Shauna Minoprio

Top Chef's Executive Producer Shauna Minoprio gives you the insider scoop.

on Oct 18, 2006

So, for your reading pleasure, here is a list of the some of the things that kept me awake at night in the run-up to Season 2...

1. New shooting location This season, we decided to shoot in Los Angeles, enormous, diverse and food-friendly. It's a complete coincidence that it also happens to be where I live. We built the Kenmore Kitchen in downtown LA, which is arty and cool and full of groovy loft conversions. It feels right for our chefs to be at the cutting edge of modern Los Angeles. Also, if I have to watch another reality show set in a mansion in the Hollywood Hills with a hot tub, I'll kill myself.

2. Hot new season A couple of days before our shoot starts, LA experiences the mother of all heat waves. This is not good news, as professional kitchens are already hot enough -- and that's before you add in thousands of kilowatts of bright hot TV lights. We bring in a monster machine that looks it's trying to eat the entire building with long tubular white tentacles. It sucks up so much power that it might as well be fuelled by a team of PAs shoveling $100-dollar bills into an incinerator. The temperature in the kitchen plummets from a sweltering 115 degrees to a sweltering 110 degrees. Oh boy.

3. New host Actually, I wasn't worried about this in the slightest. Having met Padma and had many long chats with her on the phone in the run-up to the shoot, wasn't in the slightest bit worried. I knew she'd be fantastic.