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How Top Chef Contestants Shut Down an Airport and (Nearly) a Cruise Ship

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The season premiere of Top Chef Duels debuted Wednesday evening. Here's a Q&A with two previous Cheftestants who dueled aboard the Celebrity Summit on a cruise to Bermuda, the first of four sailings of Top Chef at Sea, a joint venture between Bravo and Celebrity Cruises.

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Ash Fulk, Angelo Sosa and Spike Mendelsohn recently entertained fans aboard the Summit with Quickfire challenges, private cooking classes and friendly banter at several meet and greets and photo ops:

Here's our second Q&A with two of these Top Chef bad boys:

Q: Do you travel with your knives?

Ash: Funny you should ask that. I just found out how hard it is to get knives and other long, sharp items on board. They stopped me when I went through security and, even though I explained why I had them, they wouldn't let me through. Chef Steve even came down and pled my case. Right now they're being held hostage in his office.

Spike: I completely shut down JFK one day after getting kicked off Top Chef All-Stars. I was kinda bummed, not paying attention and I threw all my knives in my backpack. I got to the airport, went through security and, when I got to my gate, I heard that all flights had been put on hold. There was this big orange alert. I assumed I had packed my knives in my checked baggage, didn't think much about it and went to get a steak and take a nap. When I woke up, all flights were still on hold. I thought it was pretty weird that the whole airport was shut down. No flights were going in or out. As I was walking toward my game, somebody yelled at me.

I assumed it was somebody wanting an autograph. I turned around with a big smile on my face. But instead, it was a security guard holding up an x-ray. I took a look at it and immediately recognized my cleaver, my chef knife, my utility knife and two other huge knives.

Q: What are your top three go-to ingredients?

Ash: Dijon mustard, chili pepper flakes and a lot of smoke. Smoke is my jam.

Spike: Fish sauce, fish sauce, fish sauce.

Q: How intense is it in front of the judge's table?

Ash: You're standing there the whole time and you don't want to go home. It's intense and emotional. I just tried not to pass out.

Spike: It's like being a new artist and standing in front of Picasso.

Q: Do the chefs ever try to sabotage each other?

Spike: Angelo (Sosa) "accidentally" tripped once and spilled yuzu all over my dish.

Q: What happens after you get kicked off?

Ash: You live in the "loser house" until the show is wrapped. We had great dinner parties.

Q: What's your favorite thing to cook?

Ash: I never like to cook anything twice.

Spike: I lived in Vietnam for awhile, so I like giving my dishes that Vietnamese French twist.

Q: What does it take to be a great chef?

Ash: You've got to be brave enough to add a little bit more than what you think a dish needs. The most valuable ingredients of any dish are love and courage.

Q: What did you learn on Top Chef?

Ash: Tom [Colicchoi] doesn't wear shoes under the judges table.

Q: Do you keep in touch with the other chefs?

Ash: Chefs are really busy people. I've kept in touch with a couple, but it's hard. Our lives are just crazy.

Spike: Yea, we need to start a Top Chef Anonymous.