We all remember cheftestant Sam Talbot from season two of Top Chef—tall, handsome and seriously talented. Sam, who's about to open a seafood restaurant in New York's Mondrian Hotel, answered a few questions about feeding picky kids, his splurge ingredient, and whether he'd do the competition all over again.
1. What’s the one holiday dish you would love to eat all year round?
Deep fried turkey
2. What’s the best food or kitchen-related gift you've been given?
A spoon made out of the bark of a cherry blossom tree
3. What was the dish or food you hated to eat the most as a kid?
Brussels sprouts and meatloaf
4. What three things are always in your fridge?
Hot sauce, vitamin water and soy milk
5. What’s the one food that always cheers you up?
Hot dogs with teriyaki, scallions and pineapple
6. Do you have a foolproof dish for picky kids, or advice for moms feeding a picky kid?
My advice to the moms who have picky kids is to play with their food, have fun with it. You have to be present and eat with the kids so it can be interactive. The more they watch you, they'll begin to eat whatever you do. You have to start young, though, that's the key. I love watching three-year-olds asking for more beets or broccoli. I get such a kick out of it.
7. What’s the one thing in your pantry you can never have too much of?
I always have way too much cereal.
8. What's the one ingredient you'd always splurge on?
I'm a huge fan of using truffle oil at home. I love it, so I'll pay the price.
9. If you could return to Top Chef and do another series (like Top Chef Masters), would you?
Would I do it again? Sure, why not? It's all in good fun. The only difference is that this time, I would hope to win!
10. What were the best and worst things about Top Chef?
The best is that it's opened so many interesting doors for me. The worst is the lame pictures that pop up every now and again where the stylist put me in her Coco Chanel sunglasses.
11. What was the biggest lesson you learned from Top Chef?
You can't please everyone. [It's] not possible.