Interview with Hell’s Kitchen’s Jessica Cabo

 
 

AE: Do you think that you were set up in terms of that night, being given that champagne.
JC:
They gave us those two bottles of champagne. Michael doesn’t really drink—me and Ralph drank them. I drank an entire bottle and had already been up for 24 hours, so I went to go to bed and they wake me up like 15 minutes later. Even Ralph—he called me "little one"—said: she’s little and she just drank an entire bottle of champagne—that’s a lot.

AE: Did you have the feeling you were losing the challenge?
JC:
The guests really liked the chicken. It was good. I watched the show with my friends and when they said I got stuck making chicken everyone was like “AWWW!” Because I don’t even order chicken.

AE: You don’t like it?
JC:
I think there’s better things on the menu. Chicken’s a little boring. What do you do to make chicken sexy?

AE: Chicken tastes the same, basically, no matter how you prepare it. I mean you stuffed it with goat cheese and herbs, wrapped it in prosciuto. You tried.
JC:
It came out excellent. It tasted good—looked awesome. I actually felt confident about my dish. It was ordered and people did like it. So dinner was fine, but I was also assigned the dessert station. Since it was narrowed down to three, they had an outside person make all of our dessert stuff, so the ice cream wasn’t frozen, the berries were smushed up and looked awful. I walked back there to a disaster. With ice cream, if it’s not frozen, it’s not frozen. What do you do? That was my downfall, but that was also the time that I was like—I’m not ready. Those two guys are amazing cooks. I got voted off in the best way.

AE: You looked happy actually.
JC:
Chef Ramsay said, “You walk out the front door.” I was actually fine with the way it happened. Now that it’s done and I look at it—I wasn’t super calculating and sometimes think, I could’ve been more. I also think of the business side of things. The final challenge of designing a restaurant—that’s where I could’ve come in and completely excelled.

AE: What did Courtney think seeing you kicked off the show, during the moment it happened?
JC:
Courtney and my family had to vote not knowing who cooked what and hoped they didn’t vote for the wrong thing. Courtney knows I don’t eat chicken. Bonnie, my sister, did no wrong. And my mom really likes filets… Also, it was my time. I was having a hard time in the kitchen.

AE: You were on another reality show, called Dodgeball?
JC:
It was on the gameshow network—Extreme Dodgeball. It aired last summer. I got recognized after that too because on Jet Blue they play the game show network all the time. On the Fox message boards viewers mentioned it. They also mentioned this VH1 show Courtney and I were on, Totally Gay. Some people thought I was an actress. Of course I’m not. I’ve always been in plays, in rock shows. I’ve had that performative bug. I think a show on the Food Network would be awesome. I could be a female version of Jamie Oliver. I even ride a Vespa. I’m doing a website—JessicaCabo.com with food reviews. I’m a Zagat whore—they send me free copies and I write stuff for them.

AE: You mentioned the posting boards. Have you been reading those?
JC:
How can you not? Sometime people would say “I love Jessica!” and that would be cool. I’m on myspace and friendster and people would write me after the kiss episode to say “That was so awesome. It makes me feel like I can be out.” That was really cool. Sometimes they say cruel things too.

AE: Were there homophobic comments?
JC:
Some of them are rude, or disgusting… What made me feel good, though, is my sister is a born again Christian and she called me and said that she worked with two guys that were gay that said they loved me because I was a lesbian, and I know that it was hard for her to say that word, but she said she’s really proud of me. My mom, my grandparents, my entire family is behind me. It kind of sums up the way that I am, the way that Fox dealt with the subject. I wouldn’t necessarily define myself first as gay, although I definitely am. Fox didn’t make a big deal out of it.

AE: And if someone has a problem, that’s their issue, not yours.
JC:
Exactly.

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