The Refrigerator Challenge: Top Chef Season 10 Contestant Danyele McPherson

The premiere of Top Chef’s tenth season airs  Wednesday night on Bravo at 9PM. Dallas has three (out of 21) contestants on the show: Danyele McPherson (The Grape), John Tesar (Spoon), and Joshua Valentine (FT 33).

I’ve asked all three chefs to send me photos of their refrigerators and answer a questionnaire about their food-storing habits. I don’t know if they will all participate in this challenge, but Danyele McPherson sent her stuff in this morning.

So,  I’d like to introduce you to Danyele McPherson, chef de cuisine at The Grape. She is also an anthropologist. She drinks beer, wastes produce, and eats Smart Ones.

Jump for the cold hard facts.

Closed fridge (right); open fridge (left)

SD: What is the oldest item in your refrigerator at this moment?

DM: It’s a toss up between 3 pieces of string cheese and some giardiniera Chef Brian Luscher made.

SD: What ingredient do you always have to have in your home refrigerator?

DM: Valentina hot sauce, it makes everything taste better.

SD: How old is your home refrigerator?

DM: I just moved on October 8th, so as far as I’m concerned it’s brand new.  I’m just glad it didn’t have standing water and a west nile breeding ground in it like my dishwasher when I moved in.

Danyele’s top shelf freezer

SD: Is there an ingredient you always buy and never use?

DM: I’m going to have to say produce.  I realize that’s a rather broad category, but let’s face it, I have grand plans for dinners when I’m off work, but all I really want to do is eat someone else’s food.

SD: What does your home refrigerator say about your personality?

DM: I think it says I’m a bachelor, would you like a beer?

SD:If you win Top Chef, will you buy a new refrigerator, lawn mower, or boat? If none of these, then name your first acquisition.

DM: I’m 31 and renting, so the first thing I will buy is a couple plane tickets to NC to visit my friends and family.

SD: How about your freezer? What do you have hidden in there?

DM: The freezer probably houses more items I actually use daily like Jimmy Dean breakfast sandwiches, Lean Cuisine and Smart Ones meals…yeah I eat that stuff.

SD: What kind of beer are we likely to find in your home fridge?

DM: Budweiser Select 55.

SD: How about wine? What is your go-to white wine?

DM: I’m more of a beer drinker, but I Iike Little James Sauvignon Blanc Viognier.

SD: What items rot most frequently in your home fridge?

DM: Yogurt.  I always buy too much or lose interest in my flavor selection long before the expiration date could still be considered flexible.


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