The final four: Recent thoughts on MasterChef 3
And then there were four…
This whole MasterChef” thing has been a crazy journey. I know I say it all the time, but seriously. I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I’ve cooked for Graham Elliot, Joe Bastianich, and Gordon Ramsay. I can’t believe I’m about to cook for Daniel Boulud, Guy Savoy, and Alain Ducasse. I can’t believe I’m cooking like a fiend on national television. I can’t believe I’ve cried so much on national television. I can’t believe so many people around the globe have heard of or read about or watched me on the show. I can’t believe how transformative an experience it has been. Perhaps the top two things I’ve taken away from MasterChef are: (1) confidence in my abilities, and (2) relationships with other contestants.
Even before I’d made it to the top 100, before coming to L.A. To cook for the three judges in the auditions, I’d laughed it off whenever the topic of “MasterChef” came up among my friends. “I don’t have the drama queen personality for TV,” I’d say. “I’m not quirky enough.” Or “I’m just a cook; I’m not a chef.” Or “There’s no way I’m good enough to compete.”
But my making it this far is a testament to the possibility of the impossible. I grew beyond my self-doubt and started believing in my abilities. I would never dare say I’m the best cook in that MasterChef kitchen because, frankly, it’s not in my modest personality to say so, and moreover, I don’t and can’t know anything for sure—I could never see how my fellow competitors handled their knives, what sorts of techniques they employed during cooking, how they plated their finished dishes. I could never see any of it. All I could do was focus on what I was doing, taste my own food, adjust my own seasonings, do the best I can do with what I was given.
The friends I’ve made on the show are the best things I’ve taken away from the experience. The fact that you can throw a bunch of crazies from the most varied walks of life with personalities, interests, and backgrounds covering polar ends of a spectrum and have them bond so magnetically within such a short period of time prove the universality of humankind. I am uplifted every time I think about this phenomenon—how despite so many differences, people can still unite over such basics like food, art, things that sustain us. Our differences make us beautifully colorful, but it is our similarities that make us transcendentally homogenous.
Relationships are what make life worthwhile, and the ones I’ve cemented at “MasterChef” are priceless. That, along with knowing the tremendous positive impact I’ve had on so many perfect strangers, are things I would not trade for the world.
I just want to give a sincere, heartfelt thanks to all those watching the show and who have shown me love and encouragement. It makes getting up every morning so much easier knowing that I have more supporters than haters out there. Onward and upward! xoxo