Wednesday, November 24, 2010

MasterChef Auditions

So I did something really crazy this past Saturday. I went to the open call for MasterChef Season 2 that was held here in Orlando. The show features "talented home cooks" with no professional experience so I figured it was right up my alley.

The event started at 10 am at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and went through until 6 pm. I got there at 10 and got on line. You were to bring with you a completed application, a picture of yourself, a dish for the judges to try and a picture of your dish. So there we all were. This very long line of hopefuls carting coolers and bags, you name it. I was number 172.

At first it seemed like things were going to move along more quickly than it ended up. They had people going around doing official-like stuff such as making sure you had your application, stapling your picture to the back of it, giving you a number to wear....and then we the was hot. We got hungry and thought of all the really good food that was in all these coolers surrounding us! We got to be buddies with the people near us on the line.

So close yet so far...

They were taking groups in, 30 people at a time. Each group was in for at least 1 hour before the next group got in. I finally got to the "line starts here" sign at noon and was hopeful. Then at 1:30 pm I got through the door, but wait, the guy had miscounted and I was one too many. Surely they could have squeezed me in but no, I was sent back outside to wait again. I was first on line now though. The 1:30 group took 1 1/2 hours so I finally got in at 3! We all had 3 minutes to plate our food. We were all pretty much done in 1! Then at least 2 judges tasted your food and another judge walked around and gave you the opportunity to tell her your 30 second story. They all secretly rated you on a score card attached to your application and laying face down on the table. Then they left to discuss whatever it is they discuss.

Meanwhile we were all starving and asking for tastes of all the really good looking food - who cares if it had been sitting for 5 plus hours in a cooler and was supposed to be hot or cold but as of now was all the same temp regardless! And the food I tasted was really, really good. I brought dim sum - pot stickers, siu mai and spring rolls. It was really, really good. When the judges came back out they told us we could toss out our food now, indeed they had trash cans set up for such a thing. Are you kidding? I brought mine home to heat up hot enough to kill all living things and eat. Plus, I brought this awesome smoked salmon cheesecake from my line-mate, Mary, home too. It was divine. Ok, back to the event...

The judges came back out. They called out about 7 names and said for those folks to stay and the rest could leave. Of course they told those sent out at that point that they had their contact information and they were not out of the running yet. But guess what? I was one of the lucky ones asked to stay! Yay! So we got to go up before another panel of judges and now we got to tell our 5 minute story! We went before the judges in a group of 4. We were then sent out to the hall to wait. Then the judges told 2 of us to stay and sent 2 home. And guess what? I was asked to stay! Yay! They scheduled me to come in the next day and do a video taped interview. On Sunday I got up and actually got dressed nicely and put on makeup and headed out. This time I got to tell my 30 minute story on camera. WOWEEE. I made it to round 3.

Needless to say, I was told that I needed to go home and make a video of myself in my home environment and they would email me with instructions on where to send it so it could be included with my taped interview but I have yet to hear from anyone. So I may have reached the end of the line for this show but hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. It sure was something different to do. And I was so hopeful for 48 hours I was floating. I still am, after all, I made it to round 3. We asked how many showed up on Saturday and they said over 500. So to be picked out of that large of a crowd is pretty impressive I think. I am already working on what dish I am going to bring to the open call next time. I plan to try out until I make it on the show!