‘Hell’s Kitchen’: Winter Haven Native Wins

La Tasha McCutchen of Winter Haven won “Hell’s Kitchen,” a head chef position at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant and a total prize valued at $250,000.

“My nerves were all over the place,” said McCutchen, a kitchen supervisor who now lives in Wilton Manors. “I knew I would have to fight and prove myself like never before to simply define myself as a true competitor in this industry. My goal was to stay true to what I know and if I went down, I was going down swinging.”

And now she’s the champ of the Fox contest’s 13th season. Aaron Lhamon of Orlando also competed.

McCutchen’s attitude helped her. “Chef Ramsay’s critique can be brutal, but his passion for food is undeniable and his standards for service are inspiring,” she told the Sentinel. “I’m very grateful that I had the opportunity to compete on such an intense level.”

On the 29th season of “Survivor,” Natalie Anderson, a CrossFit coach from Edgewater, N.J., was named the $1 million victor. Most jury members applauded her risky playing style, which kept the long-running series unpredictable. Her twin sister, Nadiya, had been voted out first in the “Blood vs. Water” setup. The sisters had played two seasons of “The Amazing Race.”

The other players in the “Survivor” finale were Jaclyn Schultz, a media buyer from Las Vegas, and Missy Payne, owner of a cheerleading gym in Dallas.

Alec and Drew Christy, brothers from Winter Park, had competed.

For its 30th season, “Survivor” will pit blue-collar players against white-collar hopefuls and contestants with a no-collar style. “Survivor” returns in February.