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I just returned from a month-long stint in Vietnam filming MasterChef Vietnam season 3—yes, I’m a full-fledged judge of the MasterChef franchise now! This season is already airing in Vietnam on VTV3 on Saturday evenings at 8 PM local time. If you live outside of Vietna, however, you can find many of the episodes on YouTube, although you’ll have to understand Vietnamese to follow the season. Keep in mind the budget of MC VN is a mere fraction of that of MC U.S.; regardless, it was a rewarding experience to

Okay, I admit: I cooked with Connor over a year ago, so the footage from this episode is nothing new. But we were waiting on the embedded video, and then I was waiting on the edit from my hubs/director/producer/sound engineer/UX marketing manager at Home Depot’s (Yes, he is a John of all trades.) This fell to the wayside, and I got nervous releasing Episode 6: Cooking with Connor so late—what if his condition has changed dramatically since our cooking date?

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.

Back in October, I was in Toronto shooting the first season of my Canadian cooking show, “Four Senses,” when I received a message on Facebook from Sandee Birdsong, the almighty culinary producer behind all the main competitive culinary shows you see on American television, including MasterChef U.S., Top Chef, and now MasterChef Canada. “You’re in Toronto?? I’m here doing MC Canada, and we’re about to tape our finale. Can you come visit the set and give a pep talk to the finalists?” Sandee had said.

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

Last Wednesday, I got an email from the communications director at Rodale (my cookbook publisher) stating that my very first book I’d ever published, Recipes from My Home Kitchen, was going to debut at #12 on the New York Times best sellers list for the week of July 14th under the Advice/How To/Misc. category. I was so incredibly stoked. I was in the car with my girlfriend on our way to a happy hour for a friend’s birthday. “I’m not going to drink to her birthday,” I’d said. “I’m drinking

Hello, hot Houstonians! I’ll be doing my first official book signing tomorrow, Tuesday, June 11th, at Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet St., 77005) at 7:00 PM. It’ll be preceded by slots casino a short talk and a Q&A—whatever question you have, bring it on. Please come out and support your local indie bookstore. Hope to “see” you there! xoxo

Hello friends! It’s been a whole year since I made my debut on the small screen. And now it’s a new year, a new season, and a new batch of contestants. I’m excited to see what happens this season and to find out, along with the rest of America, who the next reigning MasterChef will be. I spent the last ten days in NYC promoting my cookbook, Recipes from My Home Kitchen, and the season 4 premiere of ”MasterChef.” The red carpet, TV spots, and interviews are all fun…but nothing

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