You might remember the va-va-voom contestant from the second season of Bravo’s reality TV show “Top Chef.” Though she didn’t go home with the title, most viewers certainly would agree she easily won the show’s best-dressed category. So it makes sense that the Bay Area resident and former chef at The City’s famed Slanted Door restaurant hosted this year’s Toast of the Town gala Wednesday night, sponsored by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association. The annual event featured a bevy of San Francisco’s top chefs and top designers all under one roof.
What was the challenge you most enjoyed while competing on Top Chef? Having to make an amuse-bouche out of the vending machine. It was out there, it was wacky, but a lot of fun. I have a seared-scallop dish I make with a mint-pea purée and potatoes. So I took canned chicken and potato chips and made this mint chicken salad and put it on top of the potato chip.
What is your favorite restaurant in San Francisco? It is the Slanted Door. I know that’s kind of obvious, but I love it there. It’s one of my favorite places that I’ve worked.
If you could cook for anyone in the world, who would it be? I’m going to go mainstream and say Angelina Jolie, because right now it looks like she could use a good meal and because of her humanitarian work. I wish more people would do that kind of work in the world.
Since you specialize in desserts, what is your signature dessert? Black currant tea crème brûlée. I serve it with an African nectar tea shortbread, huckleberry compote and huckleberry ice cream.
Check out more 3-minute interviews from our San Francisco newsroom.