Making it through a full season of Top Chef means contestants have to experience a multitude of emotions, from nervousness to envy to elatedness to anger. Sometimes all within the same episode. When CinemaBlend recently spoke with finalist Adrienne Cheatham about the Colorado-set Season 15, I asked her what her most nightmarish moment was. While some may assume it was a super-hard challenge, or that last elimination judgment that sent Chef Joseph Sasto home, Adrienne's worst moment actually came way earlier than that. Here's what she told me.
Being on the bottom the first challenge. That was probably one of the worst experiences ever. I was like, 'Oh, God, am I gonna get sent home on the first challenge? Oh, God, my mom is gonna be so mad at me.' And 'I'm gonna embarrass the hell out of all my old bosses.'
Now, that makes a lot of sense, seeing as how Adrienne Cheatham went through all that work to get to the grand Top Chef stage, only to immediately get threatened with the biggest bummer possible: being the first contestant to get sent home. The elimination challenge in the premiere was to prepare a meat and potatoes dish, which seemed easy enough. But as it was noted by Padma and the judges, Adrienne's pork belly and sweet potato tostone was too sweet, which landed her alongside chefs Melissa Perfit and local fave Carrie Baird. Thankfully for Adrienne, Melissa's pork shoulder and potato purée meal was deemed the least appetizing of the bunch, so she was sent home.
In the scheme of things, it's pretty strange that both Adrienne and Carrie were on the bottom in that first challenge, since the two chefs ended up in the final four together, with Carrie getting sent home during the visiting family challenge, while Adrienne and buddy Joe Flamm later cemented their spots in the finale. Melissa, meanwhile, ended up getting eliminated in her first Last Chance Kitchen showing, so this was just not her competition.
Chef Adrienne didn't let that Round 1 set back deflate her, obviously, as she fought her way up to the top while slowly finding her groove in cooking the food she was most comfortable serving. Part of that goes back to a bit of advice she'd heard about remembering to take it one challenge at a time.
One thing somebody told me was, you know, no matter how many times you're on the bottom,` each challenge is separate. So if someone's mistake that day -- even if they had a great day -- but if their mistake that day was worse than yours, then it sucks and you hate to see somebody go. But it's just how bad your mistake was that day. And I'm so, so glad that my mistakes, while there were a few of them, that they weren't enough to get me sent home.
I think all of Adrienne Cheatham's biggest fans out there will certainly agree. Be sure to find out who ends up on top when Top Chef Season 15 airs its finale on Bravo on Thursday, March 8, at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see what other new and returning shows are on the way in the near future, head to our midseason premiere schedule.