Shauna Minoprio

Executive Producer Shauna Minoprio reveals the insider scoop.

on Dec 7, 2006

4. Surfers Not necessarily known for their reliability. Scott our Supervising Producer has assigned a crack team to hunt them down if they don't turn up. We all worry what will happen if the weather is bad or the surf isn't up. Will the chefs just be cooking for the crew?! The crew wouldn't mind. Luckily the surf is up and the surfers are lovely and starving.

5. Cars You may have noticed that Top Chef has a gleaming fleet of Toyota Rav 4s at our disposal. After some negotiation we got permission from the relevant authorities to have our chefs drive them right onto the far end of the beach and all the way along the beach up to where the firepits are. So far, so good. Unfortunately getting the chefs into the right position to do so, meant driving them right past where production was setting up the fire-pits -- thus blowing our cunning surprise. What do to? We settled for stopping them just before they got to the point where they could see us and taping newspaper over the windows before driving them past us. Fine, they would only be in the car with the paper on the windows for about 5-10 minutes, problem sorted, no? No. I get a call on the walkie informing me that one of the chefs was refusing to get back in the van and accusing us of treating them worse than cattle....

6. Chefs I think the chefs see me in many different ways throughout the production: Benign dictator, tyrant, school principal, mother-figure, kidnapper, torturer. So today is a "torturer" day. I try and turn it into "mother-figure" day with sympathy and hugs for the mutinous chef. This is a little awkward as we shouldn't really touch the chefs -- the idea being that someone seeing me hug one of the chefs might draw the conclusion that that chef is my favourite and therefore has some advantage in the competition....