Thursday, January 3, 2013

All Top Chef Interview with John Tesar, continued

ATC:  This is Laura Kluvo with All Top Chef and I'm on the phone with John Tesar.  Hi John.

JT:  Hi Laura, how are you?

ATC:  Have you watched the previous seasons of Top Chef?

JT:  Yes, I believe I have watched every episode of every season for the past ten seasons.

ATC:  So you knew about the curse of the risotto...

JT:  Yes, of course, it was just the luck of the draw, I could have gotten anything, but I got the risotto.  Howie's dish was very complicated and included frog's legs and all sorts of things.  It was a challenge to make it healthy.  It was complicated and let's not forget that he sweat in the dish!

ATC:  Did you watch last night's episode?

JT:  I did.  I have been watching every week.  I have a brand new restaurant and when I get home late on Wednesday nights, I say goodnight to my wife and go and watch the show at like 1:00 in the morning.   I have truly enjoyed this season.  The editing is great - I mean there is a lot that you don't see, but Bravo has been great.

I think that there is a demographic that I represent.  I have tons of experience, I have operated many successful restaurants.  I am proud of what I did on the show.

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

JT:  Yes, I would have gotten a little more rest, and I would have made a vegetarian dish in the risotto challenge.

Also, knowing that Josh was coming back to Dallas, I would have been more honest and brutal with him.  I let hime get to me a little and now we are in the same town.  Like a lot of us, he has issues that he should deal with.  Real anger issues.

I was horrified on Thanksgiving when Josh and CJ really attacked me.  They were attacking me all day.  It really started to wear me down.

I would like to come back and do an All-Star season.  That's the advantage that CJ and Stefan and Josie had.  They know about the psychological drama and the toll that this takes.

I mean, just being selected for Top Chef, makes me feel like a winner.  I had tried out for the show before.

Honestly I could have held on to the pickles.  There was only one jar of pickles and I shared them.  That is who I am.  That is the real John Tesar.

ATC:  Who is your best friend from the cast?

JT:  I'm very fond of Brooke.  We are not exactly close, but she is very talented.  Kristen also is very talented.  She will be a great chef.  Stefan of course, is just the ultimate entertainer.  I enjoyed him a lot.  He would say, "Cook.  Just forget about the rest and cook."  Sheldon too.  He is a great guy.

ATC:  What was your favorite challenge?

JT:  The last challenge was my favorite because I learned so much from it.  On the show we really have to cook off the cuff.  There is no way to prepare for it.  I really did have trouble with the cookware.  Also, I had consumed so much MSG that I had numbed my palate.  I loved last night's edit and the ending and everything.  I mean it was bittersweet for me to move on, but I was laughing as I watched.

ATC:  Tell us about your restaurant, Spoon Bar and Kitchen.

JT:  I grew up on the east end of Long Island, and I am bringing the taste of the ocean to Dallas.

The Dallas Morning News just named us one of the best new restaurants of the year.  They used the word "important" when they described us.  

Although I am in a land-locked city, I decided that I wanted to do seafood.  Actually while I was in Seattle, I made a few contacts - geoduck and oysters from Seattle are both on the menu.

 I have a lot of support from the local community, from Dallas, and from my friends.  It's been great.

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

JT:  Please vote to save me.  I'd love to take Josh down!  It was a privilege to be on Top Chef.

ATC:  Thank you!

JT:  Thank you!


  1. Ah! Still delusional and defensive—even when he's trying to put a positive spin on things.

  2. Love you Micah! Keep beibg you. You make us proud!