Lesbian Reality Televison Q&A Round up
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Initially, it was Jen and Zoi, the lesbian couple on Top Chef: Chicago that got all our adoration, with Lisa flying under the proverbial gaydar—well, that is until she came out and started sporting a new sexy buzz cut. But this rebel dyke chef, who battled with a litany of contestants and judges, marched herselfall the way to the final three, often with an imposing scowl on her face. She was vilified by her kitchen mates, and accused of not being up to par by some, but her ego refused to be flattened. She gave advice where it wasn't wanted, demanded props when not warranted, and somehow she had us all watching, cheering, wildly debating and nail biting until last night just to see if America would have their first lesbian top chef.
Congratulations on being the villain this season.
[Laughs.] Thank you very much.
According to online blogs and boards, you’re an angry lesbian who didn’t deserve to be one of the final three.
Everybody is entitled to their opinion. And, blogs are very important, and they come with the territory of being on the show. It’s been a great experience. I appreciate the compliments and the criticism that people have said. And I try not to pay too much attention to the negativity that’s out here.
Tom mentioned that you had a bit of an ego, which is critical for top chefs. Do you agree with that?
Absolutely. When you’re this passionate about food and about cooking and what you do, you need to have a little bit of that drive and aggressiveness. You need to defend what you do and you need to be proud of what you do and you need to be stern about it. If you’re a painter [you’re not going to say], “Oh, whatever, here’s my painting, and if you don’t like it, you don’t like it.” You’re going to say, “No, this is what I was trying to accomplish, and I feel that I achieved my goals in this painting.” It’s the same thing for food. A plate is pretty much a canvas, and you have to be passionate, you have to be driven, you have to stand up for it, and obviously I agree with Tom that you need to be strong about what you do.
Tell me what the most difficult thing about being at the judge’s table was.
Honestly, the hardest part is standing there and just waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. It’s such a long process and it’s hot. You’re literally trying to find a focal point to stare at and not fall asleep. It’s really rough.
What do you think of Stephanie’s cooking?
I think Stephanie is an amazing chef. I hope that now she’ll finally stop doubting herself.
There was much to-do about Jen and Zoi being lesbians, and their sexuality was a well-known fact from the get-go. You flew under the radar for the first half.
I spoke about it very, very freely and openly on a regular basis. I guess they didn’t focus on it, just to amp up the lesbian couple. I’m completely out, and I’m not ashamed of it. I talk about it all the time. I’m very proud to be gay and—you can pretty much look at me and tell that I’m a lesbian. For some people, I guess they really weren’t too sure until that episode where I said, “My girlfriend has a son,” and all these people were like, “Oh my god, she’s gay? What does she mean? Her friend? Her girlfriend?” Just sort of freaking out, and I was like, “You can’t look at me and tell? OK.”
When you came back to go to Puerto Rico, you had a sexy new ’do for the finale. Why the switch?
My girlfriend convinced me to cut my hair. She’s been trying to get me to chop all my hair off for some time. Before the finale, I went to a salon where they do short haircuts for women, and between my girlfriend, her son and the stylist, they were all like, “No, go shorter, go shorter,” and the next thing you know, all my hair was cut off. It took me a while to get used to it, but now I love it. I think it suits me and I like it. And it’s not a faux hawk, to set the record straight. It’s nowhere near a faux hawk.
So are you getting hit on now?
Oh, come on, look at me! No, I’m just kidding. I definitely get approached, but I’m in love with my girlfriend. And people who want to hit, flirt and be with me just because I’m on TV for my 15 minutes of fame—it’s awesome, it’s a nice feeling, I love the flattery, but my girlfriend was with me before Top Chef and she’s with me now and that’s more important.
What food, in your opinion, should be banned? As an example, I think Velveeta should be banned.
[Laughs.] I don’t know if I would say banned. I’m definitely not a fan of Spam. I managed to go the majority of my life without trying it and then I tasted it and I thought it was hideous. But I know a lot of people who really like it. As for banned from me ever having to eat it again. That would totally be salmon. I hate the taste of salmon. I don’t like the smell of it. The more you cook it, the worse it smells. If it is cooked in front of me, I gag every time.
So if you could make dinner for one person who would that be?
Anyone? Dead or alive? I think I would like to cook for Anthony Bourdain again, so I could redeem myself from restaurant wars.
What would you make him?
I would make him the smoked laksa, but I would make it the right way, without making massive mistakes.
Say you got your own cooking show, and you needed a brand or a catch. What would that be? And it can’t be Cooking with Bold and Spicy Lisa.
[Laughs.] I don’t know, it would depend on how PG I would have to keep it. Maybe Cooking Fish with a Lesbian Chef? I don’t think that would fly. Something like, The Four S’s of Asian Cuisine, that’s kind of the code that I live by when I cook.
Since your girlfriend isn’t around right now, who do you have a crush on?
My newest crush is Jordin Sparks.
I didn’t see that coming.
No, I’m sure you didn’t. I didn’t watch American Idol. I had no idea who she was, and then I saw her video with Chris Brown, and I was like, “Ooh! She’s kind of cute.” There’s just something about her I kind of like. I don’t know what it is. Alicia Keys is beautiful, like, absolutely beautiful. Me and my girlfriend would have to fight over who would get to attack her first. Jordin Sparks is the most recent crush.
Speaking of your girlfriend, how has she handled the publicity?
People know that I have a girlfriend. I try to keep her out of the public eye. It’s not really any of their business. And watching how difficult it was for Zoi and Jen, to really exploit their relationship. My parents are loving it. They’re this super happy, proud family, like, “That’s my daughter! That’s my daughter! That’s my daughter!” My sister, too. Everyone’s been really supportive and really great.