Padma Lakshmi, Dale L.


Last night's Top Chef All-Stars ended with not one, but two eliminations.

Season one's Stephen Asprinio was sent home (but does it even count since he's not a working chef and even he's admitted he only returned for the publicity?) as was Dale Levitski, executive chef of Chicago's Sprout restaurant.

We caught up with Dale earlier today as he was making his way to work. Read on to find out what he had say about having to pack his knives so early in the competition, his message to Oprah and who he hates on the show…

You said in your exit interview that you were surprised to go home so early. So what happened?
You'll hear that every week because this is what we do. This is not the Amazing Race of food. We're trying to represent...It's a little embarrassing to go home so early. It hurts to go home, but there's no excuses to screwing up.

You also said All-Stars was much more of a head game. It sounds like you didn't really enjoy being on the show.
That really came across like that?

You said it was more cutthroat.
When I was asked to come back I was like, This is going to be a blast. A lot of us know each other from events and from here and there. I think it just showed how intense we are. I think more so than any other season. This season was intense...I don't want to play the excuse game by any means, but the last time I was on Top Chef I did not have a home kitchen. This time, my restaurant was only nine months old and I was working my ass off when I left. I don't think my head was completely in the game.

So, has Oprah been into the restaurant yet?
That's funny. I will say no, I don't think I am on Oprah's radar. I know people who work for her, but I would not anticipate Oprah coming in. But she should! I'll publicly say on E! Online, "Oprah, get to my restaurant!"

You've also said that you don't like Padma when she's on camera. What's that about?
I will say that in the competition on-camera, I honestly do not like Padma. But off-camera, because we've hung out, I adore her. She is a wacky, goofy and funny girl. She's cool and amazing and fun. But on the show, you just want to reach over and slap her.

Thanks, Dale. Hopefully I'll eat at your restaurant one day. But not in the winter. How cold is it in Chicago right now?
Probably around 20 degrees.

I'm originally from New York, so I am allowed to complain about the cold. Here in L.A., it was like 90 degrees the other day.
Well, now I want to reach over and slap you.

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