Finnish Top Chef scoundrel Stefan Richter has been relatively tame of late, denying us his randy insights and concupiscent charms. Fortunately, Nation’s Restaurant News brings the chef back into our lives, finding him in fine, shit-talking form at the Hotel-Motel show in Chicago. Stefan apparently has his sights set on Moscow for a new restaurant and is stressing his gentler approach in motivating his employees ("As soon as you start kicking people around, they shut down," he says). But it’s the cantankerous Stefan we first fell for and the chef doesn’t disappoint. He says he’s totally over food trucks, roughly two years after the rest of L.A., and asks, "Who wants to have lunch next to a dumpster by a truck in a shady alley?" What else does the chef have to hate on these days?
Richter shares some strong words for molecular gastronomy, again framing his disappointment as a question: "Who wants to eat a 10-course menu only made out of plastic?" In some cases, it’s the same people who want to eat the aforementioned lunch in the aforementioned shady alley next to said dumpster, but to date, we’re yet to see Marcel make foodies eat straight-up plastic.
But Stefan hurts us the most with words he has saved for L.A. Despite being an L.A. chef who we expect to see defending Los Angeles with overwhelming bias at all costs, the chef admits he’d rather eat in New York.
"I love L.A. but it’s not as foodie oriented as New York. You have a lot of actors working as waiters. You just don’t have the quality of staff," Richter says, furthering the stereotype that L.A. is forever linked to Tinseltown. Of course, chefs who appear on trendy T.V. shows with restaurants on popular T.V. shows somehow get let off the hook this time around.