Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi on Otto's dramatic departure, and proclaims her love for Vietnamese food.

on Oct 26, 2006

It was wonderful to watch the episode last night and be reminded of how great that food was ... well, some of it. It was such an easy decision to pick Betty as the winner. Not only was her aloe vera drink slamming (I went back for five cups) and healthy and refreshing, her demeanor and charm only made you want to go back to her booth even more. I love Vietnamese food, and I was pleased to see that the team embraced the flavors and ingredients of that region. It was also refreshing to have an all Asian themed episode, starting of course with the sushi Quickfire challenge.

I thought Mia held it together like a true professional, and she was lucky because I've actually visited fish markets around the world in my food documentaries and that one was pretty clean. It was so fun to talk to chef Hiroshi Shima, he was charming, and playful. I wish the viewers had a chance to get a bigger glimpse of that.

I've always loved field trips, and I am no different when it comes to our show. It was hard to get up that early, but it was exciting to see all that beautiful fish, it made me want to make sushi too. The Quickfire was a hard hurdle to jump, but it was nothing compared to what was to come.