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Foothill High School graduate withstands the heat on Hell's Kitchen

Published On: Jul 19 2013 09:25:46 PM CDT

SHASTA COUNTY

Margo Perkins is stunned, but thrilled, by her daughter Mary's success on Fox's "Hell's Kitchen."

REDDING, Calif. -

A Foothill High School graduate is in championship form in the kitchen.

Northstate native Mary Poehnelt, 26, is one round away from taking the title on Fox Television’s competitive cooking show, “Hell’s Kitchen”.

She has been able to withstand all kinds of criticism from host and Chef Gordon Ramsay, and is one of three contestants remaining.

Poehnelt currently lives on the East Coast, working as a butcher in Massachusetts. Although, she still has plenty of fans here in the Northstate, including her mother.

“She said that she really wanted to go to culinary school in Manhattan,” said Mary’s mother Margo Perkins. “I said, wow, really? I thought that was great, because every time she comes over now she can do the cooking and I don't have to worry about it."

If Poehnelt wins, it means a new job title. The winner of Hell’s Kitchen Season 11 takes over as head chef at Gordon Ramsay's restaurant at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

The two-hour season finale airs Thursday, July 25 on KCVU Fox 20 at 8:00 p.m.