‘Top Chef’ Reject Won’t Abandon His Roots

Ryan Scott

Chef Ryan Scott worships at the altar of Alice Waters.Photo courtesy of Bravo

Last night on Top Chef, the remaining cheftestants prepared a tailgate party for discerning Bears fans. One man tried his own native cuisine, but the judges scoffed. After the jump, our Michael Alan Connelly interviews the latest chef to pack his knives and go.

What are you working on now?
My consulting company, Ryan Scott To Go, is up on its feet, and it should be active in the next three weeks or so. Ive been looking and pursuing locations in San Francisco to open my own place.

What kind of restaurant would it be?
Itll be sleek and simple, like sandwiches, burgers, and salads, organic drinks and so on. On the other hand, I would love to do something like Prune. Thats kind of the way I cook. Simple, straightforward three, four, five ingredients on the plate. I have a great mixologist who wants to do sustainable organic drinks.

After the fight shown at the end of last weeks episode, did tension among the chefs increase?
There was definitely tension around, but theres bound to be. You're putting ten people who dont live together in a house and give them booze, and theres your product.

Did the experience change your cooking?
I definitely have respect for peeling an onion again. When you work in a kitchen and you run the whole thing, having onions and garlic peeled is something you get used to. Youd be amazed how long it takes to make a burger when you have to do all the mise en place yourself.

Which cheftestants do you like?
Stef and Rich. Stef as a person, I adore. Shes an all-around great cook. Rich is breaking culinary boundaries. One night he said to me, I respect so much what you do, Ryan. You can cook with two or three ingredients, and look at a fennel bulb and its just fennel. Id try and figure out how to levitate the thing. I cant cook on your level. I said, Well, Rich, I cant turn around and use transglutamine in any of my cooking.

Throughout the season youve been loyal to your California cuisine. Was that disadvantageous?
Im a California boy. I live in the greatest city in the world, San Francisco, and thats what I cook. The simpler the better is my philosophy, and that didnt fly.

Do you regret what you did?
I was always me. I should have done a burger; thats my only regret. But I still stand by what I did. My food was tasty, and it was good. I went a little too large, and it happens.