Monday, March 02, 2009

A Chat with Stefan Richter


Some people love him, some people hate him, but Stefan Richter was part of what made this lackluster season 5 of Top Chef interesting for me. And when I found out that he reads my blog, I was tickled.  

To you haters (God, I sound so...urban), Stefan is really a nice guy. He doesn't take himself as seriously as his detractors seem to. Sure, he's cocky - but he has reason to be: he's talented. I find him to be quite flirty and amusing and rather charming. 

I participated in a conference call with him on Thursday afternoon in which he was asked all of the usual questions about the show. Here are some of the highlights.

When asked what he could have done to win Top Chef:
“I won! If you’re the winner, you get the egg. A 100K egg. But if you’re the runner-up, you get the chicken. (When I called him to elucidate the chicken/egg thingy, he simply said, "I have more freedom." He couldn't reveal more than that, and I took that to mean that the winner of Top Chef ends up with a lot of responsibilities that the runners-up don't have to deal with. Meanwhile he's gotten tons of positive exposure, which is always a good thing.)

When asked about consoling Carla when she started to cry:
“Carla is very sweet. I love her. She’s funny, she’s nice. I am a softie! I can’t see a woman cry; it breaks my heart. That’s why I picked Marcel. I looked at her and thought she would not be able to deal with Marcel. I love Carla. Of course I’m a softie.”

Stefan then complimented Marcel, saying he was a good chef. But also a prick, a twat. When asked if he was surprised that word made it on to television, he said, “no, it’s not that bad. I said cock two times before.”

On being disliked:
“I’m always very confident. People call it cocky or arrogant. I call it confident.”

“I’m Type A. It’s my way or the highway. You saw that on the show.”

About his relationship with Jamie:
“I love the lesbians! Who doesn’t? She has a great smile, the best laugh. She’s a great chef. I love Jamie. We’d make pretty babies.”

What’s next?
“I have a line of clothing coming out, shirts and panties at cockychefclothing.com. A book is coming out, my story, my life. (Dirty Dishes)” “I do want to open a restaurant but I want to do it the right way. I don’t want high-end, not in this economy. I don’t want a place where you charge $13 for a Bud Light!”

What he learned by being on Top Chef:
“The most important thing I learned by being on Top Chef is that the public does matter. I love the blogs. They can make you or break you. I was never a blog reader but now I realize they are very important.”

About making friends:
“I have made wonderful friends: Hosea, Carla, Fabio, Leah. I’m 36 years old. There’s no time for arguing anymore. I’m over that shit. I want to keep them all in my life. I love them all.”

“We all understand it’s a reality show. Sometimes we say things we regret. But I meant everything I said.”

I'm sure you'll be seeing more about Mr Richter here on this blog in the near future. Stay tuned. :)

16 comments:

Cliff O'Neill said...

So many thoughts on this/him.

But my neurosis only allows me to concentrate on whether he reads mine.

Was touched by his kindness to Carla, though.

fablady said...

I think he sounds like a nice guy,if he's a softie for Carla he's ok,but he got robbed,the title should of been his,and he blogs,way to go Stefan!

CHEF TROLL said...

Interesting comments generally and especially concerning "freedom".

I've always thought the 100K prize was too small and the winner's obligations too onerous.

They'd get a better quality of cheftestant by adjusting both.

Anonymous said...

The chicken/egg thing is a quote of something Richard said on his Bravo blog this season. It means that Top Chef gives you opportunities, and they are what you make of them. :)

theminx said...

Oh, he probably reads yours, too. :)

frogponder said...

good catch and intriguing answers - we won't hear the last of Stefan and wish him all the best.

bernal_vernal said...

Stefan grew on me as the show progressed. I too liked the way he comforted Carla when she was crying. I think his tough exterior belies a soft heart.

Its a European thing.

Kit Pollard said...

Great interview - I always like to see what the cheftestants are like sans editing.

The "twat" thing made me laugh, too. This season had a lot of surprising language...which makes me laugh because I'm like a 5th grader, apparently.

Laura K said...

Fabulous! Stefan is adorable. I thought this was a great season.

Jennifer said...

I love Stefan! I wanted him to win from the beginning. Fabio, Carla, and Jamie all grew on me too.

Anonymous said...

I think in a year we will see and hear Stefan in the news and in the Foodie world quite a bit (Fabio also).

Hosea? I think we will see him struggling be stay relevant. Let's all face it, Stefan was the most talented chef.

Stefan was smart to go out on a good note, and not to sound bitchy.

The Bravo judges are all probably regretting their crummy decision. They have taken a HUGE amount of heat for what they did. Only Toby Young has emerged unscathed (he opposed Colicchio, Simmons, and Lakshmi). That shows you how terrible the decision to award it to Hosea really was.

Have you seen the Bravo blogs. They are now falling over themselves to defend it. If the angry bloggers could have shown up with torches and pitchforks at Bravo's gate, they would have.

Eric Ripert chose Stefan twice in one episode. I'll go with his judgement over the catastrophe that was the finale.

Nanc Twop said...

Fun interview - Stefan certainly isn't boring.

And now I get to feel smart :-)

Remember ages ago when I guessed that Stefan was getting a 'bad guy' edit from Bravo?...

Thanks for posting it!

C - The Asian Pear said...

I TOTALLY loved Stefan on Top Chef! He's a great chef. I was totally rooting for him. Stefan might come off a bit cocky but he makes fabulous food whereas I found Hosea to be not confident at all, somewhat petty & jealous and just a good chef. Good but not fabulous.

I was sad to see Stefan not win but I'm glad to hear he's doing well. Thanks for posting the interview!

Anonymous said...

Stefan's SEXY! Would love to see him naked! He's sex on legs! Pose naked for us Stefan! No obscuring. Full Frontal! Show Americans what real men look naked!

theminx said...

Looks like Stefan has finally left a comment on my blog....

Cliff O'Neill said...

Ha!