Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Next Master Chef?

Since the first episode of the reality show Master Chef I have been sitting back thinking, "I could do that." Season's 2 & 3 went by and timing wasn't in the cards, so I patiently waited for the casting to begin on Season 4.  Applying was simple enough by filling out an online form and then printing out 14 pages of application and releases. Then the waiting began for when the casting call would be.

In early October the email arrived with the information I had been waiting for. November 3, 2012 at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles I would audition for Master Chef.  Now the question was what would I make?  The Master Chef website didn't give you much information other than you need to bring a dish prepared, there is no place for you to heat or cook the food.  I knew what I wanted to bring, roasted pork loin wrapped in caul fat with caramelized fennel and onion.  Thankfully I didn't have to worry about having it hot as the judging was not on temperature.
Shaking Hands with Gordon Ramsey

On Saturday, November 3, my husband Doug travelled with me to Los Angeles for my audition.  We arrived at Le Cordon Bleu at 10 am and see several hundred people and who was greeting all the contestants waiting in line? The infamous foul-mouthed chef himself, Gordon Ramsey.  He finally made his way down the line to me and I was able to say hello and shake the hand of the man that is feared by many chefs. 

After about three hours of waiting to go in for my audition, I was called in with about 19 others. Once we were in the room we had three minutes to plate our dish before they came around and photographed us and our food. Once they were finished with that we were interviewed about ourselves and our food was looked at and we were questioned about it.  I didn't know what to think and I was only asked why onion with the fennel and I was told I had pretty plating.

One thing I noticed while in line and while in the audition room was that some of us had three digit numbers and some had the letter V followed by three digits. They didn't have to wait in line as long as those of us with only the three digits.  When the judging was finished they were the only ones asked to remain while the rest of us were dismissed. 

What did they do to get that letter? Why do they have that letter? Why weren't anyone without that letter called to remain? Is this show somewhat prejudged? Those questions I do have still to find the answer to. What I do know is we were told that we were not all no's and that we could still be called back.  Los Angeles was not the only audition city and thousands of others will be going through the same process I just went through.

Will I be the next Master Chef?  I don't think that is in the cards. No matter the outcome I do know I had a great experience doing something I love. 

* During the premiere episode of MasterChef in May 2013 one of the people I saw at the audition with the letter V in front of their number did make it on to MasterChef as one of the top 100. She made heart shaped cookies. Laughable, I'm sorry, but it is. Also, during the show one of my friends from high school appeared on the show. She was never shown with her falcon or with her dish. She answered a casting call and did not audition. My realization is MasterChef is just TV, they want the ratings and don't really care to have the best cooks if they did they wouldn't have had a guy with giant waterbugs in the top 100. As I said I wouldn't change my experience, but if I knew then what I know now.


  1. SOOOO Awesome, Debbie! I'm glad you had a good time... I hope you find out about the 'V's!!! That really has me wondering. I'm sure your food was delicious - I LOVE LOVE LOVE fennel.

  2. You're our Master Chef. I'm curious about the "Vs" too. Glad you had a good time with it.