Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 5


Our chat with the poor chef-testant who couldn’t please Gail Simmons…after the jump.


Nooooo! Five seasons in and still no Long Island Top Chef champ. Oh, the injustice. I just got off the phone with Danny, and if there’s one thing I can say for this guy, it’s that he can make a person laugh. Get ready for some football (analogies).

Do you still think your food was perfect?
Yes. The whole thing was to make a plate, correct? A plate is made up of a sauce, a veg, a starch and a protein. I did the sauce and the veg and I thought they were good. I thought the mushrooms were seasoned well and everything.

You said you felt like the refs missed a call. Was there something they didn’t see?
They saw it.  They saw that Gene was the leader of this team, and the sushi dish was his idea. It was his idea to put this dish together. I really don’t know much about sushi so I let him take the lead, and he forgot to explain to the ladies how to put this dish together. I’m not bashing him, but I think he should have gone home. You know, sometimes they make the wrong call in the Super Bowl, but that’s what happens.

What would you have done differently if you could do it again?
I wouldn’t have done that sushi. It messed the whole thing up. It’s like…lemme see here…how can I make a football analogy? It’s like the head coach says, ‘go over here, do this play,’ and then the guy gets the crap beaten out of him, and the guy goes over to the coach and says, ‘what did ya tell me to do that for?’ and the coach says ‘you’re a retard.’

What did you think of the judges?
The one thing that disappointed me about the whole show was that of all the positive things I did on the show, Tom Colicchio had no positive things to say about me. He’s a great chef and I respect him, so I was very disappointed that he had nothing positive to say about me.

Did he just not like you?
Tom Colicchio has a strong personality, I have a strong personality, so maybe, I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. But I was really upset that he found a negative in all my positives.

Hosea made a comment saying that you were actually smart, as if people didn’t think you were. Did that offend you?
No, not at all. Look, I’m from Long Island, I have a Long Island accent. Say if someone told me to say ‘I love mustard on my hot dog,’ and then they tell Fabio to say ‘I love mustard on my hot dog.’ They’re going to like the way Fabio says it 100 times better, because he says “I love-a musss-turrd on-a my hot-a dog,” and I sound like a meathead. I am who I am.

Did you hate those Euros or what?
I don’t know if you’ve ever met any Europeans, you probably have. But the thing about Europeans is that they think us Americans, we’re not educated, that we don’t know what’s going on. And that was a trait that I didn’t like in them. Who would like that? But they were very talented, and may the best man win.

Who’s the best chef left?
Hosea. He’s very talented, charismatic, and knowledgeable around the kitchen.

The facial hair. WTF?
When I used to play ball I would shave spikes in my facial hair so that when I put my helmet on they would only see those. So I continued that here, just to get ready and be like, ‘It’s game time.’

Overall was it a good experience?
The best experience of my life. You know, I made it to the Super Bowl, I might not have won, but I made it.

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  • belmontmedina December 11, 2008  

    From the NY Mag exit interview:
    “What other factors contributed to your elimination?
    They thought I didn’t do that much. But I made a barbecue sauce from scratch. I’m not taking Peter Luger’s sauce and pouring it out of a bottle. There’s a lot of steps involved and a lot of technique involved in making a barbecue sauce. I was kind of shocked.”

  • JoeHoya December 11, 2008  

    He didn’t make the Super Bowl. He made the NCAA tournament – and he didn’t even make the Final Four.

    That one-before-last question explains why he got the boot…he should have been wearing a helmet in the kitchen.

  • miked. December 11, 2008  

    “But the thing about Europeans is that they think us Americans, we’re not educated”

  • Maidelitala December 12, 2008  

    and also.

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