Monday, July 12, 2010

Gordon Ramsay's Casting Call for MasterChef


A few months ago, I did something crazy.  I never do anything crazy.  Occassionally, I'll do something exciting but never crazy.  And yet, there I was, about to do my first crazy thing ever.  I stood in line for four hours with three hundred other bleary-eyed individuals, all clutching their culinary masterpieces, to audition for Fox's new series, MasterChef.  See, the hubster had seen the above video and said, "You talk to yourself while cooking.  You should audition!"  Normally, I would have scoffed at something so, well, crazy but the hubster downplayed the crazy aspect.  He said all I had to do was bring a dish to present to the judges and he'd take me out for brunch after.  Let's be real, I'll do anything for brunch, so there I was, freezing my tukus off in the January chill.  I'd lost feeling in my fingers and I was convinced my toes would snap off when I took my boots off. Don’t even get me started on the boots. It was a horrible idea to wear boots with 3 inch heels. But then again, I didn’t know I’d be standing in line for four hours.  Rumor has it that Gordon Ramsay was supposed to be less like his Hell’s Kitchen personality and more like Paula Deen’s. I’m not sure I bought it.


We finally got inside only to find the line winding all around Sur La Table (they were holding the auditions in the back room).  I could hear people talking about their dishes and their culinary experience. The gentleman standing behind me pointed to a knife he recently purchased. I glance at the price tag and nearly dropped the dish holding my Thai green curry noodles. $150 for a knife?!? I decided then and there that I would avoid all conversations involving knives. I was certain these people would not be impressed with my no-brand, slightly dull not-really-a-chef's-knife knife.

The line finally wound around to the back room and I could see people setting up their dish for the judges to taste. I saw someone piping pastry cream into homemade pastry puffs and I began to feel inadequate. I was clearly out of my league surrounded by people who knew more about cooking, had better equipment and way better piping skills. The fact was, I was a home cook who liked to try new recipes.  A girl’s gotta eat right? Might as well eat something delicious.


The line finally moved again and I found myself at a counter with nervous men and women all around, frantically plating their submissions. I plopped my new leather bag on the ground only to realize I had placed it smack dab in the middle of a water puddle.  This was clearly a bad omen.  I quickly piled my Thai green curry noodles on a plate, threw the shrimp, pepper and mushroom skewers on top, and planted a big smile on my face as a judge walked toward me.  In his three second walk toward me, I scoped out my neighbors’ submissions. Butternut squash soup on my left, some sort of Italian dish on my right, and those ass-kicking chocolate cream puffs in front.

The “interview” with the judge was relatively painless. He asked me to describe my dish, asked a question about the most unique or odd item currently in my kitchen (Indian mango pickle- a smelly, but oddly comforting remnant of my mom’s last visit to Dallas), and the kind of food I liked to cook. He grabbed a fork and handed one to me.  We were going to try my dish together.  I guess that’s the only way he could ensure the food was relatively safe.  Little did he know, I ate street food in Pakistan.  I have a stomach o’ steel!  He told me the shrimp was well cooked (high praise because by now, it had been sitting for a good four hours). And just like that, he was gone.  I stood there looking puzzled.  Should I stay?  Leave?  Dance?  I began packing up my food and a lady approached. She handed me a green piece of paper and told me to see another lady at the desk outside.  I looked down at the green paper and it was my golden ticket!  I felt like I was in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, except I was the grandpa doing the awkwardly crazy dance and not Charlie, doing the cute happy dance.  I gave my name to the girl at the table. She told me to come to a secret location tomorrow, and just like that, I was back into the sunlight…. Triumphant after round 1!



Next, in the MasterChef saga: MasterChef Auditions: The Squeakquel

50 comments:

  1. OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    CONGRATULATIONS AZMINA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    *Explodes with joy*

    Don't be intimidated by those ass-kicking chocolate cream puffs. You show em up with your home-cookin' style skillz, girly. You may feel like a shrimp, but you're a meeean home cook with a great attitude. So don't let those fancy $150 knives tell you otherwise.

    Rooting for you!!

    xo Aletheia

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  2. Wow, very very impressive... Can't wait to hear (or see - on tv) if you made it all the way through to the tv shows. Congratulations on this first victory!!!

    http://www.vandeflier.com

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  3. HUGE congrats Azmina!

    Back in the UK I grew up on the show Masterchef, it's a brilliant show and there's absolutely no reason why you can't beat the whole ass-kicking, chocolate-cream-puff-making lot of them!

    GO Azmina!

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  4. Omg this is sooooo cool!!! I can't wait to see what happens next!

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  5. I love it!! YAYAYAYAYAYYAY! We're all rooting for you. Can't wait to hear how it all shakes out! Congrats!

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  6. wowwww! Congrats! Wish you all the best. :)

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  7. Holy moley! HUGE CONGRATS to you Azmina!!!!!! I 100% agree with Aletheia, you go in there and show em how it's done! If it were me (and that's a big IF cause I'm not nearly as talented as you) I'd probably strutt in proud with my "not $150" knife and show them that you don't need expensive equipment to be a great chef, just a big heart, and I know you have a big heart. Best of luck in the next round! You've already got my vote girl! Now go kick some cream puff butt (if they were even AS ROCKIN' AS YOU and made it through)!

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  8. Yikes!!!!!!!! Yes, I've heard that about Gordon Ramsey mainly from a fellow foodie friend professional chef who manages the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Panang Malaysia..evidently Ramsey was staying there recently and he said he was quite nice and gentle.!! Good luck..I'll be waiting to see if you go the distance.

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  9. that is soooooooooooooo cool! Great job! can't wait to hear what happens next.

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  10. How absolutely awesome!!!! I can't wait to hear more about this. Yay for you!

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  11. Dear Azmeena :

    You go girl! We in the foodie blog world are all rooting for u - Kick ass and make us proud :)

    Can't wait to follow the journey.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

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  12. Wow!! that is so fantastic!! congratulations, you deserve it .... your food is great!

    Keep us updated!
    Ellen @ lapuremama

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  13. Way to go girl!!!! I'm excited for you! Okay, this is exciting and crazy but I like it :)

    Good luck and looking forward to hearing more about it! Go Asian! :D

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  14. So so so exciting for you... can't wait to hear more, don't leave us hanging!!!

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  15. TO BE CONTINUED!!??! AAUUGHHH you're killin me here!

    Congratulations Azmina :)

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  16. Hoping you go all the way, how exciting!

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  17. Wow....I mean really wow! Congratulations! You know we're all pulling for you as hard as we can. This is so very cool.

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  18. This is so exciting! I can't believe how cool this whole situation is...I love that you had the courage to do something like this. Hopefully some of your smarts and bravery will rub off on me the more I read your blog.

    And no, there is nothing like a Pakistani stomach. Talk about made of steel!! I love it.

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  19. Well isn't this an interesting (and uber exciting) development!!! Can't wait to hear more!

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  20. Oh wow! Congrats! I tried out as well and made it to the third round - it's actually how my blog got started! Check this out: http://cookingwithcoley.com/how-did-i-get-here/

    Apparently I missed the fine print that you couldn't blog about the try out process. Oops!

    Hope to see someone I "know" on there! Good luck to you!

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  21. Super exciting!!! Look forward to hearing more!!! Great job!

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  22. wooohooooo! i'm so excited for you!

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  23. Oh my! This is so exciting! You are not crazy at all...instead, completely awesome!

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  24. Omygoodness! That's so cool! I love Master Chef, I watch the British, NZ and Ozzie series here! Yay!!!! Good on ya, I don't think i'd ever have the guts to cook in front of national tv, I panic and stress out by myself, imagine in front of millions of people! Haha. My friend's have been pushing me to apply for NZ's Hottest Homebaker's Season two but I'm constantly ignoring them. haha

    Well done again!!

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  25. Whoa congratulations! This is so exciting! So are you going to provide the recipe for those award-winning green curry noodles??? :P

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  26. To be continued?! This is too exciting - good luck!
    -Kerry

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  27. Azminaaaaaaaa!!!!!!!! This is absolutely great news, girl!!! big hug!! Am a huge Top Chef and Masterchef fan and keep watching episodes online whenever they dont have a simulcast in India. And MasterChef is just starting auditions for the India series with a huge Bollywood hunk hosting the show :) so yes, i know how nerve-racking and exciting it must have been for you! Congratulations ms.lawyer-loves-lunch... and all the very best for ur next round. hope to see you on tv soon! much love...

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  28. Wow!!!! So exciting!!! Congrats!

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  29. CONGRATULATIONS! This is the biggest news ever! So exciting. I hope you make it on the show.

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  30. How WONDERFUL!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!! I hope you make it!! sending you winning, positive thoughts!!! :) Thanks so much for stopping by my blog too, because I'm so thrilled to have found yours now, love it!

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  31. that is soooo cool. Can't wait to keep reading about it...

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  32. Wow this is amazing. Congrats!

    I m a huge fan of Ramsay and his shows

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  33. SO AWESOME! Can't wait to hear the rest, but just as a heads-up: next time I see you, expect me to be touching you a LOT just in case there are any residual Ramsay-molecules about your person.
    You're so cool, lady!

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  34. OMG that is awesome...cant wait 2 read the rest of it..
    i was asked 2 audition for the Britains best Food show and i chickened out..really...
    And Gordon..he's jus awesome...i love all his restaurants out here:)

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  35. This is amazing girl!! I am rooting for you...can't wait to read the rest!

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  36. I know it's a little late (I've been busy) but I just wanna say congrats and tell you how awesome this is and that I'm so insanely jealous. Oh, and I saw your mickey pops on foodgawker! And foodgawker hates everyone!

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  37. You are like the new Rachel Ray. Well, I hope you replace her...I'm not a fan. But, you are AWESOME!!!!

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  38. HOLY MAMA!!! wow congrats, how freaking awesome.....I am super excited for you!!! please keep us poted!!

    sweetlife

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  39. I'm so impressed with you! This is amazing. You have so much courage doing this. I can't wait to hear what happens!!

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  40. Holy Schmoley!!!! Way to go girl! YAY!!!! I'm rooting for ya - go knock em' good and dead!!

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  41. WOW! I am SOooo excited for you!!! Keep us posted, I can't wait to hear what happens next Ms. Master Chef! ;)

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  42. Oh WOW...This is so amazing, you can do it, give heck on round 2:) We also have a much smaller and no where near as exciting...something for you here. http://dld.bz/mBpk as one of our recently discovered most favorite blogs:) Again congrats on your recent triumph...

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  43. Wow! That is so amazing! I must say, I'm almost as impressed that you put yourself out there as I am that you made it to round two. What an adventure!

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  44. I can't wait to hear how the story ends! I hope you kicked butt!

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  45. Lovely dish and congrats!!!!! Thanks for visiting my space and you have a wonderful foodie space yourself.

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  46. Ahhhh - is that you in the preview on the MasterChef website? It looks like it could be (based on your picture)! Or maybe I am being presumptuous, so sorry if it's not and actually doesn't look anything like you. :)

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  47. SOOO fun!!! CONGRATS!!!! I need part 2!! =)

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  48. This is fabulous! I am so impressed by your moxie! Can't wait to read more...Kristie

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