Sara Mair Dishes About 'Top Chef'
Sara Mair was a dark horse cheftestant during her time on Top Chef. She was riding in the middle of the pack for the first several episodes, and it wasn't really until after her contentious teaming with Howie Kleinberg that she seemed to start distinguishing herself.

Unfortunately, some underdone chicken – although she might disagree with that assessment – and some overall execution issues meant that she had to “pack her knives and go” on last Wednesday's episode. She shared her thoughts on the judges' assessment and gave her thoughts on Hung Huynh's chances for winning Top Chef.

First of all, so what about that chicken? During the panel review, she expressed surprise that Gail Simmons found her chicken to be undercooked. While she didn't argue too vehemently with the judges, as she waited for the verdict with the other chefs, she claimed to not be convinced that her chicken wasn't cook. And now?

She said, “I'm still not convinced. It certainly was not raw. I thought it was maybe medium or under-medium. I would not put raw chicken on the table.”

She does concede that she undercooked the sea bass used in the Quickfire Challenge of the same episode, saying, “I was so nervous going into [the Le Cirque] kitchen. By that time it was nine o'clock at night on a Friday at Le Cirque, so it was crazy busy. I know how I feel when a stranger comes through my kitchen. Kitchens are very territorial.”

She doesn't fault the the Le Cirque chefs for their icy reception. Sara said, “[It was] fine with me because I probably would have had the same vibe. I would like to go back and stage there and hang out, though. It would be different then.”

And speaking of territorial chefs, what about Howie Kleinberg? The two apparently made up before he left the show. “After Howie and I had our issues,” Sara said, “I pulled him aside and said this isn't right. We're grown adults, so I said what I needed to say. He said, ‘Thanks for saying something to me because I never would have.'”

Sara agrees with Dale Levitski, who said that Hung's cooking has no heart, but she's not giving any other clues as to who might win Top Chef.

“Hung has very good technical skills, but he's not very creative and that's where the heart comes in…[He]has mad technical skills, and he has a huge knowledge of food. I don't know, though. It could go either way. I think you have to have soul and technical skills. It's a toss-up. It could be any of them.”

- Leslie Seaton, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: New York Magazine
(Image courtesy of BravoTV)