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Top Chef DC: Bios Beyond What Bravo Tells You
We did some digging to find dirt on the 17 cheftestants. Here’s what you should know before tuning into Top Chef DC.
Lives in: Hollywood, by way of Brooklyn and Paramus.
Job: Executive chef at Ivan Kane’s Cafe Was, which the Los Angeles Times calls a “complex of indulgence,” with a French menu offering caviar and soufflés and an extravagant wine list.
Used to work at: The Vegas branch of the high-rolling French institution Lutèce, now closed.
Education: Le Cordon Bleu in Las Vegas.
Gets around in: A ’65 Mustang.
Craziest customer: A regular at Cafe Was who “orders French onion soup without onions or cheese.”
Yep, he’s a chef: “How do I know Alex? Alex is ‘that’ friend of my husband,” vents a writer in the Paramus Buzz. “You know the one that drives you nuts because they stay out drinking all night and call at 3:30 AM with a drunken apology. Yup, he’s ‘that’ friend.”
What he thinks of fellow L.A. cheftestant Amanda Baumgarten: “She can be my sous chef anytime.”
Don’t get him mixed up with: Alex Reznik, Ukrainian actor.
Reminds us of: If Tom Colicchio, Michael Voltaggio, and Stefan Richter could have a love child, it’d look like him.
What he always has on hand: He tells iVillage that his fridge is always stocked with unsalted butter, salami, capers, stinky cheese, and a freezer bottle of Vodka.
Scorecard: 5 points for restaurant experience, 2 points for love of indulgence, 1 point for being “that friend” and managing to hold down a job. Total: 8 points.
Lives in: Telluride, Colorado. But it sounds like he’s contemplating a move. Last week he tweeted, “Decisions, decisions…Boston or West Palm Beach.”
Job: Most recently led three restaurants at Capella Telluride, a resort in the skiing town. Also owns Passionate Culinary Enterprises, where he plays restaurant consultant, and G’s Restaurant Group, although we can’t find anything on its restaurants.
Cuisine: All over the map. His menu at a James Beard House dinner ranged from rock-shrimp/sugarcane fritters with peanut/chili sauce to corn-crusted quail with smoked-bacon grits.
Education: Pennsylvania Culinary Institute in Pittsburgh.
Also worked at: The Grill at the Ritz-Carlton on Amelia Island, where he was named executive chef at age 23 and earned multiple AAA five-diamond awards.
Runs in the family: His brother Kirk is executive chef at the Inn at Palmetto Bluff River House Restaurant in South Carolina.
You may have seen him on: The Food Network show Ready, Set, Cook!, which he won in 2001.
Psychoanalyze him: On his blog, Kenny’s Thought’s (sic). Start off with “Pain of a Chef.”
Drink of choice: Scotch.
What the future holds: He wants to train up-and-coming chefs who can’t swing culinary school. “Within a two-year period,” he promises, “you’ll be a stud in the kitchen.”
Scorecard: 8 points for restaurant experience, 3 points for being versed in so many cuisines, 2 points for focus and ambition. Total: 13 points.
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