Burning Questions

The Season 5 winner dishes on his menu, Stefan, and, of course, Leah.

Feb 25, 2009

Bravotv.com: What did you think of the other chefs’ menus?
When we told each other what we were doing, I really thought Carla was going to take it. Her menu sounded so delicious. It was what she had been building up to all season. If she hadn't run out of time plating, the results might not have been the same. Stefan's also sounded wonderful. We all know he can make fine desserts, but unfortunately that seems to have been the dish that helped me edge out the win. 

Bravotv.com: What was it like cooking for that table of esteemed chefs and others?
I can say it was one of the biggest honors of my life (right up there with the last dinner in NYC). I am glad I had already done most of the cooking before I had to say hello to them, as I might have been too stressed out to think and cook clearly. 

Bravotv.com: You and Stefan got into a bit of a scuffle over the foie gras, etc. What happened?
It's a competition.  There are limited ingredients.  Part of the strategy is to go in the walk-in and grab what you need.  There were many times during this season that I didn't get to use something because somebody else had already taken it and wouldn't share.  I was clear to him that I would share whatever I didn't plan on using.  I'm not going to feel bad about getting the foie gras first.

Bravotv.com: Do you actually like Stefan because sometimes you seem actually kind of playful.
Yes. As I said before, he is a friend. The show needs drama, so you see the fights and the insults. There are many hours worth of footage of Stefan and I having a great time together that are laying on a cutting room floor somewhere. In fact, I'd say 90% of the time we got along wonderfully.