Omnivore - A conversation with Kevin Gillespie, ‘Top Chef’ finalist

We spoke to the chef this morning about his experiences on “Top Chef”.

Congratulations. We’re all so proud of you.

Thank you very much, I really appreciate it.

Must be a relief to finally be able to talk about it.

Yes, it is, in so many ways. I’m thrilled I don’t have to answer ‘did you win?’ any more.

I was wondering how often you got that.

Probably no less than 7,000 times a day. That’s not an exact number but I’d say it’s pretty close.

Two glaring things stand out from last night’s show. The first is the sous chef situation, and the second is Padma’s saying that you weren’t the winner, which they’ve never done before. I’m just wondering if they told you that that was going to happen? That one was going to be told they were not before the winner was announced?

No, that was a total shock, and frankly…I’m trying not to be bitter about it. I don’t want to bad mouth “Top Chef” by any means, they’ve given me an opportunity that I never would have had before. But it was really frustrating because one of the best parts about making it to the finals is that you don’t have to get sent home, you don’t lose, you either win or you don’t. And to have to deal with that, I feel like they stole something from me. I feel very much cheated, and it hurts me. I was embarrassed, and in many ways I felt disrespected. It hurt.