Top Chef exit interviews on

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Hear the gossip from the chef most recently ousted from season four of Bravo's Top Chef. Whom is Padma flirting with? Whose dish was the biggest disaster? Which chef might be cheating? What did the judges miss?

Hear the gossip from the chef most recently ousted from season four of Bravo's Top Chef. Whom is Padma flirting with? Whose dish was the biggest disaster? Which chef might be cheating? What did the judges miss?
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Hear the gossip from the chef most recently ousted from season four of Bravo's Top Chef. Whom is Padma flirting with? Whose dish was the biggest disaster? Which chef might be cheating? What did the judges miss?




Top Chef 4: Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes made it much further than anyone thought she would. Did her unsympathetic disposition make her a savvy reality competitor? Or did her personality ultimately hurt her? Lisa thinks her apparently bad behavior was the result of reality-TV editing.


Top Chef 4: Richard Blais

Coming in strong, Richard Blais, looked like he had it all wrapped up. He’d been the master of surprise, wowing the Top Chef Judges all season long with his inventive cuisine and gadget-heavy technique. But in the end, even with the help of Chef Dan Barber, Richard reveals he was unable to wrap his mind around a concrete menu that would lead him to Top Chefdome. Note: Due to inferior cell phone reception, parts of the interview are a little scratchy.


Top Chef 4: Antonia Lofaso

Antonia Lofaso was the surefire candidate for the final three, so it was to everyone's surprise that she was the one sent packing. Was it the undercooked peas that led to her downfall? And did she really snub Gail? The break before the finale was beneficial for some, but proved to be the downfall for Antonia who took the time to open a new restaurant, Foxtail in Los Angeles. With her mind elsewhere, she lost her mojo and let Lisa pass her by.


Top Chef 4: Spike Mendelson

Spike Mendelson doesn't need help on how to cook a steak; he wins the Quickfire Challenge handily with his mad butchering skills. But his winner's advantage is quickly squandered when he chooses frozen scallops. (Were they planted in Rick Tramonto's kitchen? Bravo doesn't want us to have that conversation). Other discussions that Bravo does allow on the table: the variety of Spike's hat collection, Lisa's work at Spike's restaurant, Mai House, and Spike's post-Top Chef life.


Top Chef 4: Dale Talde

With Dale Talde booted, the Top Chef kitchen is looking downright roomy. In last night's "Restaurant Wars" episode, the dream team from "Wedding Wars" reunited, leaving the nightmare team (or "short-bus allstars," according to Dale) of Dale, Lisa, and Spike to their own struggle. What does Dale have to say? A lot. About Lisa, mostly. But what he really wants to do is make movies. Will there be a role for Lisa?


Top Chef 4: Andrew D'Ambrosi

Andrew D'Ambrosi, described by Ted Allen as "quite Shakespearean," breaks some rules and packs his knives. In a conversation with Jane Goldman, Andrew tosses off some witty one-liners and explains the perils of cresting too soon (he was the winner on Episode 2). About Lisa's betrayal? Eh. In the end, Andrew is more diplomatic that we expected him to be.


Top Chef 4: Nikki Cascone

Nikki Cascone gets put on the non-golden team in a wedding-catering challenge, and she's dinged for not stepping up and taking responsibility. Meanwhile, Dale shows his petulant side, again. Lisa pouts, again. Nikki talks to Meredith Arthur about her love of the adrenaline rush in the kitchen and her tyrannical tendencies—which didn't show through on Top Chef. Plus, her previous experience as a reality TV star on Dog Days.


Top Chef 4: Mark Simmons

Mark Simmons, the didgeridoo-playin', sweet-curry-fixin' Kiwi, calls out Padma Lakshmi as Yoko Ono in his exit interview on, but we were too distracted by his CHOW T-shirt to really understand the comparison. (Who is John in this equation? Who is Ringo?) He talks with Shawn Rose about the difficulties of using a state-of-the-art microwave oven, being criticized as a messy chef, and his return to the kitchen at New York's Public. Plus: who he thinks will win.


Top Chef 4: Jennifer Biesty

Jennifer Biesty and her phallic asparagus get booted while the judges give Lisa and Antonia's excessive improvisation (in which Polish sausage becomes chorizo) a pass at the judges' table. Is arrogance rewarded? Yes. Did Bravo overload on the sexual deviance jokes? Yes. And do most people want Lisa to go? Yes.


Top Chef 4: Ryan Scott

Ryan Scott explains how classy his mom is. His great sin, in episode 6? According to him, it's that he went too big with his bread salad with marinated chicken, poached pear, and brandy cocoa. According to Gail Simmons, "none of it actually tasted good."


Top Chef 4: Zoi Antonitsas

Jennifer stood by her woman Zoi on episode 5 of Top Chef Chicago, clearly upset that Zoi was packing her knives as a result of underseasoned mushrooms—while Richard, and his scaly, mushy salmon, was saved. But our big question: Why don't Zoi and Jen really kiss?


Top Chef 4: Manuel Trevino

Manuel Trevino, aka Memo, explains how resources are divvied out in the Top Chef kitchen: parsley is at a premium. Plus, he weighs in on the high-end Mexican food controversy. In his elimination challenge, he's paired up with Spike, who has never heard of Like Water for Chocolate--and goes instead for Good Morning, Vietnam. But Swiss chard doesn't strike the judges as a particularly good pairing with Vietnamese spring rolls and the Chilean sea bass is deemed cheap: Manuel takes the fall.


Top Chef 4: Erik Hopfinger

Erik Hopfinger has to serve high-end Mexican cooking to Rick Bayless, the king of high-end Mexican cooking. And Erik just isn't on board. Padma helpfully declares that Chicago is "a city made up of neighborhoods." In one of those neighborhoods, there is a block party, where Erik's soggy corn dogs (chefs: lose the sog) are a bust, but as he explains to Meredith Arthur, he's happy to be set free and has some thoughts about what Andrew's on.


Top Chef 4: Valerie Bolon

Meredith Arthur interviews Valerie Bolon, who sogs up her blini in episode 2 and is sent packing. The beginning of the show depicts Valerie and her friend Stephanie working out together: Did Stephanie's crunches prepare her better than Valerie's stretches? Would Antonia have chosen Valerie if she had sweated it out a little harder? Or perhaps if any of them knew the difference between a Bellini and blini? And the question everyone wants answered: How much of a total spaz is Andrew, really?


Flashback Season 3: Hung Huynh

The arrogant one prevails over the female one and the gay one.


Flashback Season 2: Ilan Hall

Ilan Hall takes the toque.