The premiere of Bravo TV's Top Chef show will air on Wednesday, November 7 at 8 p.m. Three talented local chefs, Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall, Tyler Wiard of Elway's Cherry Creek, and Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak in Telluride, are representing Colorado on this tenth edition of Top Chef. Eater asked chef Jorel Pierce to share his thoughts on the show, casting, and his odds at winning.
When did you first think I want to be on Top Chef and why? I first thought that I wanted to be on Top Chef about 5 years ago. I was training to run restaurants and break the plane from cook to chef and really started to understand that an opportunity such as this could really solidify the transition. I love to cook and used to love watching food tv (before I became too busy to keep up, and before I decided that reading was way more advantageous than watching) and decided that the timing might have been perfect this time around.
At the Denver audition, were you confident that you would make the cut? Why? I was confident that I could cook and that I had a good presence. My on-camera experience was limited so I had no idea what a huge production team would think of my demeanor and approach. I wanted to make the cut on ability alone.
What part of your culinary training has helped you the most in making it into the final cast? My recent experience interacting with guests at my restaurant was very important as it showed me the personality quirks and characteristics that I possess in which people react positively to. Talking and reflecting with guests has helped hone me into a more personable chef and made it easier for the guests that I converse with to relate their chef.
Who would you credit for your success in the kitchen in general and who would you thank for making it to Top Chef? I would credit my professional career entirely to two people; Chef Jennifer Jasinski and myself. I feel like between my work ethic and drive and the confidence that Jennifer has in me have really helped form the guy typing and responding to these questions. I suppose our goals and motivation have been realized since I am reflecting on success through the casting process and placement on the show.
Did you have a Top Chef role-model, someone whose strategy you looked up going into filming the show? When I started Top Chef I wanted to participate under my own power and motivation. I wanted to approach challenges and obstacles the way that I do. As any good chef does, we pull on influence from every cook that we cook with and every chef that we have eaten from. To nail down any one individual as a role-model would be giving undo credit to the thousands of interactions I have drawn experience and training from through the years.
Good luck Chef Pierce!
Pierce [Photo: Bravo TV]