Bravotv.com: First the Quickfire: Seriously, how much do you eat oats? Do you actually cook with them or just eat oatmeal?
I eat oatmeal about three times a week. There is generally a pot going in the kitchen most mornings. I have used oatmeal mostly in desserts (cookies, crumbles), and then as a binder in meatloaf. I have not used oats as part of a savory dish, although, I loved them with the lentils -- a first, but not the last.
Bravotv.com: What was the inspiration for your dish?
I had promised to do a vegetarian dish, and this was going to be it. My inspiration for the tofu came from a dish that was conceived by a vegan chef I know. The oats were totally inspired by my grandmother who loves her rolled oats.
Bravotv.com: You said you liked Andrew -- who is your favorite cheftestant of all time? What did you like about Andrew so much?
I liked Andrew from the beginning because he's kinda quirky. He's not afraid to be himself. His personality is refreshing without being contrived.
Bravotv.com: What was it like competing against him?
It was so much fun competing against Andrew because we were just feeding off of each other's quirky energy. He's also very gracious.
Bravotv.com: Had you ever made the dish you made before?
I have made gumbo/shrimp and grits before. Have I ever tried to make it in 20 minutes? No. I wasn't even sure the grits would cook in time. Wasn't it in the movie My Cousin Vinny when the cooking time of grits help solve the case?