What the Original 'Hell's Kitchen' Winner is Doing Today

What the Original 'Hell's Kitchen' Winner is Doing Today


After turning down Gordon Ramsay's offer of a job, Michael Wray did open his own restaurant. But what should have been a happy, exciting time quickly turned tragic.

He and his wife, Lola, were expecting their first child. But when Lola went into labor just a few weeks after his restaurant opened, the birth didn't go smoothly, and his newborn daughter passed away.

Wray told the BBC, "We had some complications at birth where she lost her breath for seven or eight minutes. She lost too much oxygen to her brain, and died. It put me in a tail-spin for the next couple years. It was all starting to crumble around me."

He stayed at the restaurant for around the next six weeks; at the time, LA Eater was speculating on where he was. The high-profile Hell's Kitchen winner had been the face of Tatou, but by June of 2007, the restaurant confirmed that while he was still involved with the restaurant, he was no longer executive chef. It wasn't revealed until much, much later that he'd simply walked away, finding odd jobs in restaurant kitchens and living in his truck. His relationship with his wife fell apart, and it wasn't long before he was homeless, sleeping beneath an LA underpass, and getting his meals from homeless shelters.

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