“I was breastfeeding my son during the filming”
INTERVIEW – The young mother who lives in Naples has left the M6 culinary competition.
Carla Ferrari has left the “Top Chef” competition after a very nice career. The 26-year-old cook, living in Naples and mother of a little boy, was not chosen by Adrien Cachot during the test on the cause to be defended. She had decided to highlight breastfeeding because she herself wanted to continue to feed her child throughout her participation in the M6 competition. On waivers with Mathieu, it was finally Glenn Viel who decided between them by tasting the bites they had made during the event. A lack of balance in his preparation got the better of his presence on the show. While participating in the launch of the Cantina Francesa restaurant, which could not open during the restaurant war, with her friends Jean and Mathieu, she confides in her experience in the competition.
TV MAGAZINE. – How did you react after your elimination?
Carla FERRARI. – With philosophy because I knew it could happen. When I started the contest, I didn’t think I would go this far. I was very moved because the pressure fell suddenly. “Top Chef” is a bubble in which we live for a few months and, when it stops, it’s quite funny. But I lived it in a rather positive way by drawing only good from it.
What made you want to do this competition?
I think the opportunity to participate in “Top Chef” only comes once in a lifetime. It was a somewhat special moment in my professional and personal life because I had just sold my restaurant, moved and become a mother. It seemed like bad timing and ultimately it was the right time to challenge myself and renew myself. The production had contacted me last year and there was no follow-up. When I was called back again, I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass.
Read also“Top Chef”: what is Cantina Francesa, Jean, Carla and Mathieu’s restaurant worth?
What does the show represent for you?
I’ve been a big fan of “Top Chef” since I was little so I see it as an institution, a guarantee of quality and professionalism. It allowed me to meet chefs and fellow cooks so it was also a great school of life.
You all seem very close…
It’s true ! I didn’t necessarily expect to find a group of friends, especially given my situation as a young mother because I had little time to party and participate in the competition side. Despite this, I have forged many bonds with everyone. We were close and we stuck together during the filming.
Besides Cantina Francesa, do you have any projects together?
I am going to have a four-handed dinner with Sarika in a few weeks in the restaurant Les residents dans le 17e where she currently has a residence, a place where I also worked before.
“It changes that there is still this parity at this stage of the competition. When I left, my wish was to see Sarika go further. »
During the episode broadcast this Wednesday, May 17, you were two women and two men, it hadn’t happened for a long time…
We were very happy and we said to ourselves that it makes a difference that there is still this parity at this stage of the competition. When I left, my wish was to see Sarika go as far as possible.
How did you manage the competition with your little boy who was five months old during filming?
He was with his nanny during the day and then my mother or my brother took turns taking care of him and bringing him to me at the hotel to feed him and spend time with him. For me, it was a sine qua non to participate. And it went well.
Read also“Top Chef”: a diabolical black box
During your last test imagined by Adrien Cachot, you wanted to defend breastfeeding. Did you breastfeed your son during the competition?
Yes I was breastfeeding my son. It was a message that was particularly important for me to convey because it was part of my daily life during filming. It was an extra logistics because I was pumping my milk between events.
Do you want to defend the fact that women can assume everything?
I think you have to choose what you want to do but you can reconcile personal and professional life. It’s important both to push yourself to the limit and also to set limits. Personally, I didn’t want to manage the pizzeria and a child at the same time because I spent six days out of seven almost day and night there. On the other hand, participating in “Top Chef” was something I wanted to do even though I knew it was going to be difficult in the short term. I did it with a clear conscience and I’m happy with it. I try to make the right decisions to be fulfilled as a mother and as a cook.
“We have polar opposites, but opposites attract. »
Carla Ferrari on Philippe Etchebest
What connection do you have with Philippe Etchebest, your brigade leader?
We have polar opposites, but opposites attract. He expected a lot from me and the bond was created with trust over the weeks and what I was able to show him. It moved me a lot during my elimination to see that he was disappointed and that he believed in it too. We are still in contact and, moreover, I am going to eat at his house in a few weeks in Bordeaux.
What did you expect from this adventure and what did you remember?
I was curious to see how “Top Chef” is going from the inside. Otherwise, I didn’t necessarily have any expectations, especially since everything happened quickly between the moment I knew I was selected and the start of the competition. On the other hand, I found a lot of motivation and inspiration there thanks to the brigade leaders, the guests and the candidates. It was very rewarding.
Read alsoThe “Top Chef” notebook: Paul Pairet and Philippe Etchebest struggling in the restaurant war
Do you have any upcoming projects?
I don’t want to open a storefront business right now. My goal is to divide myself between Paris and Naples where I live where I am mainly a chef at home and where I take care of events. Thanks to “Top Chef”, I have some pretty fun projects for pop-ups, residences or card signatures. I will be at Cantina Francesa starting next week and at Bistrot Top Chef on May 31 for a meal. Then, there will be four hands with Sarika and, from September, I will be in the kitchen in Paris very often but I can’t say where yet.
We found out on the show that you wrote a cookbook when you were 13. How was your passion for cooking born?
I usually say that it was born out of spite because, at home, nobody cooked. Every Sunday, we went to the market and bought good products, but then we steamed everything without salt! The kitchen quickly became my favorite space. First I made brownies, cookies then savory, vegetables, fish, meat. I would not have thought of making it my job and finally when I decided on my orientation, it came back as evidence. I went to the Ferrandi school.
What was your career path then?
I worked in Laguiole with Michel Bras and then at L’Astrance with Pascal Barbot. Besides, my worst memory of “Top Chef” was the Black Box because I couldn’t cook and, when I left the kitchen, I realized that Chef Barbot was organizing the event. I was beside myself not being able to cook for him! Because Astrance was really a great school for me and Pascal Barbot is my mentor. Fortunately, I was able to see it and it boosted me for the rest of the competition. For the rest of my career, I went to Italy to study and do a Masters. I wanted to undertake and open a restaurant. I met my husband there and never left again. I then decided to launch a pizzeria which was ranked among the best pizzerias in Italy.
Did you recognize yourself on screen?
Not too much but I think it’s still a little weird to see each other. I find myself less spontaneous than I am. This is not the opinion of my relatives so it is I who make a fix. I look stressed on the show even though that’s not my day-to-day personality at all. It’s true that during the competition, I put a lot of pressure on myself because of the sacrifices I was making. I told myself that I couldn’t miss the hardships and that I had to go as far as possible to make it worth doing all that.
Were you able to discover your cuisine thanks to the competition?
In recent years, my cooking and my vision of cooking have evolved because I have gone back to basics. I like authentic things more and more. “Top chef” allowed me to put words to it and prove that my cooking is simple but makes sense.