The experience I had on The Next Iron Chef was “once in a lifetime.” I met and worked with nine great chefs, pushing the boundaries of what I thought I could do each time I approached a challenge. It taught me more about myself and my willingness to take risks in order to make things happen.
I always say you should never look back and say, “What if…?” Unfortunately, I didn’t listen to my own advice. When I was plating my Moi dishes, I literally hesitated when I was on the ginger-braised daikon portion of the dish, thinking I wanted to add a pinch of Maldon salt to add that crunch and add that bright, clean, up-front flavor to the dish. I know Simon Majumdar is more salt-sensitive, so I opted not to add it, and Michael Symon thought that dish needed a touch more salt. If you hesitate, it means you should follow through and listen to your gut. I did not.
In this case, I can’t think about the “what if…”, I focus on the fact that I was a strong competitor who gave all the other chefs a run for their money. I represented myself and my cooking proudly and with integrity every time I stepped into battle.