Top Chef All-Stars Exit Interview: Episode 10

Top Chef All-Stars is really getting down to the nitty-gritty, with just seven chef-testants left this week. But one of them ended the episode about as happy as cookie monster at a make-your-own-salad party. We find out what went wrong, after the jump.

In the biggest shocker of the season so far, Carla and Tiffany survived, but Angelo Sosa was told to pack his knives and leave.

ES: How exhausted are you after doing two seasons of Top Chef back-to-back?
Angelo Sosa: I think I did close to 80 challenges, but Top Chef All-Stars broke me. It broke me in the most amazing way. It kept pushing me beyond limits that I didn’t even know I had. When I was told to pack my knives and leave, I just really had a sense of gratitude that I got to cook with these amazing chefs in front of millions of people.

In season seven you were kind of the villain, but in this one you came across as more likable.
To be honest with you I think I was misunderstood in the first season. Cooking with the All-Stars, who are all amazing chefs, I just felt more in my place. I felt like I was able to form kinships. I was able to let my guard down and just cook.

Why did everyone decide to cook soup in the last challenge?
We had two hours to cook and basically set up our own kitchen. I’d never been to a Super Target before and I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured they wouldn’t have filet mignon, salmon and caviar. So I was trying to think of dishes that could come together quickly.

We saw Mike Isabella tell you that your soup needed to be salted and then you lost because it was too salty. Did he set you up?
I tasted Mike’s dishes five to 10 times, as he did mine. What you saw was only a sliver of it. At the end of the day, I conceived the birth of this dish, I put it out there, and I’m smart enough to make my own decisions.

Tiffany cracked at judges’ table and broke down. She seemed to think she was going home — did you?
I don’t really play that game. I have my own standards and hold myself accountable for my own dish. That’s it.

The last few guys to get kicked off have seemed to think the ladies don’t deserve to still be there. What do you think?
Let me put it this way — I never once questioned the judges’ decision. They really love food and they know what they’re doing. If the three girls are still there, then they deserve to be there.

What’s up next for you?
I’m a partner in Sosa Consulting Group, we manage and strategize restaurant concepts, and I’m opening up a new concept in midtown Manhattan very shortly called Social Eatz. It’s going to be American comfort food with Asian accents. For example, I know a lot of people loved eating sloppy joes growing, so I’m going to do a sloppy ho chi mihn that has an Asian kick and is super yummy.

Who is the best chef left?
I have the highest respect, as a person, as a chef, as an innovator, for Richard Blais. I’ve never cooked with anyone at his level.

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