Only the most diehard Top Chef fan will remember the Season 1 contestants — after all, it aired over a decade ago now, and Padma Lakshmi wasn’t even the host. But everyone surely recalls Dave Martin. If his cooking or platinum-blond hair doesn't ring a bell, you're probably familiar with his catchphrase: “I’m not your b—h, b—h.”
He spat that out in a fit of frustration toward fellow contestant Tiffani Faison, and Bravo later immortalized the line on a t-shirt. These days, though, Dave seems sheepish about his behavior on the cooking competition show.
“You have to treat people with respect,” he told Mic earlier this year, reflecting on the life lessons he learned from Top Chef. “It’s just cooking. We’re cooking, we’re not saving lives. I’m still nice and friendly and humble and I can cook. Don’t be an a–hole… unless you’re a brain surgeon, saving lives.”
Dave’s culinary journey began with the end of his tech career amid the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, according to his D’Artagnan bio. He followed his passion for food and graduated — with honors — from Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena, CA.
After he came in third place on the show, Dave moved to NYC and started a consulting company called Chow Down Inc., providing his expertise to high-profile restaurants and food brands. He also put out two cookbooks and a line of artisanal sauces and rubs, all released under the name Dave’s Homemade.
Nowadays, Dave is still cooking comfort food. In fact, he’s been on a pizza kick lately, thanks to a recent trip to Italy. Sure, it’s not molecular gastronomy, but it’s where his interests lie. “Don't be anything you're not,” he told Mic. “I don't have to make some fancy bulls–t thing.”