Last Saturday, I hopped on a plane to NYC… three hours later I was in a cab headed towards Brooklyn to drop my luggage off at a friend (and fellow MasterChef Contestant)’s house. We quickly got aquainted… no caught up, that’s one of the unique things about my MasterChef family; despite the fact that we had virtually no interaction on set (she was eliminated in the apron round) she still opened her home to me and was a more than gracious host.
An hour after dropping my stuff of, I was on a subway train to go meet Max Kramer, Jennifer Behm, and a few other MasterChef contestants for dinner. Wanna know what we ate? Here goes… (I apologize for the dark photos, it was quite dark in the dining room)
“1st Team Challenge” 2.18.11: We have a 6:00am call time this morning… There is a lot of complaining and coffee drinking going on from the cast. “All in a day’s work” is still my attitude, there’s no way that the producers will be able to break my work ethic. We are driven into downtown LA, somewhere near the Staples Center. Alejandra, our cast local and urban geography specialist is throwing our possibilities. We know today will be the first team challenge with yesterday’s winners, Derrick and Max, picking the teams. We end up in a small meeting room in the LA Times building. After a couple hours of waiting we are escorted to the cafeteria where we find the three judges.
“1st Mystery Box” 2.12.11: We are in the MasterChef kitchen for the first time today. We had done the signature dish, apple chop, and chicken challenge in an old warehouse in Compton. The place was filthy…hard to believe we prepared food there. The “Real” MasterChef Kitchen is a lot closer to our hotel and has one big benefit right off the bat: Air Conditioning! (Yeah, the warehouse was THAT bad!)
“The Pre-Egg Challenge” 2.11.11: Last season, the first cooking challenge was to create a dish featuring a single egg. There’s lots of speculation on what this year’s version will be. Potato and chicken are popular theories. On the morning of the 11th, we are taken in small groups to a “food safety” class. We arrive near the Beverley Center and the Casting PA’s walk us to a small cooking school. Sandee is there! We are cooking! It turns out that this “Food Safety” course is a impromptu “informal” cooking challenge!
WOW, what a ride… and it’s just beginning! Tonight, the last of the 38 aprons was given out. Tune in tomorrow as we compete to stay in the competition and the field gets narrowed down to just 18 home cooks! Until tomorrow night, check out my recap of the end of the signature dish round.
If you’d like a spoiler, watch this video… if you’re reading this, you’ve probably already seen the episode. Thanks for all of your support and I hope you enjoy reading my behind the scenes perspective.