As told to Archana Ram.
The Elimination challenge was brutal. In a lot of ways, even at its strangest and most gimmicky, Top Chef mimics the real world in the sense that, when you run a restaurant, on a Saturday night, you don’t know who your customers are going to be and what’s going to go wrong. You might have to improvise. It was certainly a tough challenge. Plus it was 3 in the morning. The exhaustion factor with these guys was big.
I don’t know whether making soup was a strategy, but the chefs were desperate. They were in a limited situation. They were insecure with their environment, unfamiliar with the tools. They really had to wing it. I think they were playing it safe with soup. But I think the fact that a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup won tells you something. That was obviously a smart way to go. That wasn’t the time to start doing really complex food. Overcomplicating and overreaching is often a lethal strategy. I would’ve played it safe and tried to do the best I could to not go home. I wouldn’t have made this as my day to go home with the big money. But I never would’ve made it to the finals of Top Chef on my culinary skills alone. I was a journeyman chef of middling ability. Generally speaking the chefs on the show, most of them are better cooks than I am, though maybe not as experienced or as well or widely eaten. READ FULL STORY