We were so excited to hear that ICE alum Arnold Myint would be one of the chef-testants on season seven of Bravo’s Top Chef. We cannot wait for the premiere on June 16. We’ve been discussing all our fond memories of Arnold when he was a student and think he will be a natural on the show.
Arnold has had past success in culinary competitions. Back when he was a Culinary Arts and Culinary Management student, he won Tabasco’s 2004 Hottest Chef Contest. After graduating from ICE, he returned home to Nashville where he is the Executive Chef and Owner of not one, but three restaurants. (Cha Chah, Suzy Wong’s House of Yum and PM). We sat down and asked him about his style, Top Chef and what advice he has for culinary students.
How would you describe your cooking style?
My style is a reflection of all the things I love. I was fortunate enough to travel a lot when I was growing up and my style definitely knows no boundaries. It’s bold and ambitious, but also playful and whimsical. I appreciate everything from the simplest to most complex flavors and combinations. My food is aesthetic, presentation is very important to me. In terms of ingredients and preparations, I love anything with peas. I die for peas. Also, we have been making smoked vinegar in the restaurant lately and using it a lot. It’s very cool.
Why did you want to be on Top Chef?
My hunger for culinary competitions started at ICE. I have always been competitive. I was a competitive figure skater and I loved the adrenaline rush of performing for an audience. Being the back of the house in my restaurants, I missed being in front of the public eye. I was excited to go back up front for the show. Top Chef indulges all my vices. The only difference is that when you are skating if you have a bad competition, you go back next year. On Top Chef you only get one shot.
How did ICE prepare you for Top Chef?
At ICE, I loved being right in Manhattan. Everything was easily accessible. We were immersed in cooking and food. We spent everyday in kitchens that were like actual operating restaurant kitchens. ICE gave me the foundation and support I needed. Everyone there made me believe that what I created was good product. Now my instructors are rock stars in their own right. I see them on TV and in magazines all the time. Hopefully, I’m not too far behind them.
Do you have any advice for students?
I do this because I love it. I am open to new things and keep experiencing new things. My big advice would be to adopt that same philosophy. Keep trying more and more and don’t over analyze everything. Remember that everybody has a vision and they are creating something special. Don’t over critique. Just embrace it and love it for what it is!
Here’s hoping that Arnold’s luck was with him in D.C. And don’t forget the fan favorite competition!