Burning Questions

The eliminated chef has no regrets about his final dish.

Apr 27, 2011

I am a very political animal. I hurt myself because of my honesty. But in end, I feel the Suvir that sleeps, sleeps knowing he did what was right, not what was convenient.

Someday, somewhere, some judge, some fellow contestant and some client may commend me for that. But till then, I am the loser from this challenge. A loser in the eyes of the world, but in some small way, not that much of a loser to myself, or to those that have had my own struggles around weight, and for those that work tirelessly to help those like me and some of the clients we worked for today deal with the pandemic of obesity.
Bravotv.com: Were you surprised that the dish got you sent home?
SS: As I said above, I made the dish because I woke up thinking my five minutes on TV could not be about doing what the client wanted, or what would be safe. My conscience told me these were five minutes that needed to happen for the sake of those five obese people that want to see America talk about what matters and what is difficult, not just debate that which sounds good, and ultimately changes nothing. I was also mindful of James Oseland's previous criticism that I was doing what was safe, so I decided to take a risk and do the unexpected.

I woke up convinced that even if only five out of the millions battling obesity found an appreciation for the tough decision I made, I did what was correct, even if ultimately self-destructive in this TV scenario. And so, I was not surprised at all. I was sad that the judges did not have bigger vision than one would have stereotyped them for. I missed having another set of judges, even if only for this episode, so that America could have perhaps celebrated an outcome that at least would have debated why I did what I did, even if I was still eliminated.

Bravotv.com: Do you wish you had done anything differently?
SS: Nope. For this particular challenge, I cannot imagine doing anything differently. As I sleep over what I did, and what the judges did not do, I am convinced that I would do only what I did, even if only different variations of the same theme. As a home-trained chef, I am not about routine. Rather, each dish I create comes from a very special place in my heart, in my life and in that of the life of my friends and family. My vegetable burger would never be the same twice. It would reflect the desires of those I am cooking for, and the ingredient list of vegetables would change. I chose vegetables my client said she liked. If I had another client, those veggies would reflect their taste. But nothing else would change.