For former Top Chef contestant and fan-favorite, Stefan Richter, what you see on TV is what you get in person. He is as passionate, honest and unapologetic as you remember him on the cooking competition show. It was actually quite refreshing. Speaking of refreshing, I recently caught up with the chef at a special preview of his summer 2013 menu for his Santa Monica eatery, Stefan’s LA Farm, over a vodka soda (extra lime) and a glass of cab for me. From his Jack in the Box-inspired menu item to fellow Top Chef hook-ups and a desire to be a father, read our full interview with Stefan below to learn more about everybody’s favorite chef.
ET: What’s your favorite item on the new menu?
Stefan: I got a steak for two. We’ve got a steakhouse in Finland so I have a steak for two. It’s really interesting. People are ordering it too!
What’s your go-to food item, in or out of this restaurant?
Turkey. I like turkey, any version of turkey. (Here Stefan accidentally spills his drink on my recorder. The interview only gets better from here.)
What is your vice? What is your guilty pleasure?
It’s kind of hard to explain because I love vodka soda. But Finland grapefruit, soda water and lime. Yum. Food wise—Jack in the Box number six, Double-double bacon cheeseburger. That’s mine.
Curly fries or regular fries?
I like the potato wedges with the funky cheese sauce on it. I order sour cream and extra bacon. I love it because when you’re hung over it cures it immediately. It’s funny that’s why it’s on the [happy hour] menu. I put “Jack’s Bacon Fries” on it. Okay, what other questions do you have for me? Pick five “Yes or No” questions.
Did you have fun on Top Chef?
Would you do it again?
What other Top Chef contestants would you partner up with for a restaurant?
Yes or no answers. Sorry Honey Boo Boo you fu**ed up.
Did you ever get it on with another contestant on Top Chef?
Would you open another restaurant?
Yes. I’m opening fu**ing 10 this year!
Would you go on reality television again?
Yes! Ok 3 more…
Are you going to be on reality TV again?
Do you think you should have won the last season of Top Chef?
Do you think Kristen should have won the last season of Top Chef?
Do you feel like viewers got an actual idea of what you’re like outside of the television show?
I’m exactly on TV as I am in personal life. I don’t fu** around, I don’t bullshit, and I don’t deal with crap. I just don’t.
You’ve accomplished so much [since Top Chef] but what’s the one thing you are looking forward to this next year? What’s the next chapter?
It’s not going to happen this year. This year is business and opening restaurants and having a good life. Next year is the time to reconsider life.
In what way?
Maybe a “little one.” Maybe next year?... [I want to] mold them, shape them. Like a six year old, put him in the restaurant and fucking show him the bartending and the kitchen. And get the kid excited about it and say, “Listen this is what it’s all about.” And then go to Finland in the summer for four weeks—go fishing and hunting and have a good life—so he appreciates what this is all about.