Burning Questions

The winner of the Air Force challenge talks about his partner and having Jennifer C. as chef.

Sep 2, 2009

Bravotv.com: First, what are you thinking of the competition up to this point? Who do you think are your biggest threats?
I think the competition is proving to be about cooking. My biggest threat is always myself. I don't worry too much about what others are doing, I try to focus more on my own execution.

Bravotv.com: How much is your brother’s success in this competition factoring into your state of mind/your performance?
Bryan is a talent to take seriously. I'm happy to see him succeed. Again, my focus in not so much on his success or anyone else's, it's on the center of my plates.

Bravotv.com: Onto the Quickfire: You had to create an “out of this world” potato dish for Mark Peel. What was the inspiration for your dish? Do you generally like working with potatoes?
My inspiration was a riff on a tuna sandwich with potato. I confit both the fish and the spud and paired them with a vanilla-scented mayonnaise.

Bravotv.com: Jennifer wins the Quickire and the team pairs/Jenn as leader idea is formed. How did you feel about this scenario?
We strategically made her the chef based on immunity. She didn't need to cook anything because she wasn't up for elimination. We thought maybe she could act as a line of communication among the team and just be an extra set of hands where needed. At the end of the day, she wasn't about to dictate or control any aspect of my cooking.

Bravotv.com: You and your brother both said your sister would like this challenge. How do you think she'll react when she sees it?
She will be surprised. She was in The United States Air Force and we hope to make Staci as proud of us for this as we were of her for serving our country.

Bravotv.com: Tom LOVED your idea to cook the bacon as pork belly. What gave you this idea? Have you done this before?
Braised bacon ... enough said.