January 21, 2009 05:00 PM by Paulene Hinds
Top Chefcontestant Ariane Duarte, had been impressing the judges week after week with her culinary delights, but unfortunately for the cheftestant she became strung out… literally when she couldn’t tie her dish! The New Jersey restaurant owner gave TV Guide an exclusiveinterview on the biggest challenge she experiencedduring her stay onthe show and who she thought should have been sent packing after the farm challenge.
When Ariane Duarte was asked by TV Guidewhy she worked with a lamb roast when she wasn’t familar with tying roasts, she replied, “I’ve cooked lots of lamb, but I don’t tie. I’ve done a whole leg of lamb, whole baby lamb ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬” my grandmother’s from Italy so that’s what we eat every Easter! Hosea and Leah were supposed to help me. When we decided, I said, “Alright guys, that’s what I’ll do, but this is what I need from you.” It was something they knew and we discussed. And there never was an issue. I think we all thought everything was great, tasted great and looked great. But you get to the table and different stories come out.”
Arian Duarte also had an opinion on who she thought should be going home instead of herself and commented thatthere were two contestants that she felt should have been eliminated. First, she thoughtRadika should have been eliminated because she didn’t have anything to say to the judges at the tabledue to her poor performance during the challenge and secondly she thought that Leah should have gone home because she was angry at her for not tying the roastas she said that she would do! She thoughtperhaps Leah purposely sabotaged her during the challenge.
Arian Duarte was also asked if the cliqueness of Hosea and Leah affected her performance and she stated, “Definitely. She’d say something, he’d agree. He’d say something, she’d agree. It definitely played against me. I feel when you’re in a team, you’ve got to listen to your teammates. You’ve got to have faith in them, trust in them. But when two of your teammates just keep saying ‘no,’ ‘that won’t work,’ ‘we don’t want to do that,’ you get to the point where you can only say and do so much. They already had a connection that I wasn’t apart of.”
Even though she was eliminated, Arian Duarte had a memorable moment on Top Chef and said that she was very proud of herself when she won the Today challenge. She said that she has always struggled with being able to get up and speak in front of people to do demos, finding herself getting nervous and flustered. Doing the presentation was a stepping stone and growth experience for her.
Arian Duarte told TV Guide what is in store for her now that she has been eliminated from Top Chef, saying, “My husband [who's also a chef] and I own a restaurant in Montclair, NJ called CulinAriane ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â¬” and we’ve quickly outgrown it! Since the show, we’re full from the minute we open to the minute we close. It’s been awesome. We’re looking to expand, and I’m toying with the idea of doing a cookbook. I’d love to do some consulting too. But right now, we’re dedicated to the restaurant, and I have two girls, 13 and 11, so that takes up a lot of time.”
Photo Credit: Bravo