Top Chef Masters: An Interview with Susan Feniger

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Susan Feniger (Elise Thompson/LAist)

Susan Feniger of Susan Feniger's Street will be competing for title of Top Chef Master during season two. We took this opportunity to check in with LA's most cheerful chef (and to try to finagle some Kaya Toast).

Who did you have the most fun working with?
Honestly, all the people I had the chance to work with were down to earth, open and great to hang with…getting to know new people and see old friends…that was a great part of this experience.

Who did you feel would be your biggest competition going into the competition? Everyone, including myself!!!! Just isn’t typically my style to compete. I'm a team player, love to be a part of a team, so this whole thing was scary!!!!!!

Do you have a cooking weakness (pie dough, butchering, Russian food, etc)? For sure pastries….as so many of the chefs! But also, in my career, I like to think about things, try them, test, retest, tweak…that is definitely NOT what this is about...but it’s all part of the experience, and for sure a learning one!!! (about myself!)

What is the best part of being on Top Chef Masters?
Being part of Top Chef Masters is an amazing opportunity to raise money for my favorite charity, Scleroderma Research Foundation. Though I am a much more collaborative chef than a competitive one, doing the show for a great cause drives my efforts.

What made you choose that charity?
I have been on the board of the Scleroderma Research Foundation for 25 years. My very close friend from college, Sharon Monsky, was diagnosed with this disease about then. She asked me to come onto the board when she began this foundation that was focused on cutting edge medical research. She had always been someone I respected, a mind that was amazing and someone I trusted with anything and everything. I have been on the board ever since she asked me…do an event called cool comedy hot cuisine twice a year where we raise close to a million for medical research! Sharon passed away about 6 years ago, but I consider this fight a fight I’m willing to fight till we find a cure. Sharon was and is an inspiration to me…That is one of the many reasons I chose the Scleroderma Research Foundation.

Is it against the rules to ask if you win?
You’ll have to watch what happens April 7th!

May I have some Kaya Toast now please?
ANYTIME………….. love this dish…