, but chef-host Gordon Ramsay says he's been a relative teddy bear so far.

In fact, he says the new season of the cooking competition, which premieres at 9 ET tonight on FOX, is the first time he can "start really turning up the heat" on the contestants. Yikes.

The reason, Ramsay says, is because the contestants are, as a group, the strongest yet in the show's five seasons. "The better they are, the more pressure they can take," Ramsay says. "I've never really ben able to intensify the pressure in the past. They haven't been able to take it."

Ramsay has more to say, of course, and you can see it over at the LA Times Showtracker blog.

Psyched to start the new season of Hell's Kitchen? Before the show starts, you can familiarize yourself with the new crop of cooks.

Posted by:Rick Porter