Bravotv.com: What were you thinking when Padma said that you had to create a dessert?
At first I was concerned by looking at the display that we had to bake a cake. Dessert however doesn't worry me. I actually feel like it's a broader base for creativity, and a good way to incorporate some unique flavor combination and wit.
Bravotv.com: Why is making a dessert so difficult for chefs? (especially for past contestants)
I think it's a mental block. People think dessert, and they think cake, they think tuile or crunchy cookie and they think fruit coulis. It's like a cook thinking a savory course has to have a starch, vegetable, protein, and sauce. I don't have any formally trained and embedded knowledge of pastry, so I think that helps me think fluid in terms of pastry/last course. The pastry kitchen, the cocktail bar ... it's all an extension of the kitchen; they are all just stations in a kitchen.
Bravotv.com:What was the inspiration for yours?
I like bananas. I eat them often for breakfast. I like chocolate -- who doesn't? I like coffee and fresh bright flavor. It just came about. As for the salsa, a banana has a similar texture to avocado. Often, that's how I come to a new, or a re-envisioned idea. I observe ingredients, I eat slowly, I try to think when I taste, etc ...