Top Chef Masters: Episode 2 Chefs

Top Chef Masters

Recently, Super Chef participated in a group conference call with other journalists to interview four chef contestants in Top Chef Masters, episode 2. What was most illuminating was the wonderful sense of humor in all four chefs: Elizabeth Falkner, Suzanne Tracht, Wylie Defresne, and Graham Elliot Bowles. They truly sounded like they enjoyed themselves and enjoyed poking fun at each other. Episode 2 airs on June 17th at 10pm.

Each participated because they would be helping charities. Each was previously a guest or judge on Top Chef, so they were very familiar with the show’s structure and pace.

Top Chef Masters:  Wylie Dufresne, Elizabeth Falkner, Graham Elliot, and Suzanne Tracht

Here are a sampling of the questions and answers:

Q: There are only four women involved in Iron Chef Masters. How do you feel about that?

Elizabeth Falkner: you know there are a lot of women in the industry, but it is still male dominated. It takes a lot of strength to be a chef. In the case of Top Chef Masters, I agree with Wylie, who said that it’s more of sports event. You have to like the culinary side and the competition.

Q: What did you do to prepare?

Graham Elliot Bowles: I practiced a lot of past scenarios. I dreaded anything with pastry.

Elizabeth Falkner: I was sorry I wasn’t on the pastry episode. Bring on the pastry.

Q: What advice would you give to contestants now that you have been on the show?

Wylie Dufresne: Move quickly at all times.
Elizabeth Falkner: I honestly think you have to move quickly. You have to train for it, culinarily and physically.
Suzanne Tracht: You have to stay focused. You don’t want to run around in circles.

Q: What did you get out of it?

Elizabeth: We had our own camaraderie and challenges. The personality of each chef really comes through the food. We are getting to see the best chefs and see the flavors of what they are doing.

Q: Many of the chefs have multiple restaurants, but you [Wylie] have only one. Is your participation in Top Chef Masters an indication that you are going to expand?

Wylie Dufresne: No, I have no immediate plans. This is an opportunity to spread awareness of what we do at wd-50. It’s not because I hope to expand or grow, but I won’t rule it out.

Q: Who is the toughest judge?

Wylie Dufresne: We probably all have differing opinions on that. We can’t really talk about what happened. We were judged by others beyond the three critics.
Graham Elliot Bowles: In the first episode, the Girl Scouts were the toughest judges.
Suzanne Tracht: It was the first time I met any of them.
Elizabeth Falkner: The judges don’t get out as much to the West Coast.
Wylie Dufresne: Gael [Greene] is a tough one. You can go either way. We all faired well. But Gael was the judge who was most concerning. She has a history of what she likes and what she doesn’t like.
Graham Elliot Bowles: I would agree with that.

Q: Were there any chefs you wished were part of Top Chef Masters?

Elizabeth Falkner: There are so many good chefs. The chefs on the show are all interesting and fun. We had a good group.
Wylie Dufresne: Our foursome was good fun. Too bad Graham cheated so much.

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Tom Colicchio: Top Chef 2
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