Posted by Lee Abbott on Feb 15, 2016 in Tips & Tricks


OK….so the “behind the scenes” scoop. And no matter how many episodes I last – I’ll be posting this. But here is the first installment… The first night, the wonderful Zoe Valladares invited us all to dinner. She worked at STK in DC and they have a spot in NY – so we all went to dinner together. No producers. Just us. And “The Magnificent 9” was born. We all hit it off instantly. Every single person on the Cast IS as nice and wonderful as they seem on camera. And there is NO bitch in the bunch. Hat tip to Food Network for casting talent over drama. Which brings me to my next point. As we squared off in round 1. When I had a millisecond to look around the kitchen….here was the thought that kept coming to mind… “Fuck these people are GOOD!” I mean….there was NOBODY that you said, “OK…that one is going home early.” Hell…perhaps they were all saying it about me but truth be told – talent and skill ruled the day. As you watch the series – just know that “the best” dish never got sent home by politics. As a TV producer – this was as honest a competition as I’ve been a part of. And….fun dish… during the opening salvo – I totally cut myself. This didn’t make the “cut” (ha) but believe me – the nerves and perfectly sharp knives in the kitchen while I was sprinting?…. ding…. that easy…. I cut myself. “Medic!” What also didn’t make the edit – getting my left hand bandaged WHILE still chopping with my right hand. Boom. The competitive athlete in me came through. And I must say this to Lisa Washington Natasha Clement Jermaine MrSikcess Wright Anna Marie Cooper Zoe Valladares Dain Lee Lynn Polisi-Duffy and Monica Jordan Folken thank you for the gift of your friendship, your hearts, and your recipes. I can’t wait for the world to get to know you better. Oh and by the way… behind the scenes… Alex told me the guy Mentors thought I was was “too” strong. They saw me run to the pantry like a Linebacker… But she wanted me exactly for that reason! Well call me blessed. And y’all know me as the biggest softie in the room. Love you guys.