Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Open audition for cooking reality show

One week ago on Jan 10th, I went to the open audition of Master Chef, a reality cooking show. Although I was not selected by the judges, it was very interesting experience. This experiences started when
I received an email from Seattle Food Styling Photography organizer about the FOX open audition on Jan 5th. The email described the event as an inspiring cooking show named “Master Chef”. The producers are looking for candidates who are passionate about cooking and ready to change their life. According to the website, the show’s main character is Gordon Ramsay. I had neither knew his name nor watched his show. I searched You Tube and watched season two of Hell’s Kitchen. Mr. Ramsay is handsome and popular celebrity chef but seems scary to be around.
I decided to participate in the audition the day before the big event. I wanted to use natural and common ingredients to make pretty Sushi rolls. I made the yellow, purple, and white sushi rolls with green, white, and orange inside. They looked good and tasted good. I filled 12 pages application and printed out my photo.
On the day of the audition, I made the Sushi rolls in the morning. My husband drove me to the Sur La Table in Kirkland where the audition was held. It was about 11:00am which was the starting time of the audition. The line was already long and the security person told us that our waiting time was about 2 hours. It was not rainy and not too cold. I talked to the people in the line and realized that my Sushi was not good enough. Most people in the line were gourmet cooks.
Although I was intimidated by other people’s food, I liked talking the people in the line about food, life general, and even the Botox sign on the street corner. I learned how to make borscht from a Ukrainian woman. I learned various food words which could be used to describe the personalities. A woman describing her and her sister as "Granola" and "Saucy". Then I realized that my neighbor who lives 6 blocks from my house was standing by me. She is young, good looking and wore a pretty long green dress. She made three types of stuffed duck with fancy side dishes. She was well prepared and ready. Someone who already finished meeting the judges told us that the judges didn’t taste some food. They simply told contestant that the food looked nice. It was very discouraging. I waited for hours to present my food, and they may not even consider tasting my food. I really wanted to go home. My husband told me to go through and at least to bring my Sushi to the judges. He bought an apron to make me look good. People in the line were speculating why food was untouched. Did the food stay too long out of the refrigerator? Was the food not appetizing enough? Were the judges afraid of food poisoning? I cannot imagine being a judge tasting so many different food, decide whose food was the best, and who has TV personality potential. After 4 hours of waiting, I went into the room of the audition. My number was 139. First, each of us stood by the wall and the picture was taken. In the room the people were dishing up their food for the judges at 6 large tables and waited for their turn. The rest of us were waiting for our turn to go to the table to be ready. My turn came. I took out my chilled and ready to be served Sushi on the plate from bag. I put it on the ice pack to prevent it from being warm. One man was so nervous that his hands were trembling when he was dishing up his food. I was happy when other competitors made positive comments about my Sushi. “I love your Sushi. It looks good.” There were three judges total. Finally I brought my sushi to two of the judges. I described what the ingredients were. They tasted the sushi. Yeah, at least my Sushi met their requirement to taste. One judge liked my purple Sushi roll. It is enough for me to come and wait for four hours to hear that she liked my Sushi.
I was told to wait phone for a phone call at the end of the day in case of they decided to have me back for more interviews. I got out of Sur la Table around 3:30pm. The line outside was still long although some people brought their food but they were told they could not make into the line. The audition was scheduled to end 4:00pm. Since many people came, they extended ending time to 6:00pm. I went home tired and hungry. I rarely receive calls on my cell phone and forgot to carry it around that evening. I went to bed without knowing someone called me around 8:30pm, but I did not hear it ring and didn't know it until the next day. When I called back and the answering machine answered sounded like the judges voice. I left message and she never returned my call. I wonder if the call was from the judge with good news? I can only speculate.
My neighbor Linda Miller Nicholson(Salty Seattle), the woman in line with me, was selected to be the final 4. She deserves be one of the finalists. Her dish was excellent. I also met Seattle Food Geek, Scott Heimandinger at a food blogger’s event. He posts very nice looking food photos in his blog. I have to see “Master Chef” to see who will be from Seattle.