Burning Questions

The Mexican cuisine chef takes home the title.

Aug 17, 2009

Bravotv.com: Gael seemed especially bothered by “air.” What’s your take on it?
I think it is always good to try new things and listen to your team of chefs. As in the prior challenge with Richard and the avocado ice—I let him run with it. In my kitchen in Chicago, when I have a chef that wants to try and use different techniques, I welcome it. It makes the environment exciting and quite satisfying.

Do you use it often?
In Topolobampo we do play around with using different flavors of “air” on our plates. I don’t think we overuse it or try to make it like we are trying too hard to create something that doesn’t fit for us and our cuisine.

Bravotv.com: How excited were you to win?
I couldn’t believe it! I really couldn’t. This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life—physically and mentally. I also was thrilled to know that I would be bringing 100,000 back to our farmers in Chicago.

Bravotv.com: How hard has it been keeping the secret?
Not too bad—I sort of stuck to the “We aren’t even done filming it yet” sort of approach. And I loved being able to say: Watch what happens!

Bravotv.com: How did you think your family/chefs will react?
FREAK OUT… they know that it was hard for me to be away from them and the restaurant.