RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh chef is sweating it out in the national spotlight. She's being featured on season 22 of Hell's Kitchen, which is streaming on Hulu.
Chef Leigh Orleans is a private chef, mostly for small events. Orleans is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill who first had a career in finance before going to culinary school years later.
"I got married to a man in the military, and it's a little bit difficult to move with that specific career so frequently," Orleans explained. "So, I pivoted to something I knew I loved."
Just before graduating, Orleans got a call from the producers of Hell's Kitchen asking if she was interested in being on the show. She had never worked in a professional kitchen before and figured no better way to learn than an intense unscripted culinary boot camp on national TV.
Orleans taped the show in Los Angeles in Feb. 2022 and has had to keep quiet all this time.
"It's a strange experience to have, like such a formative thing in my past be now streamed internationally," Orleans said. "But, it was amazing. I mean, at the end of the day, I think my biggest lesson from this is if you're presented with an opportunity, whether or not it horrifies you, give it a go. You're not going to grow if you don't push yourself to do things like this."
Season 22's theme is the American Dream. It started airing Sept. 28, with each episode arriving on Hulu on Friday.
Orleans has fared well so far, winning multiple dinner services.
When the show ends, the winner will claim the title of Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen, Las Vegas.