Southwest Philly's Barbie Marshall holds her own on 'Hell's Kitchen'

Southwest Philly native Barbie Marshall says it's more than just being from Philly; it's being the only mom on "Hell's Kitchen" that made her happy to hold her own in a huge argument with the other women on the Fox cooking show.


Marshall, 34, who worked at the now-closed Philadelphia Fish and Co. in Old City, Rx in West Philly, and Raw (1225 Sansom), said she's "not afraid to not be liked. Sometimes you have to tell your kids no and accept that they aren't gonna like you for it." Marshall has four children, including two from her late husband's previous marriage.

In July 2007, Marshall's husband John was shot and killed in Fern Rock while trying to break up a fight involving his brother. At that point, Marshall left the city for Lancaster County, where she has worked on the Green Meadow Farm, which services many local restaurants.

Marshall started cooking at 14 after the death of her father, Malcolm McRay, a retired Philadelphia Police officer, and his former partner, Vincent Cunningham, hired her to work at his Ritz Hall catering facility in North Philly.

When we caught up with Barbie yesterday, she was cooking food to donate to the Penn Alexander school in University City for its eighth-grade graduation. She says her company, Soop Catering, does a lot of charity work. She says if she wins the reality show and is offered a job at Gordon Ramsay Steak in Las Vegas, she has to talk it over with her family before deciding whether to move everyone out west.

Read more from our column in Thursday's Daily News.