Roy Yamaguchi

The eliminated chef shares what he learned from his competitors.

Bravotv.com: What was your first reaction when you saw who your competitors were?
I was happy to see my friends, especially Jonathan Waxman.

Bravotv.com: The Quickfire — were you happy with the aisle you got?
It could have been worse. Under the circumstances, I call it a blessing.

Bravotv.com: It seemed the highlight of the dish, and what the diners latched on to was the fried egg and pasta. Does this work with all pastas if people want to do that at home?
At home, try it first Asian-style. In the Asian culture it is common to have eggs with noodles.

Now the Elimination: Did sabotage ever cross your mind?
No not at all. We've been cooking for some time now and most importantly we're all friends. We'd been helping each other in some small ways before this competition.

Bravotv.com: What made you go with a refined surf and turf?
Plain and simple: the proteins were selected by Chef Art, and knowing Art he thought carefully about the proteins he selected. I didn't want to dissapoint Art by not using them.

Bravotv.com: Gael commented that she thought of the dish as two separate courses. Did you think the two components went well together?
Of couse it would have been better separately, but at the end of the day I wasn't thinking about winning. Having meat and fish over rice on the same plate is very common here in Hawaii. I enjoyed what I was cooking and wanted to cook and plate the dish the way my local guests would enjoy it back home.

Bravotv.com: You admitted it was really all about the time. Have you kept your promise of not telling your chefs to “hurry up?”

I have not since then.Bravotv.com: Did you get to try the other dishes? What did you think?
No I did not, but I'm sure everyone's dish was a win-ah.

Bravotv.com: You all seemed to form a real bond. Have you all kept in touch? What did they teach you?
I used to work with Waxman before and have known him the longest, about 30 years. I've done a couple of events with him since the filming. I've done events with Chef Art and been to Table 52. I've dined at Providence and done events also with Michael since the filming. Waxman always amazes me with his intelligence. They taught me to calm down. II should be spending more time on my drums.

Bravotv.com: Anything else you’d like to add?
It seems long ago that we did the filming. I'm glad it's over — I can breathe again. It wasn't a good thing for my blood pressure. All and all, I'm glad I was chosen as a contestant. These chefs are great. Thanks again for letting me participate.