Throughout the competition, the chefs leaned on each other while cooking, often asking one another to taste their dishes. There was never any lying.
“We’re very honest,” Kelsey said.
“I think we also have a great deal of integrity for each other. If there was something off about a dish, you’d hear it,” Eric added.
“But sometimes I’d be like, ‘Taste this.’ And they’d be like, ‘Oh, it needs more this,’ and I’d be like, ‘I know I just asked for your opinion, but I really don’t think it does,'” Sara laughed.
“You wrong!” Kelsey said.
One moment this season that sent ripple effects through the competition was when Eddie Konrad accidentally spent much of his team’s budget on lamb. It was early in the competition, and the finalists said they were still learning the rules and Eddie was apologetic, more than viewers saw on air.
“I looked at that thing and thought, ‘You have got to be kidding me. Everybody gets a grain of salt?’ We were screwed from that point on, we really were,” Kelsey said.
Still, they all maintained it was an honest mistake. And after that moment, they leaned on each other even more. If one chef had extra money, they would let the other behind them on the line start ringing up on their tab.
“We didn’t care because it’s not like you’re going to go back in the store to buy other stuff. We all wanted to see each other succeed because they had every single thing they needed, not because they didn’t have something. So, the lamb incident may have set the standard for that, it’s like, ‘Let’s make sure everybody has everything they need to do the best dish possible.’…Would you ever stand in your kitchen and watch a chef go down? No. That’s what makes you a Top Chef. That’s what makes you a good leader,” Sara said.