Wow! It's almost been an entire year since I flew out to San Francisco to be a part of this brand-new reality series cooking competition. What an incredible year! So much has happened for me, as a chef, personally and professionally. I can remember how exciting it was get together every Wednesday with my castmates to watch Top Chef with a crowd of our friends. Bizarre, fulfilling, and definitely hilarious. And when it was all said and done, and we had had a super blowout in the East Village to celebrate Harold's victory, part of me wondered what would happen next. After all, number four is a ways away from number one. As it should happen, I wouldn't have to wait long to find out.
I spent my summer traveling, cooking in Ohio, South Beach, Philly, Chicago, and finally landing in LA around August, when I was brought on after five episodes to work with the production company for Top Chef Season 2, assisting in the culinary department. All this and I still managed to keep my job at The French Culinary Institute, where we were getting ready for our biggest fall season ever. Working behind the scenes was such a tremendous and eye opening experience. While the hours haven't changed (from cast member to production), I had a great time getting to work with many of the production people I wasn't allowed to talk to last year! Being on the other side of the fishbowl was nice for a change. So, what IS my opinion of the Season 2 cast? To be honest, I did not get to meet them all. I would've liked to, though. I remember the first day I came on to the set, and some of the new cast realized I was standing in the room. I think they thought that I was brought on as a judge.