When Bravo assembles a highlight reel of Top Chef All Stars, the top clip probably won't be an exultant chef savoring his or her culinary glory.
It will be Philly's Jennifer Carroll in the middle of a profanity-laced meltdown in front of the judges over a pork-belly-and-eggs dish that did not impress.
"The Philadelphia came out in me," Carroll said today, recounting her involuntary departure from the reality series, which assembled chefs from previous seasons. "Sometimes that attitude and aggression shows through. But I went down swinging. I was upset and I got emotional. I didn't want to go home."
America saw a second side of Carroll. "You have the good girl from Season 6, and the feisty and aggressive girl from All-Stars," she says. "You have your pick."
In her kitchen at 10 Arts at the Ritz-Carlton, she says, "some days there is more yelling than others."
Carroll and her teammates were directed, in the middle of the night, to make breakfast for children spending the night at American Museum of Natural History in New York and using ingredients in its pantry. Teammate Jamie Lauren cut her finger and was rushed off for treatment, a point that later drew howls after it was disclosed that Lauren needed a mere two stitches to close the wound. "I cut myself pretty bad and never got them," Carroll said.
Nearly four months after the taping, Carroll says she wishes she had more time to conceptualize her dish. "I had a good dish, but looking back, I'd do some things technically differently. I'd have some more textures going on. I enjoyed the flavor but I'd do some tweaks to it.
"I don't think it was an award-winning dish but all right for Top Chef. But maybe not."
Carroll says she's heard from supporters, and "I'm also getting some negative comments from people who think I was disrespectful to the judges and think I shouldn't have been that harsh. I am passionate. I did apologize to them. I do regret that anybody thinks I don't respect the judges, because I do."