Tom Colicchio: New Chefs Should Stay Off TV

Tom Colicchio might be all about Top Chef now, but when we asked the Craft chef for advice for budding chefs at last night's Food & Wine Best New Chefs 25th anniversary party, he surprised us all.

"You have to stay home, you have to stay in your restaurants," Colicchio told The Daily Meal. "A lot of these guys [have to] resist the temptation to go on tour and go to all these festivals and do the TV thing, and you [have to] stay home and take care of business first."

So how long until new chefs (especially those Best New Chefs kids) can afford to leave their restaurant and become television celebrities? "You [have to] grow a team [and] put a team together that will allow you to leave the restaurant at times. Knowing you have a team there to really take care of business, that's the first thing," Colicchio said. "There's temptation now to get out there and start doing something, [but] you gotta keep that down. You gotta really limit that."

Of course, Colicchio does understand that it's a bit strange for him to be espousing this advice; his IMDB page does credit him on Top Chef, Treme, and Top Chef Masters, not to mention The Smurfs and the food politics documentary A Place at the Table. "But I've been doing this for 30 something years, and I didn't start doing TV until about six years ago," Colicchio said. Fair enough.