In honor of the MasterChef season premiere that aired this week on FOX, we thought we’d finally talk about the audition process. Truthfully, we should have addressed this back in November when we actually went down to Orlando for the audition, but since it was the week of Thanksgiving and the weeks that followed became quite a blur, posting about the experience seemed less and less relevant. Now that the show’s running on television, it’s back on our minds again, so here’s the story. We don’t have any pictures of the actual experience, because J went alone. Children were not allowed at the audition, and I can’t stand for hours on end, so little man and I went with my dear friend to explore the Orlando area a bit.
J decided to make a Thanksgiving themed dish, in essence, an entire traditional Thanksgiving meal on a plate, as a signature dish, rather than using a recipe from someone else. It was a risky move serving Thanksgiving food just days before the holiday, we all think it served him well. We don’t have the actual recipe in recipe form, because J was more concerned with getting it right, rather than writing it down. Basically, the dish was a breaded turkey cutlet, made to taste like stuffing, served over a sweet potato puree, topped with a fresh cranberry ginger sauce, using whole cranberries instead of the jellied canned stuff. He added the green beans for color on the plate for the photo of the dish to go with the application, but they were not actually part of the final audition dish.
Prior to leaving town for our trip, we received a call and email from the MasterChef audition coordinators to schedule the audition time. This was a blessing because it kept J from having to show up at the crack of dawn to wait at the audition location. We arrived in Orlando one day early, with a few ingredients in hand that we could not source locally in a cooler. J cooked the dish over, and over, mostly because he wanted to be sure he had it right, but I think the sleep depravation from the night drive played a role in his ability to function at his top; so it took longer than it should have.
With completed application, food, plating supplies, and photos of himself and the completed dish in hand, off to the audition he went. He was called into a room with other people who were auditioning, and got to taste their food, too. When the judges tasted his food, it was well received, with compliments on how moist his turkey cutlet was, and one judge even followed him to the door to congratulate him and say that it was the best dish of the day. With compliments like that, J was a bit disappointed when he was not put through to the next round of the show.
Overall, the trip was fun and the experience helped J grow, but we’d be lying if we said it wouldn’t have rocked to have made it further in the process.