Had I known the drubbing Knowlton was in for, I’d not have fanned the fire with tongue in cheek comments. Please, settle down. The guy is not an asshole—if he had any problem it was taking things TOO seriously. Before filming began I voiced my main personal concern to Eytan and Steve, very good producers and very decent guys: who are we to sit up there with our raised pinkies and curled lips to render judgment on these excellent chefs who work really hard at what they do—just don't make us look like King George III up there, we are all too aware of the “magic” of editing. But the producers only have so much time, negative comments are more dramatic (this IS televsion), therefore, most of the good dialogue and positive comments aren’t shown. A risk we all took.
Re: comments of racism/sexism of FN. Please. They are dying for African American talent, and they struggled to get more women on the show. And if anyone thinks for an instant that we eliminated a chef because the color of his skin they are seriously, and offensively, mistaken. The black chef is scarce in America for a number of complex reasons, which I wrote about here.
So perspective? I got this email from Gavin, pictured above, last night thanking me for setting the record straight as far as his being able to season his food properly:
"I am sorry it has taken me all day to get this to you, but we are having some amazing fires here in San Diego. In fact I can't get to the hotel as one of the biggest fires went right through it, thankfully for the hotel the winds changed at the last minuet and spared it. Not so lucky for the people around the hotel as their houses have burned to the ground. It is a terrible feeling out here and I hope that the winds stop. My produce farmer lost part of his farm, but his house is safe for now. My beef guy is in a holding pattern and they have left their house...you get the idea. It puts not having seasoned frog legs into perspective."
By late last night he and his wife were still in waiting mode as to whether or not they’d have to get out.
Update: Email from Gavin tonight, which I offer for its good connection to prospective iron chef Jill Davie:
"hey michael, Just to give you an update, Linda and I are still okay and not going anywhere as of now. It is still over the top and the hotel I work for took some damage...I will see it for the first time on Thrusday.
"Talk about love....I was supposed to do a James Beard Dinner up in LA on Wednesday and because of everything going on, I was unable to make it, so I called Jill Davie and bless her heart she is taking on the challenge for me...that is a good friend and one hell of an iron chef challenge. 120ppl to prep and cook for in one day, oh yeah and to find all the product! GK"