Gerald Chin was prepared for just about anything in his mystery ingredient basket when he appeared on Chopped except what he got — leftovers. The chef de cuisine at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas had to make something from leftover matzo ball soup and fried blooming onion. The final two chefs used leftover melted Neopolitan ice cream, ripe bananas, flat cola and tortilla chips for their dessert creations. Here he talks about his appearance on Chopped earlier this month, what he plans to do with the $10,000 prize for winning the show and more.
What did you do to prepare to be on Chopped?
Once I found out I was getting on the show, we did a couple mock runs at the hotel with some of the other chefs. It still didn't prepare me with how the show was. It was good timing wise to figure out what I can and can't do, but not knowing what ingredients I'm getting.
What made you decide to be on the show?
For the money. I'm a competitive chef. I've done competitions before but not on TV, but I figured if I could be on TV and win money, it would be great.
What did you think when they told you that leftovers would be the theme?
I actually cursed and they edited it out. I was really shocked. I didn't expect every ingredient in the basket to be leftovers. As we started to pull them out it was like, "Oh, my god."
Did you second guess any of your dishes?
No. I tasted every dish and I know that my technique was on point. In the first round, my bowls were messy. I didn't have time to clean the plates. Everything tasted good.
Any other dreams of being on television?
Yeah, funny story about that. My buddy almost got me on Iron Chef in 2004. Apparently they told him I was too young then. He might try to get me on. I'm waiting to hear about Chopped Champions.
Were any of the dishes you made inspired by something you've actually made before?
One of the desserts I did for show was inspired by RM Seafood. My buddy Adam called it the Fat Elvis with bananas, chocolate, peanut butter and bacon. As soon as I saw the bananas I knew I would do a fat Elvis version.
What are you going to do with the $10,000 prize?
I haven't gotten it yet, but I gonna save it. I think I might get a tattoo with my daughter's name. I'm actually getting it today.