Oh, Motto. What’s a Motto with you? You upped your game just when it counted. You never faced elimination. You finally revealed you have 12 toes. And, apparently, you lost the coin toss and allowed your fellow rookie, Chris Mendonca, to use your shared first name. But why, oh, why did you wait until right before the two-hour “Hell’s Kitchen” finale this Friday at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox to announce that you had second thoughts and opted to go back to Baton Rouge to use what you learned to raise the culinary standard of the Louisiana city?
Your devotion to your community and to the people you love is admirable. The rest of the final four — Mia Castro, Bret Hauser and especially Ariel Contreras-Fox, who was moved to tears when you said, “I want to go back. I want to start a family” – respected your decision. Chef Gordon Ramsay was clearly disappointed but he respected that you chose to no longer compete for the position of executive chef at his new Las Vegas restaurant. He also said he never met a chef on the show as sincere as Motto and even suggested he should call him when he is done in Baton Rouge.
Now, that is all well and fine. BUT … if I were Heather Williams, the veteran chef who was eliminated on the previous episode, well, I would be upset. If Motto had stepped away then, veteran Williams – who was a runner-up on Season 16 – would have yet another chance to go all the way. That said, I don’t think she would have, since her cooking was so hit or miss. But now we will never know.
It just so happens that Motto did an interview last week with a Baton Rouge-based magazine, 225. The most valuable lesson he learned from being on the show? “Stay true to yourself. … I wasn’t going to change myself for anybody. I wasn’t going to fall into any drama. I wasn’t playing ‘Survivor’ games. I was going there to cook.” As for what he thinks about the sometimes fearsome Ramsay, he says, “I appreciate the fact that he’s still passionate about what he does so many years down the road, because this can be a brutal profession.”
Now it is time for you to choose how you feel in our poll about Motto’s decision. And whether it was unfair to the other chefts who would have gladly taken his spot in the final four.