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Stephen Starr Talks Top Chef, Guest Judging

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We'll be getting to our Top Chef recap shortly, but first a few words with mega restaurateur Stephen Starr, who guest judged last night's episode. Unfortunately, the diplomatic Starr won't trash talk the cheftestants, and notes the filming was much less tedious than he imagined it would be. But let's see if he'd actually hire a contestant. And as a side note for those of you keeping track, Stevie is still in negotiations with Ian Schraeger for that Wakiya space, so don't count him out just yet.

On the caliber of the chefs: "I think there are better chefs out there that should attempt to be on Top Chef. There are great chefs who I've had working for me that would be stellar on the show. Seeing some of the food on the show, I could eye it and know that it's not good...I think one problem is I've heard it's pretty tedious. Being sequestered for all those weeks. It must be hard if you're married or if you have kids."

On whether these reality shows give inexperienced chefs undeserved fame "At the end of the day you have to be good. If you're mediocre, it's not going to do much for you. If you're a male chef, being on the show is going to get you chicks. But you have to have the goods."

On judging/going easy: "I can be harsh as a restaurant owner to my own people, but it's harder to be harsh when it's on TV and it's their hopes and dreams. If it's someone who works for me and they give me something that tastes like shit, I say 'What the fuck is wrong with you?' but it's different in this case."

On hiring the most recent crop of cheftestants: "I don't know if there's anyone i would hire as an execute chef. A sous chef maybe."
· All Top Chef Coverage [~ELA~]