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5 questions with Nick Lacasse

Spoiler alert! The ousted 'Around the World in 80 Plates' chef looks back on his experience

  • Nick Lacasse on "Around the World in 80 Plates" with fellow cast member Avery Pursell.
Nick Lacasse on "Around the World in 80 Plates" with fellow cast… (Virgina Sherwood/Bravo )
June 14, 2012|By Lisa Arnett | For RedEye

The second of three chefs with Chicago ties on Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates” reached the end of the road Wednesday night.

Nick Lacasse, who has worked as chef at The Drawing Room in the Gold Coast for the past six years, performed well in the episode’s cooking challenges, but was voted off the show as a result of his fellow team members’ immunity and alliances with one another. Even though his journey was cut short, we’ll always remember him for spouting off one of the funniest one-liners of the series so far: When fellow team member Steve “Nookie” Postal asked him if he was having trouble carrying an 80-pound wheel of parmesan cheese through the streets of Bologna, he responded with, “It’s just slippery and awkward ... like your sex life.”

About last night’s episode, I’m just gonna come out and say it: You totally got screwed.
I know. It was a situation that I could have grabbed the reins earlier and I didn’t have the big picture in mind. To be barking up Nicole’s tree was a moot point [when she had immunity]. I should have really highlighted Avery’s missteps and I would have upped my odds for success.

You were pretty honest in your on-air interviews about which other chefs were irking you at the time. Did the producers have to goad you into talking about the other chefs, or did you feel like spilling your guts?
You know, none of the other chefs know until the show airs what each person says, and I knew everybody was sort of talking [bleep] to some degree or another. … I’ve kind of come to discover that each one of us has kind of an identity. Like Chevin is the super-boastful ... full of himself [one.] Chaz is [the] angry black man. Nookie is like the sort-of scheming, I’m-going-to-do-whatever-it-takes-to-win [guy]. And I kind of figured out that I’m the snarky, annoyed by everything, call-it-like-I-see-it-type.

What has life been like since the show?
I don’t feel all that different. We’ve had maybe two people come into the restaurant because of the show. Nobody’s recognized me on the street or anything like that. My staff is watching loyally and that’s great. I certainly don’t feel like a reality TV star by any stretch. I think it’s because my personality is so understated. Nookie’s like signing boobs and stuff!

What was the most memorable city that you visited during filming?
I loved Marrakech. I was very much looking to get out of Europe, so after England, France and Spain … I was like, sweet, we’re finally outside of everyone’s comfort zone and we’re seeing the world. I was hoping the next stop would be Bulgaria—or basically someplace where [fellow cast member] Jenna [Johansen] doesn’t speak the language.

What are you up to next?
Last Saturday was my last day at The Drawing Room. … I am very much looking forward to doing something new, so this summer I’m potentially going to be doing some pop-up dinners and lots of events and, you know, just kind of enjoying my summer. I’ve got some tickets to the Red Sox-Cubs game and my family’s coming to town to visit. Any potential restaurant owners that want to open a place and give me a job, you can feel free to put that in there!

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