By now you should know that Richard Blais topped fellow cheftestant Mike Isabella on last night's Top Chef: All-Stars finale.
"I'm certainly happy with this win," Blais admitted to us this morning during our excluvie chat.
So does the Flip Burger Boutique business owner really think he deserved to beat out Isabella for the Top Chef title? And why is he saying he already wants back on the reality TV food competition series?!
We'll let Blais explain...
How does it feel to be the big winner?
It's kind of still just setting in. I've been telling people that I really didn't kind of believe it until I actually saw it on TV, even though I've known for a little bit.
Was it special re-watching your win on last night's finale?
I've had to relive the other side of it the first time around. This is a little easier to deal with for sure! My hat goes off to Mike Isabella... It's tougher on the runners up side...
Do you think you should have won?
Oh yeah, for sure! I think I should have won... Definitely I worked hard and hopefully, the effort I displayed, I hope everyone thinks that I deserved to win.
Do you think this win was extra special because the season was All-Stars?
I think so, yeah. I mean to win any of the seasons it's a tremendous accomplishment, but this one for sure. The season was longer, the challenges were insanely difficult, and the competition was deep. It went from 18 all the way down. So, yeah, I definitely think it was the toughest.
What are you going to do with the big cash prize?
Some of it of course will go to real world needs like kids education and what not, but I'm going to definitely use the money to help me get further in my career.
Would you ever do another Top Chef or are you done now that you've taken the top spot?
There's hopefully lots more TV for me. If Top Chef came back with Top Chef Champions with only winners from seasons past, I would be the first one to sign up because I love the game! And I hope I get credit if that happens!
Finally, what's next for you business-wise?
I'm opening up a pig-centric, I don't have a name for it so I say pig-centric, but a pork-themed restaurant this Spring. And then I'm trying to get something going in the mass market. I just signed on to do some work with the National Pork Board as well which I'm really excited about. And then TV and trying to get a book going.
—Marc Malkin is on vacation