"Dale and I are totally cool, I've seen him four times in the last couple of weeks." —Lisa Fernandes, 'Top Chef' finalist
So how do you feel now after the finale of Top Chef Chicago? It's over and done, and I'm totally cool with that. I met some awesome people, I got to cook with some great chefs, and overall I had a great time.
What was the hardest thing about being on the show? The hardest thing to deal with was being in seclusion, with no outside contact with the real world. In the reality TV world, you have to get permission to go to the bathroom, to have a cigarette, to do anything. It's like you're a little kid. And they don't even turn your mic off when you go the bathroom.
Did we get to see the real you on Top Chef? Top Chef is reality-show reality, it's selective reality by definition. The cameras are running 24 hours a day, but they only show a tiny part of what they film. The producers often focus on a small part of someone's personality because they're trying to make the best reality show they can. I understand that. It doesn't mean that all of us on the show are going to like everything they show. But that's part of the deal.
Do you regret anything you said on the show? Of course. I'm a human being. I say stupid things, like we all do. But I try to never look back or to live my life being full of regrets. I definitely learned from my mistakes.
How do you feel about the blogosphere? I'm like everybody else, I think. I find it difficult to read negative comments about myself. But I don't want to focus on the negativity. I didn't mean to offend anybody, and I'm sorry if I did. I totally overreacted. [Major spoiler after the jump.]
How did you feel going into the final Elimination Challenge? I was really kind of relaxed and excited at the same time. I'm a chef, and I think I'm really good at what I do, so I was definitely ready for it.
How did you feel when you found out on-camera that you had lost? Life is not fair. I felt very strongly about the quality of my final dinner. I was neck and neck with Stephanie, and the judges chose her. There's nothing I can do about it.
What aspects of your personality do you feel viewers didn't get to see? My sense of humor. I love to make people laugh. Making people laugh and making people food are my two passions in life. I'm kind of a big goofball, and I'm sorry Top Chef viewers didn't get to see that.
How do you feel about cooking for Drew Nieporent at Mai House? It's great. I'm cooking with Asian ingredients, I'm learning a lot, I'm good to go.
Are you in touch with the rest of the gang? Absolutely. I talk to Stephanie all the time, Richard just emailed me pictures of his new baby, who is so cute. Dale and I are totally cool, I've seen him four times in the last couple of weeks. Andrew and I are fine, he gives me a big hug every time I see him. It's all good.
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