Mallory (Malou) Gabsi, Belgian candidate for Top Chef. - RTLBelgium / Karimbo

This Wednesday evening, on M6, Mallory Gabsi will cook to try to win his place in the quarterfinals of Top Chef. For this young 23 year old Belgian to arrive in front of the cameras, it will have taken time and production, patience. From his journey in Top Chef , Malou drew wisdom. His head is now more on the shoulders than in the stars. This does not prevent him from having gastronomic dreams.

Should we say "hello Mallory" or "hello Malou"?

In fact, I don't really like my first name so growing up, my parents started calling me Malou. Today, all my relatives call me like that. My mom is the only one who says Mallory when she's mad at me!

Before arriving at Top Chef , how did you fall into the kitchen?

When I went to the humanities [secondary education], my parents told me that I had to find what I wanted to do. Since I liked to cook at home, I told myself that I was going to try cooking. I got into it and I really loved it.

Did you already have a particular dish that you liked to cook at the time?

I never really cooked, but I remember that after soccer training, I came home with a friend and I made omelettes. I practiced on it, I did a lot. It was later that I started to do more elaborate things. My first real elaborate dish that I cooked at home was a fish crust with puff pastry.

Why did you take time before agreeing to participate in Top Chef  ?

M6 contacted me for the first time on social networks to participate in Objectif Top Chef . At that time I was not hot, I did not feel ready. The production contacted me two years ago for Top Chef directly, but my grandmother had just returned to the hospital, it was not the right time. I told myself that one day I would do this show. And then last year, M6 called directly into the kitchens of the restaurant where I worked to ask if people wanted to participate in Top Chef . I was not there, it was the pastry chef who answered and who gave my name and number. The production called me. Two days later, I embarked on the adventure.

Why did you finally decide to accept?

I really like challenges, culinary challenges. I also told myself that participating in a TV show was an opportunity for my family to see me working. They know that I work in a Michelin-starred restaurant, but they've never really seen me cook. Except at home, but it's not the same thing.

And how did you manage the TV aspect, cameras, pressure?

The start of filming came at the wrong time because we were starting to move the restaurant. One day, M6 came to shoot my portrait at the restaurant. When the team left, I had such pressure all day that I cried. All the staff of the Sea Grill had mobilized to make the restaurant beautiful. I realized that they did all this for me and it made me realize that my life was going to change. The first shoot didn't go very well because I was severely stressed. The cooking of my custard was a bit missed. From the second broadcast, I was in the bath. The teams are very strong to put the candidates at ease.

How is Hélène Darroze?

In my head, I wanted to go with Paul Pairet or Chef Etchebest. But in the end I am happy to have fallen with Hélène Darroze. She adorable and has a huge heart. It helps young people who want to learn. Technically, she didn't bring me much because we don't make Top Chef for that. However, it made me think about other things, like having consistency in a dish, recalling a product.

Have you participated in Top Chef, will it help you for your future?

I think it may be time to get started. I had always dreamed of setting up a gourmet restaurant, aiming for the best and having fame as in the Michelin guide. It's no longer my thing today to chase after the stars. Top Chef , and especially the test of the restaurant war, made me think. Now people don't want to spend three hours in a restaurant. They want to eat well, quickly and inexpensively. Taking these things into account, there is a way to do something very cool, like what we did with Adrien in the restaurant war.

In the short term, do you already know what you are going to do?

Whatever happens, I promised my boss to open the new restaurant, La villa Lorraine, with him in late August. Two weeks ago, I received a message from Yannick Alléno. He contacted me on social media saying he wanted to talk to me. It's nice, because I've been a fan of him for 12 years. When I wanted to go to France, it was to work for him. I couldn't because my grandmother was coming back to the hospital. And today, he's the one he wants to talk to me!


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