but he’s doing just fine, thank you
By STEVE FRIESS
Stephen Hopcraft knew he wasn’t long for Top Chef when he lost the toothpick challenge. The cheftestants—yes, I gagged as I typed that word, but that’s what they’re called—had to take a dinner entrée that might be served in a restaurant and reduce it to a toothpick-handled hors d’oeuvre.
After being harshly critiqued repeatedly in prior rounds, the executive chef at MGM Grand’s Seablue felt due for some recognition. He had stacked a piece of grilled filet mignon and a grilled vegetable atop a potato cake, then topped it with a baked scallop with Béarnaise sauce.
Alas, he didn’t win. In fact, Hopcraft, 40, would be eliminated from the show in the next episode on a subpar flank steak, eighth among 17 cheftestants to be bounced. The season ended last week, so the next day I asked him, in the nicest possible way, how it feels to lose.
Turns out, not so good.
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