How did you feel going into watching last night's episode versus other past episodes?
I felt good about it. I was excited to see it all on TV. It was a really fun challenge to film.
Is cooking for such big names in the culinary world something that ever gets easier? Or were you able to just block it all out.
It doesn't ever get easier, but you kind of have to just block it out in order to stay focused on the task at hand.
Do you find that you cook differently based on who is judging?
No, I just always try to be me.
Were you surprised to hear some of the interview commentary that you didn't hear while filming? Specifically from Keriann during the Quickfire and why she selected you as an opponent?
Yes, I was very surprised. But she's entitled to have her opinion and I don't let that bother me.
You seemed confident in your choice to pick papillote in the Quickfire challenge. What made you decide to pick that over the other techniques?
I love papillote preparation; it's such a classical thing that just never goes out of style. It's such a different preparation than what we've done on the show so far, and it was something that I really wanted to do.
You quickly identified Keriann as an opponent in the challenge at the Watertown Arsenal. Was there tension between you two?
No, it wasn't about revenge or anything like that. There was no ulterior motive, I just wanted redemption from the Quickfire challenge. It wasn't anything more than that.
It seemed in this episode you were putting a lot more pressure on yourself to win the challenge. Looking back, do you think this was the case?
You know, it's pressure every day. Oh god, yeah. There wasn't anything more in this episode, and instead it was fun because I got to battle her twice. It actually took pressure away because it became a game, if that makes sense. Like a video game type of thing where you get beat in one round and then you want to win the next time. For me, it was friendly competition.
How did it feel to beat Kerriann in the challenge?
It felt really good to win and be able to wave that flag. It sort of evened the score for the day.
You got criticized for your beet dish by Tom, even though you won that round. What were your thoughts on the dish?
I was surprised to be criticized. I thought I had made a great choice in dish for not having a lot of money to spend. The whole competition thus far had been all about the protein for me, and I thought that it was a great balanced dish. I thought my beets were cooked well and my yogurt was seasoned well.
What do you think about the events that led up to Aaron going home?
What happened to Aaron in the elimination really sucked. He lost his dashi, and he had to deal with a really shitty situation. He tried to recover and it just didn't work.
Anything else you want to share from last night's episode?
From last night to today, I think there's been a lot of feedback about what happened between me and Keriann, and it wasn't like that. I think she's a great chef, and I was honored to battle her. It was a good time.