The 12th season of Bravo's "Top Chef" (this season's city is Boston) debuts this evening and one of the 16 chefs competing for the $125,000 prize is Rebecca LaMalfa, executive sous chef at Trenchermen. LaMalfa, who hails from California and is married to Sixteen's executive chef Thomas Lents, says that she tried out for the show because she "wanted to push myself and show how I would do in that kind of environment" and that she believes it will do "great things for my career."
Her goal before travelling to Boston to compete was to do as much research about the local cuisine and to commit recipes to memory using flash cards since chef'testants cannot bring any recipes with them. This method didn't always work out when the show threw the competitors curve balls. "There were times during certain challenges (where) it didn't matter what you had (prepared for), it had nothing to do with those recipes. But I would have been in a whole world of hurt if I had not done my homework," she says.
Dealing with other people's personalities wasn't difficult for LaMalfa since it's what she does on a daily basis in kitchens and, "as an adult you don't punch people in the face when you want to." She did say that, "all of the viewers will be able to tell when I'm absolutely over somebody."
As for watching the show, she plans to watch with Lents and a glass of wine after work since Wednesday nights at Trenchermen are exceptionally busy due to a weekly beer and burger special.
As for future plans, she says she loves the people at Trenchermen but that she doesn't "want to be there forever." She and Lents have plans to move to California eventually and open a restaurant of their own, one with a small farm to "feed the restaurant."
Bravo's "Top Chef" airs Wednesday nights at 9:00 p.m.