Burning Questions

The Top Chef alum explains what happened with Chef Chariello.

Aug 12, 2009

It was a great experience to meet Rick, Hubert, and be able to work with Anita, and clearly interesting to meet Micheal. No matter where I am in my career, any opportunity to work among great chefs is an honor and learning experience. It was also cool to meet and reconnect with chefs from past seasons.

Helping Anita win for her charity was my priority in this challenge, but as for what was aired between me and Michael, well, things just happen in situations that combine crowded kitchens, competition, stress, and strong personalities.

Looking back, I cannot see myself handling it in a different way. When confronted by this “Master” chef, I took his comments and tone to be insulting. Had this situation taken place with, for example Joel Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse, I know I would react differently, as I have had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these great chefs.

My apologies if my reaction negatively impacted my team and the other chefs in any way. Do I think how I reacted was appropriate? No, but inappropriate is part of the chef's life. That’s who we are — a degenerate, compulsive, irrational, egotistical and passionate breed that knows how to cook. I haven't spoken to Micheal since, and am not holding any grudges. But, I'm also not looking to grab a beer, or breakfast, with him anytime soon.

I am grateful for the opportunity and it was sad to see Anita go, but wish the best for the others.

Dale "whatchoogonnadoboutit" Talde