Exclusive Interview: Coi of 'Hell's Kitchen'
Exclusive Interview: Coi of 'Hell's Kitchen'
Meghan Carlson
Meghan Carlson
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
There was injustice in the air last night in Hell’s Kitchen when Chef Ramsay selected Andrea, whom the rest of her team thought had performed the poorest during service, to nominate two of her own for elimination. She selected Coi and LA of the Red Team for the chopping block, and in the end, it was Coi who paid dearly for her mistakes at the burger station during the team’s special bar mitzvah service.

BuddyTV had a chance this morning to talk to this Texas native who is full of surprises—the first of which is that she is only 22. A self-described “diva” before entering the competition, Coi instead seemed mature and team-oriented, never flying off the handle like so many of her competitors. But in the end it was her nerves, not lack of skill, during the high-stress dinner services that cost Coi a shot at running Ramsay’s newest restaurant at the Borgata Resort in Atlantic City.

Read on for what Coi had to say about that shocking elimination, her take on this season’s best and worst competitors, and her next exciting adventure in the culinary realm.
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When Coi, a café chef from Austin, heard that the infamous Chef Ramsay would be holding auditions for Hell’s Kitchen, she wasn’t alone in her hopes to get on the show.

“We heard that they were having auditions in Austin, and my sister’s a chef also, and she said, ‘Lets do it!’ I’m not afraid of anything, and that’s the honest to God truth,” said Coi,

But even with no fears going in, Coi soon discovered that it’s called Hell’s Kitchen for a reason.

“It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. I went in with the complete expectation of being able to soar through this with no problems, no issues, no bumps in the road, because I do consider myself a great chef. It’s a lot harder than in looks.”

And it’s not just that the 16 chefs have the world-renowned and frequently terrifying Chef Gordon Ramsay watching their every move as they work—it’s the “whole process” of the show that wears on you, says Coi.

“It’s being kept on your tippy-toes,” she said. “Being run down to the ground. No sleep. And then definitely being bunked with somebody like Lacey will stir up that fire in me.”

What about Lacey, the 24-year-old corporate chef who from the beginning drew well-deserved criticism from every corner for her bad attitude and many mistakes? It might seem surprising that, six episodes in, she remains on the program despite her repeated mistakes, but that’s the risk of reality TV, where the promise of drama can trump real talent.

“She’s got no skills,” said Coi. “I hate talking so bad about her, but just looking on the show and seeing how bad she did so many times, and didn’t go home, and then my one hiccup, and I’m sent packing. It makes me wonder what exactly that’s all about.”

And how about Andrea, the self-appointed leader of the Red team, who made her own blunders last night?

“With the cutting and pasting, they’re [the producers] going to make things look a lot worse than what they are,” said Coi about her own mistakes that night. “Andrea, on the other hand, looked a lot better than what was actually going on. My focus was my station, and I tried my hardest not to pay attention to what was happening. But I did see she had a lot of confusion, a lot of hiccups. A lot more than what I had. But Ramsay didn’t see it.”

So Coi was sent packing, even after drawing Ramsay’s attention to Andrea’s errors. And as the competition heats up, Coi doubts that Andrea will survive for much longer. “I don’t think she’s worked in the industry long enough to actually know how to manage and function in a real kitchen,” Coi said. “I’m really hoping for Carol and LA.”

In the end, Coi said, “It was an experience of a lifetime. I have taken so much away from it when it comes to my attitude.” But if asked to do it all over again, she said, “I wouldn’t.”

Instead, the chef has chosen to forge her way into a whole new, but related, field: the world of culinary fashion.

“I’ve noticed that fashion-wise, there’s not much for the culinary world. There are different prints and different styles, but it’s generally one size fits most. And my designs are specifically for women,” said Coi, once again accompanied by her chef-sister on this venture.

“My motto is, like a lot of people, if you look good, you feel good. So my sister and I are putting our heads together. I want my girls to look good. We don’t need to look like men. Let’s look hot! Why not?”

Her designs should be available within the year, said Coi, and it sounds as though there may be some unconscious inspiration from her time in Hell: the "hot" line of chef’s jackets and pants are not only highly adjustable for women’s bodies--they’re also flame retardant.

Read the Recap: Hell's Kitchen Episode 5.6



-Meghan Carlson, BuddyTV Staff Writer

Image courtesy of FOX

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