Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)

Community College of Allegheny County

09/16/2011 -- CCAC celebrates progress of student on “Hell’s Kitchen”

For more information, contact CCAC Public Relations.

PITTSBURGH—As Elise Wims of Pittsburgh enters the final episode of the Fox reality television show “Hell’s Kitchen” on Monday, she’ll have a group of supporters rooting for her regardless of the outcome. Her classmates and professor at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) have faithfully tuned in to each week’s episode to follow her progress.

Wims stars in the ninth season of the Fox reality television show featuring aspiring restaurateurs competing for a head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City. Wims, 26, is a sophomore in the Foodservice, Lodging and Recreation Management program at the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC) Boyce Campus, although she has taken the fall term off as “Hell’s Kitchen” airs.

Those who taught Wims and attended class with her, including during the spring term when she traveled to Los Angeles for three weeks of filming for the show, have been excited for her opportunity since the beginning.

“Through the ups and downs of her appearance on the show, we continue to cheer her own each week,” said Michele Wehrle, PhD, CCAC professor of Foodservice, Lodging and Recreation Management. “We congratulate her on her advancement to the finals and look forward to the season finale.”

In “Hell’s Kitchen,” chef Gordon Ramsay puts 18 competitors through rigorous challenges—especially his temper—to see who has the skill and passion to win head chef positions at headlining restaurants.

Faculty and students at CCAC have indicated that the show’s portrayal of Wims as a sort of villain is an unfortunate mischaracterization of their student and friend. Wims’ classmates describe her as unafraid of speaking her mind, but they quickly add that she is friendly and has a good sense of humor, a side often lost in the show’s editing.

“All we can say is, to know her is to love her!” said Wehrle.

The two-hour finale of “Hell’s Kitchen” airs at 8:00 p.m. Monday, September 19, on Fox.


About the Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC)
CCAC annually educates 33,000 credit students through 170 degree, certificate and transfer programs and offers non-credit and workforce development courses to 30,000 students. The learning-centered institution’s mission is to provide affordable access to quality education and offer a dynamic, diverse and supportive learning environment that prepares the region’s residents for academic, professional and personal success in our changing global society. CCAC’s quality programs enable students to transfer credits to 520 colleges and universities and support regional workforce needs with accessible instruction available day, evening, weekend and online in Allegheny County and beyond. Visit to learn more.