Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 11


And then there were five. Padma cracks herself up, but one chef’testant still had to go….


It’s a shocker! ES readers were sure Leah was packing her knives, but instead Jamie is sent home, albeit with no  hard feelings. Seriously, none. WTF?

Totally thought you were gonna win! How were you so calm and collected?
I definitely knew that I screwed up and I had a pretty good idea that I was gonna be going home. So at that point I just had to except my fate. What else can you do?  It’s not the end of the world, not for me anyway. It’s six months ago at this point, so I’m not gonna beat myself up about oversalted celery.

Was it hard to watch?
Well I haven’t seen last night’s episode yet-

Whaaa? You didn’t watch?
Nah, I got off work really late and then I came home and watched American Idol first and fell asleep.  I’ve never been that girl who rushed home and had to watch myself on TV.

Ok, well now I feel like a loser for rushing home to watch you on TV. So what’s up with Stefan? You guys engaged yet?
Ha. The whole romance with  Stefan was ridiculous, but honestly a little overdone and fabricated for TV. He definitely had a crush on me, but it was more of a crush as in admiration for me as a chef and there was a mutual admiration there. He’s actually one of my best friends from the show, which is kinda funny. Although he definitely has an overbearing personality that can be a little much, especially when we’re in the stew room for hours.

Who are you rooting for now?
At this point, everyone has a chance. Stefan is probably the most talented chef but really anyone could win. A lot of people thought I was gonna win but now I’m gone, so there you see.

Is there anyone who you think shouldn’t have gone so early?
Definitely Ariane. I think she should have had more of a chance. She’s a badass cook. I’ve eaten at her restaurants twice. Girl can cook.

What did you think of the judges?
Gail is the most fair judge. When Gail would speak, I would listen. Toby, on the other hand, I think is more there for the dramatic value, and Tom and Padma I’ll keep mum about.

What you got goin on for Valentine’s Day?
Eh, not so excited because it is so busy at the restaurant. We’re fully booked so it’s gonna be a busy night. But I’m excited to take the redeye and see my girlfriend in New York the next day.

Nice! What are you gonna cook for her?
Absolutely not. She’s probably hoping I’ll cook something but I don’t think so. I’m only there for three days so I can’t imagine there’s going to be a lot of cooking going on.

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  • T.Piper February 5, 2009  

    I’m so bummed by her loss. I had been saying since the premier that Jamie would make it to the finals. I guess that means Stephan, Hosea and *sigh* Carla will make it? It’s interesting that not one, but two caterers have made it thus far.

  • Mrs. Joe Hoya February 5, 2009  

    I really thought Jamie would make Top 4. Both Hosea and Leah seemed to committed worse sins than salty celery. Judging this season seems especially arbitrary.

    If Leah makes it to the finals, I will shove a spork in my eye.

  • gansie February 5, 2009  

    @TP don’t underestimate carla. she’s a trained french chef (plus a CPA and a model) so BACK OFF

  • Oxen Cox February 5, 2009  

    I think Carla is a gem. Mad as hell, but a gem. The scenes for next week’s episode show that Fabio gets hurt. I will be crying into my monkey arse. Leah should just do us a solid and leave. She is a fucking snooze fest.

  • Summer February 5, 2009  

    So sad to see Jamie go. I was really hoping for the top 4 to be Stefan, Fabio, Jamie and Carla. I’m not impressed with Leah and Hosea as chefs or characters, but I supposed the Magical Elves must feel differently.

    I’d hoped Leah would go home last night because she was so clueless about what she did wrong, and I also would have given the win to Carla over Stefan. Carla’s dish was so much more complicated! She should have gotten more credit for figuring out that dish and recreating it. I’m sure Stefan’s dish was perfectly executed, but how much more basic do you get than hollandaise sauce?

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  • La Morgan February 10, 2009  

    Bummer! I really liked her and thought she was super competent. Leah just ekes on by…apparently she isn’t interesting enough to catch the judges’ attention & therefore their most heated criticism.

    I also think Carla rocks, in her dreamy sort of way…and now I am rooting for her.

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