Monday, September 19, 2011

All Top Chef Interview with "Top Chef Just Desserts" Season 2 Chef Melissa Camacho Continued

Did you watch the first season of TCJD?
Briefly, but I was also familiar with Top Chef because my husband works with Angelo Sosa.

What did you do to prepare for the competition?
Is there really any way to prepare? I definitely researched new techniques and flavor profiles, but I wish I had done stress or sleep deprivation tests, that may have helped more.

In the very first challenge your partner was eliminated, and the other chefs seemed to shun you afterward. If you could go back is there anything you would change?.
I wish I had been more vocal about the obvious issues earlier on, instead of waiting until it was too late. I do think it was important to stand up for myself, but being that I was already upset about our performance, I let myself get a bit dramatic.

The Wonka challenge was fabulous! Did you taste any of the desserts? Yes, Carlos’ macaroons were amazing, as were Rebecca’s cupcakes.

Have you perfected the green doughnut?
I’d like to think so, but I’ll have to let our ilili fans decide that. I’m sending out the doughnuts as a special treat for tomorrow’s brunch.

Did you feel that the other chefs deliberately undermined you when they failed to provide your “stems” or was it just an honest oversight?
I definitely don’t feel anyone was being deliberate, but it was clear that the original plan went askew once everyone thought about themselves. I hadn’t planned my time to include drilling and setup, so it wasn’t ideal. At the end of the day, my doughnuts didn’t turn out how I wanted, and that’s all me.

Do you have a website?
No, but you can follow me and ilili on twitter. @ililirestaurant and @melissabcamacho

Have you remained in touch with any of the other chefs? Who is your best friend from the cast?
We all got along really well, to be honest. I’m closest to Vanarin, Rebecca and Megan. They’re so talented!

Describe your “signature dessert.”
Honestly, it changes constantly as I learn and try new things. Right now, I’d say it’s Chocolate Date Cake with Carob Cream, Coconut Sorbet and Chocolate Meringue. Though, based on Hubert’s reaction, maybe I should stick with the cardamom.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?
You mean my mom? No, honestly I’m so grateful for all the people who’ve been sending me support. I just hope I didn’t let them down! Thank you, and I’ll buy you dessert.

Click here to comment.

All Top Chef Interview with Craig Poirier Continued

What was the best thing about competing on the show?

The best part about competing on the show had to have been my fellow contestants. Everyone was so amazing and supportive. I also enjoyed meeting the judges and guest judges. Of course winning 25,000 dollars wasn't too bad either. Honestly, the whole experience was just incredible.

Who are your best friends from the cast?

I care so much for everyone on the show. Each cast member influenced me in a different way and I cant imagine going through this experience with a better group of people.

This was a very memorable episode – did you watch?

Even though this was the episode I was told to pack my tools, I was still so excited to watch. Getting to meet the cast of Willy Wonka was an experience I will never forget. It was really awesome to get to see the reactions on everyone else's face when we saw who the special guests were. It was also great to have a chance to see just how amazing the room of pure imagination turned out. Regardless of the outcome of the episode, I am so proud to say I was a part of that.

Did you feel like Sally was in jeopardy because she helped you?

It was heartbreaking to see Sally in the bottom. Sally helped many people in this challenge besides me and had her hands in a number of other projects as well. I am extremely grateful for all of her help and support. She is an amazing teacher and there is much I still have to learn from her. We have so much fun together as well, in fact I think the two of should have our own spin off show!

Did you taste the other desserts in the Wonka challenge? Which was your favorite?

I tried to taste as many of the other desserts as I could. I really enjoyed Rebecca's moon pies and I loved Carlos's peanut butter and jelly macaroons, and I don't just say that because I work with him now.

Where are you working now?

After finishing taping the show, I returned to Las Vegas and began working with Carlos at Holsteins in the Cosmopolitan.

Please describe your “signature dessert.”

I feel that it's still a bit early in my career to say that I have a "signature dessert", however one dessert that I am known for is a hot chocolate creme brûlée with toasted marshmallow. It's nothing crazy but it's really tasty and I find it to be quite comforting.

Craig is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

I am so thankful for the support that I have received. Not many people have had the opportunity that I have had being on Top Chef, let alone at the beginning of their career. I am so grateful to everyone involved in putting this show together, and to the fans for watching and supporting all of us, not just me. This is just the beginning for me and I can't wait to see what the future has in store so stay tuned!

Click here to comment.