The judges laughed, acknowledging how silly their criticism must have seemed. There they were, over looking the Grand Canyon with the most spectacularly unique opportunity in the world basically being forced to find the negative.
Sure, I could whine about how I didn't get to take a helicopter ride over the West Rim, or how I didn't get to participate in what appeared to be the most epic long-table meals of all time. But what really bums me out is that I couldn't be there to experience that unique connection to our country's past and our culinary history.
I am so proud of the Masters for making such a thoughtful effort to honor the traditions of the land and the people through their dishes. I hope I can continue to approach my culinary reporting with the same intention — even on those dreaded 14-hour days.