Burning Questions

The Top Chef: Texas runner-up dishes on her finale prep and how she handled Tyler Stone as a sous-chef.

Mar 7, 20120

Bravotv.com: There was a break between the last Texas challenge and going to Canada, did you do anything special in that time to prepare?
Sarah Grueneberg: Oh yea, absolutely yes. I staged with a few different chefs around the city. I worked with my pastry chef on some techniques including liquid nitrogen. I went to a pastry class at a chocolate academy here that was taught by one of our local chefs, Patrick Fahy, who’s really talented. I staged with Chris Shepherd -- he’s in Houston, Texas and he took me to three different Asian markets in Houston. I didn’t realize there are such great markets there. And then I worked with Bill Kim who’s an amazing Korean chef here, and we staged at his restaurant and he took me to the Japanese market, Korean market, and the Vietnamese market to show me the differences. I really wanted to be prepared if I was thrown into an Asian cooking challenge because I researched Vancouver and saw how amazing their Chinatown is, so I thought I better be ready!

Bravotv.com: And that really paid off when you were paired with Floyd. He’s the nicest man.
SG: He’s so amazing. Oh my God I love him. I saw him this past week at his restaurant -- it was so good. The menu looks very simple and delicious and then you get it and you’re like, “Oh so good.” 

Bravotv.com: In the last challenge, you and Paul have to select your sous chefs based on the food that they create for you. You pulled Tyler, and part of it was that you legitimately thought what he made was Heather’s dish. Did you just select it because you thought it may have been her dish or did you actually like the way it tasted?
SG: I started second-guessing myself and thinking that. You know, I thought my scallops were cooked nicely but it wasn’t even a thing until a second before it was my turn to say something and that shot up to my brain. It’s the irony -- it’s like the producers had my mind in control and they wanted someone to pick him. 

He did a great job -- he’s very young. I was extremely patient with him because the girls were about to eat him alive. They were going to pounce like lionesses, like little tigers.

20 comments
AgainstBigotry
AgainstBigotry

Really? Chef Montuano is "so proud" of you? You behavior on the show was unacceptable and reflects badly on his judgment. If I were at Spiagga and saw you berating staff the way you did to Bev and others at Top Chef I would be too repulsed to eat, no matter how delicious your food might be. Where other chefs infuse their food with love, you defile yours with hatred and disregard for others. This does not nourish the soul. Sadly you seem delusional and appear to have learned nothing about yourself in this experience. "People were kind of mean about me defending Italian food". They were not mean about you defending Italian food. People were shocked and disgusted by your aggressive attacks on other chefs and your blindness to the diversity of Asian food. You did not defend Italian Food and did not need to defend it. You lashed out at others attacked foods from other regions. Please watch reruns and try to reflect for the sake of others and yourself.

A Grownup
A Grownup

I'm so sick of all the Sarah haters out there in large measure because I'm over 25 and I've eaten her exceptional food at Spiaggia.

People, please re-read Tom's last blog entry, which details his view on Sarah's significant culinary talents. He ate the food; we didn't. Top Chef isn't high school, so grow up and quit addressing it from that perspective. Top Chef is about cuisine, teamwork, professionalism, and leadership in the workplace. Bev is a talented chef (I've dined at Aria too), but, in an adult work environment, the childish, passive-aggressive behavior she demonstrated in every episode is as destructive to individual and team achievement as is bullying.

Don't forget that Top Chef is a reality show that thrives on creating drama to hook viewers. So we viewers don't really know what Sarah or Bev are like since all we saw were heavily edited bits and pieces. I doubt either of them is the simple caricature shown during the season.

Sarah, I admire you and applaud your accomplishments and growth. I look forward to meeting you the next time I dine at Spiaggia.

TerryMN
TerryMN

I must say, it was an impressive amount of preparation for the finale. Your menu sounded fascinating. I do wish you had listened to Tyler's suggestion to sous-vide the beets.

LyndaS
LyndaS

So, SaRANT speaks! Who cares? She was a waste of space on the show as she languished in the bottom 3 for many challenges. How are we expected to accept that she "deserved" to be in the finale? How are we viewers expected to believe she was really a nice person when she connived, mocked and dramatized everything to her advantage? Sarah likes to think she is really sweet. I found her very sour. Good riddance to bad garbage.

Aloha808
Aloha808

Sarah, have you ever thought about getting some professional help? Or enrolling in a school for manners?

LL from Texas
LL from Texas

I do hope that you read all of these posts and take a good, hard, look at yourself. From what I gather, you have learned nothing from watching yourself on the show. You said "F*** you" to Emeril, and felt you were robbed?? Then, when Andy brought it up at the reunion, you cried and said that you couldn't believe that this s**t was being brought up now. Do you OWN any of your behavior??? Now you say that you really like Bev and respect her? When Paul asked her about Last Chance Kitchen in the car, and you say to Lindsey "oh, look at that tree", you proved that you are lacking character. I have never seen so many happy about a victory. Paul is awesome, you, need help.

catsndogz
catsndogz

I think that the best Chef won. Congratulations Paul. You were always my choice. Sara and Lindsey can take a page from Paul's book of humanity. Both he and Bev never said one negative thing about anyone and Paul was helping the finalists in the Vancouver challenges. All of the girls accepted his help in "breaking the ice" and he took valuable time from his own cooking schedule to help them. Sara, kudos to your mom. I am a single mom but I only hope I can instill more charity and temperance in my child. You are pushy, mouthy and arrogant. Perhaps you are a good chef but as previously stated, your nasty behavior superceded your cooking skills. Truth be told, you were afraid of Bev and showed it by being a real "mean girl". Learn a little humility. You need it badly. Lindsey, you just look like a snot.

Jules in WA State
Jules in WA State

Saw the reunion and pretty much proved what I thought would happen.

Bravo, can we NOW allow these three to crawl back into obscurity? Their 15 minutes are up. I won't watch another show that has them on it. What What Happens Live or any other Top Chef (fill in the blank) shows.

Enough already, they have been given too much time as it is.

rlyn
rlyn

I kept waiting for the episode when Bev would finally get in your face and let you have it. I don't know how she kept from it. You and Heather were like Jr. High girls. It also seemed to me you both had something against Asian food. Bev probably could be annoying at times and yes she did cry way too much, but she never said anything bad about anyone. I would never want to work under you or the ego inflated Heather. You both are way to into yourselves. You may be great chefs, but zero personalities.

Aloha808
Aloha808

I'm just waiting for Sarah to say "My best friend is Asian".

Rebeccarey
Rebeccarey

Seriously? The angry spice you have in you was a complete distraction to almost every challenge. Bev did nothing wrong and you and those other two "girls" were horrible. Seems to me like you were on the wrong show. I actually prayed for you to lose to teach you a lesson. Amen

Won over
Won over

My wife and I spent the commercial breaks trying to figure out why folks were so unkind to Bev. She seemed to receive brusque treatment from just about everyone.

As to Sarah, she really won me over as the show went on. She's clearly a very talented chef and a force to be reckoned with. Top Chef needs ratings like any other show, and reality TV always shows the drama and the hurt feelings while leaving out a lot of other, more benign moments. I think we only saw a fraction of Sarah and the other 'cheftestants'. This blog post certainly shows how hard she worked in between Texas and Vancouver, something we saw and heard nothing about during the episodes.

pastryprincess
pastryprincess

I am a female professional chef and I found your behavior appalling, aggressive and demeaning. I owned and operated my own pastry shop and ran various pastry kitchens throughout my career and I have never tolerated the behavior you exhibited on Top Chef. Women need to be supportive of each other, not be humiliated because they differ from you. I hope that seeing yourself as the world has on the show has taught you some humility and compassion.

Tjp
Tjp

Sarah, HOW do you justify your horrid behavior towards Beverly? How dare you say it is editing!

Jules in WA State
Jules in WA State

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. I figured I would never have a chance to even respond directly to you, only through the judges blogs. Thanks for giving "us" a chance to have a comment directed towards you specifically.

I didn't taste the food, none of us did. So all we the viewer have to go on is what we saw and we saw plenty. The "appearance" of slanted judging your way with two undercooked dishes, bad call up on Whistler, your rolling eyes and pouts when anyone got a kind comment said at judging to your breathless over elated grin when someone said something kind about your, all in one minute for both reactions, your taking the pass instead of the car and oh, yeah I saved the best for last...the mean girl bullying.

I can only give props for doing a very good job in the finale, but Paul won it and rightly so - regardless of you thinking you should have won, the rest - well I have said what I had to and it goes against my grain to do it, but at the end of the day I feel better having said so.

The reunion show for me is tonight and boy howdy there better be some serious reflection that has taken place enough to gag it down and apologize because it is the right thing to do. IF that happens I will place another comment and give props for that.

Good luck, I have a feeling that unless you are totally immune to what most of the viewers think of you, you are going to need it from the virtual backlash coming your way.

yum yum
yum yum

I found Sarah to be VERY UNLIKEABLE.

It's too bad that her personality ruined the reason she was on the show. It's hard to like a dish from someone who belittled another chef.

Perplexed
Perplexed

No one thinks your Heather. You, Heather and Lindsay were totally mean to Bev. Why did you act the way you did? Did you watch the part where Paul asked her how last chance kitchen was and you totally cut her off? You knew what you were doing. Hopefully you learned something from this experience. Its a shame adults can act like that.

agDetroit
agDetroit

I think that Tom had a crush on Sarah and that is the ONLY reason she got so far in the show.  She was not likeable, not watchable, and one of the most annoying, whiney, unhealthy chef ever on Top Chef.  She should have been kicked off when she passed out from high blood pressure in the middle of her challenge.  It was obvious that Tom really liked her for some reason though, I think they had something going on.

mellowyellow
mellowyellow

Dear Sarah/Lindsay/Heather, I mean "A Grownup":If you're really behind what you say, please reexamine teamwork, professionalism and leadership from Sarah. They were not present, because gossiping, rolling eyes, being disrespectful, etc, well those don't match up with the characteristics you list.  Sarah, Lindsay and Heather all fell short on the attributes necessary to good chef material. Good thing they already had jobs, because I would not hire any of them.