“I didn’t try out,” says chef Jamie Lynch recounting how he made it to Top Chef Season 14, “They found me.” Lynch had just opened up the Charleston outpost of 5Church when he says he got a Facebook message from the reality show casting director. He told his partners that he thought it was a weird joke. Lynch says his goal was to never to be on TV — he’s a restaurant chef.
“I was surprised when I got the Facebook message, which I barely know how to use, but we got to talking, and I said, ‘I think it’s legit.’ But I brought my concerns to the partners and said that I was a little concerned about putting myself out there to get shit on. We were trying to build a restaurant at that time, but we had a couple of rounds of talking about the opportunity and after thinking about it, I realized this doesn’t happen to everybody — thousands of chefs apply to the show every year and I just got hit with a cold call.” Lynch and the restaurant partners convened about the show, and they nudged him toward the opportunity. “At the end of the day,” he says, “I was basically convincing myself that I wasn’t going to be the first one out.”
Lynch wasn’t the first contestant to go, but in the first two episodes, he did find himself near the bottom of the ranking. The chef says he prepared by binge watching old Top Chef episodes while chowing down on ice cream to stay awake. He also asked for surprise Quick Fire challenges during prep.
See if Lynch’s gamble paid off tonight at 10:00 p.m. on Bravo.