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Top Chef, casey thompson


Casey Thompson isn't happy she got sent home on last night's episode of Top Chef All Stars. But it's not like she's losing sleep over it.

We caught up with the Ft. Worth-based chef this morning to talk chicken feet, Jamie and her—ready for this?—love of butchery in art...

What happened? Why'd you go home so soon?
I kind of feel like it was out of control. That's what it was. It's just hilarious to me. It was totally out of control and a disaster.

Do you think it was a fair challenge? (The cheftestants had to prepare dim sum for about 100 people at Chinatown restaurant in NYC)
Looking back at it now, it was set up for disaster. Let's just look at the highlights from the very get-go: a team challenge has disaster written all over it. Then they stack the cards against us, because we're in a dim sum restaurant in the middle of Chinatown preparing food for people from...China! It was hardcore. And then we're in the kitchen and half of the stuff works and the other half doesn't. It's like woks and minimal equipment that we're not used to.

But it probably didn't help that you did chicken feet, too. Why chicken feet?
Well, because I'm not scared. The group also agreed we needed variety, not just a bunch of dim sum. But like they said, chicken feet is not dim sum. That's like street food. Whoops, but you also don't find cabbage rolls with oxtail wrapped around it. It's like, where do you want to stop your creativity? Do I just want to do minced shrimp in a wrap?

Don't you think Jamie should have gone home?
I know. Yeah, that's a tough one. She sure is getting the bad rap this go-around...But in the end the comments that I got from the judges were that the chicken felt were inedible, which really is like being punched in the gut and slapped in the face all at the same time. At least they didn't say it about something like broccolini. I got it on chicken feet. You know what? If I'm going home over chicken feet, I'm just not going to lose sleep over it.

What's with you and your collection of butchery art? What do you have?
I have a Monet and a Rembrandt, where they're two prints of paintings of proteins. There's one where there's a whole cattle hanging upside down with a butcher. Then there's one that is a large piece of roast and it's got the bone in it. They're gorgeous.

Are people scared when they come over and see that art hanging on the wall?
At first, it's like, this is a little disturbing. But as they get to know me, they understand this is my life. This is what I love.