Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 10

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Top Chef was quite the party this week, with Super Bowl dishes, the return of Spike, and Padma-as-slutty-ref. But of course, one chef’testant had to pack their knives and leave. We catch up with them, after the jump.

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Poor Jeff was not so happy last night, but at least he gets to go back to the Miami sunshine at the good old Dilido Beach Club. (That’s D-I-L-I-D-O).

So, um, are you OK?
Yeah, I was pretty bummed. I think everyone is always a little upset when they get kicked off something like that. I really thought I was gonna make it further, at least until the finale, but what can you do?

Fabio dodged a bullet, huh?
I did think I was gonna sneak by because the judges gave Fabio so much more specific criticism. They told him he overcooked the venison, put cheddar cheese on the salad when he shouldn’t have, used a heavy vinaigrette, they really spent a long time ripping him. And the judges didn’t really give me all that much critique. When someone says it was a “watered-down version of ceviche,” well I didn’t use water so there’s not a whole lot to go on there. So yeah, I was surprised.

Do you think Fabio’s big, funny, Mr. TV personality had anything to do with the judges’ decision?
Y—…ah, I don’t think I should touch that one too much. All I’ll say is Fabio’s a funny guy. You know Fabio, you see him on TV. He’s a funny guy.

What was Fabio like as a roommate?
Fabio’s a good friend of mine. He’s a good guy and a good cook. And he’s a good roommate – very clean, not a slob. He cuts his own hair by the way.

Were you surprised when the All-Star chefs came out?
With this show, there’s not really much they can do to surprise you. They could send me into the forest and tell me to hunt a unicorn and put it on a grill; I wouldn’t be that surprised.

Who do you think should/will win?
Everyone has the potential to win. It’s really a race to the finish now. Hosea and I became friends, he’s been in a bit of a funk but I’m rooting for him to get out of it. And Fabio and I are friends so I’m rooting for those two, but I think anyone could win.

What’s up with you now?
I’m gonna stick around Miami, still working at the Ritz-Carlton, and working on a book called The Natural Course, it comes out this summer.

(Photos: Bravo)

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