One of the many nice qualities about Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi is that the lady will answer any question and will chat your ear off... and that's why I called her first thing this morning for some coffee tawk!
Did you just wake up?
NO I HAVE BEEN UP FOR HOURS..
LET'S GET INTO IT... WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR FAVORITE DISH SO FAR?
That's a great question because it's so hard to choose! One of the most ingenious things I've had was very simple but it was Sam's fruit salad at the firehouse. Tonight's episode has my favorite quickfire challenge of the whole thing. It's snacks.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR LEAST FAVORITE DISH?
Actually someone makes something at the quickfire that was pretty hideous. Guess who's it was...
OK WHAT ABOUT BEFORE TONIGHT?
Suyai's red-wine soaked flambe fiasco from the first episode. I'm sorry because I liked Suyai so much. Her personality would've added to the show but that becomes irrelevant if the food chops aren't there...
WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST SURPRISING THING FOR YOU ABOUT STEPPING IN TO HOST THIS SHOW?
The hours. What people don't realize is that we shoot in real time. Nobody's going to any trailer and hanging out. Unless the chefs have something to do for three or more hours, me and the other judges are waiting around for them to cook and do their thing. It's exhausting and exciting and unfolding before our eyes.