If you haven’t heard, we are overjoyed to announce that one of our very own, local 30a caterer Kelsey Barnard Clark of KBC Catering, was the WINNER of this season’s Top Chef! She is not only an asset to our community and our industry, but she is a great friend and wonderful person – we couldn’t be happier to have in our 30A Wedding Co family.
Top Chef, a cooking show that airs on Bravo, features 15 chefs who compete in cooking challenges across multiple cities. Chefs are eliminated through challenges, where they are given varying lengths of time to cook and create their dishes which are then judged and top chefs move on to the next round. We got to chat with Kelsey about her time on the show and what the future holds for her.
You WON! Tell us, how does it feel?
It feels wonderful! It gave me a validation that all of the time away and the sacrifices were worth it.
What inspired you to compete on Top Chef?
I am always looking to push myself and honestly to do things that scared me. Nothing scared me more than Top Chef.
What was the biggest lesson you took away from your time on the show?
I gained so much confidence as a chef, mother, and person. I feel like I came back with a clear head and direction on how to handle every situation as if it’s a reality [show] challenge. When you know you’re being filmed, you thoughtfully think out each step you make and the words that come out of your mouth. I’ve applied that to my life in little ways here and there.
What was your favorite challenge?
Honestly, the finale. I had a sense of calm and appreciation wash over me during the two days of cooking. I knew it was my last time in that Top Chef kitchen and I truly wanted to soak it all in. I had complete trust and confidence in my sous chefs, Brandon & Nini, so I was able to really enjoy it and not take the situation for granted.
How has the reaction been to being a Top Chef Winner?
It’s been amazing, really. I’ve had nothing but support and kind words sent my way. My town is so excited. I’m sure there’s some negative but I don’t have time for that.
You’ve said that in addition to using the prize money for your restaurant and catering business, you’re going to do “some fun stuff” too. Can you tell us a bit about the “fun stuff” you have planned?
The “fun stuff” involves taking a few members of my staff to the events I’ll be cooking/demoing at — specifically Aspen & Bottlerock. It’s a chance for them to be in that high-caliber environment and I’m hoping they’ll soak it up and come back with tons of inspiration. It’s also been a dream of mine to have a huge garden & chickens in my yard which we’re doing now (eek!). I want nothing more than for Monroe to be outside working & learning as much as he can. In my free time, you’ll probably find me in the garden with dirt on my hands, sun on my back, chickens at my feet and a glass of champagne.
What’s next for you?
We’re about to start renovating my restaurant, KBC, in Dothan which I’m super pumped about. It’s going to be really hectic but so worth it. After that, the sky’s the limit. I plan on saying “yes” more than “no” this year.
Read more about her story on the Bravo TV website.