooked.”

The 19th season of “Hell’s Kitchen” premieres Jan. 7 on Fox


This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s January issue.

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Matt has written for Milwaukee Magazine since 2006, when he was a lowly intern. Since then, he’s held the posts of assistant news editor and, most recently, senior editor. He’s lived in South Carolina, Tennessee, Connecticut, Iowa, and Indiana but mostly in Wisconsin. He wants to do more fishing but has a hard time finding worms. For the magazine, Matt has written about city government, schools, religion, coffee roasters and Congress.