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Bravotv.com: What was your first reaction when you saw who your competitors were?
Happiness. Roy and I go back 30 years! I adore Art Smith and Michael is someone who is very well-respected.
Bravotv.com: The Quickfire — were you happy with the aisle you got?
Not knowing what to expect or what the format was, I assumed some sort of "test" was involved. The hardest part was my eyesight; I could not read the labels! And yes, I thought it a fairly uninspired aisle.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for your dish?
I don't use inspiration. I kinda use an improvisational technique, which works most of the time.
Bravotv.com: Now the Elimination: Did sabotage ever cross your mind? No.
Why did you decide not to give Chef Cimarusti seafood? Because the seafood was lackluster and I tried to think of protein(s) that would appeal to his Italian roots. And truth be told, it is what I would have chosen for myself!
Bravotv.com: Were you worried at all that the judges/diners wouldn’t respond to your
Not at all. I had a ball!
Bravotv.com: What did you think of the judges’ comments? Fair, I believe. Judging food is the ultimate in pure subjectivity.
Bravotv.com: Did you get to try the other dishes?
I was really rooting for either Art Smith or Jonathan Waxman. I think both of these chefs epitomize the words "Chef Master". They make extremely good, delicious, lovely food that can be enjoyed by all families across the country. My hat goes off to the both of them. They are culinary royalty in my eyes and should be treated with great respect :)