3030 Ocean's La Tasha McCutchen Makes it to Week Two on Hell's Kitchen | Clean Plate Charlie | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

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3030 Ocean's La Tasha McCutchen Makes it to Week Two on Hell's Kitchen

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In last night's episode, the chefs were divided into male and female teams. You work in a female-led kitchen, which is a rare. What was the experience like for you?

That was a pretty different experience. I, obviously, enjoy working with my fellow female chefs, but this was different. I've never had to work together with competitors. There can be a lot of cattiness and attitude when you pair that many different female personalities together. I consider myself cool, calm, and collected. Once the cattiness started, I didn't want to get involved.

One of the challenges was working with geoduck clams. Have you ever worked with them before?

I've never seen a geoduck clam before in my life. I just thought it looked pretty inappropriate. Then there was the process of going through the sandcastle to get to them. They bury themselves in the sand. They were really good though.

As a reward, your team got to spend some time aboard a luxury yacht. What was that like? Had you ever been on a yacht before?

No, I've never been on a yacht. That was just amazing. The west coast is so beautiful and getting time to sit with chef Ramsay... He felt almost human, but there was still, like, this light behind him. It's like he's not real at any moment -- until he's yelling.

What was the hardest part about being on the show?

My biggest challenge was being able to work together as a team with people I'm competing against. Also, learning to trust myself with things I know. I really wanted to prove myself, not just for me, but to the other competitors, chef Ramsay, and everyone else.

How did it feel to leave Hollywood and the film crew to come back to South Florida and 3030?

It was an adjustment, obviously, getting back to doing what I do. My confidence level has grown and I took all of chef Ramsay's critiques and criticism and push myself to get better everyday. I compare my experience on the show to Rocky; how he knew the fight would be the fight of his life that would change his career. I left there with more confidence and came back to South Florida believing in myself as a chef. But I'm glad to be back with chef Paula and chef Adrienne [Grenier]. I'm continuing to grow.

What's chef Ramsay like in real-life?

He's a funny guy. His humor is sometimes hurtful, but you can see his passion and feel it. It drives you to be more perfect. You have to give it your all or he's going to send you home. I told chef Ramsay, "I have the eye of the tiger and the heart of a champion. I'm not going down without a fight."

To watch McCutchen compete, tune into Fox on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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Sara Ventiera

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