By People Staff
April 17, 2008 12:00 AM
Chuck Hodes/Bravo

Last night’s Top Chef made it clear that Chicagoans are serious about two things: their food and their sports teams. The challenge for the remaining chefs: to cater tailgating parties before a Chicago Bears game. And while some were totally at ease with feeding the masses … Antonia‘s jerk chicken sandwich delighted and Dale handily won with his finger-lickin’ spicy ribs … other chefs just weren’t sure how to tone down their gourmet impulses. Case in point: ousted chef Ryan admitted that (1) he was not a sports fan and (2) he wasn’t willing to compromise his vision. In his case, that meant making a panzanella salad with chicken and poached pears for dessert. As you can imagine, the dishes didn’t go down well with hungry Bears fans … and Ryan was sent packing.

Back in San Francisco, the ousted chef sent us a refreshing … and seasonal… recipe for succotash (after the jump) and talked to about his ouster from the show. Ryan’s Summer Sungold Tomato and Sweet Corn Succotash 4 pints Sungold cherry tomatoes, halved and seasoned with salt and pepper 1/2 cup sweet yellow corn, cooked and shucked off the cob 1/2 cup edamame, cooked and peeled 1 red pepper, diced 3 T ni oise olives, halved 2 T large capers, minced 1 tsp prepared horseradish 1 T tarragon, minced 1 T oregano, minced 2 T white balsamic vinegar (or sherry vinegar) 2 T extra virgin olive oil Kosher salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and season to taste. Store in refrigerator for up to a week. Serve the dish at room temperature.

Tell us about the succotash recipe. Is it a staple of yours?This is a recipe that can make, mix, put it in their fridge and hold it for a week – and that’s my style of cooking: simple, fast and delicious. I want to inspire to go out and cook and involve themselves in their local farmers’ markets.

For this challenge, real ‘s opinions seemed to weigh just as much as the judges’ criticism. Did you get feedback from the tailgaters?Huge feedback, and that was the thing. I was absolutely surprised by the elimination. People were coming up and giving me hugs, saying hello and saying this food was phenomenal. I think it was a twist … something different than they were used to. So it was nice to throw a different spin on the classic hamburger they were used to . . . and doing a dessert on the grill.

You were in the bottom with Nikki and Mark, who the judges complained was unsanitary. Did you witness him cooking?Nikki was to my right and Mark was actually to my left. I definitely saw Mark. His grill wasn’t even ready until 15 minutes before were rushing over . . . I wouldn’t call Mark unsanitary. It’s hard to cook out there … and it’s hard to cook with no utensils and trying to do it on a barbecue.

So, after all this will you ever tailgate again?I would be honored if someone asked me to do a tailgate party, are you kidding me? Bring it on. Have the San Francisco 49ers invite me to the – I don’t even know the name of their stadium. Laughs Oh my God! I’m a big sports fan, can’t you tell? But I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Chuck Hodes/Bravo