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, 2012

Bravotv.com: What could have been a setback that we see is that your fiancé kind of pulls you aside and says that there are bones in your fish. What was going through your mind when you heard that?
SG: I already knew there were bone issues, that’s why I had butchered them twice. I butchered fish for two days straight. These steel head trout don’t look like any of the store trout we get here, these have more of a rounded nose and look more like a salmon, and the ones that we get here are a little more pointy-nosed like a trout. But regardless, it wasn’t a bone in the top part of the filet, it was these little feather bones that were only maybe 1/4 inch long, they were like babies and they were just embedded in the flesh, and so that’s when I had to come back through and just butcher all bellies the next day because I knew I could not serve bones. Luckily Jamie got the bone, and I always say when I have friends coming into the restaurant and there’s something weird like that that happens, it’s good to tell me so I can fix it -- it’s not like it’s going out to a guest. The judges never talked about bones in any of their dishes. And I talked to a lot of the guests that night and none of them said anything about it so I think he was the only one who got it. When he told me about it I said, “I know that, I can’t do anything about it now!” It was cute how he told me and he isn’t savvy with production so he didn’t know I was miked. There is no whispering when you’re miked.

Bravotv.com: So service is over, you’re at Judges’ Table, and you and Paul go backstage and you say that it seemed Padma really liked your courses better, Tom seemed to maybe like Paul’s better. Did you really feel either way at that point, which way it was going to go?
SG: Absolutely, and I think he did too. I think deep down inside I always knew it would be Paul, but when I heard the judges’ feedback I got really nicely surprised. It was a nice reward for all the hard work and the amount of risks that I took for them. It really made me feel great. And at the end when I am getting emotional it was just because I knew they were going to call Paul. I still wanted them to say my name as well. At the end of the day I couldn’t think of a better way to go home runner-up.