Top Chef Season 18's Jamie Tran on How Food Helps Her Express Herself

"If you can't articulate, you can cook and then show people what you're feeling," the cheftestant said.

Bravo's Top Chef headed to the drive-in for the Elimination Challenge in the April 29 episode. Unfortunately, it was the end of the road for one of Season 18's cheftestants.

Jamie Tran was eliminated after serving sticky fried chicken wings with a fish sauce glaze as part of the team challenge, which tasked the cheftestants with preparing a dish inspired by a movie genre. "Ultimately, it was my fault for trying to be a team player," Jamie said of her elimination in the Top Chef After Show, which you can view, above. "I made chicken wings, but this is not me at all."

Jamie said that she regrets listening to some of the feedback from her teammates as she prepared her dish, although she ultimately takes full responsibility for what she served the judges. "I knew it was all wrong. I even told Nelson [German], 'Dude, I made sticky wings. That doesn't make sense. And they said not to be messy,'" Jamie recalled. "Maybe I shouldn't listen to people. But I know myself. I always want to be a team player. So, I'm like, it's my fault."

Still, Jamie left the competition with many fond memories, including the Pan African challenge, which was her favorite of all the challenges she participated in on Top Chef. Jamie was even in the top three for that Elimination Challenge. "I definitely did learn a lot from the cuisine. Like, for myself, I didn't realize it hit a lot of similar notes to what I grew up eating, so it just reinforces that food does connect people," she shared. "If you can't articulate, you can cook and then show people what you're feeling. And that's why I love food. I don't speak well sometimes [laughs], and I'm like, 'Here, eat!'"

Jamie has applied what she learned from Top Chef and her fellow Season 18 cheftestants to her career as the chef/owner of The Black Sheep in Las Vegas. "I think I look at things in a different perspective. Owning a business itself is always stressful. I don't think that will ever go away, but I think my fellow chefs talking about ways they cope with anxiety and stress actually helped me out as well," she said. "I just slow down more. And when things get overwhelming, I just take a step back and observe more."

Competing on Top Chef has also given Jamie a new appreciation for her life back home. "I appreciate my staff more. Honestly, I couldn't have done this without them," Jamie shared. "I couldn't have done it without the support from the community as well. My guests are the best."

Want more Top Chef? New episodes air every Thursday at 8/7c or catch up on the Bravo app.

See how Jamie fared in the latest installment of Last Chance Kitchen, below.

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