During an intense Restaurant Wars challenge on this week's Top Chef, Alex found himself at the center of all the drama yet again. And needless to say, eliminated chefestant Kenny Gilbert was not too thrilled that his Twenty-One 21 restaurant lost, while Alex survived another round despite his lack of culinary participation on team EVOO.
TVGuide.com chatted with the 36-year-old chef to find out why he thinks Alex should have been disqualified, which of his teammates he thinks should have gone home instead, and what he has to say viewers who feel he has a big ego.
TVGuide.com: You obviously disagreed with the judges' decision, but what do you think about it now that some time has passed?
Kenny Gilbert: I think it was the wrong decision, honestly. I think the dishes that were full of flavor and carried through were my dish and Kevin's dish. All the dishes ate well, we tried all the food, and we had great feedback from the guests.
TVGuide.com: Who should have gone home?
Kenny: It's hard to say because I tried all the food and didn't think anything was wrong with it. I would probably say Amanda [because] maybe the Swiss chard was a little chewy. I didn't think so myself, but I didn't like her choice of the grass-fed beef because it's a lot more lean. But it was a good dish. With Kelly's crab dish, the soup was a little thin. It would be between Amanda and Kelly. Unfortunately, the judges don't eat the whole thing. They take one bite. We make food for the experience on the entire plate.
TVGuide.com: What about Alex?
Kenny: Yeah, he definitely should have gone. What it boils down to is that Alex did not compose a dish. He should have been disqualified for not conforming to the challenge. Kelly prepared two dishes and prepped them 100 percent. I plated it. There's nothing Alex can say he made. He didn't make the pea puree. Angelo had to re-butcher and clean his lamb. Angelo made the parmesan foam. Angelo made the reduction. We were competing, and there are rules they have to follow.
TVGuide.com: Why do you think your team lost?
Kenny: The reality is Angelo, Ed and Tiffany all thought they were going to be on the bottom because of [Alex's] terrible service. It was a nightmare for them. They shouldn't have lost because of the food, but because of the service. They were still cooking 45 minutes after we were done and had cleaned up. Guests were waiting an hour on their food. I'm perplexed because we had great ticket time and great flow.
TVGuide.com: Some of the blogs have said you can be a bit cocky. What do you think about that?
Kenny: For me, there are people out there who really like my approach and honesty, and there are people who like Angelo better and say I'm really cocky or arrogant. As Tom said the other day, all chefs have a level a cockiness, but it's more so confidence in your ability — and you have to have that.