• Thu, Aug 13 2009

It’s Okay To Be Inappropriate On Top Chef Masters

On last night’s Top Chef Masters, after an embarrassing taste test challenge (Anita Lo not being able to recognize hoisin sauce or peanut butter was SAD), the master chefs were paired up with a stunning parade of former Top Chef contestants, all of whom acted just a little bratty when the master chefs didn’t immediately recognize their brilliance. Richard Blais even explained, while trying to get Anita Lo to put him on her team that he was a “runner up” and that he should have won his season, instead of Stephanie Izard. But that was nothing compared to the fight between Chef Michael Chiarello and Season 4 contestant Dale Talde.  Chiarello forgot Dale’s name and called him “young man,” which in addition to just acting like a tool, did not make Dale happy. Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t care and besides, this is just how chefs act: topchefmasters_daletalde

“Looking back, I cannot see myself handling it in a different way. When confronted by this “Master” chef, I took his comments and tone to be insulting. Had this situation taken place with, for example Joel Robuchon, Charlie Trotter, Thomas Keller, Alain Ducasse, I know I would react differently, as I have had nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for these great chefs.

My apologies if my reaction negatively impacted my team and the other chefs in any way. Do I think how I reacted was appropriate? No, but inappropriate is part of the chef’s life. That’s who we are — a degenerate, compulsive, irrational, egotistical and passionate breed that knows how to cook. I haven’t spoken to Micheal since, and am not holding any grudges. But, I’m also not looking to grab a beer, or breakfast, with him anytime soon.”

In the end, Chiarello got to stay and Chef Anita Lo was the one sent home, probably because she decided to keep serving her raw bar even though the buffet got moved outdoors. I thought for sure Chiarello was going to go (and so did some others on Twitter) especially since his food, like Richard Blais pointed, resembled a 1980s wedding and looked to be a complete mess. Chefs Keller and Bayless remained calm and collected as they sailed into the final three.

[Image: Bravo/NBC Universal]

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  • http://eskimobliss.com Kim

    Did anyone else wonder if maybe Blais really said something like “a lot of people thought I should have won…” but they cut out the first few words? It seemed, I dunno, a bit choppy. And a lot of people DID think he should have won. Crossed my mind, hard to really tell… hmmmmmm….

  • Becky

    The “Top Chef” former contestants were not invited to Top Chef MASTERS to compete but just as a tie in. How this qualifies them to dis some truly great chefs with running restaurants and who have won some Major Awards and recognition is beyond believable!

    Dale – get a clue…. your food sucked when you were on before and your attitude may be interesting to watch but it is so FAKE! You need some acting lessons. The Housewives can fight better then you. Golly gee, pull your head out and figure out that you had the chance to impress and make some mentoring connections. But nope, all you guys were too good.

    Whatever… go back to your average restaurant and try to keep climbing a ladder that has a lot of chefs fighting and clubbing each other to gain the top rung.

    Anita Lo should never have made it this far. Each week her food was pittable.

  • nicole

    Dale was so disrespectful. These are elders, as well as master chefs, and you have no manners, Dale. Take a clue from Rick and Hubert as these are top professionals in their field, as well as nice, team-oriented people.

  • Tina

    I really love how Anita was so humble and even after loosing she said at the end about sharing and not just all about winning. I am definitely going to make reservations at her restaurant when it opens. To me, she is an embodiment of a great chef.

  • Becky

    I didn’t mean Anita – I meant the Top Chef participants… some of which have a restaurant but not ont the same level of experience as the MASTERS (which includes Anita).

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  • Raron

    Dale, Spike and Ilan demonstrated a complete lack of respect for an elder and a master chef. It IS a small world and I expect they will suffer for those displays.

  • http://bravofan.com Maria Diaz

    Anita already has a restaurant, it’s called Anissa and is in NYC:
    http://www.annisarestaurant.com/about/about.html