Vivian Zink/ Bravo
Top Chef's Ty-Lor: My Nude Photos 'Are Great'
New York-based chef Ty-lor Boring may not have made waves in the Top Chef: Texas kitchen this season but managed to create a tsunami of media attention around him with his racy nude photos, which circulated around the internets earlier this month. Despite the nudie circus, the openly gay chef with the wild name brought a calmness and steadfastness to this dramatic season. TheInsider.com caught up with Ty-lor, where he discussed his status as "the raciest contestant on the history of Top Chef," the girls’ issues with Beverly and what went wrong during Restaurant Wars.
Meg Swertlow: It’s been quite a season. How does it feel for you to leave Top Chef?
Ty-Lor Boring: Well you know, when you hear "pack your bags and go" at this point in the competition, it’s a little challenging. It was definitely tough to leave the show. Of course you want to stay on the show and win, but it was an amazing experience, and it’s one I’ll never forget.
Meg: After seeing that the girls had a lot of issues with the front of house, were you surprised still that you were the one who left?
Ty-Lor: I think that it was about the overall experience, and not just maybe what was happening in the kitchen. And also it wasn’t about interpersonal situations with the girls, it was about the total experience for the diner, because … that is also what is really important in the end, and the girls that I know they’re good with this season, and the dining room was enjoyable. For the most part, I guess everyone but the judges at the girls’ restaurant, had an amazing experience, and whatever happened in the kitchen, because the girls decided to have a closed kitchen instead of an open kitchen, really wasn’t conveyed to the judges. So it was better for the girls that they did that.
Meg: Do you feel like the guys' friendship got in the way of the overall success? That you didn’t want to step on each other’s toes?
Ty: I don’t think that it was that [no one] wanted to step on anybody’s toes. I think too, at that particular point in the competition, we were really tired. We had just competed a very grueling barbecue challenge, and went right into restaurant wars. I remember that week getting very little sleep, and just being really matched out. Obviously some poor judgment calls were made, -- that’s the reality of reality television. It’s also not everyday that you have $5,000 and 24 hours to open a restaurant where you are going to serve a 120 people in your first 60 minutes. That’s the kobayashi maru of all restaurant scenarios.
Meg: Sounds like a nightmare. Well, what do you think went wrong on your end?
Ty-lor: I don’t think that my dish was adequately seasoned. I think that the guys probably could have chosen, as a group, dishes that were simpler to execute so that we could reliably put them together. We should have closed the kitchen; we should have had a clear chef/expediter, because all of us were very strong cooks and I think there was some really important [we missed]. …You know there was a period of twenty minutes before service started that were probably the most important twenty minutes of the whole season, and that was our time to organize and set up the service and we didn’t do a good enough job of that and that sent people home.
Meg: Everything going on with the some of the girls and Beverly has been very dramatic to watch. Why do you think everyone gangs up on Beverly?
Ty-Lor: I have no idea. …You know, it’s a very difficult competition, and I think that it draws people, it draws parts of you out, and you’re not expecting. I think that on the whole though, the girls on this particular season weren’t as good friends probably as the guys because we all really got along, and we all really enjoyed each other, and everybody on the show is a very talented chef. I think the guys probably came together and jelled really well, and the girls didn’t. But maybe that wasn’t such a good thing because it’s a competition; it’s not about making friends.
Meg: I read on the Huffington Post this morning, that you were referred to as the raciest contestant in the history of Top Chef.
Ty-lor: (laughs) Thank you Huffington Post.
Meg: Do you have any thoughts on that new title?
Ty-lor: That’s an amazing title and, and I thank that the people at the Huffington Post for coming up with that. I don’t really think that I’m the raciest contestant in the history of Top Chef, truly someone has got to be more scandalous. You know, those are projects that I have done in the past, and I’m proud of them, and it’s totally fine that they’re out there, and I’ve stated from the beginning in my interviews and what not that things like that might be out there, so they’re not pornography, they’re some pictures and they’re great.
Meg: Did you ever think when you posed for those nude photos that they would be blasted all over the internet?
Ty-lor: Not quite, not quite. But the other reason why I went onto Top Chef is that I wanted to raise money to open my own restaurant in New York and I have found investors to do that. I am going to be opening a place, a pop-up restaurant in New York City and it will be up for Fashion Week. It’s going to be called TBD, To Be Determined. So there is the pop-up and then we’re in the process of opening an actual brick-and-mortar restaurant.
And so those are the original reasons why I wanted to be on the show, and I think that all of those things are happening, so I’m very excited.
Meg: That sounds awesome. So, another question? Your name Ty-Lor Boring, is that your real name?
Ty-Lor: Yes, my name is Tyler (T-y-l-e-r), and about sixteen years ago, one of my chefs changed by name because their was two Tylers in the kitchen. Then when I lived in Denmark, people would actually pronounce my name the way that it is spelled like that, and so I’ve kind of gone by that ever since.
Meg: When you were on Top Chef Last Kitchen, did you know that Nyesha had so many issues with you?
Ty-lor: No, not at all, but I think Nyesha is a really strong competitor and I think she’s definitely one of the best saucier cooks that I’ve ever met in my life, and I have been cooking for twenty years all over the world. She’s a really great chef.
Meg: How did you feel about doing the Last Chance Kitchen? Were you excited to do it, or were you over it?
Ty: I was really excited; I thought it was a great experience. It was really fun to try and make dessert in the time allotted, I mean, that’s virtually impossible. The only thing that I really wanted to happen was to get back into the competition.
Meg: Who do you want to win?
Ty-Lor: Well [Edward Lee]’s been my friend all along, so we’ve had some great experiences together and I could see Ed going all the way.
Meg: And finally, do you have any regrets?
Ty-Lor: None at all. Life’s too short for regrets.