The Biggest Lessons Dale Talde Learned From Top Chef - Exclusive

If you've heard of chef Dale Talde, there's a good chance it's because you got hooked on his infectious energy and bold cooking style while watching him on "Top Chef." Talde has been both a contestant and a judge on the show, and has become a fan favorite along the way. Since then, he's built a career as a restaurant owner, cookbook author, and TV host. You can catch him these days sharing his best barbecue secrets and beyond on "All Up In My Grill," now in its second season. There's no doubt that Talde can thank his time on "Top Chef" for helping him get to where he is today, and he is the first to admit it.

Mashed recently got the chance to catch up with Talde and chat about his latest accomplishments. In an exclusive interview, Talde also talked about his "Top Chef" days, and shared some of the biggest lessons he learned on the show.

'Top Chef' taught Dale Talde that there are no limits in the kitchen

If you're going to be successful on "Top Chef," it's going to take more than just culinary skills to get to the top, at least according to chefs who've lived through it. "It's not always the best chef on those shows that wins," declared Dale Talde. He'll be the first to tell you that mastering "Top Chef" is all about "being able to cook on the fly" and being able to extract creativity under the most chaotic of circumstances. Through challenge after challenge, the chefs are put to the test in wild ways, and there are no excuses at the judges' table.

And, if you can survive that, there's no culinary obstacle that can't be overcome. "What that show specifically has taught me is that anything is possible," said Talde. "Some people will look at challenges and say, 'Oh my God, it's impossible.'" But as Talde explained, those epic tasks on the show only serve to make the chefs even better and bolder once the cameras aren't rolling. "If you have to cook for 300 people ... and you have 24 hours, [you're] going to do the best job you can," he said, adding that, "Of course, it's not going to be perfect," but even just pushing yourself to get through the challenge "shows that, [given] more time, I can do this." 

In other words, no matter what happens in the kitchen, whatever nightmare scenario a chef may find themselves in, Talde said that what "Top Chef" shows you "is that you're a good enough chef to get yourself out of it." And it's that level of fortitude and confidence that helped Talde go from "Top Chef" to taking the culinary world by storm — opening multiple restaurants, hosting his own show, and wherever the road may lead next.

"All Up In My Grill" Season 2 premiered May 25 on Tastemade. New episodes will air on Tastemade's streaming network — available across platforms like YouTube TV, Samsung TV Plus, VIZIO SmartCast TVs, The Roku Channel, Comcast Xfinity X1, and more — and on the Tastemade+ app.