Stefan: Happy Endings
Winning chef Stefan reveals the name he wanted to give his restaurant.
Bravotv.com: First, Padma announces that it's Restaurant Wars, what was going through your mind? Have you been waiting for this all season?
Restaurant Wars is the ultimate challenge, even more important then winning Top Chef. It has been huge in the restaurant world. And when Padma says it is time for Restaurant Wars, I'm totally excited.
Bravotv.com: For the Quickfire, you create a Euro-American tasting for Stephen Starr. If you were to open a restaurant, is that what you would do? What inspired your asparagus trio?
People don't use white asparagus -- lots of chefs don't like it because they have to peel it and the texture is kind of stringy and the taste is so different to green asparagus. I grew up with it. It is seasonal and only available in May in Europe and everybody uses it. It is like a cult. See, I grew up in Europe and I love America and would never go back to Europe and live there. That's why I thought that I should mix Europe and America once again.
Bravotv.com: You were picked last for Restaurant Wars; do you understand why the other chefs think you're difficult to work with?
It was all tactics by Leah. Radhika does not like me and she would have never pick me, so it was smart for Leah to pick me last. And do I look like I was worried?? Ha! See, Radhika made on crucial mistake. YOU NEVER PICK A TEAM BY PERSONAL LIKING. It is business and she doesn't understand that and she got punished for it. BYE-BYE Radika, you got the shit stick. And I'm not difficult to work with; I run my own company. If I would listen to everything people tell me I would be broke and working in some restaurant for $5 in whatever town. Bravotv.com: Were you happy ultimately with the team you got put on?
Absolutely it was the best team at the time. Hosea is solid, Leah is a great chef, and Fabio runs the front of the house like nobody else. So what else could I look for? If I could have added a person, it would have been Jamie. And not because I'm "in love" with her, because she is a great chef.
Bravotv.com: Why did you want to do the two desserts? Why wouldn't you tell Leah exactly what you were making?
I picked desserts because the others weren't comfy with desserts. And it is smart to do two desserts or two main courses or two apps. You can't mix them while doing Restaurant Wars. I did not tell Leah or Hosea because I did not know exactly. The kitchen was a mess, the freezer was crap, and the stove was even worse. Until we went shopping I did not know what I was going to make and my little mango mint pops where a last minute addition. I had many desserts in my mind but only could find certain things in the store. So no reason to blurt out a bunch of stuff and then don't deliver.
Bravotv.com: What did you think of the rest of the menu and your fellow team's performance?
I liked Hosea's beef. It was nothing super-exiting but I would have eaten it any day. Leah's looked pretty, not my favorite dish, and she undercooked Padma's. We all worked in restaurants for years and shit happens. And she undercooked the fish. Big Deal!!!!!! Bravotv.com: Sunset Lounge? Who came up with that?
What a lame f*cking name. Ha! I wanted to call it Happy Endings. But my Team stated that would be very bad!!!!!!! I thought it sounded good, great dessert i.e. Happy Endings.
Bravotv.com: What's your take on the whole Leah/Hosea situation?
They are both adults and they know what they are doing. There is no reason to comment!!! There is only one difference people don't realize. They got caught on TV, the rest of this world does it behind closed doors or on a business trip where there is no cameras. So here you have it.
Bravotv.com: Do you think the right chef went home?
CHEF??? The first time I realized when she got kicked off, she was on the show. As far as I see it, she could have been gone at the apple challenge and Lauren would made it. But again it was her turn. And Radhika when you read this: REMEMBER don't pick people because you are intimidated, use them to your advantage. You are as only as good as your team.