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?
Craig: 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?
Craig: 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?
Craig: 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?
Craig: 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?
Craig: 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.