“Kevin Gillespie’s bacon jam, I used,” he revealed as an example of the few instances. “We don’t get a recipe when chefs put the dishes out, but I looked at it and said, ‘Okay, I can do that and I’m going to try that.’ It’s hard to get out and eat and not be influenced.”
That said, there’s no way that he’d ever steal a recipe outright, no matter how sensationalist that headline we slapped up there may imply, even if his cheftestants might do so occasionally. And then, Colicchio is still lenient. “The things that have happened really weren’t anything. If you looked at the second season with that whole thing with [Top Chef Season 2 Winner] Ilan [Hall], that was a classic dish he did.”
Hall, who now helms the LA restaurant The Gorbals, was accused of lifting his finale menu from Mario Batali’s restaurant Casa Mono, by Mario Batali himself. While Colicchio excuses Hall’s kinda-copying, he defends his position by saying that at least he didn’t copy-paste the entire thing: “If you’re going to do Claudia Fleming’s tapioca with coconut wheels and mango sorbet and cilantro syrup,” he said as an example, “that’s ridiculous, because that’s very specific.”
And you know that somewhere in his mind, he’s thinking about that time that Season 2 runner-up and bratty Wolverine Marcel Vigneron completely stole an egg dish from Wylie Dufresne and never copped to it.
The rest of the interview is basically some mouthwateringly Proustian musings on food he’d love to cook, as well as some thoughts on the entire entertainment-restaurant industrial complex. Tom? Can you come do an interview with us? We have many, many things we’d love to ask you.
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]