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May 27

Chef Kwame Onwuachi Lets His Cravings Lead the Way – GQ

Lets talk about your time on Top Chef a bit. Almost every season is set in a single cityexcept for your run, which saw the cast tour throughout California and stay in hotels. Given the change of setting, how was the food situation during your shoot?

It was horrible. We were just stuck eating catering when we were on set. Wed spend all day cooking these incredible, intricate meals and then have to go pick up food from crafty. It was trash. Or theyd have us order breakfast from Dennys or something, so by the time the food is delivered to the hotel room its two sunny-side-up eggs (that are cold and congealed because they were cooked 45 minutes ago) and toast you can throw off the wall.

Youve gotten a bit of a raw deal in that sense because the next time you were on the show was during Top Chef: Portland, on which you served as part of the judging panel. Given that the season was filmed in a quarantine bubble during the pandemic, was the food situation there better or worse than your first season?

We didnt have to eat catering because wed eat during the shoot, which was way better. Earlier in the season when theres 14, 15 dishes per challenge, wed be full when we got home. Later in the competition when there are fewer dishes to judge I could order takeout if I needed something else. Portland has an incredible food scene so I was ordering some really dope stuff. There was a great chicken and rice spot, a West African place, Jamaican, I could really go on. And I mean, other nights Id just order Dominos! 30 minutes or less, man.

Those early challenges really do look like a marathon for the judges. I know Padma Lakshmi has talked about how they can run up to 5,000 calories a day or more. Even later in the season when the numbers are lower the dishes are just so full of butter and fat.

Youve really gotta take like, one bite of each dish. Its hard, especially when you like something. You want to eat more but there are six, seven other dishes ahead.

Regardless of whether it was televised, whats the best meal youve had throughout the entirety of your experience on the show?

There was this crab dish that Dawn did on Portland, an icy chili-citrus butter over a crab boil kind of deal. It was incredible.

Youve branched out quite a bit from the kitchen over the last few years as an author, a TV personality, and activist. So what does an average day in your life look like in terms of food and routine?

Normally Ill meditate in the morning and get all my thoughts out. Whether Im anxious or excited about something, Ill work through all those feelings in the first hour Im awake. Then Ill head downstairs and make a smoothie with a little bit of everything, broccoli, kale, bananas, all kinds of berries, and watermelon. They come in these little packs so Ill just dump it in the blender with oat milk, or maybe green juice or apple juice. Im an espresso guy, so Ill have that, go for a walk, and then start connecting with my team and taking my meetings.

See the article here:
Chef Kwame Onwuachi Lets His Cravings Lead the Way - GQ

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