This was a tough one for us because of the language barrier. Unlike northern Thailand where translation was a one-step process, in Koh Lanta we had to do double translations – first, from the Urak Lawoi language into Thai, and then from Thai into English. Whew. It slowed the whole process down and made it really difficult for us to communicate with the local judges and guides. Somehow, we got through it.
The heat was stifling. I honestly don’t know how the chefs and the crew got through it. I was sitting under an easy-up tent watching the monitors most of the time during the cooking. But they were out in the blazing sunlight and often working over the fire. It’s easy for people to get dehydrated in those conditions, so we had to keep reminding everyone to drink plenty of water. We were fortunate that we came through it without any issues.