FoodBeat: How did you come up with your finale menu? Scallops and risotto seemed to be a pretty risky move.
Christina Wilson: I did it on purpose! I wanted to stand out right, and that was a great way. Through the show we had so much trouble on 3 main foods: scallops, risotto, and potatoes au gratin. If you remember, Tiffany was sent home for her undercooked potatoes. I wanted to challenge my team members and show Gordon Ramsay that we really learnt through the process. I also wanted to pay homage to the obstacles in the season.
Another thing that made me choose those dishes was something Justin said. He made a point to say we have very different cooking styles. He’s very intricate while I’m all about keeping it simple. There are two main ideas that make up my style. The first is to bring out the flavors of the pure ingredients. Secondly, the ingredients are the building blocks of our craft. I want to give the perfect foundation to the meal by treating the ingredients with respect. I wanted to show Chef my style because I knew Justin would be showcasing his.
Of course my team didn’t share my excitement about my menu. They may have hated me a bit for the choices, but they nailed it. Maybe it was the masochist in me that made me pick those dishes, but it all turned out in the end. I’m so thankful for my team; I couldn’t have done it without them.
FoodBeat: How did you choose your team members?
Christina Wilson: People might have thought I was crazy to pick the team members I did, but they all were there for a reason. Barbie was the obvious choice for meat, but I chose Kimmie instead. She is a new chef and inexperienced in many ingredients. Through the season I took time to teach her. Other chefs didn’t want to help her because they were being competitive. I know Kimmie would give back and help me win. Patrick was a great leader on the Blue Team through the season. He was down to earth and really knew his craft. Dana is a great friend of mine so she had to be there. Robyn was probably the choice most people don’t understand. We didn’t get along so well through the season. We’re under so much stress with such little sleep. While Robyn was in the line, I could see the passion in her eyes. I knew that out of the game, without the stress, she would be a different person. I wanted to let her show the world that she has the skills and passion.
I also thought that Kimmie and Robyn would have made up after they were eliminated. They were friends on the show but then had a falling out. I put them beside each other in the kitchen so they could feed off each others energies. It worked out great. I was really happy with my choices and they all did an amazing job.
FoodBeat: When will you start working at Steak restaurant?
Christina Wilson: I start working September 12! There’s no rest for the wicked. I’ll go in the morning and I’ll be in my chef whites by the afternoon. I think it will be a great fit. It will be for a year, but I won’t be opposed to working there longer. These are the moments I live for.
FoodBeat: Anything else you want our readers to know?
Christina Wilson: I’ve tried to stay away from the comments online, but I did look a few times. Some people are saying horrible things about me and my competition. The worst is when they say we’re like Applebees chefs. I’ve worked at two of the top restaurants in the country. We’re not goons off the street, we’re professional chefs. All of the chefs were great at their crafts and there wasn’t a bad cook there. You only got to see a small part of what we can do. Cooking is not a glamorous job and we bust our humps 16 hours a day, 6 days a week. I want people to know that I respect all my competition and I think they were all fantastic, talented chefs.