The show has been a very interesting experience for me and I love doing it, but sometimes because we're shooting at events where we can't control the time, what gets cut is sleep and rest. I can tell you that I do have great sympathy for the contestants because none of us is getting very much sleep. The farmer's market gave them a sumptuous selection of beautiful, fresh ingredients with which to meet their Quickfire Challenge.
The corn in Mia's salad was luscious and sweet tasting, but like the guest judge, I too felt that she should have incorporated the heirloom tomato into the salad rather than drown it in a creamy sauce. This, remember, was in the height of summer in California, where both these ingredients are at their peak. Also, while I wasn't neccessarily so impressed by Marcel calling his watermelon a "steak" as our guest chef was, I have to tell you that that watermelon was probably the juiciest, sweetest, most fragrant piece of watermelon I have ever put in my mouth. The cool, velvet crunching sensation it made as it collapsed in my mouth was sheer ambrosia. And given the heat in our Top Chef kitchen, it was a welcome respite to have a raw challenge again.