Monday, June 6, 2011

MasterChef Season 2 - So you think I'm adorable?

Tonight, the night of June 6th,  MasterChef Season 2 is premiering!  I am so excited for the people who have made it on to the show and can't wait to see if my friends get an apron!  It's all been very secretive up until this point.  The gig is up and tonight's the night! I was invited to the Premiere party tonight in NYC! I can't wait to meet all the contestants from N.Y., who made it to the final audition in Los Angeles, and cheer them on! I can't wait to find out who get's a MasterChef Apron!
I'd like to tell you about my audition for the show. I had a blast!  It was a great day, waiting in line among a thousand plus people who lined up the first day of auditions, meeting some fabulous people, establishing new friendships, and going through the process of an audition, which was something totally foreign to me.
My day began at 3 am! I wanted to make everything fresh for the audition. I wanted to bring a dish that represented my style of cooking. I was going to make Osso Bucco with a side of homemade ravioli. I'm not talking about store bought homemade ravioli, I'm talking about ravioli that I made!  A recipe that has been handed down in our family and is made with love at least once a year with family and friends.
At 3 AM I started braising the Veal Shank with a trinity of carrots, celery and onion.  I don't think my house has ever had that aroma going that early in the morning.  I was finishing the Osso Bucco in the oven so I went back to bed for a little bit.  I didn't sleep at all, I was too excited for the day that was about to begin.  After finishing the Osso Bucco and making the ravioli's we left the house with the food in insulated bags to try to keep everything warm. We arrived in NYC at 8 am and got in line. I was the 10th person in line!

As you can see I have a huge bandage on my finger. I sliced it open on the lid of a can 2 days before.  5 stiches! ouch!
 Hanging out, meeting producers ....
having fun, surrounded by many interesting people. At one point, I had to look and see how many people we waiting in line. I understand that over 1000 people showed up on the first day of auditions. The line wrapped around the building and went down the street!

I think it was around 10:30 AM when Joe Bastianch showed up, and the crowd went wild!
We were ushered into a room and given 3 minutes to plate our food!
Now 3 minutes is not a long time, especially when struggling with a lame hand and the person next to me who took up all my work space with his freaking lobsters. The cameras were all over him, and I kept pushing his crap to the side. I popped a stitch, and started bleeding and was trying to hide my hand. If I wasn't so nervous I think I would have cried.
The first round was a tasting round. They had professional tasters, as well as producers, come through the room tasting all the dishes. Joe Bastianich commented on my dish, called my brown sauce a fancy name and said, "Classic Italian" Very nice!" and kept walking. I said, "excuse me, Joe...aren't you going to taste my food?" I mean what the heck, I practically made this dish just for him!  He replied,  "I wish I could!" I was later told by producers that he couldn't taste any of the food that day. They didn't want him to have any favorites going into the later rounds. Does that really make any sense? This is supposed to be about the food, right?
I made it through several rounds of that audition process. First the tasting round, then there was a culinary IQ test, which was very simplistic, and then a personality test, which was a Q & A with producers and Joe.  People were crying during this process, turning it on, some people got quiet, some people just kept talking and talking.  Me,  I'm just a suburban housewife,  the mother of 4, without a hard luck story, who can cook and has a great personality.  I really thought I had it in the bag!
The producers loved me, they told me I was adorable and I know they enjoyed my food. Who the heck wouldn't love a nice dish of homemade ravioli?   I'm not talking about the usual ricotta cheese stuffed variety! These were stuffed with a ragu made of veal, beef, pork, with spinach and parmesan cheese topped with a meat, onion and porcini mushroom sauce.  The tasters went back for seconds on the Osso Bucco, and Joe Bastianich himself was impressed!

My husband Steve and my sister Marlene were waiting downstairs in the lobby area, wondering what was going on, I was gone for hours! My cell phone died, so my sister kept pestering the producers for a status updates. They told her, the longer she's gone... it's a good sign. She begged them "Please! Find out what's going on with her?"  So the producer asked Marlene,  "What did your sister make?" and when she told them he immediately replied " Oh,  Joe is very impressed by the Osso Bucco Lady!"
I was one of the lucky few who made it to the next round of auditions, and was thrilled to be asked to come back for additional auditions, and tapings. Unfortunately, I didn't get that last email or communication inviting me out to LA to cook for the judges and get a MasterChef apron.  I know if they had given me that chance to cook for them I would have been one of the last people left in the competition.
There's always Season 3!  You know,  I'm going to go for it again! After all, I was told that I was adorable and, I really want that cookbook deal!  lol
Leave a comment, and make my day!


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