We only had two episodes to get to know Peter Cardoz on America’s Test Kitchen: The Next Generation. But after just two hours, it’s difficult not to love this quirky and talented chef.
We may have said goodbye to Peter on the show after a lucky escape from elimination on the first episode, but the contestant has nothing but good things to say about his time in the test kitchen.
Sign up for the Notes from the Test Kitchen newsletter
Our favorite tips and recipes, enjoyed by 2 million+ subscribers!
“I met so many cool people [while filming],” Peter said. “And yes, there are so many cooking techniques that I wish I had known when I was on the show—and I think it would have prepared me better—but all these things would have never come about had I not been on this show and been a part of this experience. I really loved it.”
Peter’s troubles in the kitchen started early in Episode 1, when he battled timing and started cooking his rice a little too late to serve to the judges. But he soon found a more comfortable pace in Episode 2.
“I was stressed, obviously. I think you can hear it in my voice a little bit, but I think in the next episode, I'm much more comfortable. I definitely found my stride in the kitchen and didn't have so many unforeseen flubs,” he said.
While he came undone by a few small mistakes in the kitchen, it was the people that he cooked with that mattered most to Peter, and he goes home knowing that he made strong friendships throughout his experience.
“Everyone [from the show] was really fantastic. Ultimately, I wanted to win, but I knew that everyone had a lot of experience, and I respected them so much,” he said of his fellow contestants. “There was so much collaboration as well that you don’t even see, but we’re all helping each other get through each challenge.”
There was one presence alongside Peter in the test kitchen that was felt very strongly: his father, the late New York chef Floyd Cardoz, whose memory Peter carried close with him throughout the experience.
“I actually brought his apron with me to the studio. I know they gave us aprons, but I brought it with me just to give me good luck. And in the first episode I was very nervous, and it helped me to understand that my dad had obviously had more experience cooking. He had worked in so many important restaurants that have been monumental. And I have none of that experience, but I'm still able to be somewhat in the same shoes as him . . . It gave me another understanding of him without being able to ask him about his experience in person anymore.”