I have to start this by saying one thing: I’m super-biased and was rooting for Top Chef veteran cheftestant Casey Thompson all season. And yes, when she was eliminated during a sudden-death Quickfire Challenge, I was devastated to see her go.
But I wasn’t the only one.
Ugh Sudden Death Quickfires are the worst. Casey deserved better 🙁 #TopChef
— Lee A (@leedfrazer) February 5, 2017
And her response to it all was perfect:
— Chef Casey Thompson (@ChefCaseyT) February 3, 2017
While she seems pretty cool with it now, was she surprised by the elimination? Damn straight she was! Find out what she had to say in our exclusive Q&A with her.
SheKnows: Were you surprised by your elimination?
Casey Thompson: I was surprised by my elimination. I think we are always surprised that we are having a sudden-death Quickfire! It happens so fast, really. And to cook a dish as hard as you can for 30 minutes, and then turn right around and cook another for 30 minutes, that means life or death! Death?? Yay! Surprise!!
SK: What was it like working with all the judges on the show? Who’s the most intimidating?
CT: The judges are great. What’s incredible to me is that I have cooked an event or even a season with some of them! So, it feels a bit strange at times. But, for the most part, they are all intimidating. They decide whether or not they like your food and potentially your demise. On Season 3, it was Daniel Boulud.
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
CT: We all deserve to win. I don’t think that is of any question.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
CT: Honestly, Brooke [Williamson]. I feel like we cook very similarly. She is a lot of fun to cook/collaborate with.
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it and why?
CT: Clash? I don’t clash. Not my style. I would say that I found certain people a bit annoying at times. It’s like getting to know your new college roommate. They might be great in the beginning, but not so great in the end…
SK: What’s one thing that happened behind the scenes viewers didn’t get to see on the show?
CT: I think Emily [Hahn] touched on this briefly already, but the beach was across the street from our house and viewers only saw us go there once. We actually snuck out like teenagers often and swam in the ocean in the dark. It was the best! I tried to teach Shirley [Chung] to float. We almost got busted when our house Mom said one day, “Why is there so much sand in the laundry room?!”
Oh, and there was an epic workout day in the yard. So great.
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
CT: I think there were other dish issues that could have been a bit more problematic, but who knows? I would have killed the next challenge and on I would have gone!
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
CT: Winning that first episode. I really enjoyed that. I really felt that dish. I loved the way we cooked together. It felt great to be in the kitchen with my friends cooking. I loved the satisfied looks on the judges’ faces, mostly Tom [Colicchio]’s and BJ [Dennis]’s.
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
CT: This season, everything had to be purchased at the store for elimination challenges. Everything. That means no running into the pantry to grab a quick item for an idea you just had. You didn’t buy it; you don’t have it. Imagine that with a baking item? No leavening agents? Whoops!
SK: Who’s your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
CT: What?! This is a crazy question! Dale Levitski from my Season 3, Silvia [Barban] and Sheldon [Simeon]. Three people that I love very much and find to be special, loving souls on this Earth. Rare people. I can’t pick one. No way.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.