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in memory of josh marks

October 11 of last year, evening. Dinner was beef Wellington and glazed carrots. One couple had brought whipped potatoes, another a salad. After everyone had left, the hubs helped me gather dirty dishes into the sink. I pulled on my gloves and began rinsing the stemware.

My cell phone rang. Who would be calling me so late?

“It’s Monti,” John said after checking my caller ID.

“I’ll call her back after I’m done with the dishes,” I said.

My phone chimed again—this time, a text message.

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recap of the afb 2014 helen keller achievement awards

My blog was on a little hiatus while I was in Toronto filming ”Four Senses” season 2–long work days with only two days off out of 22 was a bit of a blog buzzkill. But I’m back, baby!

My last gastronomical travels took us to Denver, and if we are to follow my trips chronologically, we would land in New York City where I spent a few days mid-June for the 2014 Helen Keller Achievement Awards. But before we get on to the good eats, the purpose for my being in NYC deserves a post itself.

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instagram update


Happy #thanksgiving to all! Our family meal made by @j5uh & me: turkey sous vide with duck fat, garlic, sage, thyme, lemon zest & finished off in the skillet in more duck fat; broccoli rice casserole, whipped potatoes w/ sour cream & chives; sausage, sage & apple stuffing; sweet Creole corn; gravy, cranberry sauce; my mama-in-law’s kim bap. #cheflife #yum #cha #twt #fan #blog via Instagram http://instagram.com/p/hRls2gCXmy/

thoughts on the passing of josh marks

As many of you may have heard, my friend and co-finalist for “MasterChef” season 3, Josh Marks, recently passed away from an apparent suicide. Josh was one of my closest friends from the show, and it greatly bereaves me to have learned of this news. As if this wasn’t enough, I see that someone who doesn’t know either one of us personally has been making judgments online. Today someone posted on my Facebook page (and I paraphrase) that “nobody cares about Josh, that none of us helped him before it was too late.”

I am sorry, but I have to express my disappointment in reading this statement. This comes from a person who admits he/she does not know Josh nor I nor any of his family and friends personally, and to make that sort of a judgment is completely uncalled for and wrong. To think that nobody tried to help him dismisses the great lengths his mother went through to try to help her son. To say this is to believe her efforts were nonexistent.

I am the kind of person that does not like to focus on the negative, but rather the positive, of a situation or person. I am also the kind of person that believes in respecting people’s privacy. This is why I choose not to post or write about Josh’s circumstances on my blog, Facebook, or Twitter. Josh’s loved ones are going through enough grief; they don’t need the additional stress of any unwanted media on them. But after reading this person’s allegations that nobody cared about Josh, I had to say something.

Is it not enough for us to be going through this grief, now we have to answer to people’s accusations, too? I am deeply saddened by Josh’s passing, but I prefer not to air it out online. My bereavement is personal and between me and those who knew Josh. It is not between me and the rest of the world. It is not my responsibility to report publicly what my relationship with Josh was like, how many times we’ve talked or emailed, what we talked or emailed about, how he felt, how I’m feeling, what transpired between us, what I have or have not done, and so on. And I think anyone who questions what any of us are going through or are thinking or have or have not done should really mind their own business. It greatly upsets me to know that people would think just because we have been on TV means 100% of our lives belong to the public. This is simply not true. And it upsets me to know that some people confuse our choice of keeping some things private with not caring. These are not equivalent.

With all this being said, there has only been one person who had anything negative to say. Everyone else has sent their sympathies, and these are very much appreciated. On behalf of Josh’s family, friends, colleagues, and his fellow MasterChef family, thank you for your sincere condolences. Please continue to keep Josh and his loved ones in your thoughts and prayers.

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