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Rick Bayless: Top Chef Producers Tried to Get Contestants Drinking, Failed

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Rick Bayless will just have a water, thanks.
Rick Bayless will just have a water, thanks.

Chef and Top Chef Masters season one winner Rick Bayless spoke at Google about Mexican food, his cookbooks, his restaurant Frontera Grill, and how producers on reality shows try to get contestants drunk so they'll make total fools of themselves. Bayless claims they had no such luck with the chefs of the first season of Top Chef Masters, who "knew how much they have to lose."

And the producers tried their best to push alcohol on them, telling the chefs as they waited for the judges to finish deliberating, "How about a beer? How about some wine?" The producers wouldn't take no for answer. "We'll open it for you, here, we'll pour it."

They had to keep doing this thing — oh, you know, when we would stand in front of those judges and they would tell us what they thought of our dishes, we would go back and forth with them. That took never less than two hours we had to stand on our feet in one spot, and oftentimes it would go toward three hours.

Then we would have to go back into that kitchen and we'd sit around that table and you notice that every time we went back into that table, they had it loaded with booze. They wanted us to just sit there and drink ourselves silly, because that was always an hour, an hour and a half before the judges deliberated. Then we would have to go back and stand in front of them and then they really wanted us to be sort of loose.

So we would sit down at that table and no one would drink. And then the producers would come over and go, "How about a beer? How about some wine? We'll open it for you, here, we'll pour it." Naw, I'm fine, naw, I'm fine. We'd all sit there, and it's like "Ah! What am I gonna do with these guys!"

Authors@Google: Rick Bayless

· Authors@Google: Rick Bayless [YouTube]
· All Rick Bayless coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Top Chef Masters coverage on Eater [-E-]

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