MasterChef Canada finally premiered on CTV this passed Monday. My apologies for not getting around to this post sooner. There has been so much excitement over the last few days (I also celebrated my 28th birthday on Tuesday). It was so surreal to see myself on TV. The show raked in 1.4 million viewers (and that doesn't count those who recorded it to watch it later or watched it online). Not bad! Unfortunately they didn't show my audition in this episode. They will be showing just a few more auditions on the second episode next Monday so my fingers are crossed that I will be featured. Not everyone in the top 50 will be shown, so I will be lucky if they do. Until it airs I won't be able to discuss how it went but you can expect a blog post next week for sure.
Although my audition didn't get covered, there were a few glimpses of me here and there (maybe 3-4 seconds total). I counted 5 times where you could see my face and took a few screengrabs so you can see for yourselves!
lol! How cool is that? I still can't believe that I was able to have this experience. I'm just so grateful. I have received an enormous amount of support and praise from my friends and family all over the world. I simply can't find the words to properly express my appreciation.
The episode opened with Tammara Behl from Calgary auditioning with her vegetarian samosas (they looked so good!). Tammara was such a blast to hang out with on set. I am really looking forward to the next time I can see her. It is a shame that we live so far away. Her samosas earned her a coveted white apron! Congratulations to her. Before the enormous gates opened to reveal the three judges: Michael Bonacini, Alvin Leung and Claudio Aprile, Tammara excitedly pushed her trolley with her sparkly ice cream cone high heels and squealed, "Oh my GOODNESS!". I let out such a laugh! Maybe you'd have to know her but it was so charming.
Another contestant, Dale Kuda of Toronto (originally USA), was featured near the end of the episode. Dale and I were paired together as roommates at the hotel that we stayed at at the beginning of production. For his audition he put together a pan fried fillet of pickerel with a fennel and citrus salad. His dish also earned him an apron. Big congrats to him as well! This isn't Dale's first mention on the blog. I recently hung out with Dale and a few other contestants not long ago. Dale is a very sharp-whitted character. If you are following the show you will get to know exactly what I mean. lol
21-year-old graduate in engineering, Eric Chong of Oakville, ON, served a pan seared duck breast with a red Thai chili sauce, steamed rice, spring rolls and a pureed plum reduction. He had a memorable audition after unintentionally upsetting "Demon Chef" Alvin Leung. Eric tried to recover from a comment that the duck was slightly burnt by promising it would taste fine. Although Alvin ominously responded with, "I don't like it when people tell me I'm wrong" Eric managed to earn an apron and come out victorious.
Trinidadian twin sisters Narida & Marida Mohammed were featured at the same time. They both prepared Caribbean dishes. Marida put together a beautiful plate of red snapper with fried bake and chutney. Narida made a clever play on Trini breakfast with fresh roti, avocado, roasted eggplant and an heirloom tomato choka. The final result was bittersweet as Marida was given an apron and Narida was sent home. They are both such amazing women and I wish them all the best in their endeavours and lives.
Misfortune fell on some other talented cooks (and now friends of mine) who were sent home without aprons. To name a few, Fabian Suckoo of Calgary (originally Jamaica) and his traditional Jamaican dish, ackee and saltfish. Maryam Chashnidel of Toronto (originally Persia) who in reality was the very first contestant to audition for an apron, was sent home after serving baklava. BillieJo Picco of Mount Pearl, NF just missed the mark with a cheesecake and rum caramel sauce. Radio personality, Andrew Lawton of London, ON was sent home over his wild mushroom latte with garlic biscotti. There were many others too.
The most heartwarming audition shown in the episode for me was that of Vancouver's Carly Tennant. Have you ever met somebody for the first time and instantly clicked with them almost as if you've known them for years? That was Carly and I on set. I can't say enough great things about her. She is just the right amount of positive energy, generosity, sass and spice. lol! We were most definitely a mischievous pair. She prepared cajun turkey meatballs with a parsnip purée, balsamic reduction and crispy kale chips. Carly's personality shone right through the screen, totally true to herself and completely endearing. Along with the appearance of her teary-eyed mother who flew out from Vancouver to cheer her on, I am happy and proud to announce that Carly also received an apron. I will never forget that moment. Of the 50 conestants, Carly was the third person to present a dish to the judges and the very first out of all of us to earn an apron. We all went crazy when she came out of the judging room with her mom and her apron. In fact, the camera did a quick pan of the crowd reacting and for a moment you can see me in the background cooking my dish at one of the stations and raising my one available arm up in celebration. Carly, I know you're reading this. So proud of you, Babe! She is Canada's sweetheart.
Brooke Feldman, who is another of MasterChef Canada's Top 50, managed to put together a viewing party for the premiere of the show at a modern restaurant/bar in downtown Toronto. Of the attendees were herself, Kelly Rothschild, Danny Raposo, Geoff Johnson, Dale Kuda and myself. We invited some of our friends and family to join us for food, drinks and of course to watch the show. We rented the entire upper level and had a tremendous time. It was the perfect way to end my 27th year! Here are a few photos of myself and the other contestants from that night. I feel like a prize fool, because I didn't end up with any photos of Kelly! In the group shot of us I believe she is directly behind Danny. My sincere apologies, Kelly! I hope to have you make an appearance on the blog sooner or later.
|Geoff Johnson and Me|
|Brooke Feldman and Me|
|Geoff Johnson, Danny Raposo & Me|
|Myself & Dale Kuda|
|From Left: Brooke Feldman, Danny Raposo, Dale Kuda, Yours Truly & Geoff Johnson|
Well guys, I certainly hope you enjoyed this post! If you can, be sure to keep watching MasterChef Canada on Monday nights on CTV. Stay tuned, on the next blog post I'm going to share some photos of my birthday dinner with my best friend Michelle at one of Toronto's most reputable Moroccan restaurants. You won't want to miss it! Also, after the second episode of MasterChef Canada airs I can tell you all about my audition experience and whether or not I won an apron and continued on in the competition.
In the meantime, be healthy, happy and positive!
PS: Sorry to the amazing contestants on the show who didn't get mentioned individually in this post. There are so many of us and only so much time in my schedule. Don't worry. There will be plenty more MasterChef Canada on the blog. :)