Euclid Hall's Jorel Pierce on being booted from Top Chef Seattle

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I keep threatening to break up with Top Chef, the Bravo reality show that pits "cheftestants" (Bravo's word, not mine) against one another in a string of often ridiculous challenges and theatrically contrived snippets that force the chefs to look into a camera and say really stupid shit -- things like "My restaurant is number one on Yelp." But considering that three chefs from Colorado -- Tyler Wiard (Elway's Cherry Creek), Eliza Gavin (221 South Oak, in Telluride) and Jorel Pierce (Euclid Hall) -- were appearing on this season's Top Chef Seattle, I felt compelled to watch and cheer for our homegrown talent.

See also:

- Sneak Peak: The first ten minutes of Top Chef Seattle showcase Jorel Pierce
- Chef and Tell: Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall on the egg man and life without salt
- Chef and Tell: Tyler Wiard talks about Elway's, lobster and why Denver needs a good diner

The premiere, which aired on Wednesday night, showcased all three chefs, and while Wiard and Pierce made it through the first elimination process, meaning that they're actually going to Seattle (the first episode wasn't filmed there, but at various restaurants across America owned by the judges, including Tom Colicchio, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck and Hugh Atkinson), Pierce, whose tasks were judged by a cranky Colicchio, was sent packing, even though his handlebar mustache made for must-watch TV.

Here's the short version of what transpired: Colicchio ordered Pierce to butcher a chicken, and then snapped that he didn't do it right. He then asked Pierce to make a beurre fondue, which Colicchio deemed too salty. At the end of the battles, Colicchio, whose group of chefs were tossed into the kitchen at Craft, his Los Angeles restaurant, sent two chefs packing. After Colicchio delivered the bad news to Pierce, the Euclid Hall chef politely thanked him and went on his way, but Pierce has plenty more to say about his short-lived Top Chef experience, including a few choice words for the judge who pitched a knife in his bird.


Location Info

Euclid Hall Bar & Kitchen

1317 14th St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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8 comments
Jane
Jane

Jorel really got the short end of the stick having Tom and his stupid challenge.  I think had he been with any of the other chefs, he would have been through.  Emeril and Wolfgang had real challenges - the eggs and soup.  I thought Tom's was a crappy way to weed in the first place. 

Chowhound49
Chowhound49

One of the worst meals I've had was CraftSteak. The place had no atmosphere and the food and service were lacking. I've always had a great experince at Euclid. Keep up the good work Jorel

jp00
jp00

It won't stop us from coming to Euclid Hall to enjoy Jorel's wonderful food.

nope
nope

I wouldn't put too much stock in what Tom Colicchio thinks about your food, Jorel. He's so rich probably hasn't so much microwaved a burrito in five years.

Jeff
Jeff

The quality of the food and service at CraftSteak is so lackluster that I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about Colicchio's assessment of your skills.

monopod
monopod

 @Jeff I haven't been to CraftSteak, but Craft - the place in LA where Jorel had his reckoning - is absolutely incredible, one of the best restaurants in a city full of amazing restaurants.  Ripping on Colicchio's skills as a chef is ridiculous; he's well-established and extremely well-respected as an accomplished chef, and in any case it's totally irrelevant to his role on the show.  His job on the show is to be a cranky taskmaster that demands miracles from the contestants and then provides withering commentary when they don't quite measure up - and, occasionally, hard-won praise when they do - and he's very good at that.  

 

Jorel has the right attitude; he didn't ask the right question about how Tom wanted the chicken butchered (bone-in or boneless), and Tom rightly docked him for that.  Then he made a sauce that both Tom and one of the random sous chefs in the kitchen deemed too salty.  Both are minor mistakes that even the most talented chef can make, but both are more than enough to get you kicked off of TC.  This wasn't the Olympics, this was reality TV - you can't complain about it not being fair, since that's not really the point.

Jeff
Jeff

 @monopod Gramercy Tavern was certainly one of the best restaurants in the country when Colicchio was there.  I doubt he actually spends much time in any given restaurant in his vast empire these days though, and I think quality control has suffered greatly as a result.  My point was that while he can clearly cook himself (or used to), his ability to assess the value of other chefs' work appears to be lacking.

Lipster
Lipster

 @Jeff  @monopod  Oddly enough, I saw Tom Colicchio at the Chelsea Market, buying ingredients, when I was in NYC in May.  It made me want to follow him home to see what he was cooking.  I suspect he still knows his way around a kitchen. 

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