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Friday, February 10, 2017

Jamie Lynch may be off Top Chef: Charleston, but he doesn't have any regrets

Onward and upward

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Feb 10, 2017 at 1:56 PM

click to enlarge Chef Jamie Lynch says the doors Top Chef has opened was worth the stress of the competition - PROVIDED
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  • Chef Jamie Lynch says the doors Top Chef has opened was worth the stress of the competition
After seven episodes, five Last Chance Kitchen competitions, and one super hero sacrifice of immunity, 5Church's Chef Jamie Lynch is no longer on Top Chef. The tattooed cheftestant put up a damn good fight, but in a three-way battle with Casey and Brooke on last night's Last Chance Kitchen, his scallops were not enough to win the day.

So we caught up with Lynch to find out what he thought about his experience on the Bravo show and what he has planned next.

Jamie Lynch: What did I think about the show?  Hm, as far as the series goes I had a blast doing it. Looking back, I was a bit shell-shocked when I first got off, but looking back I had a blast. I made a ton of amazing friends out of it. Now I'm part of the Top Chef fraternity.

CP: What was it like watching the show?
JL: It was really strange to see myself on TV. When I started out cooking, I never thought I’d be on a show like Top Chef, so it was definitely a strange experience. When you hear yourself talk, you never know you sound that way. And watching myself it was like do I really make that face or do that?

CP: Did you cringe at any part of the show?
JL: I’ve got a pretty good sense of humor, so I can have a good chuckle at myself. I said some things not really thinking, actually apparently I said a lot of things not really thinking. I think my mom probably wishes I didn’t say some things.

CP: Tell me about giving up your immunity to Warehouse Chef Emily Hahn. Looking back, would you do it again?
JL: Had the situation been different, I wouldn’t have offered up immunity. But because it was a team challenge, it was the right thing to do. I didn’t think it was fair that one of my teammates would have to get axed because of a dish of mine that the judges didn’t like.

CP: Would you share with me what it was like to talk about your addiction to heroin on Episode 7?
JL: I think that how we covered it on the show is all I care to discuss about it at the moment. I had no recollection of that interview. It’s strange, the interviews happen at crazy times and sometimes you don’t know what you’re saying. I was quite shocked when I saw that episode because I don't remember talking about it.

CP: Did it make you uncomfortable that that information came out?
JL: I don’t have any ill feelings about it. I’m open with it with the people who are close with me. I’ve never been public about it though, that's why you didn't find any stories on it online.

CP: Well, thank you for talking about it with me. On another subject, tell me about your experience cooking at the James Beard House on Wednesday?
JL: It was totally amazing, a dream come true. Every young cook fantasizes about that at some point in their career. Being from New York, it was a huge honor to be able to cook in the city again. I hadn’t cooked in New York since I left after 9/11, so it was a pretty awesome homecoming. The dinner was outstanding. It was an absolute honor.

CP: What was your favorite dish you served?
JL: I really liked the wood pigeon roulade with cauliflower, sake-braised turnip, and wild mushrooms. We totally nailed. It was cooked perfectly.

CP: As with the James Beard House, being on Top Chef comes with being offered new opportunities. What's that been like?
JL: t’s been an adjustment. At times it can be difficult. I’m getting the opportunity to meet a lot of great people. It can be a challenge to skip from one kitchen to the next without normalcy though.

CP: I'm sure. You bounce from Charlotte to Charleston to Atlanta. Has doing the show made you feel like your place in Charleston has changed?
JL: I’m not sure that it has. When we decided to open a restaurant in Charleston, I wanted to bring something a little different that Charleston didn’t have already and I feel like we’re doing that. We’ve been open over a year now and Charleston is starting to embrace what we’re doing. I’m not sure everybody jumped on board right away and was cautious about who we were, what we’re doing. I’m there every other week, and we love it there. For the Southeast, Charleston is one of those spots, there’s so much great food and such a condensed area and we wanted to be a part of that and we’re starting to get that relationships.

CP: So what's next?
JL: I don’t know exactly yet. My focus is on 5Church. I want to spend a lot more time in Charleston and Atlanta. I want to continue to refine what we’re doing there. There’s some talk about some other projects. Nothing that’ll happen right away. Top Chef opens up a door to things you’d never thought of before. There’s a lot of that that what we want to do. The most important thing for us right now though is 5Church.

CP: So if Top Chef asked him back for a veterans seasons, would you do it?
JL: I probably would. You never know what could come from it. I did another season I might get invited to be the first chef to cook on the moon.

Top Chef continues next Thursday as the final contestants — Shirley, Sheldon, John, and either Brooke or Casey — head to Mexico. Top Chef airs at 9 p.m. on Bravo.

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