Bravotv.com: What were you thinking when you saw who the chefs you would be competing against were? Did you know any of them before?
First stress, then "game on." I knew of the other chefs, but had never met them before.
Bravotv.com: First the Quickfire, did you know right away what you were going to make with the color red? What would have been your first choice of color?
I had ideas what I was going to make, but did not really know until after I saw the ingredients in the pantry. I changed my mind a couple of times. My choice would have been orange.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for your dish? Besides color, of course?
I knew it just needed to be fresh, quick, simple, be full of flavor, and have a little "twist."
Bravotv.com: What was your reaction when the diners said your gazpacho looked like blood? Is that because it sat too long?
Blood is red, so that was my intent, and it nailed the rules of the contest. The gazpacho was always meant to be red. It had nothing to do with the fact that it sat because the waiter forgot to bring it to the judges.
Bravotv.com: Onto the Elimination: What would have been your ideal offal to use from the choices given?
Tongue — it is so flavorful.Bravotv.com: Were you worried at all about making a quesadilla having never made them before?
I have made quesadillas many times. During the show I had a quesadilla on the menu at the resetaurant. People just assume a French guy never made one before, but I assure you I have made thousands.
Bravotv.com: What do you usually make with pig’s ear?
Head cheese terrine
Bravotv.com: Did you get to try the other chefs’ stuff? What did you think?
I tried Cindy's and Rick's dishes. I loved Cindy's soup. It was brilliant. Rick's taco just tasted like avocado. He just covered up the taste of the tongue. Cindy's was much better and she deserved to win the Eliminination Challenge (although I did not get to try Wilo's.)
Bravotv.com: What is your favorite type of offal?
Bravotv.com: What was your reaction to the judges’ comments?
I don't think the judges took into consideration that we were instructed to prepare "street food." They wanted me to make head cheese terrine, but that is not street food and not something the people on the streets of Universal Studios would flock to. I ran out of my quesadillas so I think I nailed the street food aspect. I think the judges wanted to see something that was not part of the criteria.
Bravotv.com: How did competing differ than you thought it would?
The timing was really difficult. 30 minutes in the Quickfire goes so fast. I also expected that they would have us compete more in the areas that showed high skills and the techniques of the masters.