Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 6

top chef penn and teller

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.

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  • Summer September 24, 2009  

    Wow. Usually these exit interviews make me like an eliminated contestant more, but this one is making me even happier that Ron is gone. He sounds delusional. He got eliminated because Gail wasn’t there? I don’t think so. You don’t have to work for Food & Wine magazine to be able to tell when fish is overcooked and the texture of rice is off… and besides, she’s been on the panel when he appeared before the Judge’s Table in the losing group before. And he’s going on a diet because another contestant called him fat? What, he hadn’t noticed before that? Maybe he hadn’t, considering the way he was straining the seams of his chef’s jacket….

  • top chef fan September 24, 2009  

    I think Ron rocks! This exit interview cracked me up!

  • alicia September 24, 2009  

    AGAIN! I used to love this site, but seriously, once again you’ve managed to ruin the surprise by not properly formatting the post for those of us who use RSS feeds.

  • BS September 24, 2009  

    Alicia, I don’t get it. We took the photos out so that you wouldn’t have to see who lost. Can’t you just not read the posts when the headline is “exit interview?”

  • BD September 24, 2009  

    BS – Are these real exit interviews? I’ve been reading them for a while and always assumed they were spoofs – what’s the deal? BD

  • BS September 24, 2009  

    lol. yes, they are real.

  • Britannia September 24, 2009  

    Despite Ron’s clear delusion in thinking that Gail has the only real voice on judge’s table I have to admire his honesty. Don’t cheftestant’s have continuing interaction with the show and producers until the season has run its course, is he not alienating any future possibilities with the show?

    I was fortunate enough to eat Michael Voltaggio’s deconstructed Caesar salad when I dined at The Bazaar a few months back, my egg actually exploded which was great- I’m guessing last night was just bad luck.

  • Knitguy September 24, 2009  

    BS don’t worry about the formatting for RSS readers. I personally like it when entire posts are shown in my RSS reader and it’s pretty easy to just skip over your post if I haven’t seen the episode.

    With that out of the way, Ron seems to have really taken this badly. It seems pretty clear that his rice and seafood were overcooked (and it doesn’t take a fine palate to figure that out) and he knows he’s not good at making deconstructed dishes. Gail wouldn’t have been able to save him with overcooked food and an ill prepared dish.

  • alicia September 25, 2009  

    The way it works in google reader, I can only see that Endless Simmer has a new post, not the title, until I select my Endless Simmer feed. By the time I click, it pulls up the entire post, where I can clearly see you quoting Ron. I really love most of the posts on this blog and get excited when a new one shows up on my google reader, so without knowing that it is the exit interview, I’m most likely going to click on it.

  • Knitguy September 25, 2009  

    Alicia, I also use Google Reader and what I end up doing is reading via the “All items” tab (well it’s not a tab but I think you know what I mean) which I have set to “show newest first”. Generally speaking the Endless Simmer blog doesn’t come up first (though of course it could happen – I just happen to read a lot of blogs so the odds aren’t exceedingly high) and when I see it it’s pretty easy to quickly scroll below it (thus not reading any of the contents). Also, it does seem that the Top Chef exit interviews are generally on Thursdays (the day after the episode airs) so you could also just avoid Endless Simmer on those days when it is seemingly predicable that an exit interview will be posted.

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