Anthony was very tentative from the get-go and remained that way throughout. When I am hiring, I look for people who are confident in their ability and who are going to jump in. This is important to me for two reasons: 1) because it shows me that with this confidence, they will get involved in the kitchen in a meaningful way; and 2) because some of my cooks go on to become my sous-chefs and maybe even one of my executive chefs, and they have to have the maturity born of experience to be able to handle whatever arises. I think Top Chef requires this maturity and corresponding confidence in the kitchen as well. I sensed that Anthony did not have the kind of experience that would win the day for him in a tough situation. Since I didn’t think he could actually win the title of “Top Chef,” he, like Jorel, did not move on to the actual competition.
I will not speak to the decisions my fellow judges made, since I was not there to participate in the judging process. They have always made thoughtful decisions when judging in past seasons.
Given all that the weather has wrought here in the Northeast this week and last (there’s a Nor’easter right now, and I know you don't need me to tell you about Sandy), I’m more than glad to say, “On to Seattle.”