WOW! What a way to end a terrific season of MasterChef… From three contestants down to a winner in just under two hours. This won’t be so much of a recap (you can watch the entire finale at Fox.com/MasterChef) as it will be a reflection of this course of events that will undoubtedly change my life…
First- congratulations to the winner (spoiler alert)… I am so happy for Jennifer Behm, and can’t wait to see what greatness she creates. That said, it’s a bittersweet combination of feelings — Joy for Jennifer, and Heartbreak for Adrien. I would argue any day that nobody wanted to win MasterChef more than Adrien. I’ve said before that he impressed me from day one with both his cooking skill and humility. I was rooting for him all the way up to the end.
Actually, if you ask the cast, most of us were rooting for Adrien. It’s not that we didn’t want Jennifer to win, she was clearly qualified to do so, but Adrien connected with each of us on a very human level… he’s the “un-sung” Ben Starr of the season. He never back stabbed, threw under the bus, or slandered anyone. He cooked with a confidence that never bordered cocky, and told a story through his food by reaching to the past with the Latin American flavors of his youth. You can’t help but respect that type of cook and competitor.
I know that Adrien will go on to GREATNESS. Adrien has staged at Graham Elliot’s restraunt in Chicago as well as Top Chef Master’s Winner Rick Bayless’ Chicago restraunt. Sadly, the cooking opportunities in Adrien’s hometown of Ventura, CA are lacking… Any chef not willing to have Adrien in their kitchen is out of their mind. As Ben Starr said, “Adrien has the potential to change the way we view food” He’s the next Jose Andres. I hope somebody reading this will see the potential he has.
On to the winner- Jennifer, Former Ms. Delaware, current Ms. MasterChef2. She two will go on to great things. What I love about Jennifer is that she’s someone who has consistently carved her life to her liking… she puts her mind to something, works hard, and accomplishes it. That inspiration transcends food, it can be applied to any endeavor.
On a final note, I’ll reflect on what this experience has meant to me. It has been nothing short of life changing. It’s given me new perspective on what I’m capable of. I walk away without the title I set out to win, but with a new catering/private chef/instruction business at EatDrinkEXPERIENCE.com. I have to confidence to put forth food that I know is ground breaking and the humility to never stop learning from the great chefs around me. Even more than that, I take away a prize that I could never have dreamed of…99 great culinary friends and 17 kitchen brothers and sisters that I will know and love until I die. That experience, those connections, have made the whole endeavor a worthy journey.
If you’re thinking about perusing your passion on reality TV, I’d recommend it to anyone. But don’t tread lightly, it’s likely to change your very perception of reality… By the way, did I mention that MasterChef is casting for Season 3?
Congratulations Jennifer! Viva MasterChef!