Most of you know that I work at The French Culinary Institute in New York. I was super excited when I found out we would be filming there. Not only did it make it easy for me production-wise, but I was so happy to be back amongst my coworkers and friends after being in Miami for two months.
The Quickfire was great fun. The same day I flew into Newark (the day before the actual Continental challenge happened), we scouted a bunch of locations and then I drove into the city with one of our producers to meet the chefs at Le Cirque. The initial idea was that the chef in the kitchen (the oh-so-nice Jason Kallert) would show the contestants step by step how to make Sirio's favorite dish. Before we made any decisions, Jason and the chefs cooked Margit and me several courses, including the bass en papillote. I didn't know what I was eating at the time having not read the menu, but as a chef, whenever I am trying something unfamiliar, I tend to take my time and try to dissect the flavors, textures, and actual components of the dish. Slowly I discussed the techniques with Chef Jason and talked about the flavors and ingredients, many of which I was accurate in identifying.