Chatting With…Nils Noren, Contestant on Top Chef Masters Tonight


Tonight, Nils Noren will compete on Top Chef Masters against Michael Chiarello (Bottega Restaurant), Rick Moonen (RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay), and Lachlan McKinnon Patterson (Frasca Food & Wine). Noren, who cheffed at Aquavit for 10 years, and is now the vice president of culinary and pastry arts at the French Culinary Institute, will face a Quickfire Challenge that requires he re-create a junk-food classic, and an Elimination Challenge to make a three-course mini-meal (whatever that means).

Noren is a good guy and a wonderful chef, but he was taciturn on this occasion. He didn’t feel comfortable answering these two questions: Kelly Choi: good choice for host or not? Are the time limits real, or do you get extra time? That’s an understandable reaction to the former…as for the latter, I guess we can draw our own conclusions.

Of your fellow contestants, who cared the most about winning?

I think we all did, you always want to do your best.

What’s your charity?

Friends of French Culinary Institute

What was the weirdest thing about cooking for TV?

It’s always weird to cook with a camera in your face, especially when it is as stressful as TCM was.

How did you feel about your food being judged on TV?

A little strange, but as a chef your food gets judged all the time.

What are your thoughts on the rumors that Aquavit might be closing?

I don’t know anything about that.

Related: High-Tech, Highly Delicious Cocktails at FCI