Well since the show has aired I can tell you more backstage info, thoughts and comments.
First of all, let me say "THANKS" to everyone whom have written me from around the nation!!! WOW!!! Old (and I do mean OLD!) Grammar school friends (Brian and Bobby), engineering buddies, catering customers and the many displaced New Orleansians whom love and miss our City!
My main contacts from the Food Network were the producers Kate and Lesley, Kate told me after production that she has gotten her first directorial credit for the show!! Congratulations! You did a fantastic job!
Well, about the Throwdown ......
When I first saw Bobby Flay, it was quite a surprise. I had not seen the show and had no idea as what to expect. When he walked up to me he asked if I knew why he was here?? I answered, that he wanted to eat my Jambalaya, good answer, but not right, he challenged me to the Throwdown. I had no idea as to what I was getting into.
For anyone whom thinks he is aloof, he isnít. He was a total gentlemen and great guy. Maybe in his other shows, especially Iron Chef America that is what he needs to personify. But in Throwdown his demeanor is quite different. In fact, during the taping he apologized for the producers lying to me about the setup, he said that is what he most dislikes about the format of the show. He was a pure joy to play around with, I just bounced one liners off of him!
About his cooking; well I think they were late getting to Blaine Kern's, because they asked me to turn off my pot and wait a while, almost an hour! And when he arrived, his assistants did most of the set up, all the while he was interviewing me.
SOOOOO, With the showís format, he is at a total disadvantage. He has to interview the other cook, be friendly to EVERYONE (asking for autographs and photos) all the while cooking his dish. And like I said he was late. And lets face it Jambalaya isnít the easiest dish to cook, and cook well! Who hasnít burnt a rice kernel or two?
He was also at a disadvantage because he used wooden spoons. (that portion was dropped by the editor.) I asked him about that, and made a point about it in my sonís pot the day before. You need to use stainless steel paddle or Chefís spoon to scrape all of the "graton" from the bottom, or else it will just lay there and come up as a big black burn when you add the stocks.
Another tremendous disadvantage he has was that much of his stuff was frozen. His chicken and stock were frozen, and the shrimp still had ice crystals on them. I guess they have to package it that way for transportation here. BTW. One part he did screw up in was that he used imported shrimp from Thailand. I asked him about that too, with all of the fresh produce and seafood we have here they should have chosen better.
His use of vodka wasnít a help either, that would increase the liquid temp and thus increase the chances of burning. I just drank his Kettle One!!
And of course, he kept lifting up the lid. That was sort of by design, because he was going to add his shrimp and muscles at the end to allow them to steam and not over cook.
At the end of the show Bobby called me the "Jambalaya King" WOW, what a fantastic honor!
All in all, it was GREAT fun and Bobby was the one that made it fun! Another guy that needs props is the editor, Adam. During the taping I sent many video jokes and comments that I knew would never make it to the air. So he did a great job!
More pics and hopefully video to come.
If you have any questions, I will be happy to answer them. Thanks for the hundreds of emails. WOW, Overwhelming!
Contact us for further details....ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
Chef Emile L. Stieffel, Aurora Catering, Inc. email address: ChefEmile@CustomCatering.net
4016 Red Cypress Dr., Harvey, LA 70058 Phone (504) -329-1344
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Revised: November 21, 2016