Chef Micah Fields said farewell to Bravo's Top Chef: Seattle this week, but he didn't leave empty handed. The Los Angeles-based chef said that he grew as a chef while filming the show. He had experiences and learned techniques that will likely  shape his young career.

While filming, Fields struggled to be away from his two daughters at home but also found the competition's biggest challenge to be its grueling pace. " When it started to get towards the end of the competition, you were just really tired and strained," he explains.  "It’s a brutal competition; you are working long hours, and sometimes you don’t eat [because] you are just pumped up on adrenaline.  It starts to take a strain mentally and physically."

Still, Fields shined along the way, coming out especially strong when butchering a rabbit in a "quickfire" knife challenge as well as with an applauded oyster dish for one of Fields's culinary idols, Emeril Lagasse. "It was a huge order cooking for Emeril," he explains. "He is a chef that made me want to become a chef when I was 10 years old. Emeril is from Louisiana, he is the oyster king, so having him say I made his favorite dish of the day was definitely a highlight."

During the competition, "you definitely grow as a chef," Fields shares. "Living with [the other chefs] and cooking with them at home, you see things you don’t normally see in your own kitchen," such as Chef Sheldon Simeon’s techniques with Polynesian-style cuisine. “You live, breathe and talk food all day, so you are definitely going to grow as a chef.” 

Fields promises much to come this year including an upcoming project with fellow contestant CJ Jacobsen.

To learn what the Season 10 Top Chef "cheftestants" eat when they are off-camera and Fields's tips for your kitchen, view the slideshow above.

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