Into The "Top Chef" Kitchen

This information originated in American English.

August 04, 2010

MCLEAN, Va. -  Arriving at the Top Chef Kitchen, I was both excited and nervous. Having watched the show for the past six seasons, I liken the anticipation of participating on the show to what a 5-year-old would feel like to be on the Sesame Street set with Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch. As I got closer and closer, the nerves set in with the thoughts running through my head...Will Padma be nice? Will Tom remember me from my Todd English days? Will they all think I am just some Corporate Sponsor Nerd that knows nothing about food? Will I make Hilton proud?

I began to relax when the nice intern met me at the door and treated me like a star! I was shown to the 'green room', introduced to my hair and makeup person (I know, every girl's fantasy!), and my clothes were taken to wardrobe for steaming! The producers greeted me, explained the process for the day, and I was left to observe the controlled chaos that was taking place. It's amazing how many people it takes to produce a one hour show!

The taping was set to begin. My nerves set in again, however Padma and Tom, as well as celebrity chef Eric Ripert (yes, he's dreamy!) all made me feel welcome. Additional guest judges for the episode were Spike, Brian, and Mike, contestants from previous seasons. Eighteen hours later, once taping had wrapped, I had managed to taste 15 plates of food, make some intelligent comments, and fulfilled the 15 minutes of fame requirement for my lifetime. Now, I was in the hands of the editors!

July 7, air night. My nerves come back. Will I look silly? Or worse, Will I have ended up on the cutting room floor with little or no air time at all? I had emailed everyone to watch. As you may know, all turned out fine. The show was a huge success. I didn't make a fool of myself. My friends and family were calling with excitement. The only downside is I will now forever be known as Beth "I didn't get the cake" Scott.

Beth Scott, Vice President of Restaurant Concepts, Hilton Worldwide, is a one year Hilton Team Member.