Tuesday, December 11, 2012

All Top Chef Interview with CJ Jacobson, Continued

ATC:  This is Laura Kluvo from All Top Chef and I'm on the phone with CJ Jacobson.  Hi CJ.

CJ:  Hi Laura.

ATC:  How did you learn about the opportunity to return to Top Chef?

CJ:  I was actually cooking for a client in Seattle and I heard rumors from different people that they had been asked to return to the show and I thought, "Hmmmmm I wish they would ask me..." Sure enough they did.  I basically returned home, packed, and came right back to Seattle.

ATC:  How did this experience compare to season 3?

CJ:  This experience compared in many ways.  I figured that since I had already been on, that I would not be caught up in all of the drama, but honestly it was exactly the same.

In terms of production after seven seasons, it was much tighter.  No more eight hours in the stew room. I was happy that the challenges were more culinarily-driven rather than like skeet shooting like last season.

ATC:  Please fill us in on what you have been doing since we last saw you in season 3.

CJ:  I had the opportunity to work at a gastropub in Santa Monica called The Yard.  I was there for three years.  I kind of got tired of that and wanted to learn to become a better chef, so I got an apprenticeship at Noma - voted the best restaurant in the world for three years in a row.    It was exactly what I was looking for.  I was there for three and a half months.

After that I had a lot of opportunities.  Right now I am consulting for three different restaurants in Los Angeles - The Bowery on Sunset, Rosewood Tavern on Fairfax.  I am currently working at The Mercantile.

In about a month and a half, I will be opening a place called Girasol which will be very seasonal, very farmer's market-driven stuff.  My version of California food.

ATC:  What is the best thing that has happened to you as a result of your appearance on Top Chef?

CJ:  Honestly, my favorite thing...I was on the show in LA called Jonesy's Jukebox with Steve Jones from The Sex Pistols.

ATC:  Have you watched all of the seasons of the show?

CJ:  No.  I watched the Voltaggio season pretty thoroughly.  I have probably seen about five episodes of each season.

ATC:  Did you watch last night's episode?

CJ:  I did indeed.  I watched with Stefan and Brooke.

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

CJ:  One thing - I was sitting with Brooke and she was concerned that she would be shown crying with another guy and she was sitting and watching with her husband - but they only showed that in the preview.... so she was lucky...

I was not at all surprised by my critique, my stupid arrogant critique...

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

CJ:  Absolutely.  I was too confident this time.  It might have clouded my judgment.  In hindsight, of course, the sous vide lamb was a big mistake.  Also I had about 20 different dishes that I could have done with pickles.  I just went with something that Tyler and I could execute well.  I could have something much more creative with the pickles.

ATC:  What do you like to do in your spare time?

CJ:  I love to work out.  I try to go to the gym five days a week.  That pretty much takes care of all of my spare time.  Honestly it's all about food.  In my spare time I keep cooking and developing new dishes.  I read cookbooks....

Ummm... I like shoes.

ATC:  We watched Last Chance Kitchen and saw that you both survived.  Hopefully we will see more from you at the end of the season.

CJ:  Stay tuned.

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

CJ:  I would like to say that I appreciate all of my fans.  Please follow me on twitter and Facebook and watch what happens.

No comments:

Post a Comment