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When the new season of the FOX cooking competition series Hell’s Kitchen premieres next Monday, Vienna native Brynn Gibson will be one of 18 chefs competing for the title. This season’s theme is “Young Guns,” meaning the chefs were all 24 years old or younger at the time of filming.

Gibson grew up in Vienna, just a bike ride away from Tysons. Her love of cooking stems from seeing how food brought her family and friends together and how it creates a very personal connection between the chef and the customer.

“When we’d eat lunch at school and stuff, we would all sit together, and I saw that food has the power to bring people together,” Gibson told Tysons Reporter. “And that was something that I deeply cared about, just being able to share a part of myself through my food with other people, because I think it’s a very personal way of sharing, you know, almost intimately with other people.”

Gibson’s path to Hell’s Kitchen started in a Facebook group, where she was discovered by a recruiter for the show. After some skepticism, she agreed to audition. She is now grateful she took the opportunity, summing up her experience on the show as “life-changing.”

“Not in the sense of the rewards and everything,” she clarified. “It was just being in such a high-intensity environment, and everyone was so passionate, especially Chef Ramsay…That was kind of my ‘make it or break it’ moment, and it really helped me focus on the fact that this is something that I want to do for my career and for the rest of my life.”

Gibson is a self-taught cook, aside from a few cooking classes in Vienna when she was 12. Before the show, she had worked as a prep cook, but with just a couple of years of college experience under her belt, she admits feeling “extremely intimidated” before filming, since she had to quickly adapt to new situations, such as running a brigade system.

Part of that intimidation also came from internationally renowned chef and Hell’s Kitchen host Gordon Ramsey, who is as known for his tempermental, profane media persona as his cooking.

“I was extremely intimidated by him just because he exuded this passion,” Gibson said. “But after the initial intimidation, I was in awe constantly when I was around him just because he exuded this greatness and this excellence and this…love for the craft.”

Since the show filmed in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic, Gibson has been focused on pursuing her passion in Providence, Rhode Island. She opened her own business called The Dumpling Den in 2020 and runs a blog called The Nugget Box.

“I made dumplings here and there,” Gibson said. “And more recently, with this whole pandemic situation, I decided to leave one of my jobs in the industry and pursue [my passion] full time. I’ve been doing pop-ups in downtown Providence, and it’s been amazing.”

Gibson says that, thanks to the “Young Guns” theme, she has been able to cultivate friendships with other chefs who are also starting their own businesses right now, and they have been able to lean on each other for support.

“It was just so amazing to be able to be around a bunch of young people that were just as passionate as I was, and I am still in contact with a couple of them,” said Gibson. “And having that support system and seeing how everyone is doing is just amazing.”

Hell’s Kitchen: Young Guns will premiere on Monday, May 31 at 8 p.m. on FOX.

Photo via Michael Becker/FOX

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NFL Network reporter Kim Jones went on the Today Show Wednesday to tell the story about how local doctors saved her life.

In November, Jones suffered a medical emergency while covering a Washington Redskins practice. She ended up at Inova Fairfax Hospital, where doctors determined she was suffering from a rare aortic dissection and quickly performed emergency surgery that saved her life.

An aortic dissection is a tear in the heart, the same condition that killed comedian John Ritter.

Jones told the Today Show anchors that she’s lucky to be alive and grateful for the doctors who saved her.

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Morning Notes

New Sidewalk Officially Open — The small stretch of sidewalk along Route 7 that officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday (Thursday) “is one more step in urbanizing Tysons, making it safer for pedestrians and hopefully reducing some vehicle traffic.” [WTOP]

Man May Have Filmed Dressing Rooms in Tysons — The man arrested for secretly filming a teenager in a dressing room at Fair Oaks Mall is believed to have also filmed dressing rooms at Tysons Corner Center between Dec. 15-24, according to Fairfax County Police. FCPD says some of the videos appear to show the dressing rooms at H&M and Old Navy at the Tysons mall. [WTOP, WJLA, Washington Post]

McLean Commander Wants More Cops — The McLean District police station “has 138 sworn officers,  at least 11 of whom must be on patrol duty during day shifts and at least nine on midnight shifts. [Capt. Alan] Hanson said one of his top priorities will be increasing staffing. In the next four or five years, he would like to add 24 officers and four supervisors to the station’s Tysons Urban Team, which now has nine officers and two supervisors.” [InsideNova]

WUSA 9 Back on Fios — After several days of being blacked out for Verizon Fios customers as a result of a fee dispute between Verizon and Tysons-based broadcaster Tegna, local CBS affiliate WUSA 9 has returned to the Fios lineup. [Washington Business Journal]

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Morning Notes

Inova Shrinks Merrifield Plan — “Inova Health System has scrapped long-term plans for a 15 million-square-foot redevelopment of its Merrifield research and development campus for now, only moving forward on what was originally the first phase. The Falls Church health system decided to only advance the first, 5 million-square-foot phase of expansion for its Inova Center for Personalized Health” at the 117-acre former Exxon Mobil campus. [Washington Business Journal]

Honorable Disposal of Old Flags — “Covanta Fairfax and the Fairfax County Department of Public Works, in partnership with American Legion Post 177, have launched a U.S. flag retirement program to reverently dispose of old, worn American flags… [with] collection boxes at the I-66 Transfer Station, I-95 Landfill, Fairfax County Government Center and local police stations.” [Connection Newspapers]

WUSA 9 Goes Dark on Fios — Because of an ongoing carriage dispute between Verizon and Tysons-based Tegna, local CBS affiliate WUSA 9 has gone dark for Verizon Fios subscribers, potentially putting Super Bowl viewing at risk should it drag out for an extended period of time. [Washington Business Journal]

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