Last week, in spite of “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi saying “Brother’s dish was the yummiest” at judging, Colorado Springs chef Brother Luck was told to pack his knives and go.
His German egg rolls didn’t quite fit the Elitch Gardens Elimination Challenge to pair authentic German food with a radler (half beer, half fruit soda), the other judges (including D Bar’s Keegan Gerhard) determined.
And so we said “auf wiedersehen” — wait, wrong show — to Luck.
We wanted to know how Luck felt about being dismissed on a good dish, how his appearance on the show has affected his restaurant, Four by Brother Luck, and if the 15 minutes of culinary fame were worth the physical and emotional tolls of non-stop filming and putting yourself out there for all the world (or at least “Top Chef” super fans) to see. So we interrupted his Italian vacation to find out.
Q: Did you plan the trip to Italy to correspond with your elimination episode, or was that just a happy coincidence?
A: It’s a crazy coincidence…My wife and I have been planning the celebration of our 15th wedding anniversary and traveling to Italy for a while.
Q: Was it hard watching the episode and seeing that they liked your food; it was more it didn’t fit the challenge as well as the judges would have liked?
A: I made the decision to cook a dish that didn’t fit the challenge and own my elimination. I strive to cook good food and constantly find inspiration for myself. I’m glad they liked the flavors.
Q: How were you feeling going into judging? Were you surprised to be in the bottom?
A: I was going through a lot behind the scenes. I had a horrible lung infection from camping and had also just found out a good friend of mine had passed while we were filming this episode. I didn’t think that I would be in the bottom leaving Elitch Gardens based on the judges’ positive reception to my dish.
Q: How has being on the show affected your restaurant?
A: It’s been amazing meeting so many fans of the show. I love getting to meet so many young fans that want to get into cooking.
Q: Any chance of a Denver-area Brother Luck restaurant?
A: I’m always open to the right discussion.
Q: Was the show worth its emotional toll?
A: I think so…I’m humbled to represent our state on national television, but I’m also excited to accomplish one of my career goals by competing on “Top Chef.”
Q: Will you ever go back to Elitch Gardens?
A: Of course. I love everything Colorado.