'Top Chef' Contestant Drops Out of Bocuse D'Or Competition

This item flew a bit under the radar last week, but it's a good way to illustrate what happens with contestants of reality competitions after the cameras turn off.

Fans of 'Top Chef' remember the episode where official fan favorite Kevin Gillespie (aka "The One With The Funky Beard") won a spot in the finals to determine the US team in the prestigious and demanding Bocuse D'Or competition. Well, it seems that Gillespie has decided to drop out of the competition this year, citing his schedule since 'Top Chef' ended. He hopes to try again in 2012.

Believe it or not, moves like this are what made Gillespie a fan favorite. Even though he cranked out consistently solid food week after week during the season, he was also relatively humble and aware of his limits, a quality most of the chef'testants never displayed.

Coming from the simple rustic style that he employs, Gillespie knew that he had a lot of work to do in order to prepare for the contest, which emphasizes unusual presentations and tons of creativity, and he knew he just didn't have the time. So he gave the spot up so someone else could compete.

Good for him; he knew that just because he won a spot in the trials didn't mean he had to take it. Not sure most of his fellow chef'testants would have done that, even if they weren't ready. I'm talking to you, Mike Isabella!

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