Let me paint a little picture for you.
I arrived in LA on a spring evening, bleary eyed and shaking like a little Chihuahua who’s about to pee on the carpet. (Sorry, Jennifer Lawrence. Had to steal your line). Less than 24 hours prior, I was still frantically running around the city buying bright colored T-shirts and obsessing over which shade of neon purple should be the cornerstone of my color scheme – because, oh yes, we were required to have a color scheme. I had no idea where I would be going or what I would be doing, so it was a little hard to guess whether or not my Lara Croft hiking boots and waterproof matches container were overkill. I ended up bringing them both, along with another 50 unnecessary gadgets and outfit options.
At LAX, I was greeted by a production assistant, who quickly confirmed that yes, I had brought the biggest suitcase of any of the contestants – and quite possibly the biggest suitcase she’d ever seen. I spent the car ride asking questions that she was not willing to answer, and then making awkward secondary small talk. I was told upon arrival at the hotel that I had nothing scheduled until 2pm the following day, and to sit tight, hang out, and DON’T TALK TO ANYONE. So naturally, I proceeded to spend the evening drinking margaritas by myself.
It wasn’t until the next day, when I walked into a hotel boardroom of producers and contestants that I found out the show would be US versus UK chefs. Well, duh – I should have realized that way earlier. But they kept us in the dark about pretty much everything. After 4 hours of rules and questions and brief introductions to my American teammates, we were put on lock-down in our rooms.
The pictures above were taken on Day 1 of shooting on the Santa Monica pier. And I’ve pretty much just described to you the full extent of my prior contact and history with the people I am hugging. Everything was rainbows and butterflies and anxiety at that point. But once the cameras were rolling, we got to know each other pretty darn fast. And you will too once the show airs on October 2nd.
I’m going to give you guys a little head start by letting you get to know my fellow chefs from team America right here on FMP. You can start by reading the bios on BBC America’s website, which clearly illustrate what characters we’re all going to be playing on TV (FYI, I’m the girl next door). But I think the best way to get to know someone is through their food, so I’ve asked each chef to share an “all-American” recipe that means something to them. My first victim is Ronaldo. So tune in tomorrow to find out more about the man behind the fedora!
For now, check out the video below for a quick clip of Team USA!