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Master Chef: Part One, The Players

Posted on: October 10th, 2013 by Taryn Jeffries No Comments

Anyone that has spent even a little bit of time with me knows that I have an extremely soft heart. I am often moved by the actions, trials and personal stories of others. One of my favorite things about writing about food is that I often get to meet and speak with people that have an intense passion for food as an art. I love to hear where their love for food came from and what types of events led them to the place they are today.

On Saturday, October 5th, I had the opportunity to share the same space with close to 300 people who have a passion for cooking and were looking for the opportunity to be a contestant on season 5 of the popular reality cooking show, Master Chef. I spent 7 hours at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix and met 40 hopefuls. I was moved to tears on more than one occasion. I met people that traveled from New Mexico, California and Texas. I met mothers, fathers, engineers, instructors, business owners and one particularly amazing non-profit founder. After spending time with each person I met that day, I could find so many reasons why they should be on the show, so many reasons that I would rally behind them to take the trophy and cash home. It’s obvious I could never be an impartial judge! I was touched and inspired by the people that I met and hope that my relaying their stories can prove to be an inspiration to you as well.

While I was able to choose a few people that I marked as my ultimate favorites, I would rather let you hear their stories and see if you can pick a winner from the group I was honored to meet.

Who will be the next Master Chef?

Amanda| Albuquerque, New Mexico| Carnita tacos with Mango salsa

Kathryn| Mesa| BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Tina| Queen Creek| Bruschetta Trio: Seared Filet, Apricot Mostarda and Cannellini Bean puree with a balsamic glaze

Michael| Glendale| Chicken Roulade

Julie| Scottsdale| Grilled pork tenderloin

Kevin| Tucson| Seared Ahi tuna with a spinach salad and ginger vinaigrette

Antonio| El Paso, Texas| Beef Wellington and a strawberry creme brulee

Jill| Peoria| Coconut Tres Leche layer cake with a raspberry papaya coulis

Sean| Phoenix| Smoked pork carnitas chile verde

Benita| Glendale| Southwest Chicken pot pie with cilantro crema and a caramel apple bread pudding with a maple cream sauce

Phil| Gilbert| Pot roast stuffed mushrooms

Michael| Phoenix| Eggs in a basket with a side of fruit and dip

Timothy| Phoenix| LT’s awesome beef stew

Jennifer| Tempe| Gluten-free Italian wedding soup

James| Tempe| Baby-back ribs with a gluten-free barbeque sauce

Meredith| Scottsdale| Rocky Point shrimp with watercress and hearts of palm

Todd| Gilbert| Stuffed chicken with roasted green chile, cilantro lime rice and a chipotle sour cream sauce

Belena| Gilbert| Chopped chicken dumplings with Asian slaw and a ginger vinaigrette

Erin| Scottsdale| Smoky gruyere orzo with roasted pumpkin

Izzy| Phoenix| Braised chicken with a spicy tomato sauce and a side of cilantro lime rice

Leila| Camp Verde| Coconut lime shrimp and sea scallop ceviche

Kevin| Chandler| Roasted Portobello mushroom stuffed with salmon salad

Amanda| San Tan Valley| Chicken and black bean tostada with mango salsa

Martina| Tucson| Shrimp ceviche in a jicama shell

Jill| Phoenix| Competition Salad

Lisa| San Mateo, California| Spicy bean and sausage stew

Jeff| Chandler| Hunter’s chicken

Eleanor| Phoenix| Crawfish etouffee with jasmine rice

Olivia| Phoenix| Char crusted filet with shrimp in a caper butter sauce

Audrey| Litchfield Park| Spicy chipotle lasagna

Chuck| Mesa| Granita Potato gnocchi with a sage cream sauce

Jackie| North Phoenix| Stir Fry pork with wasabi rice and vegetables

David| Paradise Valley| Spearmint smoked pork with sweet potato

Ryan| West Phoenix| Hawaiian pulled pork

Kim| Gilbert| Smoked pork green chili with a jalapeno cream cheese garnish

Danielle| Phoenix| Tuscani pasta

Charlie| Phoenix| Turkey meatballs with capellini pasta and a creamy vodka sauce

Mike| Laveen| Rosemary rib eye with melted onion and a robust red wine reduction

Kyle| Mesa| Roasted beet flan with goats milk smoked cheddar

Kristin| Mesa| Grilled pineapple moroccan gazpacho

Stay tuned for more specific information based on each Master Chef applicant that I met as well as what the overall audition process is like.

About the Author - Taryn Jeffries

Editor and Chief Eating Officer of PhoenixBites, 2017 Food Writer of the Year (Arizona Culinary Hall of Fame) Taryn grew up in a small town in Illinois with a doting Grandmother who taught her the way around a kitchen and that food is representative of love. Her current quest is to find the love in local dishes and the chefs behind them. In addition to running all things PhoenixBites, Taryn is also a freelance writer, sharing her insight on the best dishes and where to get them each and every month.

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