Tom Colicchio

Tom on restaurant wars, and why Tre's exit could be controversial.

on Aug 22, 2007

HE SEEMED TO UNDERSTAND THAT AT THE END.

The beef dish to me is what really did it. It just capped it and made the decision.

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS OF LETTING THIS CHALLENGE GO OVER TWO EPISODES?

I liked that. If you open a restaurant you do a few nights of previews and then you open it. We gave them a chance to get their act together and do it again. Usually in our challenges there's no opportunity for growth. I've been on the other end of some bad reviews -- you read them, look at them, and make changes. This gave the chefs that opportunity to make changes. The team that made changes is the team that won, and the team that made no changes lost. I think it was something that happens normally when you open a restaurant. I thought it was a great thing to do and gave each team another day to reflect and make it better, and we do that every day in our restaurants. Our goal is to make our restaurants better every day, so this challenge was about as real as it could get in opening a restaurant and working through those changes.

ANY FINAL WORDS?

Our restaurant in LA opened to great fanfare and I want thank the "Top Chef" fans in LA for coming out and visiting us. I also just want to reiterate how hard it was for the judges to see Tre go -- he's such a class act, a crowd favorite, and a lot of fans and judges and contestants thought he'd be in the finale. This is one of those things where it's about who does well that night, in that challenge. This was a two-hour conversation at Judges' Table, and in the end in was unanimous that he was the cause of that team's loss. I think Tre also knows that when a restaurant goes down it's the chef's responsibility in the kitchen, and that's one of the reasons he was such a gentleman when he left. He wasn't the chef that we all know him to be. Whether the fans think it's a fair way to judge, it's the way we judge, and we have be consistent.