Top Chef, Andrea Top Chef, Andrea

During this week's Top Chef power-lunch elimination challenge, a container of pea puree took center stage as the cheftestants and viewers were left to wonder if Alex actually stole the side dish from Ed and passed it as his own. spoke with eliminee Andrea Curto-Randazzo to get her take on the matter and why she found it "very weird" that the three people closest to the pea drama wound up in the top three. Plus: Find out which critique she says was a "bunch of bologna."

Top Chef's Tom Colicchio: Toby "didn't have the most authoritative voice" Let's talk about the allegedly stolen pea puree dish that everyone is talking about.
Andrea Curto-Randazzo: I guess I should have stolen the pea puree — I could have won! [Laughs] All I know is Ed was missing puree and Alex had it. I never saw [Alex] make it. I never saw it go into the blender. I just know it wound up on his plate. Did I actually see the stealing of it? No, I was way too busy with my own dilemmas. It was a very weird situation ... that the people in the top three — not saying that they did or did not deserve to be there, but in the way it was orchestrated — were the person with the pea puree, the person who lost the pea puree, and the [friend of the] person who lost the pea puree. Maybe they were hoping more drama would unfold there because Tiffany — and I love her — never holds back. And I know she was biting her tongue. That's all I can say about that. So why did you put vanilla in a savory dish?
Andrea: It's something I've done before, and it did work. There are other factors involved [and that's] probably why it didn't work. Just those circumstances — they're not your normal in-your-kitchen circumstances. It just didn't turn out to be the best representation of how I do that dish. Do you think you deserved to get cut for it?
Andrea: I didn't taste Kelly's or Kevin's food on that particular day. I'm just familiar with their body of work, and I know what awesome chefs they are. So I'm saying the two of them were way more awesome than some people who weren't in the bottom. I know you want me to pick out certain people, but I'm not one to do that. At this point, the viewers can decide who should be there and who shouldn't. Did you agree with the judges' critique?
Andrea: I don't always agree with it, but everyone is always entitled to their opinions. I don't really agree with what Art Smith said about how when you cook something you don't really care for, it shows. I just think that's a bunch of bologna. I cook food all the time that you might not be fond of, but know how to handle properly and treat well, and it comes out beautifully. What's next for you?
Andrea: Right now, my husband and I are heading up The Water Club, a new restaurant in North Miami Beach. It's been open about a month and is a big project for us. We still have our catering company and run a café at the Fairchild Tropical Garden. We are trying to sell [our restaurant] Talula, and we've been trying to do that a couple years now — to relocate it from South Beach. We'd like to put it in a neighborhood that's maybe not as seasonal and with a regular local following. And then I've got my family thing going on with three girls. So I'm always running.