Although Brad Miller may have thought he was the king of Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay certainly thought otherwise of young Sous Chef from Scottsdale. After becoming the seventh chef eliminated from Hell’s Kitchen 3, Brad took some time out to talk to BuddyTV and shed some light on what he thinks happened on the show.
Read the full interview and listen to the mp3 audio below.
This is Royce from BuddyTV and I’m here with Brad from Hell’s Kitchen, how’s it going Brad?
It’s going pretty good brother, going pretty good.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us.
So Brad, maybe you can start off by telling us a little bit about your background, in particular your culinary background?
What I am, I’m right now currently a sous chef at a fine dining restaurant in Scottsdale Arizona, it’s called The Latilla. My background basically ever since I was little I was cooking and stuff like that’s kind of the same old background everyone else has cooking. But I worked in butcher shop when I was 15 with my dad back in Chicago, I did that up until I was 18. High school I took foods 1 and 2 classes and then from there I always cooked for my girlfriend and stuff like that. And when I was 19 I decided to go to culinary school. So I moved to Scottsdale Arizona and worked at culinary school, went to a great culinary school called Scottsdale Culinary institute, and I went there and then from there I worked at some of the best restaurants that Arizona has to offer. I worked at Michael’s Catering, I worked at the Arizona Biltmore at the fine dining restaurant and I moved to Washington, to Seattle, I worked over there, and then I came back here and worked at The Latilla where I became the sous chef where I basically am running the restaurant.
Yeah, not bad for 24 years old.
Were you a fan of Hell’s Kitchen before actually being on the show?
Actually, I had never seen Hell’s Kitchen before I was even on it. I knew of it, I knew about it, I just didn’t really… I might have seen it on the background at somebody’s house or maybe I caught a clip of a couple episodes, but I’m a working chef I never get to watch TV.
How did you find yourself on the show? What was the process like for you, were you recruited, what happened there?
What happened there was a buddy of mine, he told me they were all going down there to apply for it and then my main boss, my executive chef, like the main guy who runs all the hotels, he called me up and told me, “You got to get down there they’re having auditions you’d be perfect, your done, your extremely talented, you can win this whole thing.” I really didn’t want to go down there because I knew the reputation Hell’s Kitchen has, of making the contestants look extremely stupid even if they’re not, you know what I mean, I knew that before I went into it but I thought, “You know what, I can do this”. So I went down there and said my piece and they kept calling me back.
What kind of expectations, if any, did you have going into the competition?
My expectations were, I knew that it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, I knew the better you were at cooking, the harder it was going to be for you. Its almost better if you had no experience and you weren’t good at cooking because I knew that they were going to take it easy on you, which from my experience I think it’s kind of how it went. I think the people who had more cooking experience really got ragged on. They kind of had it a little harder, but that was my expectation going in, and it was definitely like that, maybe even more so, I would say.
How was your experience with Ramsay and what would say you learned the most from being around him?
My experience with Ramsay is, if you watch episodes one through until I left, was I really didn’t get ragged on that much by him, he said his comments here and there, I didn’t really catch a lot from him. As far as cooking, his way of cooking is simple yet elegant, I’m used to really fine dining, really built to the ceiling, he constructed this. I kind of like the way he took simple, elegant flavors and paired them so its not too complex but still very fine dining and I really respect that a lot on his cooking and that’s what I’m taking from that.
You had mentioned earlier that one of the reason you’re a little hesitant about being on the show was the fact that they tend to edit people in certain lights and kind of depict people in certain ways, do you feel that you were portrayed fairly on the show and were there certain things that you wish they showed about you on TV that they didn’t?
I think they did to me, kind of half way correct. In the kitchen, I’m very serious, head-down. I do my thing, I don’t talk back, especially to Gordon Ramsay, that’s just the way I am. I’m very serious about what I do. If anyone knows me they know that outside the kitchen I’m always joking around and having a good time, I think that every time you saw me I had a Heineken in my hand. We’re always partying, having a great time, but when it actually comes down to do work, put in work, you got to put your head down and keep quiet the only thing that I was upset about is sometimes against my food and like they’re both good, tied, they’re both good, tied. I know for a fact, and I’ll put my unborn children on it, Chef Ramsay knew that my food was better, but I think said it was a tie for maybe TV purposes or something like that. Its just a fact that when you put the other persons food against mine, there was no competition, and that’s just not saying that, that’s a fact.
Were you surprised when your team nominated you to be on the chopping block?
Not really, because I could kind of see that was the way it was going. My team was kind of already blaming me for us not doing well, even though we finished service before everybody else and everything else was going perfect, kind of like, I was the scapegoat even though Josh was doing horribly, Rock’s a great guy, he was doing well, but he messed up a lot too but they didn’t show it, they don’t show a lot of things like that going down. You can’t show everything right, but a lot of people do a lot of things wrong you don’t always know it. Everybody was kind of doing bad that night, and I actually wasn’t doing anything that bad, it was just the fact that they said it was my menu, Brad’s dish, Brad’s this, and Brad’s that, and the only reason it turned out that way, is because we had a 30 minute time limit, and I don’t know if you guys saw that we were trying to get things going, we kind of just sitting on the couch saying this and this and this, I don’t know if that was a plan but nobody was getting anything done, so I just started taking over, like that doesn’t show, I actually said like, “Hey, we have 5 minutes left and we still need like 5 things” and everybody’s like, “Well, maybe…” and everybody’s talking real slow, I’m like, “Well lets do this, what do guys think?” So I kind of took charge and they kind, just at the end people were waiting in the wings, I’m trying to win, they’re trying not to lose, that’s what I was saying. All in all, there’s no hard feelings I talk to all those guys in that show almost every other day.
Do you think you deserved to go home over Bonnie?
No not at all. I don’t think, if it’s in my opinion, do you say in Hell’s Kitchen do you want the best, the best people, the best here to work and cook and be owning a restaurant? I think it should have been me and Melissa and Rock and maybe even Vinnie at the end, if it was really run like, because I mean Julie is great, she’s a fan favorite and everything, but that’s exactly what it is, she’s a fan favorite, little things like she didn’t know what a sieve was. I love the girl to death, and she’s still on there before me, obviously you know it’s a TV show. I started to realize that, ok it’s a TV show.
What’s in store for you now?
I took a month off of work, when the show was airing, just to lay back. I was in Chicago and was in LA just doing a lot of traveling and stuff like that, throwing, whenever the show goes on, throwing parties with myself and all my friends at the local bar and everybody comes down there and drinks and has a good time. What I’ve been doing now is I’m still the sous chef at (?) restaurant, I just took some time off, I had a lot of vacation time, I’m using all of that, ill be back at work August 1st, I’ve got a lot of opportunities too, I’ve got a lot of calls, a lot of opportunities to do some things. The show must have depicted me in an alright light because I’m getting a lot of calls. Even before the show, I had a little name out here just being as young as I am being a sous chef so I don’t think the show really hurt anything, if anything I had a good experience and I’m glad it happened because I got to work with Gordon Ramsay.
(Interview conducted by Royce Yuen)