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Tea and Peanuts: It's Round Three of Top Chef with Stacy Cogswell

The third episode of Top Chef aired last night, and local chef and competitor Stacy Cogswell is back to discuss the experience. Spoilers ahead.

Stacy Cogswell
Stacy Cogswell
Bravo/Provided

Congrats! Episode three under your belt, how does it feel?

Yea, you know, it's a small, small victory in a sense for me. Before I went on the show, and this is going to sound bad, but it's the truth — I told myself that if I made it three rounds, I'm going to be happy with it all. So now I'm happy, and it was time to set the next goal.

What did you think when they announced a tea challenge? Where you expecting at some point for there to be a tea challenge with it being in Boston?

Being in Boston, we're somewhat expecting some of those historical references, so I wasn't really surprised at all. I'm a coffee drinker all the way, and I don't really drink tea, so I personally was a little nervous about the challenge.

Do you cook a lot with tea normally?

I mean I've done a little, but not a lot. I don't really care for tea at all. I've done some tea-smoking and things like that, but it's not something I'm into. Even when I'm sick, people are like, "Let me make you some tea," and I'm just like, "I don't think so."

They didn't show what you made — what was it?

There are extra scenes that are on the Bravo website, so people can see it if they want. I had a Chai masala tea, which I was really happy about. If I do drink tea for some reason, I'll have that, because it's the most like coffee. I did a rub with the chai for some steak. It was really delicious.

Were you surprised by Aaron's choice to pick Katie for the sudden death challenge?

I was very surprised. I was so sure that it was going to be myself or Keriann because of what happened in the last episode.

It seemed like a lot of people were rooting for Aaron to go home. Were you?

My nature is to never really pick sides or wish ill on people. I was just interested in seeing how it all played out. I mean, you really form a bond with people on the show, and you don't want anyone to go home.

For the Fenway challenge, you seemed excited about getting the peanuts. Did you have a plan from the start?

When the concession guys came out, it was like run up there and grab. I didn't go for anything in particular. It was just a crazy time. I was happy I had the peanuts and didn't get stuck with something like cotton candy.

It was overwhelming, not in the challenge necessarily but more because I'm a Bostonian through and through. It was just about me being in Fenway and serving my food to all of those people.

Like any Bostonian at Fenway would be, you seemed very emotional to be cooking there. What was that like for you personally?

It was so crazy. It was a lot of different things going on in my head. It was overwhelming, not in the challenge necessarily but more because I'm a Bostonian through and through. It was just about me being in Fenway and serving my food to all of those people. Watching it last night was so overwhelming to me because I was able to remember what it was like to do that. I still can't believe I got to do that, and I was so thankful for the opportunity. I couldn't get that grin off of my face at the time and last night too. It was just really, really cool. There was just so much emotion. I was in total awe of where I was.

Thinking back from episode one to last night's episode, did you notice a change in people's competitiveness as things got "more real"?

As the reality sets in that at any time someone can go home, it becomes more real. There's still some competitiveness, and it's just everyone facing the reality that they're here on the show and could go home.

I couldn't spend the time focusing on other people and what they were doing; I just felt like I needed to keep my head down and cook.

Thinking back, at this point, had you identified people that you thought were a threat or someone to really watch?

I never really thought about that. I felt that I should be thinking about that, but I knew that if I stopped focusing on me and my food, I'd be doing myself a disservice. I couldn't spend the time focusing on other people and what they were doing; I just felt like I needed to keep my head down and cook.

What do you think about the decision to send Ron home?

Ron is an amazing chef, and he's very successful. He's genuinely a really good guy, and it was sad to see him go. Part of being there in that experience, it was all about learning from people's mistakes. You could make a slight mistake and go. He was just a great person to have in the house and to have around.

Any comments on anything else from last night's show you want share?

If there's one thing I hope I get out of this, is that's I hope the Red Sox take me up on throwing out the first pitch at a game. [Laughs.] And I wanted people to know that I could throw a ball.

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