B Ocean Fort Lauderdale tapped Hell's Kitchen season 7 winner Holli Ugalde as their "Celebrity Signature Chef," which means she has created some dishes for the menus there and that she will host three 90 minute cooking classes June 24-26. Classes cost $50 each or $125 for all three. While Ugalde's HK grand prize of working at the Savoy in London never came to fruition due to visa issues, she told us in a recent Q&A that she didn't really mind. As for her former tor(mentor) Gordon Ramsay, she learned a few things besides speaking ^#*^#@*&Q^ fluently.
Eater Miami: Are you upset you never got to work at the Savoy in London?
Holli Ugalde: I'm not upset at all about not going to London. I am excited to be in control of my own future and have the freedom to develop my style of cooking.
EM: When was the last time you spoke with Gordon Ramsay?
HU: The last time I spoke with Gordon Ramsay was a week after the show finale aired, we did Lopez Tonight together.
EM: What did you learn from Ramsay?
HU: I would be lying if I said that I didn't learn any cooking techniques from Ramsay, but mostly I gained confidence in my own abilities.
EM: What did your stint on Hell's Kitchen do for (or against) your career?
HU: Hell's Kitchen gave me the global exposure I needed to do the things I have always wanted to do as a chef. Also it gave me the confidence to know that I can do just about anything if I work hard enough.
EM: How did you get involved with B Ocean Fort Lauderdale?
HU: I met the owners of the hotel before there was a Chef associated with B Ocean and it was an instant match. The people behind the B brand are amazing and talented, it’s exciting to work with all of them.
EM: Have you visited Hell's Kitchen runner up Paula Da Silva's restaurant 1500 Degrees at the Eden Roc in Miami to trade war stories?
HU: I haven't made it down there yet. I've never met Paula but I hope I get the chance to soon, I've heard good things.
EM: Any favorite South Florida restaurants besides the one you're working for?
HU: I haven't been to as many of the local restaurants as I would like, but I love 3030 Ocean. The fresh seafood is perfectly executed and the staff is amazing.
EM: Would you ever participate in a cooking competition TV show again?
HU: I don't think that I would, its a great experience but I'd rather focus on making great food at B Ocean and traveling the world for my new show. [Fire and Spice, Appetite for Adventure, a web-based video travel show debuting in July].
EM:Do you watch any other cooking reality shows ie. Top Chef, etc?
HU: I enjoy everything related to food so I watch all those kinds of shows when I have time.
EM: Your signature dish?
HU: I don't have a signature dish. I prefer to create unique tasty dishes based on the freshest ingredients available. Sometimes ill go to the market and just pick out the nicest looking produce and create a dish around those items, then that's my signature dish for that day!
To purchase tickets to Ugalde's classes, call 954-564-1000 x5216. [EaterWire]