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Woodstock chef to appear on reality cooking show Hell's Kitchen

WOODSTOCK - Chef Scott Commings said he has always been good at taking criticism when it comes to his cooking.

But that was put to the test recently when he was faced with notoriously-critical celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

Commings, the executive chef at Loyola University Chicago Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, is one of 20 chefs participating in the 12th season of Hell's Kitchen, a FOX reality cooking show that pits aspiring restaurateurs against one another in an intense culinary competition.

"It was incredible to be part of the show," Commings said, who wouldn't say how long he lasted in the competition. "I wasn't expecting to get as much out of it as I did on a personal level … I learned about how I can overcome and adapt to situations. It was a confidence builder."

Ramsay stars as the overbearing critic who eliminates contestants until there is one final chef, who will be given a position at one of Ramsay's restaurants with a salary of $250,000.

When asked if he got into any arguments with Ramsay during filming, Commings said, "We may have. If it did happen, it probably happened for a reason. You're just going to have to watch the show and find out.

"[Ramsay] is an amazing individual," he added. "He has gotten to where he is because of what he does with food. His kitchen mannerisms are so impressive. How he slopes through a kitchen and how every move means something. He was an amazing person to be learning next to."

Commings said he grew a lot as a chef from his time on the show, which wrapped up filming last year.

"I really improved my attention to detail," he said. "Organization. Taking a look at things from different angles … fine tuning every single detail."

Commings said he plans to watch the show with his wife, two children, and a small group of friends when the show premieres Thursday night. He said while he enjoyed his experience on the show, it will definitely be his last venture in reality television.

"The chances are slim to none that I will be doing anything like that again," he said. "I had the opportunity to do something like this once and I'm happy. I've been able to take away a lot from the experience, and I'm very thankful for that."

Hell's Kitchen airs Thursday at 7 p.m. central time on FOX.

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