Photo: David Giesbrecht / Bravo
Here's this week's installment of Slashfood's exclusive exit interviews with the latest "Top Chef All-Stars" contestant to get the boot. In an effort to prevent spoilers, we've included the text after the jump.
Oh, this one was a heartbreaker. After teasing the audience with misleading clues all episode long (who didn't think Carla or Tiffany was going home?) the judges axed one of the competition's most exciting chefs: Dale Talde. His dish, a lackluster amberjack stew with an overpowering mustard crouton, failed to impress the crowd at the New Orleans-themed Elimination challenge, and the judges couldn't get over his undercooked potatoes. So with a teary farewell, Dale said goodbye. Read about why he thinks Mike is like a school bully, and find out why he spent time on a therapist's couch.
You had such momentum going into this challenge. What happened?
I think it was a combination of everything -- fatigue, nerves. I got shaken a little bit when I couldn't pick my protein and it was hard for me to recover from it. I thought it was a good challenge. It was hard. That was definitely not my flavor profile. If I had it to do over again I would gear it more toward who I am.
What was your favorite challenge this season?
I loved the fishing challenge. I will never forget that. My parents, my family, we had done that fishing trip three years prior in Montauk -- we chartered a boat and fished for striped bass, black bass, and blues. And it was amazing. You're on the water, you're in one of the oldest parts of the United States, and it's just beautiful.
What do you think about Mike stealing Richard's dish idea for the Quickfire?
Well, Mikey's Mikey. Mikey's a guy who, if you bring your lunch to school on the playground, he'll take it from you, eat it in front of you, then tellsyou to go throw it in the garbage. That's Mikey. Not only is he going to steal, he's going to rub it in. And I love Mikey for that. We all love Mikey for that. That's what Mike is. But you know what? If Richard didn't want anyone to take his ideas, then why did he give him his book? You know? I get it though, Mike's a jerk for taking it. He knows he is.
Why the tears when you were eliminated? We didn't see that side of you in Season 4.
I've done a lot of work on myself. I've done some maturing and some growing. I've put the hours in on the therapy couch to get myself to become a better person and love who I am ,and I think for me that's the biggest change in my life. I've learned to love who I am. It's a process though, you know? It's not overnight.
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