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Craig's Out of Hell and Into His Chef's Hat

Craig's Out of Hell and Into His Chef's Hat

Craig was this week's eliminated chef on Hell's Kitchen. His pasta making skills couldn't cut it and Ramsay sent him home. Yesterday I had the chance to chat with Craig — he was openly honest and incredibly nice — about his experience. To hear what he had to say about it all,


PartySugar: How did it feel to be eliminated?
: It didn't feel good, obviously. It's like asking a poor person if they like being poor. Did I like being eliminated? No. As long as I have my family and friends, I'm happy that I had the chance to participate. I got to be on the show, I beat out 23,485 other people to be picked as one of the contestants. I just didn't understand why I was being sent home. If I really felt I did that bad, it would have been ok. But there is no way I did worse than Matt.

PS: Is Gordon really as big of a jerk as he seems?
: If I had a penny for every time someone asks me that, I would be richer than you. No, not really. He's like that in the kitchen but he is a nice guy. Business is business and he takes it seriously. Who knows if he has to curse that much? But what are they really, just words? They can't hurt me. I came across him in January. He was staying at the hotel where I work here in Long Island while filming Kitchen Nightmares and I had the chance to send him an amenity. And I ran into him in the lobby and we spoke, I said hello. He was very nice.

PS: Have you started wearing your chef's hat again?
: Yeah, I wear the chef's hat everyday. We all wear them in the kitchen where I work. I work at the Hotel Hyatt Corporation in Long Island and it's part of our professionalism in the kitchen. The leaders of the kitchen wear them. I mean I could wear a black skull cap in the kitchen like Jen does, but I consider the hat part of my uniform. I wear it everyday and throw it away every night. It's not like I wear it to weddings or picnics. It's like driving without your seatbelt, I'm so used it, I feel naked without it.
PS: How come you didn't respond to Gordon or your teammates when they asked you how long until the pasta was done?
: I was trying to focus. We already lost, so I wanted to make the food really good. Everyone was yelling and it was really loud, so it was hard to hear which one was chef Ramsay. When I finally responded it was at a moment when everyone was quiet. It was out of frustration. I didn't need any help, there was nothing anyone else could have done to help me, so I wanted them all to shut up and let me do what I had to do. Everyone on that show cared about making themselves seem more important and that is what they were trying to do. Not everyone is a team player.

PS: At the end of the episode Gordon said, “Craig was a bad cook with an even worse attitude.” How does that make you feel?
: I'm not a bad cook. If I was, I wouldn't be working in the industry for the past eleven years. I'm a good cook. I can see how in the way I answered him he could say I have a bad attitude. But in my opinion undercooking pasta is not nearly as bad as sending raw chicken to a kid. The thing is we all messed up, the boys did. We didn't think as a team. Everyone wanted to be the hero of the group, but no one really was.

Photos courtesy of Fox.

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