Interview with Hell’s Kitchen’s Jessica Cabo

AE: It’s pretty awesome. Because it’s a primetime TV kiss. It may be the first lesbian kiss on a reality show, where they didn’t cut away. What I think is lovely about that moment is you see your girlfriend Courtney and you kiss her, but afterwards you say “You look so pretty,” and then you sort of show her off to the guys—like this is my girlfriend, I’m proud of her. There was something so sweet about that moment.
I got voted off last week, and so now people come up to me and say "I’m so sorry you got voted off." I had been up for 48 hours, I had drank an entire bottle of champagne and was quite wasted. I did two dinner services and baked bread, and I was emotionally, physically, everything—done, and after the dinner service they announced “your family is here.” I was so excited. I see my mom and my sister—love them, but I’ve known them my whole life obviously. But then I see Courtney and it was crazy. I have a thing for redheads and always say that. Courtney is usually not red, she’s blond…

AE: She changed her hair to be on the show?
Totally! So I saw her and she looked so hot—in all black—my quiet little shy girl and she had red hair and if you watch that clip, it’s almost frantic.

AE: It’s a very passionate kiss. It’s not just like a peck—it’s an open-mouthed kiss.
It was what it was. We didn’t want to let go.

AE: I feel like Ralph was almost trying to out do you next with his fiancée.
Oh really? That’s funny. We really did have a bond—me and those guys. Of course you have to be calculating, but we were always like a group of three. I think we really were showing off our girls. I think I said it in one of the clips they didn’t air—I’m hanging with the big boys.” There was a certain amount of showing off—all of our girls—Lola and Buffy and Courtney—they’re all gorgeous. I think it was a cool moment in a lot of different aspects, especially them showing a lesbian kiss.

AE: Did you talk to production about that moment—before or after?
No. I didn’t know how they would deal with it and they never said anything. But I knew in a way they couldn’t not show it. It’s good ratings for them too.

AE: Is there any juicy gossip about the show you can share?
Michael on the show–his wife Lola’s a stripper. I went to the strip club where she works for my birthday right after the episode where Michael maybe had taken my steaks and he was definitely pulling shit. He was trying to win—I’m not going to hold it against him.

AE: Do you want to explain what happened with the steaks?
I was on meat section, which is hard in itself, and I’m doing filets and have all of my stuff there all set to go and I open up to get the steaks out and there’s only two or three of them there—and I’m like “Shit, the steaks are gone!” I know they’re around, probably with the red team. Chef Ramsay’s like “What’s the matter Jess” and I’m like “Uh…” I was getting kind of defensive. I can’t go find them. But of course Michael comes back with the steaks right away—he he knew where they were. Someone put them there. Sometimes there would be salt and pepper shakers and all the sudden something would taste not right and the salt was now sugar. Definitely things went down. Michael ends up looking like a champ, because he finds the steaks and I’ve only got a couple there. But I held tight. One of the episodes the chef was screaming at me to no end and I took it.

AE: How much of the Chef’s anger was an act?
He’s really like that. He’s a perfectionist, but I actually like him.

AE: It’s tough love.
It’s tough love and some kitchens are like that, some aren’t. Some people would choose to work in an environment like that, some wouldn’t. Personally I don’t take that crap. I’ve had people yell at me for work and I yell right back. He’s definitely charming. He has amazing qualities: he’s brilliant, he’s really hard working, he expects a lot. If you want to work there and become one of the best that’s the way to do it.

AE: The chef seemed very impressed with you—he said you were feisty and never short on a word and that he liked that in a woman.
When I first went in there, because of my hair, he thought: “Punk Ass.” Everybody does. I work in a corporate environment, but I look like this. I think it took him a minute to realize that I’m serious…

So, anyway, back to the story at the strip club. They bring me to a little corner of the bar where there’s a pole and Lola gave me my first lap dance. It was inappropriate and it was definitely hot and my girlfriend and my friends were watching—she was all over me. She had hair in my face and was whispering things in my ear like “I’ve been waiting to do this for a long time.” Afterwards, I was like “I have such a crush.” I called Michael on the way home and said “Hey Michael, your wife gave me the hottest lap dance and he was like “That’s why I love her. Doesn’t she smell good?” Yeah, I kinda got him back.

AE: So you’re still friends, though?
Yeah totally.

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