Saturday, September 19, 2009

Interview with Jesse Sandlin

Baltimore's Chef Jesse Sandlin got eliminated for serving the wrong single bite in the mini Battle of the Amuses last week. All Top Chef asked her a few questions about her experience on the show and here's what she had to say.

ATC: Did you think it was unfair that your elimination came down to an amuse-bouche, a single bite?

JS: yes. i could have gone home for anything else and been okay with it, but not for this...and i don't think that i'm so upset or angry that it was based on an amuse bouche, i'm angry that robin did not make an amuse bouche, a SINGLE BITE, and i was sent home instead of her....

ATC: It was tough watching you end up in the bottom every week, although by all accounts, your restaurant is fabulous. Do you think the pressures of cooking on the show were different from the pressures of cooking in a restaurant, and is that what threw you off your game?

JS: absolutely, it is a completely different thing from everyday life in general...the seclusion from your friends, not being able to break your headspace in any way, because there is no outlet...i just got on this mental downward spiral and i couldn't get out of it...i feel like if i could have done another week or even a couple of days, i would have done a lot better.

ATC: Overall, what did you learn from your experience on the show?

JS: i learned alot about myself, as a person, more than i did anything about being a chef.

ATC: What was your favorite part of the experience? Your least favorite part?

JS: my favorite part was getting to meet everyone and make some really great friends. my least favorite part were the interviews.

ATC: What was your favorite challenge? Your least favorite?

JS: my favorite challenge was the very first one, the vice. and my least favorite was the escargot challenge...daniel boulud made me so nervous that i couldn't even think of anything to say, and i was shaking so badly...

ATC: What did you think of the other cheftestants? Who was your best friend on the show?

JS: i thought everyone was great, we all got along really well, and everyone was so incredibly talented. jen z. was my best friend, probably followed by hector

ATC: What would you have done with the prize money had you won the title of Top Chef?

JS: i would have paid off my debt!! and then i would have put the rest of the money into the restaurant- just a quick face lift, and maybe a new ice cream maker!

Thanks, Chef Sandlin! We wish you much success in the future. And a new ice cream maker. :)

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