I was nowhere near the Top Chef kitchen for this week’s Quickfire challenge -- I’m not usually there for Quickfires -- but now that I’ve watched the episode I sorely wish I’d been there in person when the chefs had to open their wooden boxes, clearly wondering whether they’d come face to face with live rattlers. Their expressions spoke volumes. Rattlesnakes are associated with the arid desert regions of the South and Southwest, but we have our share up here in NY, by the way -- the Adirondack Mountains, for example, are riddled with them. I’ll admit, though, that while NY State is home to rattlesnakes, I’ve never cooked one in my life. I salute our chefs for gamely (no pun intended) rolling up their sleeves once the shock wore off and getting to work on their snakes.