Kitchen Daily had a chance to talk to recently-eliminated "Top Chef" contestant Kuniko Yagi yesterday. Though her time on Bravo's Top Chef came to a close on last week's episode, we got her to dish on the biggest challenge she faced on the show, the things that viewers don't see behind the scenes and her best advice for the everyday chef.
Kuniko told us she loved her experience on the show. "When you're running a restaurant," she said, "You don't go out and cook with chefs every day." Kuniko thought the best part of the show was getting to know the other chefs. She told us that she met some of her best friends on "Top Chef!"
The biggest challenge Kuniko faced on the show? She had a hard time being selfish! She told us, "If you're going to a competition, you should be selfish and only think about yourself. ... You can't be a team player. You have to put yourself first." Kuniko felt that she might have been too much of a team player on the show. Some chefs are good at being selfish, but she found it difficult.
When we asked what "Top Chef" viewers don't see behind the scenes, Kuniko admitted how happy she was to see that Chef Tom and Chef Emeril are actually really close. "They hung out together when the cameras weren't looking" and got along really well. She said, "That was nice to see."
Chef Kuniko's best secret tip for the everyday chef is to consider colors when cooking. She said chefs should make sure that their plates aren't monotone. "People eat from a visual perspective," so plates with all brown or all green foods aren't as appetizing as dishes with a variety of colors.
What's up next for this popular chef? Kuniko is going to be the executive chef at a new restaurant, Hinoki & the Bird, opening next month. We can't wait to visit!
Learn how to follow Kuniko's cooking tip by checking out the slideshow above! You'll find colorful recipes you can make on your own.