Kitchen realities: Alexis Randolph of G. Michael's Bistro

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Do you watch any cooking shows?

I like to watch "Kitchen Nightmares" and "Top Chef." I like "Kitchen Nightmares" because it baffles me that so many people own restaurants and don't know what they're doing.

On "Top Chef," you're watching people at the top of their game. You watch them being creative, and sometimes that helps inspire me to come up with new things at work.

What effect has the popularity of those shows had on your industry?

It's inspiring. It's brought a lot of people in that think they would really enjoy cooking.

What inspired you to become a chef?

It kind of was the chefs on TV, I guess. My dad used to watch the cooking shows when I was little, and I would watch them with him. My dad got to have fun with me because I wasn't a picky eater, and the rest of the family was. We would go out to lunches by ourselves.

What misconceptions do TV shows give the public about cooking?

Someone like Rachael Ray makes it look so easy. But she has people helping her put things together. When you have to do it yourself, it's much more difficult. They don't show how much work it takes.

Also, I think a lot of people think that chefs can be real tyrants. It is a very stressful job, and there is going to be yelling. But for the most part it's like a second family.

Do the TV shows help people understand what you do?

Shows like "Top Chef" and "Hell's Kitchen" give you a sense of the urgency. People expect their food to be ready in 15 to 20 minutes. We're trying to expedite the cooking process. We're trying our best to make your food as fast as we can and as delicious as we can.

On "Hell's Kitchen" or "Kitchen Nightmares," diners constantly return food to the kitchen. Is that common in real life?

People on TV are probably told to send things back to cause drama. There are the occasional things that come back, because no one's perfect. A few guests are never really happy. You can't really let it get you down.

What advice do you have for aspiring chefs?

Everyone needs to have the ability to multitask. If you can't, you can't hack it.

Alexis Randolph

Age: 27

Title: Sous chef, G. Michael's Bistro

Hometown: Columbus

Neighborhood: Clintonville