Tracey Bloom was highly entertaining on Bravo’s “Top Chef.” But funny quips and a loud Rosie O’Donnell-sized voice wasn’t enough to keep her around past episode three.
In an interview, the chef of Midtown’s Table 1280 repeated what she said on the show: she had a really bad day in Wednesday’s episode. She didn’t do a particularly good job planning or adjusting during either during the Quickfire challenge or the main competition.
“It was emotional being away from home,” she said. “There was a lot of unforeseen stress. It wasn’t regular restaurant stress. It was just a rigorous schedule. The lack of sleep, being sequestered. It played on your psyche. It helps break you down.”
During the Quickfire pie challenge, she admitted she stupidly didn’t measure anything out. Her pie ended up “dropping all over the oven.” She had to start over.
“It was a rough day,” she said. “I was not feeling it. If I could have taken a day off, I would have been fine the next day.”
For the main challenge, to feed a group of government interns at a picnic, she wanted to make her own sausage, which she said she serves in her own restaurant. But the grinder died so she tried to make sliders instead. “That really put a damper on me,” she said. “I kind of lost it.”
Bloom got plenty of “positive airtime” Wednesday night, she noted. “I should have fought harder at the judges’ table,” she said. “I gave up before I even started fighting.”
Since she left the show, she has rejiggered her menus at Table 1280, adding ingredients she has never dabbled with before. “I now use tilapia, which I had never done before. I made a sandwich with Angelo. It’s kind of a play on that sandwich. I’ve also started using an Moroccan spice Ras el hanout. I’m open to trying new flavors. I don’t want to be a one-sided chef.”
Bloom is also amused that she’s getting so much attention from women who recognize her. (She is openly gay and in a relationship.) Her girlfriend, she said, is not jealous.
As for Angelo throwing a challenge after getting immunity in the third episode to try to get rid of Kenny, she isn’t sure. “It looked that way when I watched the show,” she said. “If he was trying to throw it, he didn’t tell me. He didn’t like Kenny. I knew that from the jump. I don’t know why he wanted to do celery and peanut butter. It did seem a little strange considering his skill level.”
Her favorite women were Kelly and Andrea. She’s not a fan of Ed. She also knows the final three so she didn’t want to comment about who she thinks might win.
Despite the stress, she said she enjoyed her time on “Top Chef.” “Of course, looking back, I would have gone with a different mindset and gone a lot further… I would have been more prepared for it emotionally and mentally. As far as cooking, I can hold down a restaurant any day of the week. That is a lot easier. This show was stress and pressure I never felt before.”
“Top Chef: DC,” Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on Bravo