Top Chef Exit Interview: Episode 11

tom and nats

The six chef-testants left were really starting to smell the finale this week. But one got sent packing. We chat with them, after the jump.


Can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Her fellow chef-testants had been angling for weeks to see Amanda pack her knives hit the road. But she’s not bitter.

ES: Was it hard to watch your fellow chefs say you didn’t deserve to be there? And did you sense their feelings during the filming?
Amanda: I didn’t feel like that during filming. You know, I guess I’m sorry that they felt that way. I think I deserved to be there and I definitely do not think I got lucky. There’s no getting lucky with those judges.

Speaking of the judges, who was the most intimidating to cook for?

A lot of the other chefs had personal relationships or a history with the guest judges, and I didn’t. I never worked for any of them. So I just tried not to think about who they were, because that can throw you off your game. I just did my thing and tried to put out the best dish I could every time.

The judges gave you some flack for serving tuna tartare at the ballpark. Would you do that differently if you got another chance?
I wouldn’t pick something different. I was trying to stand out from the others. I was trying to take ballpark food and elevate it.  You go to the Staples Center now and you can get sushi. Anything’s available at stadiums nowadays, so I think it was a good choice.

You and Kelly both seemed pretty awe-struck by those gigantic Nationals players.
(Laughs.) I don’t know that I thought they were cute as much as I thought they were massive. I was trying to get ready to serve these throngs of people, that kitchen was really small and Tom just strolls in with these goliaths, and I’m like, what is going on here? Tom, this is not OK.

Who was your favorite guest star that you got to cook for?
Nancy Pelosi! I thought it was really awesome that she took the time to come judge us on Top Chef.

You were also pretty tickled by Angelo getting into Zen this week. Is that a regular ritual for him?
Yeah…(laughs). Yeah, definitely. I like Angelo. The Angelo that I know is kind of a goofball. In the beginning when he came off cocky, I thought that was funny, because that’s not the Angelo I know. He’s a pretty funny guy.

Last week, Alex told us you were the one chef who could clear his name in the great pea puree scandal.
Alex did not steal the pea puree. He made it right next to me.

(Photos: Bravo)

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One comment

  • Liza August 27, 2010  

    @BS Thank you for your continued coverage of the pea puree scandal and for getting to the bottom of it!!! Seriously! Maybe there should be a top ten of cooking scandals?

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