The national casting call for MasterChef comes to New Orleans on Jan. 23, and all amateur cooks are invited to audition.
MasterChef is a reality competition show (consider it the “American Idol” for foodies). The show’s host, Chef Gordon Ramsey, and other industry pros will mentor the cooks as they develop their prowess in commercial kitchens.
MasterChef begins filming this spring, and will air on the FOX Network.
MasterChef Casting Director Mandy Hancock shared with me tips on how you can boost your chances of becoming the next MasterChef:
Show passion. “The type of personality that does well in these open calls is someone who is so passionate about cooking that when you’re talking to them about it, their whole face lights up,” Hancock said.
Show gratitude. Hancock has already been on several casting calls for MasterChef, and “the people who stood out to us are enthusiastic, and know that it’s the opportunity of a lifetime.”
You have 5 minutes. “We’ll have local food judges at the casting call,” Hancock said. “Have your dish prepared, then you’ll have 5 minutes to plate it. The judges will ask you about the recipe, how you prepared it, and about your food knowledge. Then they’ll taste it.”
Be yourself. “I hope we make people as comfortable as possible,” Hancock said. “If you’re nervous, that’s okay. You’ll have 5 minutes, so there’s not too much time to mess up.”
Bring your signature dish. “Bring the dish that best shows your culinary expertise,” Hancock said. (She’s not at liberty to narrow it to any type of cuisine or skill set.) Your dish will be served to the judges at room temperature.
Pay attention to how the flavors pair together and shows off your skill level. “The flavors and plating are something they know by now,” Hancock said. “The people who will be great on Saturday have been teaching themselves, and waiting for an opportunity like this to come along.”
Watch clips of MasterChef Australia and MasterChef U.K. (see below) to get a feel for the formula. The U.S. version will be similar.
Know who the show’s producers will root for. “The MasterChef will be someone who wanted to go the culinary route, but life took a different direction,” Hancock said. “This is someone who loves cooking, it’s their life, it makes them happy to serve wonderful meals to people.”
Fill out the application online and bring it with you to the casting call, as well as a picture of your plated dish (which means you’ll have practiced first, at home.)
And the lucky ones who advance to the show? “By the time they’re done, they’ll have learned and been exposed to the best,” Hancock said. “These cooks will be at the top of their game.”
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Contact Casting Director Mandy Hancock at [email protected], or go to www.fox.com/casting.
New Orleans’ casting call for MasterChef will be held Saturday, Jan. 23 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Uptowner, 438 Henry Clay Ave.