November 10, 2009


Known for his creative dishes, technically perfect skills, and hilariously stubborn personality, Dale Talde is undeniably our favorite Top Chef contestant to date. Born and raised in Chicago, Dale is now the sous-chef at renowned New York City restaurant Buddakan. His Asian-infused cooking style draws from his Filipino background, but Dale keeps his diners guessing by constantly experimenting with new flavor profiles and creations.

From where he's shopping to what ingredients he's using, Dale reveals to us his inner-chef personality.

Do you look better in person or on TV?
In person, hopefully.

Biggest takeaway Top Chef Lesson: 
I'm never going to be good enough that I can forgo people skills. I learned that how you relate and interact with people as a chef is the most important thing. 

Do you know what Buddakan means? 
I think it's a Japanese music hall or something. 

What is the quality you most admire in a chef? 

Who is your chef-idol? 
Michel Bras, Thomas Keller, Grant Atchez, Jean Georges, Juan Mari Arzak. 

What is your greatest cooking fear? 
Failure. It's my biggest fear. 

Do you cook at home? 
Sometimes, but only my favorite, very simple pasta. I cook simple vegetables for my girlfriend who's vegan. 

What is your favorite ingredient to cook with? 
My favorite ingredient right now is dried shrimp. 

Your favorite seasoning? 
Fish sauce. 

Describe the perfect meal. 
A perfect meal starts with friends and family, followed by a whole crispy pig and a ton of beer and wine. Sides of mac and cheese and collared greens, followed by more beer and wine and a couple bottles of Maker's Mark. 

Best supermarket in NYC? 
The shops at Chelsea Market. 

Favorite restaurant in NYC? 
Momofuku Ssam. 

What did you eat for breakfast? 
Three eggs scrambled with cheese, corned beef hash, crispy home fries, whole wheat toast, and two cups of coffee...I know, I'm fat. 

Are you hungry right now? 
No, breakfast was large...but I've got a 100 Grand in the freezer for a snack.


  1. haha this is so great!!! His breakfast is making me hungry!

  2. I don't know why, but I'm really drawn to his personality. I really hope he wins all-stars!