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?
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.