I've seen the screener — don't be jealous, the season opener is worth the wait! — and while Andrew may end up as the quirky one, or the talky one, or the mean one (you never can tell with Bravo's tricky editing) he was nothing but fun over the phone. To learn more about Andrew and check out what he had to say, just read more.
YumSugar: How'd you end up auditioning for Top Chef?
Andrew: It was pretty spontaneous. A friend came to town and told me about it and I was like sure. I'd never watched the show before.
YS: Did you keep it that way, or did you end up watching episodes before heading to Chicago?
A: Oh I watched episodes. I downloaded some episodes from iTunes.
YS: So what would you say your cooking style is like?
A: It's eclectic. I have a lot of different influences, African, Spanish . . . I like to put a fine dining twist on things, but not make them unrecognizable.
YS: What's your favorite thing to cook?
A: Duck. I love cooking duck, all parts, even tongues. Duck hearts, foie gras, everything.
YS: This year everyone gets to bring their own secret ingredients. What did you bring?
A: [To the PR person] Am I allowed to talk about this? [PR person gives it the thumbs up] I brought tapioca pearls, squid ink, agar agar, my immersion blender, xantham gum . . . but surprisingly, I didn't use much of it.
YS: Were you intimidated by the guest judges or the other contestants?
A: I can only honor them and look up to them. Any chef on the show that has a legacy or will have a legacy . . . to cook for them is a huge honor.
YS: What's something the viewers will be surprised to learn about you?
A: Oh wow. Um . . . that I'm a good dancer.
YS: Do you dance on the show?
A: I made some moves; we'll see if it makes the editing. I don't want to be the "dancing chef" or anything.
YS: And finally, what's up next for Andrew?
A: I'm going to keep my head down on the cutting board. And continue to put out the best things possible.
Well folks, that's Andrew! You can watch him work his way through the first challenge when it premieres next Wednesday, March 12.
And stay tuned — we were able to chat with a few of the other contestants too!
Photos courtesy of Bravo