Michael Lavine /Bravo
December 04, 2008 12:00 AM

This week, the chefs didn’t just have to cook under pressure. They had to present their food in a live TV segment — and complete a dish in less than two minutes. After serving up some undercooked cr me brulee — and going over his time limit — Alex Eusebio was sent packing. But there was good news for the chef: After leaving the show, he got married on Martha’s Vineyard in August.

Calling to discuss his elimination, Eusebio opened up about the challenge — he hated it, as it turns out — and tackled our five burning questions. — Brian Orloff

Congratulations on your wedding. Can you talk about how that affected your time on the show — if it did at all?Going into the show, I knew I was getting married, so I had bigger things on my plate. And it affected my performance because everyday I’d think about what’s going on with the wedding. While I was away, I got freaked out. I was like, “Oh my god I’m getting married. I’ve got to write my vows!”

Were you surprised that Melissa used that against you at the judges’ table? I was like, “I can’t believe she said that.” At that point you could tell from my body language I didn’t really want to be there. It wasn’t fair to my wife, so maybe that’s what Melissa read into. I was a little surprised and a little disappointed that she would do that. One of my rules was don’t throw anybody under the bus. But my attitude factored in. If I would have said something, I think I would have stayed.

Do you regret not making a more vocal defense?Not really at the time. Now, I wish I would have actually. It’s after the show when all your friends are like, “I can’t believe you were on the show. It’s such a big deal.” I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal.

What did you think about this challenge? It was rather unconventional for the show.I hated the challenge from the beginning. I didn’t like it. It wasn’t cooking in my opinion. Some of us do not want to be on camera. Some of us do not want to be the Rocco DiSpirito‘s of the world, and I’m one of those guys. Also a lot of my cooking involves braising and something that took a little bit longer than an hour worth of cooking.

Was fair that you were eliminated since this challenge called on you to do more than just cook?Was it fair? We all had to do it, so we’re in the same boat. Do I like the challenge? No. But is it fair that I went home? Yeah, I’m fine with going home.

Our Top Chef 5 Burning Questions:

Describe your Top Chef experience in one word.Entertaining.

What is in your refrigerator right now?Beer, leftovers, rice, leftover Chinese food, milk, more beer — I have a drawer full of beer and fine cheese.

Name one food you cannot stand.Indian food. I’ve had a bad deck of cards. Everybody knows that I don’t like Indian food, and my first challenge was to cook Indian food.

Pick your favorite fast food restaurant.Carl’s Jr.

Best thing about cooking in New York?Motivation and inspiration. You just get inspired to cook in New York. Michael Lavine /Bravo

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