Top Chef's Brooke Williamson Spills the Beans on Shirley Chung's Sleeping Habits
Can we just take a moment to talk about how adorable Sheldon Simeon and his wife Janice are? Of course, he was the only one who recognized her voice during the Quickfire Challenge.
Of course they were cute AF throwing mushrooms at each other. And of course they shared this kiss and made us all melt into puddles on our respective couches.
But then Simeon grabbed a container of okra while shopping at Whole Foods — and we all know that Tom Colicchio hates okra. So was this Simeon's kiss of death?
Are you still holding your breath? Don't. Colicchio loved it! He and the rest of the judges were also blown away during the Elimination Challenge by Shirley Chung's ability to perfectly meld worlds — her Chinese heritage and southern Charleston cooking. At this point, Chung has had so much success on the show, we wouldn't be surprised one bit if she won the whole dang thing. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.
Instead, let's talk about the unfortunate eliminee: Brooke Williamson.
You hear us, Williamson? Kick ass on Last Chance Kitchen and make the comeback we all know you're capable of.
Anyway, let's get into the Q&A. Here's how she felt about the elimination.
SheKnows: Were you surprised by your elimination?
Brooke Williamson: Not at all. I knew it was coming.
SK: What was it like working with all the judges on the show? Who's the most intimidating?
BW: I have a massive amount of love and respect for them all. They, hands down, know their shit and are all intimidating in their own way. I will say, the more I felt like I knew them, the more intimidating it all got, simply because I respected their opinions.
SK: Which contestant do you think deserves to win? Or who are you rooting for?
BW: At the risk of sounding sappy, I can honestly say we all do. Top Chef, in my opinion, is not a competition strictly based on raw talent. It's also about adapting to your surroundings and performing on cue. It's not for everyone. But if we are measuring who can cook their butts off the best, I could see any one of us winning that competition on a good day. Sheldon is like family to me, so I have a soft spot for him, as does anyone with a heartbeat.
SK: Who did you consider your biggest competition?
BW: Coming out of the gate, after watching Silvia [Barban] kill it in the first Quickfire, I for sure had my eye on her and on Jim [Smith] (obviously). Casey [Thompson] intimidated me because I think we have very similar styles, and I knew she could bring it. Shirley and Sheldon were also always in the back of my head, if that narrows it down at all.
SK: Was there anyone on the show you really clashed with? Who was it and why?
BW: I'm not big on drama. I had a job that I was there to do, and I'm so much more content thinking about the lifelong friendships that I gained.
SK: What's one thing that happened behind the scenes viewers didn't get to see on the show?
BW: Nerves run high when under such intense pressure and sleep deprivation. There were tears (mostly while watching The Notebook), naps on the floor pretty much anywhere, lots of laughs. Oh, and every once in a while I was awakened by Shirley sleep-yelling at her pillow in the middle of the night (sorry, Shirley, my love, but you're an intense little ball of fire).
SK: Who do you think deserved to go home on last night’s episode?
BW: I did. There was no question in my mind that I had made the biggest mistakes of the day.
SK: What was the best experience you had on the show?
BW: Aside from the incredible friends that I have made, I have to say that my experiences on Top Chef (Seattle and Charleston) have been periods of intense mental growth. I have come to learn that I am capable of more than I sometimes give myself credit for. Helicopters, boats, fear of the unexpected and total lack of control — all situations that I have deliberately put myself in while being simultaneously terrified of it all. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
SK: What was the biggest challenge for you on the show?
BW: My answer from the last question... that and doing it all without the support that I am used to getting from my family. My husband is always there to catch me when I fall, and in real life, I am constantly reminded of why it all matters just by kissing my son goodnight. To not have that for such a huge chunk of time was crushing.
SK: Who's your favorite Top Chef contestant of all time and why?
BW: I can't answer this question. We're all family — the good, the bad and the ugly.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below.