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

What's your greatest disappointment?
Getting cut the first day was really hard. But I felt the same way that Tom did -- that I'm a good chef, but maybe just not good at this whole competitive thing. You can be a great cook, but not a good fit. I've done the same thing that Tom did to me to two dozen others. I get it.

When you were eliminated, you simply thanked Colicchio and walked off with your knives. What did you really want to say?
Thanks for the opportunity -- now go watch chicken butchery videos on YouTube videos and fuck yourself.

What happened once you were kicked off the show?
I went back to my hotel room, drank a couple of whiskeys, and kind of stomped around, verbally abusing myself, but I didn't break anything. At least I can go back to Euclid and cook and be back at home with my wife.

What's the feedback been like since your elimination?
It's been oddly positive. Everyone at Euclid still supports me, and I'm still proud of myself. You can't lose without trying to win. I can say that I tried, and I don't mind being just one of 21 chefs being cast on the show; I feel pretty good about that.

Who from Denver would you nominate to be on a future season of Top Chef?
I'd like to see chef Jen or Max MacKissock. They would both crush it, and as far as young guys go, I think Hunter Pritchett from Luca, or Blake Edmunds from the Squeaky Bean, would both do really well.

Any parting words?
To Denver, family and my crew -- I love you guys, and thanks for being so supportive. I love what I do, and I'll continue to do it. And to Tom Colicchio: We'll see each other again.


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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