‘Hell’s Kitchen’ interview: Nedra Harris on joining the blue team, show experience

Nedra HarrisRegardless of whether or not you liked Nedra Harris on this season of “Hell’s Kitchen,” we can almost guarantee that you did not forget about her. She was an enormous personality almost from start to finish, and also was unafraid to speak her mind and make bold moves.

One of these bold moves was the decision to actually move away from the Red Team on Tuesday night’s new episode, and team up with a group of guys on the other side that were more than dysfunctional, to say the least. While this decision in part helped to send Nedra home Thursday night, she was not the least bit bitter about it when we spoke to her in a one-on-one interview late last week along with some other topics including her plans after the show, and how being in the kitchen is so different than it looks on TV.

CarterMatt – So what sort of reaction have you seen when it comes to people online, or people on the street?

Nedra Harris – Well, you have people who love Nedra, who follow me on ChefNedra.com or on Twitter (@NedraHK11); you have some people who are 100% behind me, Team Nedra. Then, you have the people who are your haters, and you have to make your haters your motivators. Just because people look at you and judge you … You have to look beyond that and think about how far you’ve made it and how blessed I am.

Are you happy with how you were shown on the show? Was that the real Nedra?

I think I was portrayed as Nedra. I don’t think they twist or did anything that made me stand out more. You saw me happy, mad, angry, funny. I think they did a real good job at capturing me.

Let’s start to talk about the competition with this. The Red Team was amazing this year, and they’ve trounced the guys time and time again. What was it that made you guys so strong: Was it talent, teamwork, or something else?

Female chefs have slight egos just because the business that you’re in; going into it, I think all of us said ‘I’m not going to like any girls.’ But then we clicked together as a team, and you see us start to gel and mold, and that’s why we were winning challenges and dinner service, and I think that all of the chefs who were on the team did really good.

Well, was the move to the Blue Team in part strategic, since you thought you would have a chance to stand out more?

In one way it was, but no one wanted to step up at the end of the day … Nobody wanted to go over there and work with that. I just took it and ran with it. I don’t have any regrets. If I had to go over and do it again, I would make the same decision.

Since you had the experience of being on a winning and a losing team, what was it about the guys that made them keep losing?

No communication. There wasn’t a leader on the team at all. Someone should have stepped up to be a leader. They were just so dysfunctional and disorganized. They cook great as individuals, but Chef Ramsay was looking for them to work together as as a team, and not just individuals.

So what’s your take on Zach now looking back? Do you have any ill will towards him?

I only worked with him just the one time side by side, but I think outside of that he’s a really good person. He does have a really strong personality, but you have to be able to juggle that. Zach has multiple personalities, he says he has his alter ego, and you don’t know what’s going to spring from [that].

Was it a culture shock at all going from watching the show at home, and then being there and having Ramsay yell and do his usual thing in the kitchen?

It’s a big culture shock. You’re watching it, you’re not actually in the environment. People at home don’t know what we go through, that we wake up at 5 in the morning, go to bed at 1 in the morning. People don’t know that. You guys only see 45 minutes of it, and we did a full day of work. I was like ‘I could do that [nonchalantly before the show]’ and I can, but it’s a lot of work. You’re completely out of your element.

Looking back, is there a moment that stands out to you as a particular favorite?

Just that I made it. A lot of people stood in line and [tried out]. I’m just happy that I made it on the show. I didn’t care if I got kicked off the first day, or if I made it to the end. I’m happy that I made one of the goals that I’ve set in life.

So now that you’ve been through this, what is the culinary endgame for you? Would you love to do a cooking show or open a restaurant?

Well I’d love to do a cooking show or a spin-off show! If that doesn’t work out I do private chef and private catering events; I go to people’s homes and show them how to eat healthy and just be creative.

Are you going to miss Nedra moving forward? If you want to also check out our most-recent episode review for “Hell’s Kitchen,” be sure to visit the link here.

Photo: Fox

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