For me, it was such a luxurious and visceral pleasure, but also stressful, to say the least. What each Master presents on his or her plate is an incredibly personal and intimate portrayal of who he or she is as a cook, and ultimately, him/herself.
I, of course, had to choose a winner, and Monica’s exotic Moroccan-inspired grilled cheese invention scored magic on my taste buds.
After the joy of being able to judge a Quickfire challenge, all of my other memories of this heat almost faded away. Having Mekhi Phifer come to the kitchen to ask our Masters to create gourmet soul food for his birthday party became a slight blur to me. I alone had just experienced the pleasure of polishing off some delicious Quickfire food, and was still in a state of reverie.
Chefs Carmen and Marcus would woo the critics and march on to the Champions Round, but my first Quickfire tasting was sensual and enduring.
Like the first time doing anything meaningful, this was my very own sweet memory that I’ll never forget.