As told to Nuzhat Naoreen
I flew in right at the end of [the rattlesnake quickfire]. I thought it was pretty cool that they gave them such an indigenous ingredient. A lot of things are going to be very Texas. So in that way I thought it was very interesting. I bet it took a lot of people by surprise. I’ve never even had rattlesnake. I would have been a little bit flummoxed by the challenge. All [the contestants] seemed to be pretty good at getting it done in time. Nobody seemed flabbergasted. I think the only thing that took them for a loop was the possible fact that the rattlesnake was still alive.
[During a challenge], you want to look at who your judge is and what his take on things would possibly be and meet those expectations. I think a lot of the time the contestants kind of overlook that. In this case it’s Johnny Hernandez. Johnny’s a restaurateur whose cooking is very Hispanic influenced and very nuanced. He kept saying he wanted the focus to be on the rattlesnake and that’s what Dakota, the winner, did in the end. READ FULL STORY