Top Chef fan favorite Kwame Onwuachi left the show last week due to a frozen waffle mistake that was so disappointing it became known as #wafflegate. We chatted with Onwuachi and got his reaction to his elimination.
SheKnows: Who is your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
Kwame Onwuachi: Marcus Samuelsson, hands down. He showed such class and refinement that I tried to emulate while I was on the show.
SK: Were you surprised by your elimination?
KO: No, not at all. It was truly a delicious bite, but it still didn’t meet the judges’ expectations. They wanted something bigger and they couldn’t get over the fact that I used a frozen product, even though it was a fast casual concept.
SK: What was it like working with all of the judges on the show?
KO: I really enjoyed the feedback. Tom has a wealth of knowledge that mirrors some of the great chefs that I have worked for in my career. Padma also has a great palate and is very respectful when reviewing your food. Gail was one of my favorite judges; she has a certain je ne sais quoi when she is at that panel. She is stern but also very warm at the same time, which lightens the blow.
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
KO: Either Jeremy or Amar. Both of them are my boys and they are amazing cooks. I really respect them.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
KO: I consider Jeremy one of my biggest [competitors]. We have similar styles and backgrounds in cooking.
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it and why?
KO: I loved everyone and was just really happy to be there
SK: Who is your favorite out of the judges and why?
KO: Gail for president. She kept it real.
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
KO: Kwame Onwuachi. Frozen waffles, what was he thinking! Kicks self.
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
KO: The challenge in which we picked a time period and a certain place in the world. We cooked that day for a table of about 11 Michelin stars. I really enjoyed the feedback and the challenge itself. We were pushed not only to execute, but to learn about different time periods.
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
KO: Getting out of my head at times. I don’t think the cooking was difficult at all. It was mostly a mind game that you had to overcome each challenge, being your own shoulder to cry on or biggest cheerleader and picking yourself up no matter how good or bad you did each time.