Thursday, March 1, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with Sarah Grueneberg - continued

ATC: This is Laura Kluvo from All Top Chef and I'm on the phone with Top Chef Texas finalist, Sarah Grueneberg. Hi Sarah.

SG: Hi Laura.

ATC: Sarah, your boyfriend is really cute, have you gotten married yet?

SG: Not yet! We have been dating for five and a half years. There is no rush.

ATC: Who was your best friend from the cast?

SG: Lindsay Autry. Actually Lindsay, Heather, Grayson… We all really got along.

ATC: If you could go back, is there anything you would do differently?

SG: I wouldn't second-guess myself. I would just trust my instincts more. This competition puts you in a vulnerable state.

In a restaurant when you create a dish, you try it, and the others chefs taste it and you make adjustments before you present it. On the show, you only get one chance and I wish I had just gone with my first instincts.

ATC: Did you watch the episode last night?

SG: Yes, of course, it was awesome.

ATC: Was there anything that surprised you as you watched?

SG: Not really. I feel like it was really great. I enjoyed watching the judges table and hearing how hard it really was to make the decision.

ATC: Tell us about your restaurant.

SG: Well, Spiaggia is 28 years old. Tony Montuano (Top Chef Masters) is the chef/partner. It's the only 4-star Italian restaurant in Chicago. Next door is Cafe Spiaggia. It's great everyday food. It's a fun place and true Italian food.

ATC: Have you added anything to the menu that we saw you create on the show?

SG: Yes, absolutely. The stuffed cabbage, the pork skin ravioli, the risotto with the lamb heart… I was very inspired on the show and it was great to come back and to have so much support from Tony.

ATC: What did you do to prepare for the finale?

SG: Well, I "staged" at many different restaurants, I went to every Asian market that I could find with my mentor, worked on the dishes that I wanted to create. I took some pastry classes. I just wanted to be completely confident going in to the finale.

ATC: What does "stage" mean?

SG: Basically it is when a chef goes to work in a restaurant for a day to see how things operate in another kitchen.

ATC: What are you working on now?

SG: Really concentrating on my food. I am so different from the girl who arrived at The Alamo six months ago. I want to travel and develop even more new dishes. I'm excited about what is to come.

ATC: What was the best thing about competing on Top Chef?

SG: The friends. Definitely the other chefs. It was so great to be surrounded by others who are just as inspired as you are. I can compare it to summer camp. On the first day, you are like, "Mom, I want to go home." and then at the end you are like "No! I never want to leave." I had such a good time. I never laughed so much in my life.

ATC: Well you have a great smile and you were very fun to watch.

SG: Thank you.

ATC: Sarah, we are almost out of time, is there anything else you would like to say to your fans?

SG: If you are ever in Chicago, please come to Spiaggia. Thank you to all my fans for their support. I really appreciate it.

ATC: Thank you Sarah.

SG: Thank YOU!

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