After a season of high-intensity challenges and clashing personalities, the final three Top Chef: Just Desserts contestants —Yigit, Morgan and Danielle — gave their best effort to impress judges palettes by telling a story through dessert. Morgan's concept centered on light and primary colors, while Danielle played off the idea of nostalgic favorites with a twist. But it was Yigit's sweet journey about falling in love that landed him the win.
TVGuide.com caught up with the pastry chef to find whether or not he knew he was going to win, what he thought about all the sabotage accusations, and why he think the stress of the show really got so some of the contestants. Plus: Guess who he's rooting for on Top Chef All-stars.
TVGuide.com: You got pretty emotional when you found out you won. What was going through your head?
Yigit Pura: When Gail said my name, it felt like I could hear unicorns singing around me. I blanked out for a minute and fell to my knees and sort of lost sight of everything. Then I heard Zac and Heather screaming behind me and that sort of brought me back to reality.
TVGuide.com: Did you think you were going to win?
Yigit: I actually felt very strong that I had a very good shot at it, but Morgan put out some really beautiful food. But the way the food looks is one thing, and what it tastes like is another. I had no idea what the flavor profiles of the other desserts were, so I knew anything was possible.
TVGuide.com: There was a lot of trash-talking during the confessional interviews. What was it like watching them?
Yigit: Watching them was a pretty disheartening because I expected people to remain more professional in their private time. But people are entitled to their own opinions, and I'm kind of happy I stuck through it remained more professional and calm. It was challenging when people would say things like, "I wish he'd go home," but at the end I took the prize so I should be very happy about that.
TVGuide.com: During this season, one chef quit and another had a nervous breakdown. Was it really that stressful?
Yigit: I think the way the viewers saw how dramatic and stressful it was probably about a tenth of what we experienced. I think we had a very eccentric cast. Seth had a very hard [time] emotionally and Morgan had a personality that people clashed with. And you have to understand that pastry chefs are such exacting creatures that we work with a recipe 100 times over to perfect it. We have everything scaled out to a half of a gram. And also we don't work with time restraints; we work days ahead of time. You take recipes away from us within days of departure and almost un-meetable time restraints with people who are so agitating to our nerves, it becomes really, really intense.
TVGuide.com: There seemed to be a lot of accusations of sabotage. Do you think any of that was really going on?
Yigit: Honestly, when I was making my desserts, I really just had my head down and focused on my own elements, so I don't know if people sabotaged each other's food, but I think it's definitely very possible. But I would certainly hope not.
TVGuide.com: There have been some complaints that the show focused more on drama than on the desserts. What do you think?
Yigit: I think it was pretty even, and the desserts were definitely the forefront of the show. Also, I think in pastry chefs, we're very emotional and passion-driven people, and I think that directly translates into our food. You can actually transfer your emotions to the plate. It's not like searing a piece of beef and putting some spinach with it. You can actually add textures and height and layer and visually make it so much more artistic.
TVGuide.com: So are you planning on watching Top Chef: All-Stars?
Yigit: Absolutely, without a doubt.
TVGuide.com: Who are you rooting for?
Yigit: That's a tough question, but after last season I kind of fell in love with Tiffany, so I definitely will be rooting for her.