Top Chef’s Dale Cooks Up Bacon Unagi Fried Rice
Restaurant wars raged Wednesday on Top Chef--and there was one bloody casualty: Dale. Reunited with his "Wedding Wars" squad--his nemesis Lisa and the wily Spike-- the temperamental contestant played executive chef at Mai Buddha, the team's high-end Asian restaurant. But the judges--the sharp Anthony Bourdain filled in for Tom Colicchio -- disparaged the team, both for their dishes (a sticky rice dessert was describes as resembling "baby vomit with woodchips") and their personality clashes. Meanwhile, the other team--Richard, Antonia and winner Stephanie--won raves for their elegant gastropub, Warehouse Kitchen. --Brian Orloff
Calling from New York, Dale opened up about his emotional issues and his beef with Lisa. See what he says about his dismissal--and get his exclusive recipe for Bacon Unagi Fried Rice--after the jump.
Dale's Bacon Unagi Fried Rice For the soy braised bacon: 1 lb. slab bacon, half-inch thick cut 1 C dashi 1 C soy sauce 1 C sugar
Combine dashi, soy sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add bacon to the sauce and cook until the bacon is cooked through.
For the unagi fried rice: 2 oz. of garlic 2 oz. of ginger 2 oz. scallion 2 oz. peanut oil 1 beaten egg 4 oz. chopped barbecued eel (unagi) 1 1/2 C cooked rice 1 oz. soy sauce 2 drops of sesame oil
In a wok or really hot pan, add 1 oz. of peanut oil, then scramble the beaten egg. Add the remaining oil, then heat the garlic, ginger and scallion. Fry the rice, then toss in the barbecued eel, egg and soy sauce and sesame oil. To plate the dish, place rice down, top with a slab bacon. Drizzle a reduction of the bacon braising sauce around the plate and top with slices of shaved bonito.
On when he knew he was going home:When they put the squads together, I knew I was going to lose … I should have played the game instead of playing my ego, and that's where I went wrong. You get put with the sh---iest chefs, and you're going to go down. I was so adamant that I wasn’t going to let Lisa tell me what to do because I felt she was such an inferior cook to me--which she is. I should not have been alpha male, but I let my Napoleon complex get in the way and, ultimately, that was my downfall.
On his beef with Lisa:I'm a good cook and she sucks. I think that's the root of it all. She feels she needs to prove herself to everybody. She's got a sh---y attitude. I'm just aggressive in the kitchen. I don't like being around negative . She was that dark cloud that just loomed around, constantly b----ing.
On his temper:This is something I've been wrestling with since I was a kid. I'm quick on my emotions. But that's who I am, man. I'm not going to hide my emotions from somebody… I think it's a better way to communicate. The show's real. I'm not sitting here trying to act the character or be the d---head. I've been told my whole life--especially with the women--that I'm a f---ing a--hole. Sorry, but that's who I am.
On crying in his exit interview:I genuinely was disappointed, and I thought I disappointed some . I wanted my parents and colleagues to say, "Hey, I'm proud of that guy.' They know my talent level, and they think I could have gone a lot further. That's one of the most hurtful things I could do to someone else is to disappoint them.