Full transcript after the jump
The first episode right away you start looking at technique, and you can see who, no matter what they're cooking, there's still some of the technique that's involved. Right away you can see that Gregory was really trained and understood balance of flavors. He made a jerk chicken that I think we really liked.
I remember getting some pretty good food that day. The first challenge is always one of those things where we're checking out the competition as much as they're trying to figure out what they need to do and how this whole thing works. Because it's all new to them. Obviously, they're all good cooks, but all the sudden you're on a set and you're asked to be somewhere at a certain time, and there's a challenge involved. There's logistics in going in the kitchen and getting everything to the location. It's a logistical nightmare, and at the same time they have to remember that they're cooking and that it is a competition.
It was great for our chefs actually going in and working along side some heavy hitters -- Ming Tsai, Barbara Lynch, Ken Oringer, Jasper White, and Lydia Shire. These are people who have contributed so much to the food scene across the country. And there are our contestants serving food right along side of them. They were pretty psyched. It was a great way to start the season.