Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi on what she's learned...so far.

on Oct 18, 20060

The filming of the first episode was a lot like the first day of school. And of course I felt a lot like the contestants, since I was the new girl in class. I was lucky to find Tom and Gail were very welcoming and made me feel like I belonged there from the start. It was hard at first to remember everyone's name and then came the first Quickfire challenge: flambe. While I understand the visual "wow" factor, I didn't think it had anything to do with how good a cook is, but then when one dish didn't light I thought that part of being a good cook is understanding the materials you're working with; I've never heard of anyone flambeeing with red wine. Now I know why.

I was also just getting to know my hair and make-up woman, who was very good natured and in her quest to do her job well and keep my hair in place probably used almost a whole can of hair spray, something I hadn't really thought about until I entered that sweltering kitchen with 15 people about to set fire to their pans; all this while I was standing very nearby.

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