Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio liked what he saw going on behind the scenes.

on Feb 14, 2013

"Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." -Julia Child

I’ll be honest: when I watch an episode the week before it airs in order to write this blog (which is when I first see the edited final product), I am usually multitasking. I was there the first time, so I know what happened; I’m watching the completed episode with one eye to see which footage was selected and how it was edited, to see how the story of that week’s Quickfire and Elimination Challenges was ultimately told.  I also see backstory elements I didn’t know about at the time the footage was shot, but, to be honest, I don’t really care about any of that.

Usually.

This week, however, I found myself actually stopping whatever else I was doing to give the episode my full attention. In my humble opinion, this week’s episode was one of our best ever. Our guest judge Roy Choi’s story about being at a low point in his life and watching Emeril on television and about how that moment turned Roy’s life around was riveting. Seeing the footage of Roy telling his story with Emeril seated right next to him and watching Emeril so clearly moved (which I couldn’t really see from where I was seated at the time it occurred) is not something I will forget anytime soon.

At this stage of my life and career, it does make me smile to hear Roy say that he came to his decision to be a chef “late in life,” but, of course, given that he’s only about 30 or so, I suppose that 25 was actually “late in life.” I guess it’s all relative.

The backstories about what prompted our chefs to become chefs were compelling as well. People who have that “aha” moment early in life are lucky in the sense that they’re on track to be successful sooner than others. It is settling to know at 15 what you want to do with your life, as I did. You can go after it single-mindedly at a time in your life when it’s possible to do that; nothing gets in your way. It makes the journey that much faster and cleaner and easier.