In the early episodes of the fourth season of Top Chef, Dale Talde seemed like a shoo-in for the finals. He, Richard Blais and Stephanie Izard were the only cheftestants with multiple elimination challenge victories, winning 8 of the 11 challenges so far.

BuddyTV spoke to Dale after his elimination on Top Chef. Though he is often outspoken and confrontational on the show, he is more than willing to accept total responsibility for his elimination. Additionally, Dale provides insight into his strategy and a passionate defense of his consistent use of Asian cuisine. Continue reading for the highlights of the interview and to listen to the full audio version.

-Dale says that he knew he was in trouble during Restaurant Wars from the very start. He had discussed the possibility of this challenge with Richard and Stephanie beforehand, and the three hoped they’d be on the same team. Unfortunately, Antonia chose Dale’s two best friends in the house (and the two chefs he most respected and got along with), spelling trouble.

-While Richard hadn’t seen much of Top Chef, Dale knew about it and gave him one piece of advice: in Restaurant Wars, if the food is bad, they always eliminate the executive chef. Richard obviously took the advice, accepting the sous chef position, even to the surprise of Dale. However, Dale admits his downfall was not heeding his own advice.

-While Dale couldn’t really defend the taste of his losing dish, the butterscotch scallops, he did argue that it was something he’d never made before. Dale had no interest in just coming on Top Chef and cooking a bunch of dishes he makes in his restaurant every day, his goal was to show creativity and skill. Dale chose to cook rather than play the game.

-Other cheftestants and viewers noticed that Dale always seemed to cook Asian food, and in the interview, Dale gave a heated defense of that decision, saying that’s just what his style of cooking is and it’s no different than an Italian chef always cooking pasta. He also explained that Asian cuisine is actually much broader than people seem to think, and that he incorporates flavors from all Asian countries.

-Among the specialty items Dale brought on the show that he didn’t get to use was shark fin. He is also quite proud of his $3,000 knife set, which he claims were the best knives on the show.

-Interview conducted by John Kubicek
(Image courtesy of Bravo)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.