What happens when 100 passionate cooks get locked in a hotel room without a kitchen? They get “creative”… see what it feels like to anxiously await cooking for Gordon Ramsay! #MasterChef!
(This picture isn’t of me!)
“Mindset” 2.2.11: We are in a van to Whole foods… there are new faces in the car- particularly, two cute blondes. As we chit-chat (illegally, as we are not supposed to talk to each other until we get on camera) I learn that one is from Idaho and the other from Round Rock.
One of them says that she wants to take pics of all the contestants she meets so that she can say she knew the person that won MC2.
Then, it hits me — she dosen’t have the right mindset. Already, she isn’t planning on winning. Part of me hopes she will execute her plan perfectly… but most of me has a realization about my personal mindset.
Not winning the title has never even crossed my mind. I hope that this doesn’t come off as cocky or arrogant, I just believe that mentally, physically, and culinarily I can outlast the competition.
The casting folks tell us that there were nearly *thousands* of applicants between all of the open call auditions and home tapes sent it. The way I see it, I’ve already beaten all of those folks, what is 99 more?
“The Meeting” 2.4.11: This morning we are all herded into a conference room. One of the producers welcomes us and introduces some of the Assistant Directors. We are told what to expect on set by Anna, a Swedish blonde who means business.
The highlight of the meeting is Q&A with Sandee. She answers all of our equipment questions quickly and professionally, then throws on a leather jacket and motorcycle helmet and walks out of the meeting. Bad Ass! She’s like the MasterChef Stig!
One lady asks, “Who are the judges?” The room erupts in laughter. We are read the rules for the signature dish competition. At the end several people ask questions, then we are asked to put both hands up in the air to signify that we understand and agree to abide by the rules.
“Stir Crazy” 2.4.11: Sitting in a hotel room all day will make you crazy. All I can do is think about my “Signature Dish”… Is it good enough? Does it show enough technique? What is plan B if there is an equipment failure? Do I stick to the plan or do I alter the dish? Now, have I over complicated it? I think of adding components, but I don’t have a test kitchen! Do I really want to be adding things (that I’ve never done before) the first time I cook for Gordon Ramsay?
Mind = Exploded.
My roommate and I watch the audition episodes of MC Season 1 over and over and over again. Trying to squeeze out every bit of information. This is a futile task but with nothing else to do in the hotel room it makes me feel as if I’m semi productive.
Now, I’ll share a recipe… a late night libation that my roommate, Ben Starr, and I enjoyed in our room while studying cookbooks and episodes of Season 1… Smoked Sailor & Coke.
Sailor Jerry’s Spiced rum, hit with a heavy dose of Mesquite smoke… then mixed with a splash of Coca Cola… The smoke brings out all of the vanilla notes in the spiced rum so the cocktail tastes like a classic vanilla coke. Awesome!
After a couple of these drinks, Ben and I get hungry… so we create one of the most memorable dishes from my MasterChef experience… chile con queso. No Texas social gathering is complete without it. We take fresno chiles (cut with my pocket knife), tilamook cheddar, half and half, and some tapioca maltodextrin, place it all in a vacuum bag and circulate it at 63.2 Celsius for about 20 minutes. Boom Queso! This, ladies and gentlemen is MasterChef hotel food!
There will be A NEW update here Saturday and Sunday, then the season premier is Monday at 8pm/7Central on FOX! Check your local listings for details, Become a fan on facebook, and follow me on twitter for live tweets during the episodes! #masterchef!