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Ryan Scott Is Much More Than Botched Chicken Piccata

At this point, all you Top Chef fans probably know him as the guy who can't make Chicken Piccata. However you'd be wrong to dismiss him so quickly; Chef Ryan Scott is much more than that. We recently had a chance to talk to Ryan about his time on Top Chef, his departure from the popular Myth Cafe, and what life after Top Chef is like. To view our interview with Ryan, just


YumSugar: You were almost a contestant last season, what made you come back for season four?
Ryan Scott:
A telephone call. They actually asked me to try out for season four. You put a lot into trying out, it's a lot of work and takes a lot of time.

YS: So what did you do differently this year?
Nothing, I think they just really wanted me. I pursued them as much as I did before, and I told them, "Hey, I want this really badly."

YS: Why did you want it so badly?
It's an opportunity of a lifetime. Once you get into the game and you get close to getting on, you're so close, why wouldn't you do it? There are tens of thousands of people trying out, why wouldn't you go?

YS: So was it what you expected?
The pressure is absolutely intense. Right off the bat you're going up against 15 other people. You're just blown away. The 100-k [prize money] is nothing after the first 10 minutes. You're there to compete because it's just an all-out war. It's an insane and intense atmosphere.

YS: OK, I have to ask, have you since perfected chicken piccata?
[Laughs] You know, I can't stand the dish. Honestly though, it's the basics. I had the choice, but I went with piccata, and like Rocco [Dispirito] says, it's flour and egg. Top Chef is about applying your own version of things and it wasn't to their liking. You're feeding four palates who've eaten the best food all over the world, it's going to be difficult to please them.

YS: Are you worried about how you're going to be perceived?
Wow. Good question. How'd Andrew answer that? [Laughs] I guess I don't care. I was myself. I'm trying not to read all the freaking blogs. People critiquing you who don't know you, or they know you and worked with you in the past. . . . I went in there and knew I was truly myself all the way through. Editing is a beautiful thing. One of the blogs said I was the bad guy. How in the hell did I come off as the bad guy?

YS: So what's next, we heard you're leaving Myth Cafe [Myth Cafe actually closed on Mar. 14] and will be opening up RyanScott 2Go.
Right now I'm doing some consulting and speaking engagements. I'm visiting different high schools all next week.

I really love simple food and I have business partners here in [San Francisco]. We would love to do a little chain of Ryan Scott 2Go. Just quick easy meals, lunch type places.

YS: Would they be a bit like Myth Cafe?
No. No seats, just a to-go window, out the door. Small places. We know what we want to do, it's just finding the right spot. Rent in the city is out of the world. It's all about numbers. The financial district is ideal, but we'll see what happens. We don't want to tie ourselves to a brand or location that we can't afford. We're still searching.

Top photo by Chris Andre
Bottom photo courtesy of Bravo

Join The Conversation
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Cutie... ;)
ayanaphil ayanaphil 9 years
Man he is cute! I cannot wait for the next episode to see what he does.
Food Food 9 years
mrs_mct you may want to check it out to make sure. Also remember Myth and Myth Cafe are joined at the hip, but are different places. Myth's future is still unknown.
mrs_mct mrs_mct 9 years
Myth Cafe is closing? Really? Are you sure? I have a reservation there on 3/19...
haute77 haute77 9 years
I consider myself a somewhat knowledgable cook, but I forgot what went into a chicken piccata so I totally feel for this guy! Under intense pressure, I'm sure anyone would have choked!
Entertainment Entertainment 9 years
I was at a wedding over the weekend, and the entree was chicken piccata! Turned out, I was at a table full of Top Chef fans, and that totally broke the ice and got us talking.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Oh, because its a pretty rudimentary dish for any omnivore let alone for a chef, and because of the fact that he wouldn't own up to not knowing what it was but seemed defensive! :CLUCK: A lot of them are hacks tho, couldn't make a pizza. Makes me wonder where they received their culinary education or if they went to school at all. :ponder:
partysugar partysugar 9 years
He was really cute! He's a hugger and gave both Yum and I hugs after we spoke.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i actually had to laugh about the piccata thing - cause many people on that episode didn't know how to make their dishes. oh well. i hope that ryan has more great stuff to show during the season. we'll have to wait and see i guess.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
He seems like a sweet guy, so he didnt know what piccata was, neither did my husband and he "knows everything"!!! its gross anyway!!
shmoo15 shmoo15 9 years
Not really sure how he's a hack. He seems like an ok guy to me. Plus, I anyone who comes from Myth is A-OK in my book
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
What a hack
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