What was your favorite dish that you prepared throughout the competition? Least favorite?
My favorite dish, just because it came so out of nowhere, was the deep-fried root beer [during the fair challenge]. I’d never done anything like that nor do I think I ever really will. The fact that it was so well-received, and to be honest, I never would have thought that would taste good. Another cool part about it was I made it, I fried it and I tasted it, at that point that was all I was going to do but it didn’t taste right, so then I added a root beer reduction and cotton candy and all this stuff. So it kind of evolved in that hour and ended up being one of the judges' favorite things of the day. That was cool.
Least favorite, there’s a couple actually. There was a fish dish that I did when we did North, South, East and West. For some strange reason, I don’t know why, I pre-cooked it. I didn't pre-cook any of the fish throughout the entire battle. I think it was because I had a couple minutes to spare, I just threw the thing in the fryer and completely overcooked it. I wasn’t crazy about the hamburger, which they didn’t like. Other than that, I was pretty excited about everything.
What was the hardest moment to watch on TV?
Just a broad hardest part is that I didn't realize I had such an accent. I don't know where this accent comes from! The first time I watched it, I turned to whoever was standing next to me and asked, "I sound like this?" I grew up on Long Island which is known for having a strong accent. Then I lived in Massachusetts, which is again known for a very strong accent. I lived in France and worked with a lot of people and speak French, so that I'm sure adds to it. And I lived with a guy from Scotland who I used to make fun of all the time, so I think I picked up from that. Put all those together and this is what you get.