Wednesday, September 12, 2012

ATC Interview with Takashi Yagihashi, Continued

ATC:  This is Laura Kluvo from All Top Chef and I'm on the phone with Top Chef Masters contestant Chef Takashi Yagihashi.  Hello Chef!

TY:  Hello.

ATC:    You were a favorite all season and we were surprised to see you go, were you also surprised?

TY:  Yes, to be honest, I was a little surprised, but all of the chefs are very talented great chefs, so I did pretty well.

ATC:  Which was your favorite challenge?

TY:  I like the Quickfires.  I won three times in a row and I almost won a fourth.  So I think I have pretty good knife skills and my technique is pretty good.  So I  can work quickly.  I like Quickfire a lot.

ATC:  Have you competed in any other cooking competitions?

TY:  I did Iron Chef Challenge on the Food Network.

ATC:  How did that go?

TY:  It was close, but I lost to Chef Michael Symon.

ATC:  Did you watch the previous seasons of the Top Chef?

TY:  Yes, I did.  Actually when they called and asked me to do it, I started watching all of the shows.  I watched very carefully after that.

ATC:  Who are your best friends from the cast?

TY:  I'm very close to Thierry.  He's a great chef and also very funny.

Also, from Kansas City, Debbie Gold.  She used to be in Chicago.

I have also known Art Smith from Chicago.  You know, when I saw them in the studio for the first time, it felt like a reunion.

I also made a lot of new friends.  I did not know Chris Cosentino before this and also Mark and Clark.

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

TY:  Yes.  On the last challenge.  I had to move very quickly and right away I started.  I think I should have taken a little more time to look at the pantry and see what was available.  I think I missed a lot of things I could have used that were hiding there.   Maybe I should have taken another minute.  That was my one regret.

ATC:  Tell us about your charity?

TY:  My charity is the Red Cross.  For the tsunami disaster in Japan.  My town in Japan is about 100 miles away from the epicenter, but even my town had a big problem.  A lot of people died.  Also, my family travels back to Japan once a year, or every two years.  My kids remember what this area looked like before the tsunami.  So this is why I wanted to send some money to Japan.

ATC:    How much money did you win for the Red Cross?

TY:  I think $20,000.

ATC:   What are you working on now?

TY:   I am back cooking at the restaurant.  I know it sounds boring but that is what I am doing every day.  My restaurant, Takashi, fine dining, is almost like a fusion restaurant.   French technique, Asian ingredients.

Also, Slurping Turtle a Japanese tapas bar.  Very comfortable food.  Lots of noodles.

I try to cover two markets.  I alternate between restaurants.

Also, I am working on two new cookbooks, and I am working on a video to promote the restaurants.

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

TY:   I had a really good time.  I wish I could speak up more well, the other chefs are much better.  Cooking is a wonderful thing.  You can put yourself on the plate.  Almost like an artist using a canvas.  It's really fun.  I am very happy to have had this opportunity to express myself.

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