Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 6
One of our Vegas chef-testants ran out of magic this week. We find out why, after the jump.
ES: Tell us what went wrong with your paella in last night’s challenge?
Ron: As far as I’m concerned, nothing went wrong. As far as the judges are concerned, well, I don’t know what the hell they were talking about.
They all seemed to think your rice was overcooked and your seafood was also overcooked. Was that not the case?
I made paella the way I like to make it and I know they didn’t like that. But look, we all know there is only one judge who knows what she’s talking about, and I don’t even have to say her name because everyone in the world knows it. She’s the only one with a good palate, who knows food, and of course that’s Gail Simmons. The other judges, well, they want a little bit of drama, and I was there to cook, not to give them drama.
Wow, so I take it you were pretty disappointed to see Toby replacing Gail in that last challenge?
I wasn’t too happy about it, no.
Are you saying that the judges exaggerated the flaws in your dish?
I’m glad you asked that, because yes, I don’t think my dish had those problems they were talking about. But it’s OK, I don’t care so much about criticism from them. If Mike Voltaggio had something to say about my food, I would listen. If Bryan Voltaggio had something to say I would listen. Anyone else there talking about my food, I’m not so upset about it.
If you had to do it all over again, would you just forget the deconstruction and do paella your way?
Yes, absolutely. I am a classically trained cook and I don’t do any of this. I can do some of the nouveau cooking, but I do classic food, Creole food, so yes, I would do paella the way I do it. But I feel good about what I did. I was happy to be part of season six. Can you believe how good the chefs were on this season? I watched every other season, and this is by far the best group of chefs.
What’s next for you?
Today I’m starting a diet. I didn’t like in episode two when one of the other contestants called me a fat chef. And I want to work to address nutritional issues, with children across the country, and particularly in the African-American community. It’s a very serious problem we need to address. And I’m going to open a restaurant next to Michelle Bernstein and one next to Tom Colichio and take away their business.