Bravotv.com: What did you think of the concept of the challenge overall?
I thought the concept was cool, but not surprising...we all knew what was coming, some people were even taking notes under the table on certain dishes...but, I would have preferred being thrown in his kitchen and making our own seafood focused dish...I just think that would have been more interesting.
Bravotv.com: Were you happy with the fish you got? Was there a dish you would have preferred to make?
I was happy cooking black bass, I have cooked it hundreds of times before...I didn't think that part of it was going to be a problem (which its was). I would have loved to make the dish Fabio got with the tomato water and bread crust. That dish was beautiful. Or even the dish Hosea got because of the flavors in it, the black garlic (which was one of my ingredients I brought with me), the Persian lime, the cous cous...It was just more interesting.
Bravotv.com: What did you struggle most with in replicating Chef Ripert's dish?
I had a hard time figuring out the sauce, it was such a strange flavor with the ham and the celery. I also was having trouble trying to cook in his 700 degree ovens...I guess in his kitchen he really likes to keep his oven at blazing hot temperatures. Every time I opened the oven door and stuck my hand in, I think my arm hair got burned off! And then there was the braised celery, which ultimately did me in...