Hooray! I am finally on vacation, currently on a plane to Los Angeles to spend my Thanksgiving out west. I'm not feeling all that great due to too many mojitos, beers, and sake while hanging out in the Lower East Side last evening. I met up for dinner with Harold and some friends, after two solid hours of happy hour at Paladar.
If you ever get the chance to stop by, visit the Kuma Inn on Ludlow Street, one of my favorite places to chow down in NYC. Awesome Pan Asian treats, tapas style, and the chef, King Phojanakong, might be one of the nicest chefs I've ever met. (The in-flight bloody marys are helping just a little bit.) So I'd like to take this opportunity to address some of the internet chatter and comments regarding my role on Season 2, and the how and the why of how I got there.
I first appeared on set during the Thanksgiving elimination challenge. Lots of fun to see some of the production crew I had not seen since Vegas. The contestants that saw me initially thought I was going to be a judge. I had received a phone call from the supervising producer a few weeks earlier asking me if I could fly out to Los Angeles to work as a culinary consultant for the show. At the time, I had just arrived in Miami to begin work as the chef consultant for an emerging beef company, Uruguay Steaks. I had commitments the week after in Philadelphia and Chicago, so I told them I would not be able to join them for another two weeks and to give me a call later on if they still needed my help.