Katsuji Tanabe & John Tesar, Listen Up: Top Chef's Sylva Senat Has Words for You
A few things happened last night on Top Chef.
Fan favorite Casey Thompson lost the sudden-death Quickfire Challenge.
Sheldon Simeon gave everyone panic attacks for using frozen waffles in his elimination challenge... because #WaffleGate.
Then Tesar complimented judges Padma Lakshmi and Gail Simmons on their hats and Lakshmi's reaction made it perfectly clear she wasn't feeling it:
And the cherry on top of it all, yellow hat lady happened and had zero chill about it. Zero chill, lady!
But of course, the moment we all felt crushed: Sylva Senat's elimination. Sigh.
As the last rookie, he had plenty to say about the competition... and by competition, I mean Tanabe and Tesar.
SheKnows: Were you surprised by your elimination?
Sylva Senat: No. My dish suffered. It was really a tough day, physically and emotionally, being on the bottom for the shrimp challenge truly took a lot out of me.
SK: What was it like working with all the judges on the show? Who's the most intimidating?
SS: The judges on the show were amazing. They really reminded me of that old-school chef that knows everything that happened that day, even though they were nowhere near the kitchen. It was intimidating when Tom [Colicchio] knew what you wanted to do and then you failed at it without you mentioning it to him (a chef Jedi mind trick).
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
SS: I deserve to win as the “last rookie standing.” That’s my story. No, only kidding. I truly admired Chef Sheldon [Simeon] for his passion, and Brooke [Williamson] is fearless and calculated. They are my favorites.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
SS: I thought of Sheldon as my biggest competition. His flavor profile really had me wanting to taste all of his dishes. There was a focused energy around him at all times, plus in his previous Top Chef season, he was the one I rooted for.
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it and why?
SS: The Katsuji and John duo (John-Suji). The whole time they were playing this "bad cop, worst cop" game and tried to control the rookie chefs’ emotions and actions. It was not a clash, per se, but after sweet Jim [Smith] (my roommate) went home, John decided to share his opinion about my tataki tartare dish, to which I replied, "I see what you both are doing, so your opinions don’t matter to me. You aren’t judges here."
SK: What's one thing that happened behind the scenes viewers didn't get to see on the show?
SS: After Restaurant Wars, Brooke started talking about her family, specifically her son, Hudson, which is my middle name and is also the name of her restaurant. I could sense her drive and determination as she spoke about her son and her past industry jobs.
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
SS: I think John has been riding this season, having barely won a challenge since the first episode.
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
SS: I truly enjoy the adrenaline rush of putting these dishes together.
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
SS: The BBQ challenge, which was a 14-hour challenge that took a lot out of me. I have a lot of love and respect for those that are creating these challenges. "It’s not as easy as it seems on TV," as Gerald Sombright said.
SK: Who's your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
SS: Greg Gourdet. We were friends and worked at Jean-Georges together. My wife and I never screamed at the TV so loud than during his season. I was not allowed to watch without her, and ironically Katsuji became her semi-favorite.
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