Going on the show I thought the last thing I would need to worry about was being on the “bloopers” reel, I take pride and have confidence in my cooking. Well oddly enough…my dish will not even be shown. It was the dish I made for the open call and what I made for the “on camera” audition. The food expert at the open call loved it, I felt confident heading into everything, it was not all bad as an experience, disappointing to say the least but not without a lesson. Some contestants had great back stories and had triumphed though horrible things, others were fire dancers or made robots. The thing we all had in common was to represent ourselves as cooks. I gave it hell I did, I bought all the best products to use (out of pocket expense, btw) but I enjoyed filming actually. I didn’t really expect to like all my cast mates so much, they were awesome! We all kinda instabonded. I loved the wranglers and all the British accents on the crew. If you’ve seen the show you probably figured that I knew what I was in for….but I naively really believed in it, believed that if you try your best that you can come out a winner. Life can be boring and unpleasant at times, and I felt like I had an opportunity that was extraordinary. I got a yes from Joe,Graham said the dish was good, but my plating wasn’t great (did you see some of the dishes they put through? seriously?) And Gordon said my salad was “nice” but my chicken was dry (air cooled, organic and $10 lbs ), too bad since he “loved my personality”. So in hindsight….as for all hopes and dreams I had for myself, I failed. Wow, that’s a sucky feeling….I wanted to throw up a little when my roommate from the show found an article that the Salt Lake Tribune had about me “being a hopeful” I felt like I was living a lie as all my friends were congratulating me with kind words….I already knew the outcome. Coming so close and then getting dumped on your ass is quite character building and was really the catalyst to start my food blog so I could show people what I do in my style. Well here is the dish that got me on and sent packing on Masterchef Season 4:
8 sheets defrosted phyllo
4 chicken breast, marinated in 2 tbsp each, olive oil, soy, and fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp dried herb de Provence, 2 cloves garlic smashed, salt and pepper to taste. Marinate at least 30 minutes or overnight. Sear on both sides.
2 cups baby spinach wilted
4 oz Greek Feta
4 oz whole milk ricotta
Preheat 375 degree oven, mix your egg and cheeses with spinach. Butter a sheet of phyllo, top with another sheet, butter, place chicken in the middle, top with spinach mixture, fold sides in first then roll from the bottom up. Butter top, bake for 30 minutes or so till golden and crisp.
For the open call, I made it with Greek potato salad using blue and Yukon potatoes, and topped with a Greek Horitaki “salsa” of sort and micro greens. Due to the time limits for the on camera, I did a roasted eggplant puree and an arugula salad. I posted pics of both variations, they are both good…..and you could also do rice or mashed potatoes.
Gotta live life without regrets regardless, I would be lying if I said I was happy with the conclusion to my journey, I was very much not…..but I did get to meet Lars and James from Metallica on my flight into LA. I totally was worried I would look super terrible, I didn’t. As with most things in life….aside from getting eaten by a lion or being buried alive, it coulda been worse and in like a decade it might actually be funny…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, but it can drag ya down for a bit. I hate watching myself too….I seriously don’t register the weird faces I make….I don’t even know I do it…..haha. What does the future hold for me? Not sure, but I probably won’t be hobnobbing around with Mr. Ramsey anytime soon. To some folks with real troubles, this probably comes off silly, a reality show being mean to you could be seen as a first world problem that is for sure. I’m keeping things in perspective and as they say, hopefully time (and beer) will heal all wounds.