Top Chef Just Desserts Exit Interview: Episode 9

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In the second-to-final episode of Top Chef Just Desserts we were met with the delightful Sylvia Weinstock.  We saw Sylvia earlier in the season, but this time she had her husband, Ben, by her side. The chef’testants were tasked with making a cake for Sylvia and Ben’s 61st anniversary, a rather triumphant milestone.

Keep reading to see which chef’testant didn’t just cut it.

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ES: When did you first start using glitter and disco dust in your desserts?
Zac Young: Haha, my love of glitter and disco dust has been a lifelong affair! It [started] with my days at the Radio City Music Spectacular. There are just hundreds of pairs of rhinestone tights and thousands of pounds of rhinestones and glitter everywhere. I left there with stars in my eyes.

It wasn’t until Top Chef that I started putting it on the actual desserts. I always put them on the garnishes. The first episode I thought, why not, why don’t I just put the glitter right on it? Now it’s my signature, kind of like my lucky charm.

Danielle Kyrillos said that her favorite Zac-ism of yours was “Just a little bit of butter. Just a little butter”, what is your favorite Zac-ism?
The first episode I said to Gail, “I can’t do anything without a deep fryer and some glitter,” which is true. My food is glamorized comfort food. A chef friend of mine said eating my food is like getting a big hug.  It’s warm and comforting but there is a little razzle-dazzle on it.

For Ben & Sylvia’s cake you were very focused on the beach aspect of their story. Do you think there was enough of the other elements from what they wanted?
I knew I was going home when we started it. I couldn’t wrap my head around the challenge. I couldn’t think of what I wanted to do. I was distracted by the fact we were making it for Sylvia–such a beautiful love story between her and Ben. There became a point about two hours into the cook time that I just looked at it and was like, I had no clue what I was doing. Just because I can make chocolate waves doesn’t mean I should make chocolate waves. It was my time.

Did you learn and incorporate any of Sylvia’s suggestions and recommendations from when you first met her in episode three?
We all did. It was funny because we were all saying after the wedding cake Quickfire we all felt really embarrassed that we had made these cakes for Sylvia. They were all so sloppy and we all said we wanted a second chance to do this. And we got it.

At judges’ table, you went off a little on Morgan with him being ungrateful of his winning streak. Where did that come from?
Morgan is an alpha male bully, he continually said: “I want to go home, I miss my son, screw this, I don’t want to deal with this. I don’t want to do this.”

Having that negative attitude really made it hard to persevere and go through these challenges, coupled with the fact that he has won so many times and he is still complaining that he wants to go home. It’s really frustrating as someone who actually enjoys the competition and enjoys the challenges.

Knowing I was going home I just wanted to get it off my chest. His comments really offend me. There are some comments that are on the show that we all laugh off and let it blow over. You look at Morgan and he is bigoted and he’s a bully. That’s hard to watch. I continually watch the show and see how genuinely mean he is.

He’s a wonderful pastry chef.

For Halloween you dressed as Gail, care to explain that choice?
They just don’t get better than Gail Simmons. She is so smart, she is so incredible, so warm and so lovely. She really made this experience awesome. When we’re at judges’ table you always felt her criticism was honest and valid, so that was my homage to her.

What is served in the Zac household for Thanksgiving?
Deep fried pumpkin pie. As if there is any doubt. I’m a skinny, short, gay Paula Deen. I just love big flavor and I like fun, and what’s more fun than deep frying?

Johnny mentioned that he expects you to be one of the premiere pastry chefs in the country. What is next from you?
What’s next is a doughnut shop. I’m still getting offers and deciding what I want to do. Because I have my own style and I really do my own thing it’s hard to match that in a restaurant .To really execute what I want I have to do my own thing. Right now I’m starting with the doughnuts: I’m saving the world one doughnut at a time.

(Photos: Bravo)

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One comment

  • BS November 12, 2010  

    WOW. this guy cracks me up. He is going places. I mean, deep-fried pumpkin pie? Drag gail simmons? this man is a genius.

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