No matter how harried the competition got in season 3 of Top Chef
, seafood chef Brian Malarkey
seemed determined to remain upbeat. His good attitude, along with his skills – especially with seafood – took him all the way to final four. While he didn't make it to the top of Top Chef
, he did win some respect for the way he handled the game.
Since the show, Brian has talked about what brought him to Top Chef
, dished a bit about his fellow chefs, and let us know whether or not we'll see him on another reality show any time in the near future.
Brian has talked about how he got on the show. "I didn't audition for the show. They sent a scout to San Diego and talked to a lot of people. They were going to put me on Season 2 but decided I wasn't what they were looking for. They got "Frankie the Bull" [Frank Terzoli
] from San Diego instead. Then, they called me for Season 3. I did a few interviews, and they put me on."
He admits a little hubris was involved. “Like every other remote control arm-chair chef in the country, I thought I could beat any of them.”
So what did he think of his fellow chefs?
He has said both positive and negative things about Hung Huynh
. During the airing of the show, he had some fairly harsh words for Hung, saying in response to the question of whether or not Hung has soul: “He's got a really young, immature soul. He's not focused on the right things in life. There's no point in being an asshole, and that's how he comes off. When he was watching [Chris Jacobsen
] CJ die cooking at the airport, I was like, ‘Hung, help CJ,' and he just sat there and washed his knife, and I was like, ‘Oh, you little a**hole.' I think he's an angry little man.”
That said, Brian has also said that, “Hung would have made a bigger ass of himself if I hadn't been there to calm him down and tell him to shut up."
In a more recent interview, his view of Hung seems to have mellowed a little. He has recently commented that Hung was a lot more tolerable in person than he appeared on this show. "I got along with him all through the show," said Malarkey who roomed with Hung. "When he was cooking he'd talk smack with the camera on, but when there were private times, he was pretty cool."
He's frank about other contestants, too, saying, "I didn't like Micah - the one who dissed ketchup - from the get-go. Supposedly, she was from South Africa, but her accent was different every day. Later, we found out she was from Massachusetts."
And sorry, Brian fans, but that reunion show might be the last time you get to see Brian on TV.
"One reality series in my lifetime," he has said. "You're not going to see me Dancing With the Stars." And he can't really recommend the Top Chef
experience to other chefs, saying, "I don't know why you'd want to do it. You get destroyed in the blogs, it's exhausting, and the judges are merciless. I'd rather give advice to aspiring chefs than aspiring reality-TV chefs - keep your head down and make your damn Caesar salad right. Being a chef is a lot of repetition and not a lot of glory.
“[The $100,000 prize money is] about $6,000 after taxes. I'd be lucky to open a taco stand in Tijuana [with that].”
So what else is in store for Brian, then?
“I want to keep cooking seafood and have a great time.”
- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: New York Magazine, Rocky Mountain News, Pioneer Press
(Image courtesy of Bravo)