While you may think you know everything there is to know about being a chef from watching reality T.V., cooking competition shows are nothing like working in a real kitchen.
Sure, tempers flare whether the cameras are there or not. But in a real-life situation, you'd be hard-pressed to find a chefs teaming up with their competitors or digging through sandcastles to find geoduck clams.
3030 Ocean kitchen supervisor La Tasha McCutcheon can add those skills (or tasks) to her resume. The Hell's Kitchen contestant made it through week one and will be returning to the show to compete next week again.
We got a chance to speak to the amicable chef about week one, Gordon Ramsay, and the Hollywood treatment.
Clean Plate Charlie: First thing first, how did you get involved with the show?
McCutchen: I was working at 1500 Degrees at the time and Hell's Kitchen practically walked through the doors. They were holding a casting call at the Eden Roc and chef Paula DaSilva encouraged me to go in and take a chance. She goes, "You want to do it? They pretty much went down and walked through your front door." I was the only one willing to do it, so I took off my 1500 Degree jacket and went in. I told them I worked in the hotel, but not 1500, because I didn't want Paula's association with the show to be a reason to pick me. I wanted to do it on my own.
When did filming begin?
Last September, I left work and flew out to Los Angeles. It was my first-time ever seeing the west coast. I'm an east coast girl; I've been to Dallas and Chicago, but never the west coast. That experience alone was surreal. I arrived at the airport and it was instantly like I arrived in Hollywood; someone was at the airport, waiting, holding a sign with my name on it.