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HELL'S KITCHEN, MASTERCHEF &
MASTERCHEF JUNIOR


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Detail of chandelier designed by Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA
    for Season 7


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Chandelier suspended above the Chef's Library & Lounge


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Guest Judge Richard Blais and Gordon Ramsay speak to a contestant in
    Season 7

    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Chef's Library...

    All of the books are practical and have been selected with the contestant competitions in mind...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Chef's Library & Lounge

    Adjacent to the MasterChef and MasterChef Junior
    Competition Space


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Main Competition Space
    MasterChef and
    MasterChef Junior


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    MC Pantry
    Season 5

    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    MC Pantry


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Equipment Room
    MasterChef and
    MasterChef Junior


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    Competition Space
    Season 4


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    MasterChef Restaurant
    Season 4

    Looking toward the
    Competition Space that Gordon Ramsay [back to camera] is overseeing...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    MasterChef Restaurant


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox


    MasterChef…

    MasterChef Restaurant

    Looking back toward the
    Competition Space...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    View to the Pantry through the MasterChef Restaurant...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    MC Restaurant Bar and Lounge
    Season 4


    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    MC Restaurant Bar and Lounge, detail
    Season 7

    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    Great Gatsby themed challenge for MC Season 7,
    Shot on location at the Park Plaza Hotel...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    Exterior Entrance to the MasterChef Kitchen
    Season 7

    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    Exterior side patio
    Season 7


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef…

    MC Patio Lounge
    Season 5


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…

    Gingerbread House Challenge
    Season 5



    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…
    Corn Dog Challenge
    Season 5

    Gordon Ramsay and guest being pranked to the delight of the MasterChef Junior contestants...


    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…

    Special guest
    Michelle Obama
    Season 5

    Note MC Junior utilizes the same competition space as MC, but scaled and themed differently...

    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…

    Special guest
    Michelle Obama
    Season 5

    A glimpse of the MC Restaurant can be seen in the background...

    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…

    Gordon counsels contestants during the challenge....

    POV is looking toward the Chef's Library & Lounge


    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    MasterChef Junior…

    Gordon fist bumps
    junior chef Syd.
    His energy and commitment to excellence is visually translated in the sets...


    Photo by Adam Rose
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Gordon Ramsay’s iconic series HK will begin its 17th Season in September!

    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Contestant Living Quarters
    Exterior patio,
    Season 16

    For this series, the sets have to not only be functional, but livable!


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Contestant Living Quarters
    Exterior patio, details
    Season 16

    Wallpaper from Astek Wallcoverings...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Kitchen and Dining,
    Contestant Living Quarters

    Season 16

    Custom-made fabric wall panels,
    table from HD Buttercup...

    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Contestant Living Quarters
    Season 16


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Contestant Living Quarters,
    Red Team Bedroom

    Season 15

    Wallpaper from Astek Wallcoverings...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Contestant Living Quarters,
    Blue Team Bedroom

    Season 15



    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Gordon Ramsay,
    standing in the
    HK Restaurant
    Season 16...


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    HK Restaurant...

    Dining Room dressed for Dinner Service
    Season 16

    Silver curtain is actually a wallpaper purchased at Astek...

    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    HK Restaurant
    Entrance & Bar

    Season 16


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    HK Restaurant dining Room
    redressed for Andi’s Wedding (challenge)

    Florals by
    Sandy Rose Floral


    ©2017 20th Century Fox

  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    HK Restaurant Dining Room
    redressed for Andi's Wedding (challenge).

    Florals by Sandy Rose Floral,
    Crystal chandeliers from Warner Bros.


    ©2017 20th Century Fox


  • Set Decorator
    Heidi Miller SDSA

    Production Designer
    John Janavs

    Fox

    Hell’s Kitchen…

    Gordon Ramsay...
    HK Restaurant

    Revisit this space in September when we’ll have never-before-seen photos of the new Season 17!

    Photo by Greg Gayne
    ©2017 20th Century Fox
    All rights reserved.


 
 
Fresh and innovative describe both the food and the environments of the high-end cooking competition shows HELL'S KITCHEN, MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR. They all share two top-of-their-profession aspects, the demanding and discerning chef of international acclaim, Gordon Ramsay, and his equally talented and dedicated design and decor team. These are not only visually stunning sets, they are real workspaces and, in the case of HK, living spaces! At the end of the day, one of the biggest challenges for the competitors is that the food has to taste as good as the sets look! And when you start to look beyond the glamour and design, you discover that even the behind-the-scenes functionality is top level.
 
Set Decorator Heidi Miller SDSA does just that as she describes for us her work on all three of these dazzling reality challenge series...
Enjoy!
Karen Burg, Editor


From Heidi Boyle Miller SDSA...

Production Designer, John Janavs, asked me to decorate the first season of HELL'S KITCHEN. We had done multiple seasons of the MAN SHOW together and were doing JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE at the time. I was also pregnant with my first child and I didn't think I would be able to swing this rigorous reality show that he was about to take on. So I turned him down. It wasn't until Season 5 of HK* that he was able to sway me to come over.

Little did I know at that time what a huge role Gordon Ramsay would play in my life. I have now completed a total of 13 seasons of HK, 8 seasons of MASTERCHEF and 6 seasons of MASTERCHEF JUNIOR, equaling a whopping 27 seasons in total! 
Thank God for Gordon Ramsay! He has employed a lot of grateful people over the years.
 
HELL'S KITCHEN and MASTERCHEF are completely different beasts and each has their own unique challenges. 
 
HELL'S KITCHEN...
 
HELL'S KITCHEN is a massive undertaking. Each season (or couple of seasons as we often shoot two back to back), we build a fully functioning restaurant from the ground up.  
 
Our team (lead by our PD John Janavs, Art Directors Robert Frye and Kevin Lewis and our amazing Construction Coordinator John Shearer) creates 24,000 square feet of four-wall, fully experiential space, which is covered from every angle by 78 stationary robotic cameras and dozens of manned cameras hidden within the set walls. 
 
When a guest arrives at HK for dinner, they do not perceive it as a set. From the valet stand and the grand entry to the dinner service for 110 seated patrons, through two fully functioning commercial kitchens, to the living quarters that house up to 18 contestants at a time, the set functions as a seamless "real" environment. All areas are heavily designed and everything within the set walls is seen by camera. 
 
We also do lots of location shoots in and around Los Angeles for the Challenges and Rewards segments. John, Robert and I design all of the built sets together. We have a fantastic, collaborative relationship and I feel like we get better each time we build a new season. My background is in Interior Design and it is fun for me, coming also from the scripted world, to design expansive commercial spaces. 
 
Our "character" is a well-known celebrity chef. Gordon Ramsay has a restaurant empire with dozens of eateries and has been awarded 16 Michelin Stars over his career. He is more than just a reality star—he has a reputation of excellence, and we try hard to build a space that he is proud to stand in. 
 
Everything that we do is dictated by the stage we are to shoot on, and it can vary greatly each season. The biggest challenges for us, often, are the living quarters. It is also an opportunity for us to really run wild and mix things up. We have done some dramatic design shifts over the years! 
 
We just finished filming Seasons 17 and 18. For the first time ever, we shot in an old Costco. Our living quarters were constructed in what was formerly a tire center. We needed to generate architecture in this empty space. My buyer, Nancy Garber [SDSA Associate Member], found some fabulous salvaged columns at Old Good Things that transformed the central corridor and served to inspire lots of other design choices. When we opened the set, Gordon walked around with me to survey everything. In true GR style he exclaimed, "This is F@#*ing amazing!  What a sophisticated space! Wow! I can't believe that this was once a F@#*ing Costco!!!" 
        [Editor’s note: Check back in September when Season 17 airs—we’ll have set photos that we’re not allowed to reveal right now!]
 
Aside from the Challenges and location shoots, we purchase pretty much everything seen on camera. We use a tremendous amount of wallpaper and I am eternally thankful for the supportive patience of Aaron Kirsch and his team at Astek Wallcovering. There are some days that I am there more than I am at my office. F&S Fabrics is another favorite stop. Eric has saved me more times than I can count. Some of my other favorite vendors include HD Buttercup, Floorplan and Arte Fina. When I cannot find what I want, I often reupholster with updated fabrics that match our new theme. 
 
My crew is the best of the best! They have a lot of set dressing to manage and keep organized. From our enormous floral world to our expansive silver room, they have a lot to keep track of besides doing the setup and wrap! 
 
MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR...
 
MASTERCHEF and MASTERCHEF JUNIOR are my beloved "babies".  I am so incredibly proud of what we have done. Our Executive Producers began with a true vision, and our Director Brian Smith takes it to a whole new level with his keen eye for detail. Nobody shoots sets like Brian. The man makes magic out of every jib shot. We are blessed that we have had him from day one to celebrate every inch of our sets. 
 
MASTERCHEF is composed of many spaces, including a primary competition area, a spectator platform, a large equipment room featuring just about any kitchen gadget you can imagine, a cook's library, a restaurant, and on and on. We also shoot a great deal on location. 
 
Over the last year, we have shot 4 back-to-back seasons of MC and MC Jr, and during that time we did multiple weddings, pop-up restaurants, and cooked for Veterans, Firefighters, Lifeguards and Boy Scouts. We went to locations in Las Vegas, Big Bear, Palos Verdes, Malibu and beyond. Designing weddings is especially nerve wracking, because this is REAL.  Thankfully, we have never had an angry bride chase us at the end of the day. 
 
Our Challenge Art Directors, Kevin Lewis and Erin Vizcarra are truly the best at what they do. They are constantly juggling so many different things and I am always amazed at what our team can produce, day in and day out. MASTERCHEF JUNIOR Season 6 is currently airing on FOX, and every time I tune in, I am reminded of just how much we did each week! We rely heavily on our vendors, including Lennie Marvin, Omega|Cinema Props, Town and Country Event Rentals, Greenset, and Jackson Shrub.
 
We also shoot in our own “back yard”. Our patio set serves not only as a dramatic entrance to the MC stage, but also a hang spot for contestants and their families during on camera auditions. It is very layered and lush. Most of the plants and trees are real, except for anything that is creeping up a vertical surface like the ivy and bougainvillea. Greenset builds the branches for us and then we hire Greensmen to install and maintain everything throughout the course of the season. It is a tremendous amount of work, especially because this is an exterior set that is vulnerable to weather conditions. Wind is our enemy. Because the wood deck sees so much sunlight, we often will stain it and seal it multiple times throughout a shooting cycle. 
 
John, Robert and I collaborate on all of the built MC sets. Every season, we seem to find ourselves on a new soundstage.  We have been at Paramount, Disney, the Howard Hughes Hanger and most recently, Occidental Studios. Every time we rebuild, we tweak and perfect each space, as much as our Supervising Producers will allow. This year, I am especially proud of a chandelier that we designed for the Cook's Library, adjacent to the primary competition space. It is a fun mix of red and purple hues, made from hexagonal pieces of plexi. It took two of my set dressers the better part of a week to install it. 
 
One of my favorite things about working with John is his desire to push things from a design perspective. He is never satisfied with what is easy, and that is a very good thing. In searching for the unusual, we often discover the exceptional.  
 
MASTERCHEF USA has become the flagship for all of the international versions that are produced around the world. We frequently get MC teams from all parts of the world coming to tour our sets to find inspiration for their own versions. It is a very strange thing to turn on MC Canada and see a twist on what we once created on a soundstage in Los Angeles. 
 
Both of these shows have expansive union crews. People are often shocked when they find out how many set dressers we have in our employ at any given time. The same goes for John Shearer's construction crew. We also have a massive team of Local 44 food stylists on both shows. On MC, they source all of the food that can be seen in the pantry and in cooking competitions. For HK, they are preparing ungodly amounts of stock and sauces that the chefs use in the restaurant. 
 
Both shows have folks who are constantly recipe-testing and working alongside Gordon to execute his culinary desires for the contestants. A big part of what Robert Frye does is generate many off-camera spaces for them to do their work... prep and test kitchens are hidden, essential components to both shows' success. 
 
I do not know how I would get through each day without my buyers, Nancy Garber and Laura Smith. They are tireless and exceedingly patient when things change, as they frequently do. I am also deeply indebted to my crew who makes all of my visions a reality. Leadmen Joshua Thomas and Christopher Littleford are my rocks, and my MC On-Sets, Sean Grimes and Johnny Davis, are trusted eyes and ears when I am out prepping the next day. We also work closely with our Prop Master, Scott De Santis and his team on every single challenge. 
 
It is a wonderful collaboration between departments and I feel blessed to get to work with such a talented and dedicated group, season after season.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Editor’s note: Additional HELL’S KITCHEN Set Decorators over the course of the series:
Shauna Aronson SDSA
Stephen Paul Fackrell SDSA
John Philpotts
Natalie Sanfilippo
Sarah Sprawls SDSA


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TRANSPARENT 2016-06-26
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ROOTS 2016-05-30
GOTHAM 2015-11-17
HOUSE OF CARDS 2015-10-01
THE KNICK 2015-06-18
DANCING WITH THE STARS 2015-04-06
CHANDELIER 2015-02-12
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MASTERS OF SEX 2014-07-31
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2 BROKE GIRLS 2013-06-03
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SHAKE IT UP 2013-03-26
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JUSTIFIED 2011-09-23
MODERN FAMILY 2011-06-14
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UNITED STATES OF TARA 2010-04-20
THE GOOD WIFE 2009-12-03
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