Top Chef‘s recently eliminated chef Chad White got candid with SheKnows about his elimination and the unfair truth behind the judges’ standards.
SheKnows: Who is your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
Chad White: Michael Voltaggio. Personally, I like his style and he’s a little bit humble, a little bit rock star.
SK: Were you surprised by your elimination?
CW: A little bit. it’s tough to understand getting sent home for a well-executed dish versus a bad dish.
It’s not always easy understanding what the challenges really are, as much of it is left for your interpretation. But hey, I failed to find an appropriate way to deliver what the judges were looking for. Everyone struggled, especially in the seafood side of things. If it’s beefsteak, why was there fish involved? My dish was great, and no one said sprouts or micros were a no-no until I was standing at the dinner table being told my dish is dainty.
SK: What was it like working with all of the judges on the show?
CW: The interaction with the judges was very limited, so I was just pretty much afraid of all of them, as they held the power of sending me home.
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
CW: I want Kwame to win. He’s a good dude and extremely talented. But the contenders for me are Jeremy, Kwame, Amar and Marjorie.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it, and why?
CW: Not really, I’m pretty easygoing. I just sat back and watched others clash. Phillip has a tendency to get under your skin, but I know he has good intentions.
SK: Who is your favorite of the judges, and why?
CW: Gail is my favorite and always has been. I find her very consistent and thoughtful in her delivery of criticism. Tom and Padma scare the shit out of me! Tom was a blast in Last Chance Kitchen and I would enjoy more interaction with him, as I’m a fan of his.
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
CW: I did! I didn’t try anyone’s food, but my teams and I love the chicken sausage and, sorry judges, there was a perfect amount of fat and a great snap to it. Marjorie’s bread and veggies were great. But I wasn’t the judge, so my vote doesn’t count. Only those who annoyingly overused the word dainty had a say in it… Hugh.
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
CW: The whole show was exactly the experience I was looking for. Your weak areas are exposed and a raw, competitive side emerges. Most talented chefs can make amazing food in their kitchens with their teams, but taken out of your comfort zone and away from your organized pantry and having to adapt really challenges you. But hey, wining that fish taco challenge in SD and to come back and be in the top for ceviche were certainly highlights. But Last Chance Kitchen was epic!
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
CW: Quick-fire challenges! I had mini panic attacks for each one. I would kind of have a direction I would want to go, and then when Padma would say your time starts now, and my mind would just “control-alt-delete” all rational thinking and traditional movements. I felt like a culinary student and moved like a baby Great Dane.