Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 5
Look at Padma and those knee highs, hawt.
But I digress- this week’s episode of Top Chef felt more like farmville than anything politico. The chef’testants murdered Chesapeake Blue Crab before our eyes and headed out to Ayrshire Farm in VA for the elimination challenge.
Read on to hear what last night’s loser has to say about packing his/her knives.
Endless Simmer: Was there a lot of pressure being the only chef who was born and raised in the DC area, or do you feel you had a home turf advantage?
Timothy Dean: It was a little bit of both, more of a distraction than anything. I knew everywhere we were going, including Whole Foods. I did feel like I had the home rule advantage. At the end of the day I wish I could jump on a plane for a Top Chef elsewhere, but DC is a beautiful city. I had a great time showing the other chef’testants and the producers the city.
What are your top 3 restaurants in the city?
I would say Michel Richard’s Citronelle, Jaleo and KAZ Sushi.
If you had a chance to cook for the First Family what would you make?
I ran into the President once at Ray’s Hell Burgers, I think he kinda likes his hamburgers. I would make him a pretty damn good TD burger, cook him up a nice burger. If he wants me to put a slice of foie gras on there I definitely would do that for him.
You decided to go simple, “let the stars sing,” with the hard shell crabs in the Quickfire challenge. What was your rational with that?
If they were soft shell I would have definitely tempura them up. These were hard shell which are sweet, beautiful and meaty. The particular crabs we had that day had mustard in them which are like a prize of the Maryland blue crab, so you don’t have to do a lot to it. Season it up nicely and the crab was singing.
Tom suggested that your elimination dish had a, “Total lack of inspiration and it was neither here nor there.” What do you have to say about that?
I would love to put Tom in that same situation and judge him. I was just very surprised at the lack of product that we had out there on the farm. I spent a good deal of time roasting and helping other contestants on the team. Everyone thought if you look at it and look at the criticism last night—they have to bring me back, they have to.
I do not regret my dish. I would have preferred to work with beets. I wouldn’t have done anything different. Had the weather been different and not 35 degrees outside I would have done a mousseline.
Who was the most daunting judge to appear before?
I would have to say probably Tom. Eric I’ve known since I was 18 years old. The question did come up on whether Eric would be able to judge me as he could the other contestants. He brought out the baseball bat and went to school on me. Tom was extra critical.
Now that you are out is there any particular contestant you are rooting for?
I’m rooting for me; I think they are gonna bring me back. They’ve gotta bring me back. If I had to pick one I would definitely say, because he’s a good friend and my roommate, Angelo.
Do you have any advice for future contestants?
From my point of view and after last night- stay away from turnips.
What’s next, especially with your National Harbor project?
I’m going to keep cooking. I’ve been doing it since I was 14 years old. Serving up some great steaks in Baltimore and I’ll be coming to Prince George’s County pretty soon.
In reference to National Harbor, I’m trying to get my investment back. I put up seven figures of my money and with one other investor and we just want our investment back so we can move on. We’re getting close right now to finding a solution to it, I think I want to move on at this point because of the way they carried things. To be in PG County, which is predominantly African-American, and not have a restaurant down there that represents that, speaks volumes.
I thought what Timothy did with the crab was PERFECT – everyone else did a soup which I thought was not the best way to showcase the crab. Plus watching the other contestants chopping the legs off of LIVE crabs made me extremely upset – they had NO idea what they were doing.
I agree with Liza that the crabs looked good. But how can he defend that elimination dish? It looked SUPER boring. I thought it was obvious he was going home from the second he put it down.