Top Chef’s Luciana shares hidden ‘advantage’ on World All Stars season

Top Chef: Winners and finalists combine for Season 20

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The 20th season of Top Chef is like none other before as host Padma Lakshmi joins judges Tom Colicchio and Gail Simmons in London for an action-packed all-star edition. Luciana Berry became a household favourite thanks to her time in the kitchen as part of Top Chef Brazil’s second season and opened up to all about the new series and how having lived and worked in London for the past few years gave her the cutting edge above her competitors.

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“I feel that it was a bit of an advantage because I knew like the way the ingredients taste, you know,” Luciana told when asked about the show’s new London setting.

She went on: “So for me, oh, my God, I know how apple tastes here, I know how meat should be cut, you know.

“For me, I thought that was an advantage for me. Of course, I want to go to America to film (as well),” Luciana went on.

While being in London may have played into Luciana’s hands somewhat, she explained the atmosphere in the kitchen was still friendly despite the high stakes.

Luciana divulged: “For my part, it was a very friendly competition.

“Sometimes you just go on and ‘scoop’, it’s easy, just go to win (the money), like everybody wants to get that prize.

“The money is good, but one of the most important things is we’re there to learn.

“Because one thing is just like when you read cooking books, but you are now in the country, so I was like, with the best chefs in the world.

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“So for me, it was like, to be honest, I was in school, like I learned different cultures, the way to cook and learned with the ingredients.

“For me, was just more friendly. It was a competition also, but I took it like, as a friendly game.”

So just how does Top Chef’s new World All Stars edition compare to Top Chef Brazil?

“It’s complex,” Luciana revealed “It is a similar program like it has the same similar tasks but it’s in a sense completely different.

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“When I did Brazilian Top Chef, I knew the cooking methods, I knew the ingredients they were gonna use, I knew the style because it was Brazilian cuisine and we’re all Brazilian.

“And this was completely opposite so that’s why I think like other chefs we get a bit worried because we didn’t know the cooking methods, we didn’t know the culture.

“So when you compete in Thailand, you don’t know the way they cook, and it’s completely different like when you go to a restaurant in Thailand and you have a Top Chef from Thailand cooking for you.

“It’s completely different so everybody has like their own surprises to show someone and it’s a bit (scary) to be between all of them.”

While the pressure may have been sky-high in the Top Chef kitchen this season and slip-ups may be expected, Luciana had nothing but praise for the show’s judges who were on hand to critique each contestant’s creations.

“They’re very kind, very kind,” she said. “I think this old style of like to try to get attention of the audience to see the program on the shelves is very rude, I think this is gone.

“So they’re very polite. We know in the kitchen before, the chefs like scream at us and hit us. But now there is a difference because they want respect.

“So I think that’s old-fashioned TV, so they’re all nice and all polite, actually more polite than you think. You know, even when they have to like criticise a dish, they are so nice.”

Top Chef season 20 airs Thursdays on BRAVO in the USA. Top Chef season 20 is to stream on Hayu in the UK from March 10.

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