Padma Lakshmi blogs 'Top Chef All Stars': Episode 3

Padma-Lakshmi

Gail was off for last night’s Top Chef but will be back next week. For Gail-less weeks of the Bravo series, turn to EW.com to find out which judge will be blogging. This week, host/judge Padma Lakshmi shares her thoughts on last night’s challenges. (As told to Archana Ram.)

Last night we had an incredibly hard Quickfire. I really felt for the cheftestants because what they had to do was very difficult in the time they had. Frenching all those lamb chops is really difficult and it has to be done really perfectly. Turning the artichokes — those are things you have to do with precision and anytime there’s speed involved, the precision suffers. It was really striking a balance between the precision and the clock, which is always an issue on our show. The clock is their worst enemy. They knew the faster they got done, the more the time they’d have to cook and that’s what they’d be judged on, but if they took too long, they were never going to get to cook, and so on.

There were times when David Chang would get close to the chefs to check out their work, and I purposefully hung back because I didn’t want to be in their way. Normally, when we go around for the Quickfire, I’m right there like the guest judge, but I just wanted to give them space because they were so frenzied, and they had knives in their hands.

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